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Frangopol Inducted as ASCE Distinguished Member
Posted by Alison Trost on January 31, 2011 at 9:16 AM.

dmfrangopol1.jpgDan M. Frangopol was recently named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in honor of his contributions to civil and structural engineering. Distinguished membership is ASCE’s highest accolade and recognizes eminence in a branch of engineering. It has been conferred on only 192 of the Society’s 144,000 members worldwide. Frangopol was formally inducted at the Celebration of Leaders luncheon during ASCE’s 140th Annual Civil Engineering Conference held in October 2010 in Las Vegas.


Frangopol currently is serving in the inaugural position of the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture at Lehigh University.


To learn more about Frangopol, read the original announcement of the award on the Lehigh University website by clicking here.

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Steel Shots: Reusable Falsework
Posted by Tom Klemens on January 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM.


Much like launching a boat, four synchronized hydraulic jacks ease a section of framework for the new Marlins Ballpark retractable roof down ramps and off of the four 200-ft-tall falsework towers upon which it was assembled. In this photo, from the January 14 launch of the third section, the trusses had traveled just more than halfway down the ramps. Erection of the next set of trusses began immediately on those same towers.


The three-section retractable roof now being erected at the new Marlins Ballpark in Miami is a marvel of technology, all the way from its design and conception through its erection and on to its eventual operation. The finished product will be remarkable enough, but the method being used to erect the huge movable structure is an innovation worth noting.



The novel erection and shoring removal plan was developed for the project by AISC-member LPR Construction Company, Loveland, Colo. The steel is being fabricated off site and almost all of it is being delivered as individual pieces. The LPR crew is erecting those pieces into five bridge-like truss structures, one at a time, on a set of four shoring towers in the range of 200 ft tall. Each end of the structure is attached to and supported by a Uni-Systems transport unit. Once the span is completed, the assembly is eased down inclined ramps atop the shoring towers until it’s fully supported by just the transport units and free of the shores.


At that point, the assembly is wheeled down the tracks allowing erection of the next truss to begin on the shores while ironworkers attach the remaining steel to the launched structure.


Structural engineering for the Populous design was done by Walter P Moore. Fabricator on the project was AISC-member Canam/Structal.


marlins_jan2011-070_webcam-x.jpgThe project and the erection process will be the subject of an MSC article later this year.


For more information, visit the Marlins homepage by clicking here.


Check out the construction from high above center field with the ballpark’s interior webcam by clicking here.

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New AISC Specification Now Available for Free Downloading
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 27, 2011 at 9:35 AM.

The 2010 AISC standard, Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 360-10), is now available as a free download at


New topics and updated design provisions include structural integrity, new composite member provisions, revisions to slip-critical connection design provisions, and a new chapter on quality control and quality assurance.


The 2010 Specification supersedes the 2005 version (ANSI/AISC 360-05). It has been approved by the AISC Committee on Specifications and is ANSI-accredited and forms the basis for the 14th Edition Steel Construction Manual, scheduled to be published in the third quarter of 2011.


Go to to view and/or download the 2010 AISC Specification and Commentary as a PDF. The 2005 version and other related documents are also available for free downloading at

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Snow on Steel
Posted by Alison Trost on January 26, 2011 at 9:36 AM.

The ongoing construction of the Kauffman Center, Kansas City, has passed another test. The structure needed to withstand various weather elements, including snow and with this winter season hitting the area hard, the building performed as expected.


Watch as Kyle McQuiston, the project executive, explains the considerations and systems implemented for dealing with the snow at the Kauffman Center in this short video clip from KMBC (local ABC affiliate).


To read about the project’s 3,989-ton steel package in the October 2010 issue of MSC, click here.

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Steel Heats Up in S.C.
Posted by Alison Trost on January 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM.

Two steel-related facilities are making headlines in South Carolina - one a newly refurbished fabrication facility and the other an idled wire rod-making mill that is back in production.


Supermetal has been in business for more than 50 years in Canada, but when looking to expand to a fourth facility, the old Worthington Industries building in Rock Hill, S.C., seemed to be the perfect fit.


Its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony was held on January 14 and the expansion is expected to employ around 200 people.


To read the article from The Herald about Supermetal and its new facility, click here.


On January 24 Arcelor Mittal employees returned to the Georgetown, S.C., mill which started production again after an 18 month hiatus. Citing harsh economic times, the company shut down production at the facility in July 2009. However, with things looking up the need for steel has increased to the point where 180 steelworkers will return to work.


For more information from the local radio station, WRHI AM 1340, including commentary from the president of the United Steelworkers Union, click here.


There is also a short news item about the re-opening from the local television station here.

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Early Registration Savings on AISC Spring Seminars
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM.

Whether you’re designing industrial buildings or office buildings, AISC’s Louis F. Geschwindner Seminar Series is a great opportunity for structural engineers and other designers to increase their knowledge and earn continuing education credits. Early registration discounts are available until February 11 at


With six exciting seminar topics and two Steel Camp events happening in 25 cities from February to July, there’s bound to be one that’s right for you:



Visit to search AISC’s spring seminars by state. For more information on registration and pricing, visit

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Steel Shots: Student Steel Bridge Competition Season Opens in Texas
Posted by Alison Trost on January 21, 2011 at 10:17 AM.

ssb_texas.jpgThe University of Texas - Austin’s entry in the AISC/ASCE Student Steel Bridge Competition uses full-spectrum color coding to simplify construction. Here team members prepare to compete in the first regional competition of the 2011 season. Photo by Nancy Gavlin.


Nine teams from Texas and four from Mexico met at Texas Tech University on January 15 to compete in the first regional Student Steel Bridge Competition of 2011.


This year’s design requirements for a cantilever span and smaller individual member dimensions and deflection limits than recent years have required students to rethink their design philosophies. At Texas Tech this resulted in a challenging competition with a visually interesting and diverse array of bridges. It is refreshing to observe the effort, ingenuity and character displayed by all of the students who participate in the Student Steel Bridge competition. The best way to grasp the exciting atmosphere is to attend a competition, and with 17 more competitions to come and the National Competition, there are many opportunities to attend.

Upcoming 2011 Student Steel Bridge Competitions


March 19

  University of North Dakota


March 26

  California State University, Los Angeles

  Mississippi State University

  Tennessee Tech University


April 2

  United States Air Force Academy

  University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

  University of Michigan             

  University of Alaska, Anchorage       


April 16

  North Carolina State University

  Fairleigh Dickinson University         

  Drexel University               

  California State University, Sacramento  

  University of Akron                

  West Virginia University             


April 30

  Kansas State University         

  University Laval               

  L’Ecole de Technologies Superienure       


May 20-21 National Finals

  Texas A&M University   


For more information about the Student Steel Bridge Competition see Or to find out about the regional competitions click here.


To read about the 2010 competition click here. For a gallery of photos from the 2010 national finals at Purdue University click here.

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Reminder: Registration Deadline is Feb. 9 for Student Competition
Posted by Alison Trost on January 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM.

Just three weeks remain to register for the 11th Annual ACSA/AISC steel student design competition, which challenges students to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. For those who register by the deadline, final entries are due by June 8, 2011. There is no fee to enter.


There are two categories of competition: the Homeless Assistance Center, and the Open category. To learn more about the competition click here.


To see the earlier Steel in the News competition announcement, click here.

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Mead & Hunt Merges With RPM
Posted by Alison Trost on January 20, 2011 at 9:09 AM.

The engineering and architectural firm Mead & Hunt, Inc., has merged with RPM Engineers. With offices in 13 states from coast to coast, the organization will operate under the name of Mead & Hunt.


To read more about the merger on the Mead & Hunt website, click here.

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Posted by Ted Sheppard on January 19, 2011 at 9:39 AM.

ts.jpgOne of the best parts about our business is the people you meet and work with. Some are more memorable than others. A very memorable person was Joe Blank (not the real name or initials). Others were always asking me if I knew him prior to telling me their experience with him. Oh by the way, Joe Blank had a wooden leg.


I started to get ready for these whenever I heard the words, “Do you know Joe Blank?” On one such occasion, a man was sent to a project that was out in the boonies. My friend was an inveterate gambler, and he asked if there were any poker games that were open for his participation. He was told that there was usually one in Joe Blank’s motel room. My friend went over that evening and he was let into the game. He said things were going fine until around midnight when Joe got up from the table went over to his bed, dropped his trousers, removed his leg, threw it on the bed and hopped back to the table. My friend said that this caused him to lose all concentration, and he did not win another hand that night.


The district manager of operations for Bethlehem Steel, Bill Money (also a pseudonym), wanted to hire someone with steel erection experience. Bill wanted this person to work in the fabrication shop’s shipping department. I did not know this when Bill asked me the question. When I said that I did know Joe, Bill said, “He says he has worked as a superintendent, a foreman, a field engineer and a timekeeper in the field.” I replied that he had indeed worked in all of those positions. Bill then asked me what kind of a person he was. I said that he was a good person but a little eccentric. Bill said that no one was as eccentric as he was. To which I replied, “Oh, you sleep in your car, too.” When Joe ran out of money due to playing cards, he would sleep in his car until he could get another stake. Bill hired him any way, thank goodness.


There are more, but this time there will just be one more. One morning on the way to a high rise building job downtown, a carload of workers saw that Joe was sitting in his car which was parked at the curb. They stopped to see what was going on, and Joe said that he had run out of gas. The other men said they would push his car to a gas station. They got behind Joe’s car with theirs and started off down the street. As they approached a gas station, Joe put his hand and arm outside his window and waved them on. They tried to push him into the gas station, but he didn’t want to go there. He told them that he didn’t use that kind of gas and wanted to go one more block to another station.


We still have characters in the business, but I don’t think they quite come up to the standards set by Joe.  We really need to develop some.


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