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Go Viral with Your SteelDay Experience
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 31, 2011 at 10:42 AM.


While you have your smartphones and cameras ready to capture your favorite Halloween costumes — why not keep them out a bit longer? If you hosted or attended a SteelDay event on September 23, remember to share your SteelDay experience by submitting a brief video to AISC by November 15. You’ll have the opportunity to be featured on the “SteelDay TV” channel on YouTube (, and will automatically be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win an iPad 2.


Simply record your video on any device containing a video function, and tell us about SteelDay from your perspective — in less than a minute. Don’t forget to mention your name and company in the video, as well as the name and location of the event you attended. Then send your video to me, Tasha Weiss, at


For full details, please visit

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Steel Shots: Bridge Deja vu
Posted by Tom Klemens on October 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM.


Completed in March 2011, the North Umpqua River (Brown) Bridge in Douglas County, Ore., replaced a severely deteriorated seven-span cast-in-place concrete bridge. The photo of the completed bridge bears a remarkable resemblance to the artist’s rendering that appeared in the December 2010 MSC article about the project. Photo (and rendering): OBEC Consulting Engineers.


Graphical presentations play an important role in the early stages of many construction projects. Good graphics help both those who are paying for, and those who will be affected by, construction projects visualize the anticipated results. Above is just one example of how effectively an artist’s rendering skillfully overlaid on a photograph of the existing site can provide such a glimpse of the future.


Because the North Umpqua River (Brown) Bridge in Douglas County, Ore., has such high visibility, its owner (Douglas County) requested that the replacement for the deteriorated 1957-vintage structure be visually appealing. In response, Eugene, Ore.-based OBEC Consulting Engineers designed this graceful weathering steel bridge to include aesthetic features such as haunched girders and arched piers.


Details of the project were presented in the article “New Spans Over Two Oregon Rivers” in the December 2010 issue of MSC. The article is available at, or by clicking here.


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Incentives and Safety Management - Do They Mix?
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 27, 2011 at 8:34 AM.

A complimentary webinar scheduled for November 9, 2011, will address the sticky subject of safety incentive programs. Among other things, it will explore the difference between incentive programs that improve safety metrics and those that contribute to safety program effectiveness.


The one-hour program begins at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time and will feature insight provided by three safety professionals representing two contractors and one support service provider. The webinar is offered by Engineering News-Record and will be moderated by Richard Korman, managing senior editor of The course qualifies for one PDH or AIA/CEU LU, depending on your state licensing board.


To learn more about the program and to register online, go to

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Ritner Steel CEO Appointed to AISC Board
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 26, 2011 at 9:20 AM.

babette-freund-prof-photo.jpgBabette Freund, CEO and co-owner of Ritner Steel, Inc., Carlisle, Pa., was recently appointed to AISC’s Board of Directors during its Annual Meeting in Scottsdale. An active member of the NASCC: The Steel Conference Planning Committee since 2007 and a member of the AISC Code of Standard Practice Committee, Freund will assist with AISC’s planning and leadership in the steel construction industry.


“Babette Freund has been a supporter of AISC for many years, both with her volunteering of time and expertise on the NASCC Committee,” commented AISC Chair William B. Bourne of Universal Steel, Inc., Lithonia, Ga. “I am very happy to have her business experience and volunteering energy on our AISC board. I know she will be an asset in many ways and I thank her for her commitment.”


Freund initially served as chief financial officer for Ritner Steel when she joined the company in 2004 and was also responsible for overseeing operations and project management. She has more than 30 years of experience in accounting, finance and management, with areas of emphasis in construction, not-for-profit entities, human service and insurance.


More information can be found in AISC’s press release, available here.

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Last Day to Register for October 26 Stability Webinar
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM.

If you haven’t already registered for AISC’s live webinar, “Five Useful Stability Concepts,” on Wednesday, October 26 — you still have time! Online registration will remain open until 8 pm Eastern Time tonight on AISC’s website at


Presented by Joseph Yura, P.E., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, the 1.5-hour webinar will cover these five important stability concepts and their application:


  • loss of stiffness as the buckling load is approached;
  • inelastic column buckling;
  • importance of end connection details in built-up columns;
  • stiffness and strength required for braces;
  • and lean-on bracing systems.


Here are the times the webinar begins tomorrow, relative to your time zone:
10:30 am Pacific Time
11:30 am Mountain Time
12:30 pm Central Time
1:30 pm Eastern Time


The cost of the webinar is $185 for members, $285 for non-members, and $155 for students and educators. (Fees are based on a per site connection basis. Purchase one site connection and any number of members in your company or organization may view the webinar at that site connection. All attendees are eligible to receive CEUs/PDHs.)


Registrants will receive access to a pdf file of the presentation slides prior to the webinar; CEU/PDH certificates for all attendees upon completion of the live webinar (0.15/1.5 CEUs/PDHs); and complete instructions for accessing the live webinar.


For additional details about this webinar, visit AISC’s website at Learn more about AISC webinars at

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Structural Engineer Charles Thornton in the Monday Morning Spotlight
Posted by Tom Klemens on October 21, 2011 at 4:22 PM.

ylc-thorntonpromo_300.jpgCharles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., who in 2010 received AISC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, will be featured on Jane Pauley’s “Your Life Calling” segment of the NBC TODAY show this coming on Monday, October 24. The segment, which is produced by AARP, will air between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Eastern time.


Thornton was one of founders of Thornton-Tomasetti Group and is now chairman of Charles H. Thornton and Company LLC. With eight colleagues, he also has launched ACE (Architects, Contractors & Engineers), an organization dedicated to getting young people interested in and excited about design and construction. The ACE program has spread to more than 200 cities and has more than 100,000 graduates, many of them low-income and female students – groups that generally don’t pursue careers in the architecture and engineering fields.


Learn more as he talks with Jane Pauley on Monday morning. For a two-minute preview, go to or click here.


UPDATE: In case you missed it Monday morning, you can view the 6-minute segment now at

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Steel Shots: A Gateway to the Islands
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM.


Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion at dusk. The first permanent structure built on the recently completed Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, above the Central Artery Tunnel, and earned the Grand Honor Award in AGC’s Build New England Awards Program. The distinctive laser cut steel supports bring charm and character to the structure. (Click on the photo for a more detailed look) Photo: Utile Inc.


The Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion, built on top of the “Big Dig” tunnels, was conceived and designed to bring the energy and excitement of the nearby Boston Harbor Islands into the middle of the city at a place where millions of visitors, residents, and workers pass by. The structural roof canopies provide a stimulating exhibit space in the middle of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, where people can learn about the islands by interacting with park rangers, view maps and ferry schedules, and buy tickets to tour the islands.


Waltham, Mass.-based Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. provided structural design and construction administration services for the project.


A joint effort of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance and the National Park Service, the engineering and construction involved careful coordination with MassDOT and several Boston agencies to ensure building loads and construction equipment were carefully managed so as not to exceed the loading limit of the thin, wing-like roofs - a composite structure of steel and concrete. The shallow site, with less than 4 ft in some places between the ground surface and the top of the tunnel, resulted in extremely tight tolerances for the construction and all of the below ground infrastructure.



The Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion received the Grand Honor Award at the Build New England Awards gala on October 6. Organized by the Associated General Contractors (AGC), the awards program recognizes project teams for their collaborative approach to planning, designing, and building structures that meet the vision and goals of the client and enhance the community.


To learn more about the awards program, and view photos and information on all of this year’s honored projects, click to read the Build New England Awards Program Guide at

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Steel Moves a 340-Ton Rock
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM.

We all know that steel is strong, but can it move a 340-ton granite boulder dozens of miles for the sake of art? Scheduled for October 25, a 295-ft-long transporter trussed with red steel girders will carefully move the monolith from the earth in the Stone Valley Quarry to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where it be be a monumental part of artist Michael Heizer’s piece, “Levitated Mass”.


According to a recent article in The New York Times, the giant rock has already been raised off the ground by hydraulic lifts and put in a cradle; steel trusses were built around the cradle, all part of a modular tractor with 22 axles, each with its own set of brakes, and 196 wheels. It will weigh a total of 1,210,900 pounds, including the rock. This journey, nearly five years in the making, will take the boulder through congested urban areas over the course of nine nights at six miles an hour with varying road conditions.


Once the monolith arrives at the museum it will be positioned over a 456-ft-long descending slot, surrounded by tall walls, completing the artwork. If you plan to visit the exhibit when it opens in late November, you’ll be able walk directly underneath the rock and look up 15 ft at its underside.


View a photo slideshow of the boulder’s journey on the modular transporter on the NYT website at Watch a video on the crew’s challenges of moving the 340-ton rock on the LACMA website at
(scroll down to the middle of the page).

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Happy Anniversary, Sixth Street Bridge!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 19, 2011 at 2:21 PM.

Today marks the 83rd anniversary of the opening of the Sixth Street Bridge, also known as the Roberto Clemente Bridge, in Pittsburgh. This bridge is particularly special to us because it was NSBA’s first Prize Bridge Award Winner when the competition began in 1928. Since then more than 300 bridges have been so honored in a variety of categories.


View spectacular photos and read more about the Sixth Street Bridge and more of America’s all-time favorite bridges in the November issue of MSC, available on the first of the month.


You can find more information about NSBA’s Prize Bridge Awards at Interested in submitting a bridge project for the 2012 competition? Download the 2012 Prize Bridge Award entry form and submit your entry by November 30, 2011.

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Bruneau Wins 2012 T.R. Higgins Award
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM.

mb_trhiggins_300.jpgMichel Bruneau, P.E., Ph.D., professor of civil, structural, and environmental engineering (CSEE) at the University at Buffalo, N.Y., is the 2012 recipient of AISC’s prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award. He’s being honored for his papers on steel plate shear wall design published in AISC’s Engineering Journal and the proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering.


Presented annually by AISC, the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper(s) are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The award, which includes a $15,000 prize, will be presented at the 2012 NASCC: The Steel Conference at the Gaylord Texan Convention Center in Dallas, April 18-21.


”The Higgins jury quickly identified Michel as a top candidate, and the subsequent discussions and deliberations served to further elevate him,” said Charlie Carter, AISC vice president and chief structural engineer. “The jury noted in particular the impressive extent and breadth of Michel’s contributions as a researcher and engineer.”


Visit AISC’s press release at to learn more about Bruneau’s industry contributions. For more information on this distinguished award, visit

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