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Archive for February 2011

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Steel Wind Towers to be Manufactured in Texas
Posted by Rob Kinchler on February 28, 2011 at 4:04 PM.

Hirschfeld Industries has partnered with Martifer Energy Systems to manufacture wind towers at a new plant under construction in San Angelo, Texas. When completed in 2013, the plant will be able to produce 400 towers per year. The plant will service the North American continent. The wind energy market has grown dramatically, and the joint venture has secured multiple orders for towers. Read more about it here.


Rob Kinchler, P.E., is AISC’s South Central Regional Engineer. Click on this link to view his web page. To learn more about AISC’s other regional engineers, go to


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AISC Student Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 28, 2011 at 9:51 AM.

University juniors, seniors, and graduate students in civil or architectural engineering, or construction management, can take advantage of this annual opportunity to receive financial assistance by applying for the 2011-2012 program at AISC and members of the structural steel construction community place high priority on the development of future professionals and continue to offer more than $75,000 of aid to university students for this year’s program.


For detailed information on the awards go to AISC’s press release here.


Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2011.

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Steel Shots: March Preview
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 25, 2011 at 9:38 AM.


Rehabilitating the 100-year-old Dawson Bridge in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, included blast cleaning all structural members, then applying a three-part zinc/epoxy/urethane coating to provide protection well into its next century of service. Photo: Dialog. (Click photo for a sneak peek at the finish coat and the March cover image.)


The cover article in the March issue of MSC describes the largest application in North America to date of a steel Sandwich Plate System bridge deck. In addition to replacing the distressed concrete deck, the project team refurbished structural members, upgraded connections, and provided a first-class protective coating.


Read the issue online beginning next Tuesday, March 1.

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Everybody Say “Amen!”
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 24, 2011 at 9:57 AM.

Rather than working on steep slopes at height, a Canadian firm is pre-finishing steel framed portions of a new church building in Oakville, Ontario, then lifting each substructure into place. Click to see photos and read the article “Church steel frame project takes a roof-down approach.”

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Geschwindner Honored by AISC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 23, 2011 at 9:41 AM.

louis-geschwindner1.jpgAISC has renamed its annual spring and fall seminar series the Louis F. Geschwindner Seminar Series in honor of the well-respected educator and lecturer. Geschwinder recently retired after serving for nearly 40 years as a faculty member in the Architectural Engineering Department at the Pennsylvania State University. He also served the last nine years as AISC’s vice president of engineering and research. Many of his more than 3,000 students are now leaders in the structural engineering and academic communities. In addition, as a lecturer for AISC, Geschwindner over the years has helped continue the education of more than 15,000 practicing professionals.


The first AISC Louis F. Geschwindner Seminar will be given at this year’s NASCC: The Steel Conference (the session is listed as SC7 in the Advance Program at and focuses on the 2010 AISC Specification and 14th Edition Steel Construction Manual, which will be available later this year. The seminar will be offered starting in this year’s fall Louis F. Geschwindner Seminar Series.   


To learn more about AISC’s spring seminars, go to our previous Steel in the News Post here.

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Online Wind Speed Reference Launched
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM.

The Applied Technology Council has developed a website that will
allow users to find site-specific ultimate wind speeds used in ASCE
7-10, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,
published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The recently
launched website was developed with financial help from the ATC
Endowment Fund and many engineering practitioners. It is free of charge
to users.


Information is provided in a one-page format that includes the
ultimate 3-second peak gust speeds for Category I, II, III and IV
buildings that are shown on maps in ASCE 7-10 (and the equivalent ASCE
7-05 and 7-93 wind speeds). It also includes serviceability wind speeds
for 10-year, 25-year, 50-year and 100-year mean recurrence interval wind
speeds that are provided in the ASCE 7-10 Commentary.


Users can input location information directly as longitude and
latitude, or use the map which automatically fills the longitude and
latitude fields. The website address is

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Free BIM Collaboration Tool from Tekla
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 21, 2011 at 9:37 AM.

BIMsight, a new collaboration tool from Tekla, allows anyone to combine and review building information models from all project team memberstekla_bimsight-1_web.jpg. Because it is available as a free download, BIMsight makes it easy for everyone to check these models using clash management routines as well as manage and assign those clashes. Tekla BIMsight uses industry standard IFC format to provide a 3D communication platform that makes sharing models and information clear and easy.


For more information, go to To read the company’s press release on BIMsight, click here.


To watch a 2-1/2 minute video explaining BIMsight’s capabilities, click here.

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Steel Shots: Flying Bolts
Posted by Tom Klemens on February 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM.


As the crew on the ground readies each piece of structural steel to be lifted into place, they also attach the right type and number of bolts to the connection place.


Loveland, Colo.-based LPR Construction Company is erecting the steel framework for the new Marlins Ballpark in Miami. Working 150 ft or more in the air, nobody wants to have the wrong size bolts and nuts, or come up short. One way crews avoid that is by sending a daisy-chained set of bolts aloft attached to the steel.


Using a bolt bag or “stuffing” a bolt and nut assembly into each hole are other common ways to get bolts and nuts up to the ironworkers. But bolt bags can be difficult to tie off on a project like this, said LPR’s project superintendent Curt Ketcherside, and stuffed bolts have to be removed when the piece gets to its location.


marlins_jan2011-113_small.jpg“The connectors are stuffing out a lot of the connections as they are hanging iron,” Ketcherside said. “Double handling bolts in the air increases chances of bolts being dropped, but we have not had any bolts dropped to the ground using tie wire. They have been leaving a long tail on the wire that can be tied off almost anywhere. Then they take one bolt at a time off the wire starting at the bottom.”


“We also have a lot of different size bolts,” Ketcherside added. “Having them attached to the points cuts down on rework because we don’t have the wrong size connection bolts stuffed.”


For a glimpse at another aspect of the project, view the January 28 Steel in the News post by clicking here.


You can also see what’s going on via a webcam high above center field by clicking here.

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New Larger HP Shapes Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 17, 2011 at 9:57 AM.

Nucor-Yamato Steel Co., an AISC member, is now producing HP16 and HP18 sections, the first new H-pile sizes in decades. The new sections of HP16 and HP18 – the country’s largest H-piles ever produced – give engineers and contractors a more economical way to construct deep foundations for buildings and bridges. Another possible benefit of these shapes: using them as columns in building construction.


Dimensions and properties of the H16 and H18 sections are now available on the Nucor Yamato website and will be included in the AISC 14th Edition Steel Construction Manual, scheduled to be released later this year. To download the information now, visit, select Sales Info, then Product Catalog, or simply click here. HP dimensions and properties are on pages 38 and 39 of the PDF document.

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Opportunities for Students at NASCC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 16, 2011 at 10:35 AM.

With sessions focusing on their very specific informational needs, the 2011 NASCC: The Steel Conference is an excellent place for engineering and architectural students.


“From the student’s perspective there are some really interesting things going on at NASCC this year,” said Brian Quinn, one of the organizers of the Students Connecting with Industry Sessions program. It starts with two seminars Thursday morning featuring career advice and tips on leadership, and the afternoon Direct Connect session allows students to network with several companies and leaders in structural engineering and the steel profession. Students are also encouraged to explore the exhibition hall and attend other sessions. 


As always, students who are AISC members (membership is available for free to qualified students) receive free admission to NASCC including the SCIS program. To learn more about becoming a student member, go to


Students who attend the full SCIS program will receive free admission to the conference dinner Thursday evening at Heinz Field. Additionally, they are eligible for a $100 stipend to use toward travel expenses.


“NASCC offers students an opportunity to see aspects of the steel industry they wouldn’t ordinarily be exposed to,” said Nancy Gavlin, AISC’s director of education. “And it’s fun.”


More information on the student sessions is available at


Click here for a two-minute audio recording about why students should attend this year’s SCIS program and how to register.

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