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Eight Honored for Industry Achievements
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM.

AISC honored eight engineering professionals at NASCC: The Steel Conference in Pittsburgh for their contributions to the advancement of the structural steel design and construction industry.


The Special Achievement Award went to four individuals. Roberto Leon, P.E., Ph.D., a professor at Georgia Tech who has made significant contributions to the AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings and the AISC Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings. Leon was honored for his research in the design of composite steel/concrete structural systems. William Segui, P.E., Ph.D., a professor at the University of Memphis, was recognized for his textbook Steel Design, which clearly and thoroughly explains the design of steel structures. University of Nebraska professor Atorod Azizinamini was honored for his development of a new short-span bridge concept using a folded plate and inverted tub configuration. David Platten, Walter P Moore, served as structural principal in charge of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and was honored for its innovative and record-setting long-span structure.


Four individuals who have provided outstanding service over a sustained period of years to AISC and the structural steel design/construction/academic community received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Reidar Bjorhovde, P.E., Ph.D., president of The Bjorhovde Group, was honored as a long-time contributor to AISC publications. His many contributions include serving as editor of the Journal of Constructional Research, authoring 250 industry papers, serving on the AISC Specification Committee for more than 20 years and in the education field as a professor at the University of Alberta, University of Arizona, and University of Pittsburgh. Karl Frank, Ph.D., emeritus professor, University of Texas, Austin, was honored as a long-time contributor to AISC programs. He developed the AASHTO Specifications related to steel bridges and is the newest member of the Partners in Education committee. He also serves as a member of the Research Council on Structural Connections. David I. Ruby, S.E., P.E., Ruby + Associates, was recognized for his contribution of expertise through publications, seminars, and articles covering good practices in design and construction, and constructability. A strong industry advocate, he is involved with numerous organizations including AISC, CASE, and SEAMI. Jon Magnusson, P.E., chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, was honored for his significant achievements in steel design and construction. He served as a key voice of reason in the discussion of structural robustness and integrity following the September 11, 2001 attacks.


More information about this year’s awards can be found in AISC’s press release here. Past winners of the Special and Lifetime Achievement Awards and more information about all of AISC’s award programs is available at

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Recording of Live NASCC Earthquake Webinar Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 16, 2011 at 2:48 PM.

Whether you were at The Steel Conference in Pittsburgh last week and missed the new session added to the program, “Structural Issues: New Zealand and Japan Earthquakes,” or you didn’t get a chance to join the free webinar that streamed live from the conference session on Thursday at 8 a.m. Eastern time, you can now watch the video recording at


Simply login by entering your email address to view this free 90-minute webinar recording to hear Alistair Fussell of Steel Construction New Zealand present an overview of the events in his country. Also, Gilberto Mosqueda, who traveled to Japan after the March 11 earthquake, reported on structural damage in that area.


Although the webinar is available at no charge for anyone to view, PDH credits for this session are made only to those in attendance at NASCC. For more information about the conference, visit

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Steel Shots: Twisted Beams
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 12, 2011 at 11:02 PM.



A full-size test specimen of ConXtech’s ConXL special moment frame (SMF) connection - after being tested - is one of the interesting things to see in the Exhibit Hall this year at NASCC: The Steel Conference.


Full-scale testing of large structural steel connections produces some pretty convincing results. This 6-ft section of a test specimen on display in the ConXtech booth (#1229) at NASCC shows convincing proof that the 30-in wide-flange beams failed before the company’s ConXL connection. Put another way, this proprietary, rapidly connected “lower and lock” connection system develops the full plastic moment of the beam. The connection has been prequalified by the AISC 358 Connection Prequalification Review Panel and will be included in the 2010 Seismic Conditions.


To learn more about the ConXL connection on the ConXtech website, click here.


To watch a time-lapse video of the full-scale test, click here.


For more about NASCC: The Steel Conference, click here.


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New BIM Integration Introduced at NASCC
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM.

Design Data has announced a new integration between its SDS/2 software solutions and Autodesk Revit Structure. It is now being demonstrated, for the first time, at NASCC: The Steel Conference in Pittsburgh.


Based on new technology and interoperability, this increased integration means automated connection design is widely available to the AEC industry professionals inside the tools they are accustomed to using for BIM projects. With it Revit users can seamlessly transfer their models and connections to the steel detailers on the project using SDS/2’s intelligent connection design.


To learn more, go to or visit booth 1107 at NASCC: The Steel Conference for a demonstration.


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Free Thursday Morning Webinar Streaming Live From NASCC
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM.

The 2011 edition of NASCC: The Steel Conference opens today in Pittsburgh, but even if you’re not at the conference you can join us for a free webinar Thursday morning. A session just recently added to the program, “Structural Issues: New Zealand and Japan Earthquakes,” will be streaming live from Pittsburgh beginning at 8 a.m. Eastern time. Login to this free 90-minute webinar to hear Alistair Fussell of Steel Construction New Zealand present an overview of the events in his country. Also, Gilberto Mosqueda, who traveled to Japan after the March 11 earthquake, will report on structural damage in that area.


To listen in, go to The webinar begins at 8 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday. May 12. 


If you are attending NASCC, come to the Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom A to participate in the session, which is included your conference registration. And you may even want to start early, since Thursday is this year’s long and jam-packed day.


Begin at 7 a.m. by choosing from seven 45-minute Exhibitor Workshops. Fortunately some are offered a second time, at 5:30 Thursday or 7 a.m. Friday. (I plan to be at the barcoding presentation by InfoSight.)


Regular sessions begin at 8 a.m., and the Exhibit Hall floor opens at 9.


For a hometown Pittsburgh story, consider the 10 a.m. presentation (N67) covering the new home of the Pittsburgh Penguins (with a steel perspective, of course), which is just up the hill from the convention center. On this project the fabricator and engineer collaborated to optimize member types, connection types, and the interfaces with other trades for simplicity in both the shop and the field.


Another interesting Thursday session (N33) is a presentation by three bender/roller experts about the realities of curved steel. This session starts at 4:15.


Then don’t miss the conference dinner across the Allegheny River at Heinz Field. Busses leave from the convention center beginning at 6:30. As an alternate, it’s just a 1.6 mile walk down Penn Avenue and across the Sixth Street Bridge (aka Roberto Clemente Bridge), which in 1923 was the very first national steel bridge award winner.


To put all this and more information right in your hand, download the free NASCC 2011 mobile app for your iPhone, Blackberry or Android smart phone. Point your mobile browser to

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Updated Volume 4 of Welding Handbook Now Available
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 10, 2011 at 1:33 PM.

The new 9th Edition of Volume 4, Materials and Applications, Part 1 of the American Welding Society’s Welding Handbook is now available for purchase ($192) on the society’s publications website. The previous edition of this volume was published 1998 and its 10 chapters have been extensively revised and updated.


Written by leading scientists, engineers, educators, and other technical and scientific experts, this peer-reviewed publication is the oldest and best-known welding handbook in the industry. The full Welding Handbook is offered only in print and costs $792. Its four volumes - Volume 1, Welding Science and Technology; Volume 2, Welding Processes, Part 1; Volume 3, Welding Processes, Part 2; and Volume 4, Materials and Applications, Part 1 - also are available as separate printed books, but not in electronic format. However, individual chapters of volumes 1-3 are offered as PDF files that can be purchased and downloaded from the AWS publications website.


For detailed information about each of the volumes, including tables of contents, visit the Welding Handbook home page.

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New Podcast Features Frank Hatfield, Student Steel Bridge Competition Chair
Posted by Tom Klemens on May 9, 2011 at 3:34 PM.

A newly released podcast in the AISC Steel Profiles series features a conversation with Frank Hatfield, chair of the Student Steel Bridge Competition’s rules committee. Hatfield was first involved in the competition in 1988 as the faculty advisor to the Michigan State University team, which was competing in the second year of the event. (The first competition had been held the year before, in 1987, when Bob Shaw, AISC’s director nssbc_logo.jpgof university programs, arranged a local student steel bridge competition for three Michigan universities: Lawrence University, Michigan Tech, and Wayne State.)


Hatfield has been helping to organize the competition and write the rules ever since. In 1992, after several years of local competition, he and the Michigan State team issued an open challenge. That year with support from AISC, MSU hosted the first national bridge competition with 13 college teams participating.


Now sponsored by AISC and ASCE, the successor to that early competition has grown into a staggering success. Approximately 200 teams compete in regional competitions representing 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and China.


To hear more about how the contest has evolved, click here.


To read about the 2010 NSSBC finals in MSC, click here.


The 20th National Student Steel Bridge Competition finals will be held at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, on May 20-21, 2011. Drop in if you’re in the area – admission is free. Visit the official website for more information.


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Steel Shots: A Tunnel to Infinity
Posted by Geoff Weisenberger on May 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM.


Supported by 68 HSS trusses, Brussels Airport’s Pier A resembles an airplane wing. (Click on photo for another view.) Photos: Geoff Weisenberger.


Earlier this spring, I traveled to Brussels, Belgium, for a steel industry event. As would be expected, my final impression of the city was the airport. And what an impression it was!


After winding my way through what seemed to be an endless array of shops, hallways, kiosks and other airport-type installations, I came to the entrance of Pier A, an ultra-modern, steel-supported concourse that appeared to stretch into infinity. In reality, this concourse is 650 m (2,132 ft) long. But thanks to the sleek design—the curvature of the building resembles that of an airplane wing—and perhaps my lack of sleep (not to mention a few glasses of strong, Belgian beer from the night before) it seemed to go on forever.picture-427_200.jpg


The pier, which opened in 2002, contains 31 gates and handles flights to Africa as well as flights to and from the Schengen Treaty countries. It also showcases the elegant combination of exposed structural steel and ample daylighting. There are no conventional support columns in the passenger area. Rather, the aluminum skin roof and floor-to-ceiling facades on either side are supported by 68 triangular, 3D, curved, round HSS trusses—950 metric tons in all—which were fabricated and erected by Belgian steel construction company International Metal Works.


As I sat in Pier A, watching the sun rise, waiting for my flight home, I realized something: My architectural image of Brussels had previously been that of heavy, ancient gray stone and cobblestone streets that make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.


The light, modern Pier A, by contrast, propels you into the future, thanks in large part to its practical and beautiful use of steel. It certainly prompted me to update my architectural image of the city.


Geoff Weisenberger is AISC’s director of sustainability.


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Major Scotland Bridge Replacement a Go
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 5, 2011 at 1:56 PM.


A panoramic view of the Forth Bridges viewed from the south bank of the Firth of the Forth. On the right is the Forth Railway Bridge, Great Britain’s first steel bridge when it opened in 1890. It’s located east of the newer road bridge.


After 18 months of tenders bidding to design and construct the new Forth Road Bridge, a large transportation bridge in Scotland that spans the Firth of Forth, connecting the southeast capital city Edinburgh to the heavily populated area of Fife in the northeast, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) has been awarded the main contract for the 2.7 km bridge replacement. The FCBC joint venture includes AISC member American Bridge, HOCHTIEF, Dragados, and Morrison Construction. The contract is valued at $1.3 billion.


A major bridge crossing two ocean shipping and military navigation channels represents the main part of the contract and includes a cable stay structure of 2,020m (the world’s second longest). The two main navigation spans are 650m each (the world’s sixth longest). The bridge has 14 spans, two planes of stay cables that anchor in the center of the structure, and a composite steel tub/concrete deck superstructure. The cable stay bridge superstructure will be erected mainly by deck mounted gantries; the south approach viaduct will be launched from land, and the north viaduct will be pushed from the water. Construction will begin in 2011 and finish in 2016.


More information about the history of the Forth Road Bridge can be found on Wikipedia, here.

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North American Infrastructure Roundtable
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 4, 2011 at 9:24 AM.

Companies in North America rely on our respective nations’ highways, bridges, waterways, ports, and railways to produce and transport products within our borders, throughout the region, and abroad. Join a discussion with infrastructure experts in North America, including industry leaders, government officials, trade association members and engineers, as we explore the commercial importance of infrastructure in Canada, Mexico and the United States within and across our borders. Panelists will raise awareness of the North American infrastructure needs, challenges, and opportunities going forward.


When: Tuesday, June 7, 2011


U.S. Department of Commerce
Herbert C. Hoover Building Auditorium
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington 20230


For more information and to register for this free event, visit the North American Steel Trade Committee website at

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