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Archive for April 2010

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The Perfect Home is Steel
Posted by Alison Trost on April 20, 2010 at 9:44 AM.

When one man wanted his desert oasis to be the perfect home while maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, he decided to go with prefabricated steel. This project led to the creation of Blue Sky Homes, a company that creates steel homes which allow for affordable green structures that bring the outdoors inside.


To read the full article from Dwell magazine click here. To view the article’s luscious photography, click on the “view the slideshow” link  below the first image, or click here.

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AISC Scholarship Application Deadline
Posted by Alison Trost on April 19, 2010 at 9:10 AM.

The deadline for submitting applications and recommendation requests for the 2010-2011 AISC Scholarships and Fellowships is Sunday, April 25. For more information click here. Questions? Contact Shanna Quinn at

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Steel Shots: Bridge of the Day
Posted by Alison Trost on April 16, 2010 at 8:06 AM.

Steel Shots: Bridge of the Day
“It’s shocking to come across such a huge structure while driving through forests and mountains,” observes Mark Yashinsky on his Bridge Photo of the Day blog. He’s referring to the Cold Spring Canyon Bridge on State Route 154 in the mountains north of Santa Barbara, Calif. Constructed in 1963, its steel arch spans 700 ft supporting the roadway 420 ft above the canyon. California Bridges - Cold Spring Canyon Bridge 2 by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.


The “Bridge Photo of the Day” blog by bridge engineer Mark Yashinsky showcases a different bridge every day. His posts feature bridges from around the world and date back to January, 2009. Each post includes a commentary about the bridge shown in the photo.


To see a new bridge photo each day, go to

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It’s Exam Time
Posted by Lauren DiPalma on April 15, 2010 at 1:34 PM.

Good luck to all those taking the spring engineering exams being administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) this weekend.


Engineers who successfully complete the exams and become licensed earn the ability the stamp and seal drawings. But more than that, they also commit to serving as competent and ethical engineers, holding public safety tantamount while balancing the needs of strength, economy, and aesthetics.


Engineering students all across the country who are nearing completion of their degrees will be sitting for the 8-hour Fundamentals of Engineering exam on Saturday, April 17, leading to the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) designation.


Graduate engineers with four years or more of post-college experience will be taking the 8-hour Principles and Practice of Engineering exam on Friday, April 16. This is typically the last step in becoming a licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.)


Friday is also when the Structural I and Structural II exams are offered, which in certain states can lead to being licensed as a Structural Engineer (S.E.) Although these will again be offered in October, a new 16-hour format for the structural exam will be instituted in April 2011. To learn more about the new PE Structural exam, visit or click here.


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NASCC Registration Reminder
Posted by Alison Trost on April 15, 2010 at 8:16 AM.

Three weeks from now (May 6, 2010) is the last day for pre-registration discounts for NASCC: The Steel Conference. To register visit


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Six Honored for Industry Accomplishments
Posted by Alison Trost on April 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM.

Six renowned structural steel industry professionals are being honored this month by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) for their contributions to the advancement of the structural steel design and construction industry.


Thomas M. Murray, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Thomas MurrayUniversity, receives the Geerhard Haaijer Award for Excellence in Education. One of AISC’s most prestigious and least frequently bestowed awards, it provides special recognition to individuals who have had a profound and lasting impact in developing a unique application for engineering practice or in the mentoring of future technical leaders through their research and teaching.


Murray’s teaching and research have led to many new ideas and innovations for the steel design community and construction industry. Among other accomplishments, the AISC design guides he has written serve as the seminal works on floor vibrations and moment end-plate connections.


Two individuals are receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes those who have provided outstanding service to AISC and the structural steel design/ construction/ academic community over a sustained period of years.


Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., one of the founders of structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti and now chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company LLC, is honored for his body of work in the design of steel building structures.


Duane S. Ellifritt, Ph.D., P.E., professor emeritus, University of Florida, is recognized for his long-time contributions to AISC’s education efforts, especially in creating the nationally and internationally used Steel Sculpture and the Steel Connections Tool Kit. The Steel Sculpture has been built at more than 130 schools nationwide and new schools continue to add the sculpture to their campuses.


AISC’s Special Achievement Award is being presented to three individuals who have demonstrated notable achievements in structural steel design, construction, research, and education.


Theodore M. Zoli, HNTB Corporation, is being honored for his work on the S-shaped cable-stayed Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, which was converted from a concrete bridge to steel through use of design-build project delivery.


Nabih F.G. Youssef, Nabih Yousseff & Associates, receives the award for the LA Live project. His firm converted the 52-story structure from a concrete shear wall system to a steel building with a steel-plate shear wall system through performance-based design.


Todd Helwig, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Texas, Austin, is being recognized for his leadership in the area of stability of steel structures. He developed bridge girder bracing systems as well as short courses on bracing for stability that have been provided to thousands of practicing engineers throughout the U.S.


The award recipients will be recognized at the 2010 NASCC: The Steel Conference/The Structures Congress, May 12-15, in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit

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Remembering Legendary Architect Bruce Graham
Posted by Daniel Popp on April 13, 2010 at 11:01 AM.

Bruce Graham passed away last month at the age of 84. Even though many might not recognize his name, his work as an architect is certainly well known.


Structural steel played a supporting role in the accomplishments of this visionary architect, the lead designer for many signature projects. Most notable among his designs are the John Hancock Center and the Willis Tower (originally the Sears Tower), both built with steel. After his death on March 6, he was remembered in major newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as his hometown Chicago Tribune.


Graham was a senior design partner at the Chicago-based design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where he collaborated on his two most famous projects with another legend, structural engineer Fazlur Khan. Other steel-framed icons designed by Graham include Chicago’s Inland Steel Building, Three First National Plaza, and One Magnificent Mile.

An aside to those who chafe at the structural engineer’s lack of glory: Mr. Graham, the architect behind two of the most recognizable structures in America, was far surpassed in notoriety by his buildings. Though his name was not well known, his legacy stands tall nevertheless.


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Steelwork Begins for New Boeing Facility
Posted by Alison Trost on April 12, 2010 at 9:38 AM.

The first piece of structural steel was put into place for the new Boeing 787 plant in North Charleston, S.C., on April 5. The structure, which has a footprint as large as 12 football fields, will be able to house two of the monstrous 787 Dreamliner jets (each with a wingspan of 197 ft) side by side. This facility will employ as many as 4,000 workers and is expected to fully assemble three Dreamliners a month. Steel erection is being performed by Graham, N.C.-based Buckner Steel (an AISC member company). For more information read the article from The Post and Courier.

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Steel Shots: Rivets, Art and Function
Posted by Alison Trost on April 9, 2010 at 8:49 AM.

Steel Shots: Art and Function found in Rivets

Is it functional or decorative? Often the answer is both. “For me, it’s all about ‘the look’,” writes 21st century riveter Steve Howell on his website. “The look of how things were built to last. From ship’s hulls to bridges to skyscrapers, riveted connections made a good deal of the 20th century possible.”


Riveted steel structures are all around us. The decorative example shown above is just one of the practical applications of rivets in our world today. This time-honored way of making structural steel connections has largely been replaced by welding techniques. However, the Ballard Forge website offers examples of the continued practicality of riveting today. Also check out the embedded videos: hydraulic hot riveting and the one-man rivet gang. (Or, go straight to the videos on YouTube – and

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Say "Cheese" (Boom!)
Posted by Alison Trost on April 8, 2010 at 4:33 PM.

What do you get when you combine an 11-year-old boy, a successful essay, and Kraft Foods? How about an implosion at the old Texas Stadium?

On Sunday morning, April 11, young Casey Rogers will pull the trigger on the “Cheddar Explosion” and demolish the old stadium in Irving, Texas. Click here to learn more about this story from the Dallas Morning News and find out how Casey earned this opportunity.
To see a video of the project click here, or to view live webcams go to the implosion homepage.

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