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Galvanize It! Seminar Goes on the Road
Posted by Tom Klemens on September 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM.

This fall the American Galvanizers Association (AGA) is hosting regional seminars in cities all across the U.S. Each seminar includes a two-part presentation by AISC (“Innovations in Steel” and “Steel and Sustainability”) and two AGA presentations (“Galvanize It!” and “Sustainable Development and Hot-Dip Galvanizing”) .


Seminars are confirmed for:

  • Sept 22 - Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Sept 24 – Houston
  • Sept 28 – Newark, N.J.
  • Sept 29 – Philadelphia
  • Oct 26 – Indianapolis
  • Nov 15 - Chicago


A seminar also is tentatively planned for Los Angeles on October 15.


The cost for the 1/2-day seminar is $40 per person, which includes PDHs or CEUs and lunch.


For more information from the AGA website, click here.

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11th Annual Steel Design Student Competition
Posted by Tom Klemens on September 15, 2010 at 11:02 AM.

2010-2011 ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student CompetitionEntry materials are now available for the 2010-2011 Steel Design Student Competition sponsored by AISC and administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The program challenges students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction.


The 2010-2011 competition offers two categories. For Category I, entrants will develop a program for a Homeless Assistance Center and design the facility on an urban site of the their choosing. Category II is an open submission design option. For both, steel should be used as the primary structural material.


Winning entries will be displayed at the 2012 ACSA Annual Meeting and the 2012 AIA National Convention and will be published in a competition summary catalog. Additionally, the first, second and third place winners in each category will receive cash awards. There is no fee to enter. Registration deadline is February 9, 2011. Entries are due June 8, 2011.
For more information, including a downloadable program brochure and entry form, visit
To see the winning 2009-2010 entries in the ACSA competition archive, click here.

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Internet Voters Select Steel Bridge for Cleveland
Posted by Alison Trost on September 14, 2010 at 10:50 AM.

The replacement for Cleveland’s aging Innerbelt Bridge on I-90 will be an open steel girder structure submitted by Walsh Construction Co. The firm’s price reportedly was much less that the estimate, and the construction schedule promises a 2013 completion instead of 2014. The Internet voting results were reported online late last week by WKYC-TV. To see the September 9 video report, including images of the planned bridge, click here.


To read more about the project visit the WKYC-TV website, read the Ohio DOT press release, or visit



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AISC Vice President Louis F. Geschwindner Retires
Posted by Alison Trost on September 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM.

louis-geschwindner1.jpgLouis F. Geschwindner, Ph.D., P.E. has retired from his active role with AISC after serving as an AISC vice president for the past nine years. His distinguished career of service to the architectural engineering community tallied more than 40 years and culminated in his continuing service as professor emeritus of architectural engineering at Pennsylvania State University.


As an AISC vice president, Geschwindner was responsible for leading the development of the 2005 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings and the 13th Edition AISC Steel Construction Manual, as well as all other technical activities of the Institute.


To read the full press release on Lou’s retirement visit the AISC website.

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Steel Shots: SteelDay 2010 Features 200+ Events
Posted by Alison Trost on September 10, 2010 at 8:18 AM.

Steel Shots: SteelDay 2010 Update: 200+ Events 

On SteelDay last year, Lansing, Mich.-based Douglas Steel hosted a job site tour of the old Ottawa Street Power Station, which was in the process of being converted into office space for Accident Fund Insurance Company of America. A wide variety of such events are again on tap for this year. Photo: Mike Szostak


Friday September 24 is SteelDay, with more than 200 events planned. This global event celebrating structural steel features free networking and educational opportunities for the design and construction industry, hosted by AISC members and other affiliated organizations.


This year events are scheduled all across the country including major cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington. To find out about events near you visit  



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How I Got a Free Pass to Tussauds Wax Museum
Posted by Ted Sheppard on September 9, 2010 at 11:57 AM.

Ted SheppardAnyone who has ever worked for a big company will understand this story.  Anyone who has been a project manager knows that there is more to running a project than schedules, costs, safety, quality, etc.


I was the Resident Engineer for Bethlehem Steel on the Niagara Arch Bridge between Queenston, Ontario, and Lewiston, N.Y. The Canadian side of the bridge was mostly in a part of the Niagara Falls Park Commission’s jurisdiction. The park was operated by Major Grey, a wonderful person. We had our office trailer in the park, and across the road we had built a cabin to house the Engineer of Record who was overseeing the construction of the bridge for the Bridge Commission.


Near the end of our operations on the Canadian side, a man stopped at our trailer and introduced himself as the owner/manager of Louis Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He asked what we were going to do with the cabin across the road. I told him that we would be tearing it down and scrapping the materials. He said that he had some property on Lake Ontario and that the cabin would be just right for his use on the beach. He offered to buy it from us.


I thought that this would be a great idea, but I also thought that if he just took it off our hands, that would be perfect. I called my office in Pittsburgh to ask about the ins and outs of transferring the cabin to this man. This was my mistake. Our man in Pittsburgh called the home office. That was his mistake.


This started a series of phone calls. How was the cabin going to be moved? The response was that a regular experienced house-mover would do it and the police would escort the truck and trailer. Then there was the insurance issue. My man in Niagara Falls said that he would have his insurance agent call our home office insurance department and obtain whatever coverage that was required. Then Bethlehem asked the question of putting the grounds back in good order for the Park Commission. My man replied that Major Grey was a friend and the two of them would work out that issue. I knew Major Grey, and I knew that if he was on board, things would go right. I reported this to Pittsburgh. It was then reported to Bethlehem. There were no further questions, so I thought it was all set.


I went on a week’s vacation. When I came back, the cabin was being dismantled by ironworkers.  We also had to pay Major Grey to fix up the property to look like park grounds again. I called Pittsburgh and was told that after all was said and done, the home office was not comfortable with the arrangement. I called the museum to apologize for all of the phone calls that led to nothing. The manager said that he understood what had happened and that he appreciated my help in trying to get him the cabin. The next day in the mail there was a card that was a lifetime free pass to the museum. My wife and I used it once before the job was over, and we have not been back to Niagara Falls since then. I still have that pass to the museum. I am not sure that it is still there.


The message here seems to be that you should not try to save money on jobs that are really run from the home office. However, the message I got was to not make the first phone call.



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P.S.: Tussaud’s is still there in Niagara Falls, now under the ownership of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! For a little brush up on Tussaud’s, click here.


For two other posts about this project, see Thunder in the Gorge (Aug 10, 2010) and The Commercial (Aug 19, 2010).


To see photos of the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, from, including a stunning construction shot (c. 1962) click here.

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CSI Joins ConsensusDOCS Coalition
Posted by Alison Trost on September 8, 2010 at 1:51 PM.

The Construction Specifications Institute has joined the ConsensusDOCS Coalition, whose mission is the creation of air and balanced construction contracts. CSI joins 27 other leading construction industry associations in supporting the coalition.

A national organization of more than 13,000 volunteers, CSI includes specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product representatives, manufacturers, owners and others who are experts in the building industry.

ConsensusDOCS offers a catalog of more than 90 contract documents covering all methods of project delivery. For more information, visit

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William Milek, Former AISC VP of Engineering and Research
Posted by Tom Klemens on September 7, 2010 at 1:24 PM.

William A. Milek, 92, died September 3, 2010. A resident of Glen Ellyn, Ill., Milek joined AISC in 1955 as a district engineer based in his home town of Omaha, Neb. From 1961–1967 he was a research engineer at AISC headquarters, then in New York City. Upon the retirement of T.R. Higgins in 1968, Milek became AISC’s director of engineering and research and later the vice president of engineering. He retired from that position shortly after AISC moved to Chicago in 1983. In 2000, Milek was presented with the AISC Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of his many contributions to the institute and the structural steel industry.


Milek is survived by his children John, Tom, Anne and James; two brothers, Robert and David; two grandchildren and one great-grandson.


Visitation is Wednesday afternoon, September 8, at the Blake Lamb Funeral Home in Lisle, Ill., where the funeral will be held on Thursday morning. For more information, click here.

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Sustainable Mt. Baker Home Features Steel
Posted by Alison Trost on September 7, 2010 at 8:17 AM.

Seattle architect Prentis Hale says he “chose space over expensive things” when he designed a steel-framed home for his family. He also made sure it was environmentally and financially sound, by building on a relatively inexpensive but steeply sloping wooded lot.

Read about the project in a recent Seattle Times article and see pictures by clicking here.

To see more of Hale’s work, visit

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Steel Shots: The Beekman Tower’s Undulating Facade
Posted by Andrew Steinkuehler on September 3, 2010 at 8:05 AM.

Steel Shots: The Beekman Tower’s Undulating Facade

The new Beekman Tower rises 850 ft., adding a bit of skyline steel to Lower Manhattan.


as.jpgThe stainless steel facade of Frank Gehry’s latest conversation starter is nearing completion, with construction management firm Kreisler Borg Florman estimating an early September end date. Gehry’s envelope-pushing use of stainless steel is well documented, from the muscular whimsy of the Hotel Marques de Riscal to the gargantuan folds of the Bilbao Guggenheim.


In interviews, Gehry has said that the Beekman’s creased facade helps to “humanize the building,” bringing a vibrant, almost organic, quality to the 76-story residential skyscraper.

For background information on the Beekman Tower from the New York Times website, click here.


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