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New Faces at AISC
Posted by Alison Trost on November 16, 2010 at 9:31 AM.

jacques-c.jpgJacques Cattan has joined AISC as its new vice president of certification. He previously worked at AISC from 1994 to 1999 as a staff engineer. Since then Cattan has been with the Chicago architectural and engineering firm Teng & Associates as a project manager focusing on developing proposals and managing competitive and A/E design-build projects.


Also returning to the staff is Heath Mitchell, P.E., the new AISC director of technical assistance. Mitchell worked for AISC from 1999 to 2001. Since then he has been employed by PCS Structural Solutions, Tacoma, Wash., while maintaining his involvement with AISC as a committee volunteer. He also has worked part-time on the AISC technical assistance panel over the last year.

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A Free openBIM Webinar
Posted by Alison Trost on November 15, 2010 at 9:49 AM.

Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., in conjunction with Nemetschek Scia and the buildingSMART alliance, will present the AIA continuing education webinar “openBIM - Real Interoperability, Practical Collaboration” on Tuesday, November 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. There is no charge to register.

Presented by Jeffrey W. Ouellette, Assoc. AIA, project architect at Nemetschek Vectorworks, this one-hour webinar will define openBIM and Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) and will explain how both interoperability and collaboration with design partners are improved with openBIM workflows and IFC technology. The presentation will include examples demonstrating how openBIM and IFC are used today. Webinar attendees are eligible to receive one American Institute of Architects (AIA) continuing education credit.

For more information or to register, go to

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Steel Shots: Artful Steel Architecture
Posted by Alison Trost on November 12, 2010 at 10:42 AM.


The new Samitaur Tower in Culver City, Calif., was recognized on October 28 at the AIA Los Angeles Chapter Design Awards Program. Photo: Tom Bonner.  


The 72-ft-tall steel Samitaur Tower in Culver City, Calif., was fabricated from standard structural steel sections and features panelized 1/2-in.-thick steel plate walls. It also sports five high-definition rear projection screens directed to specific surrounding areas. Designed by  Eric Owen Moss Architects, the tower was a merit award winner in the recent 2010 AIA | LA Design Award competition. The owner is Samitaur Constructs and structural engineering was by Arup, Los Angeles.


For more photos and a commentary on the Samitaur Tower as a structure, visit the architect’s website by clicking here.


Commentary by the owners on its cultural place in the city is available on the LA Life website here. And, of course, the tower has its own website:


To see and read about all of the 2010 AIA | LA Design Award winners, click here.


Eric Owen Moss will speak at the Art Institute of Chicago on November 18. For more information on his presentation and ticket information, click here.

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Charles Roeder Receives 2011 T.R. Higgins Award
Posted by Alison Trost on November 11, 2010 at 10:36 AM.

roeder.jpgCharles W. Roeder, P.E., Ph.D., professor of civil engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. The award is presented annually by AISC and recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical papers are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.


Roeder is the author of more than 75 journal articles and numerous other reports and publications. He is being honored for his paper “Gusset Plate Connections for Seismic Design,” published in Connections VI, the proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Connections in Steel Structures, held June 23-25, 2008, in Chicago. To learn more about his activities and accomplishments, read the full press release on the AISC website,


An earlier version of Roeder’s award-winning paper is available as a download (free for AISC members, nominal fee for non-members) at It was co-authored by Dawn Lehman and presented at the 2007 NASCC: The Steel Conference with a title of “SCBF Gusset Plate Design.”


For more information on the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award program, please visit

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2010 Greenbuild
Posted by Alison Trost on November 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM.

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) is partnering with the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) to serve as a GREENLEEDer sponsor at the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) 2010 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green buildings. The conference will take place November 15-20 in Chicago at McCormick Place West, where more than 27,000 building professionals from all over the world will come together to learn about the latest advancements in green building design, construction, financing, and usgbc_logo_blk_reasonably_small.jpgmanagement.


AISC will also provide green transportation to Greenbuild attendees via a biodiesel-powered Chicago trolley bus between the Cermak Road Red Line El station and the convention center from 7 am to 6 pm during the exhibition dates, November 16-18.



For continuing updates follow @USGBC on Twitter or search #Greenbuild

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Remembering Famed Architect Ysrael Seinuk
Posted by Alison Trost on November 9, 2010 at 10:46 AM.

new-image.JPGYsrael Seinuk, a structural engineer whose work includes many contributions to the New York City skyline, died September 14 in Manhattan. He was 78. Seinuk’s notable New York structures include the 70-story Trump World Tower, the 48-story Conde Nast Building in Times Square, and the Bear Stearns headquarters. A graduate of the University of Havana, Seinuk worked for six years in Cuba but left when Fidel Castro came to power. He joined Abrams, Hertzberg & Cantor, in New York, and 10 years later became a partner. He was named CEO in 1992 and the firm became Cantor Seinuk Group. In addition, Seinuk taught structural engineering to architecture students at the Copper Union for 40 years. He is survived by his wife, daughter and son, six grandchildren and one great grandson.

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Conversations With Steel Experts
Posted by Alison Trost on November 8, 2010 at 9:21 AM.

AISC Continuing Education is launching a series of free podcasts entitled “Steel Profiles” beginning December 3, 2010. Issued monthly, the Steel Profiles series will present interviews with the people who are setting the parameters for structural steel design and construction.


The first installment of Steel Profiles will feature James Fisher, P.E., Ph.D., who was the chairman of the AISC Specification Committee from 2003 through 2009. As such, Fisher was at the helm for publication of the historic 2005 Specification. Listen to his reflections on his tenure as specification chair.


Steel Profiles podcasts can be downloaded easily from the AISC website at Join in and listen to a new interview on the first Friday of every month. Or, subscribe for free through iTunes and the new AISC podcast will be downloaded automatically for you each month.

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Steel Shots: Honorable Mention
Posted by Alison Trost on November 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM.


A newly constructed, student-designed pedestrian bridge in El Salvador links two communities across a ravine and also supports a wastewater pipeline. Photo by Eric Tervo.


The photo above was submitted by Eric Tervo as part of the 2010 Student Photo Contest. The competition requires students to capture the essence of SteelDay within three different photos illustrating the SteelDay theme: Interact. Learn. Build. The students also submit an explanation of what each photo shows. This image was awarded honorable mention in the Build category. Here is Tervo’s description:


“The UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders is building a wastewater collection system and pedestrian bridge in two small communities in El Salvador. The bridge crosses a ravine between the communities, carrying the wastewater line connecting the communities an allowing easy and safe transportation for pedestrians. Students built the abutments with community volunteers in January 2010. The steel truss, designed by UW-Madison students, was fabricated and placed on the abutments in the following seven months. Students then returned and poured the concrete deck with the help of community volunteers in August 2010, officially completing the bridge and opening it for public use.” 


A gallery of previously posted Steel Shots is available at

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A Shipping Container Home
Posted by Alison Trost on November 4, 2010 at 2:28 PM.

Precision Structural Engineering, Inc., of Klamath Falls, Ore., has engineered what it says is the first shipping container home to be built in the state of Oregon. The design uses containers as basic building blocks in conjunction with additional materials to create a durable, attractive structure. 


The company also cites several other benefits to using steel containers:


  • Ease of use
  • Modern design pse_shipping_container_flier.jpg
  • Self-supporting
  • Non-combustible


More information is available on the company’s website,


To read about a somewhat less engineered Oregonian container home, click here

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Seismic Research Gets the Spotlight
Posted by Alison Trost on November 3, 2010 at 8:37 AM.

A system using sacrificial fabricated steel “fingers” to absorb earthquake energy and protect steel-framed buildings recently was named to Popular Mechanics magazine’s top breakthroughs of 2010. The Controlled Rocking Frame system was developed by Gregory Deierlein, Stanford University, and Jerome Hajjar, previously at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana but now at Northeastern University.


The system, which was described more fully here in March and in the news section of the April 2010 MSC, allows buildings to sway with the motion of earthquakes and then return to their original positions. Engineered replaceable shock absorbers absorb energy as the building moves laterally and vertically, shielding the rest of the framing from damage.


“Deierlein and Hajjar asked for our comments on their plan,” said Tom Schlafy, AISC director of research, “which led to a discussion of how to come up with large-scale model for testing.” Ultimately AISC members Tefft Bridge & Iron, Wheatfield, Ind., and Atlanta-based Infra-Metals provided expertise as well as donating a significant amount of materials and financial support for a pseudo-dynamic test at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. To watch a short video of the test online, click here.


Popular Mechanics’ editors cited the system for allowing the quick replacement of the steel “fuses” and restoration of building integrity within a matter of days. To read the article on the Popular Mechanics website, click here.

View all of the top 2010 breakthroughs selected by Popular Mechanics at

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