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Archive for January 2011

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IDEAS2 Entries Due Soon
Posted by Tom Klemens on January 18, 2011 at 10:29 AM.

Entries for the 2011 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel Awards, conducted annually by AISC, are due January 31, 2011. U.S. structural steel projects completed between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2010, are eligible.


Entry is FREE if any member of the project team is an AISC member. The entry fee for non-AISC members is $150.


The IDEAS2 entry process is conducted online at


For more information about AISC’s IDEAS2 Awards and to view past winners, go to

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Addressing Fatigue and Fracture
Posted by Alison Trost on January 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM.

John W. Fisher, P.E., Ph.D., will present the 2011 Landis-Epic Lecture in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium at the University of Pittsburgh. The title of his talk is “Fatigue and Fracture: A Challenge for Existing and Future Steel Bridges.” It is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on March 17. There is no charge for admission and attendees will receive one PDH.


Fisher is professor emeritus of civil engineering at Lehigh University and director of its ATLSS Engineering Research Center. For more information, call Monica Davis at the University of Pittsburgh, 412.624.6814.

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Steel Shots: Haiti One Year Later
Posted by Alison Trost on January 14, 2011 at 8:45 AM.


This masonry in-fill wall at the end of this steel framed warehouse in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, collapsed in the January 12, 2010, earthquake. And as with most of the steel-framed buildings on the island, the steel held up just fine. When the rubble was cleared away, the warehouse walls were reconstructed using metal panels in place of the toppled masonry. Click on the photo to see how the repaired structure looked in August 2010. Photos: Steven Baldridge, Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering, Inc.


A year ago, on January 12, the Caribbean island nation of Haiti was struck by a significant earthquake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale. There was widespread destruction, with many of the structures on the island collapsing in the initial earthquake and the more than 30 aftershocks that followed. Although there are relatively few steel-framed structures in Haiti, those that are there survived the earthquake without significant damage.


To read one report from the International Code Council on the performance of various buildings during the Haitian earthquake, click here.


For an interesting 4-minute video highlighting the efforts of structural engineering firm Miyamoto International and showing the situation in Haiti one year after the earthquake, click here.

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Just One Week Left in Tech Survey
Posted by Alison Trost on January 13, 2011 at 9:06 AM.

There is just one week remaining to respond the AISC Technology Integration Committee’s survey on technology use. The newly formed committee launched this brief online survey earlier in the month. With the help of this survey, committee members seek to establish a baseline from which they can develop goals and strategies for the future.


The survey results will be reported only in aggregate form and will be made available to all survey respondents as soon as completed. In addition, all respondents will be entered in a drawing to win a free iPad. The survey will be open only until January 20, 2011.


    * Fabricators - take the survey here
    * Detailers - take the survey here

    * Erectors - take the survey here


More information on both the survey and the Technology Integration Committee can be found at

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Fumihiko Maki Awarded AIA Gold Medal
Posted by Alison Trost on January 12, 2011 at 9:47 AM.

The American Institute of Architects has awarded its 2011 AIA Gold Medal to Fumihiko Maki. The AIA Gold Medal recognizes an individual’s legacy contribution to the field of architecture and is considered the profession’s highest individual honor.


Maki is one of Japan’s most eminent living architects and has studied, worked, and taught both in the U.S. and Japan. “His buildings convey a quiet and elegant moment of reflection,” wrote his colleague Toshiko Mori, FAIA, in recommending Maki. The 4 World Trade Center building now under construction in New York is one of his recent U.S. designs.


To learn more about Maki and his work from the AIA website, click here. For information about and images of Maki’s 4 WTC project, click here.


For images of the 4 WTC steel going up (and other on-site activities), click here.

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NASCC Registration Now Open
Posted by Alison Trost on January 11, 2011 at 9:56 AM.

Registration for NASCC 2011: The Steel Conference is now open. Just visit to register.


With only 17 weeks to go until NASCC: The Steel Conference you may want to start planning to get the most out of the technical seminars, networking, and product showcase that is happening May 11-14 in Pittsburgh. To do so check out the advanced program which is now available by visiting or by clicking here.


For more information on NASCC 2011: The Steel Conference please read the press release by clicking here.

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Shankar Nair on Steel Profiles Podcast No. 2
Posted by Tasha Weiss on January 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM.

The second episode of AISC’s Steel Profiles features an 18-minute interview with incoming Specification Committee chair Shankar Nair, Ph.D., S.E., a principal and senior vice president of Teng & Associates, Inc., Chicago. In a career that has focused on structural engineering for large architectural and civil engineering projects, Nair has designed the structural systems of many skyscrapers and many major bridges including structures for Interstate highways over the Mississippi River. To listen to his views on the structural steel industry and what it’s like being the newly elected Specification Committee chair, click here.

Steel Profiles podcasts are now available on iTunes! For easy listening on the go, follow these few simple steps:

1. Click on the iTunes button at to go directly to the podcasts on iTunes and play/download them for free. If you don’t have iTunes as your media player, don’t fret. You can download it for free at and set up your free account.

2. You can also easily search for Steel Profiles podcasts in the iTunes Store by typing in “Steel Profiles” in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Once you’ve downloaded the podcasts to your iTunes account, they can be transferred onto any portable MP3 player.

3. Want to save time by having all future Steel Profiles podcasts automatically downloaded to your iTunes account each month for free? It’s as easy as clicking on the Subscribe button when you’re in the AISC Podcast Series in iTunes.

AISC podcasts are also available for downloading and easy online streaming at They can simply be played without having to do any installing.

Happy listening!

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Steel Shots: Seismic Brace Passes University Test
Posted by Alison Trost on January 7, 2011 at 10:19 AM.


A new yielding brace system ready for testing at a University of Toronto research facility. Photo: University of Toronto.


A proprietary yielding brace system (YBS) designed to absorb seismic energy and protect the steel frame in which it is installed successfully underwent its third full-scale test in late November at the University of Toronto. The device, dubbed the Scorpion, looks like a giant wrench and consists of a toothed high-performance steel casting connected to a standard brace member. The casting’s yield force, elastic stiffness, displacement capabilities, ductility, and post-peak strengthening can all be independently tuned with this unique bracing system, which is being commercialized by Toronto-based Cast Connex Corporation.


For the University of Toronto test, the brace system was  installed in a full-scale one-story steel frame, laid horizontally, where it was subjected to a half-million pounds of force. Watch a 40-second video of the test.


Read more about the system on the Cast Connex website by clicking here.


Development of the YBS has been part of doctoral student Michael Gray’s research, under the supervision of faculty members Constantin Christopoulos and Jeffrey Packer. Learn more on the university website by clicking here.

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Engineering Journal: "Go green!" or "Paper, please!"
Posted by Alison Trost on January 6, 2011 at 9:56 AM.

Effective immediately electronic distribution is the default for AISC’s Engineering Journal. Although subscribers still have the option to receive a printed copy, they must opt in to do so.


AISC has a tradition of embracing technology when it makes sense. For example, AISC offices feature motion-sensing light switches, its membership renewal process is via email, and all AISC codes and standards are available for free online. In 2010, Engineering Journal continued that tradition with the creation of a digital version of the journal to reach more of AISC’s membership.


While there are no plans to discontinue the paper version of EJ, the change making paper subscriptions to EJ “by request only” is significant.


“We are not eliminating the paper version,” said EJ editor Keith A. Grubb, P.E., S.E., “and we are not going to charge you more. We simply want to be cost-conscious and environmentally friendly. We want to send you something that you want to receive.”


Grubb suggests trying out the digital edition at “If the digital edition meets your needs, great! But we realize that electronic journals are not for everyone,” he said. However, to continue to receive your paper version, you must send an email including your name and AISC member number to by January 31, 2011.


Questions and concerns can be directed to

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All About Steel In The News
Posted by Alison Trost on January 5, 2011 at 10:12 AM.

Thank you for being a Steel in the News reader. We appreciate your checking us out from time to time. With the start of a new year, we figured that a little revamping of Steel in the News would be in order; consider it one of our resolutions.


Therefore we have made things easier for you!


Note the new link to the archives on our homepage (just below the Twitter link). Once on this page you can subscribe to SITN via RSS Feed. Let’s face it, you may not always have time to click over to, but why miss out on all the great information and daily posts? Now you don’t have to. Just subscribe to the RSS feed and you’ll never miss a post. But if you do, we’ve got your back! Just click on the archives page and you can access every SITN post that was ever written!


Want to become a contributing web editor for Modern Steel Construction? Want to see your face next to a blog post? Email me at and tell me why you should be a contributing web editor for MSC.


Also be sure to check out the Steel Shots Gallery, an easy-to-navigate collection of the images posted each Friday, by clicking here.

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