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Student Design Competition Deadline Extended
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 15, 2012 at 4:47 PM.

It’s not too late for student teams to register for the 2011-2012 Steel Design Student Competition, sponsored by AISC and administered by ACSA. The registration deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 28. There is no fee to enter; however, each team must have a faculty sponsor. For more information about the competition, view our previous news post at

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Open BIM Collaboration Gains Momentum in AEC Industry
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 14, 2012 at 2:15 PM.

BuildingSMART International along with several leading software companies have partnered together to launch the Open BIM program, a universal approach to help promote open standards and workflows for improved collaboration in the design and construction of building projects. The program is based on buildingSMART’s Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), an open and neutral data exchange format that covers multiple disciplines across the construction industry.


The Open BIM approach offers key benefits to building project stakeholders:

  • Workflow integration results in greatly reduced coordination errors compared to sheer file exchange-based coordination of the different disciplines.
  • Project members can work with the best-of-breed solutions in their respective fields without risking “incompatibility” hence exclusion from certain BIM projects.
  • Project members can maintain full control over software upgrades independently from their peers on the different AEC projects they participate in.
  • Accessibility of BIM data is provided for the entire life cycle of buildings including design, construction and operation.

Learn more about the Open BIM program at


AISC supports the Open BIM program and for more than a decade has been at the forefront of advancing BIM collaboration through open standards in the structural steel industry. Recently, AISC developed a new three-step interoperability strategy to evaluate data exchanges and integrate structural steel information into buildingSMART’s IFC, which you can read about in AISC’s press release at


Also, in the March issue of MSC, AISC’s Chris Moor and Luke Faulkner take an in-depth look into the how and why behind the steel construction industry’s migration to IFC. You can view and download the article at

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NASCC: A Virtual Option
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM.

nascc12_lg.jpgWhether you’re looking for the latest information on fatigue in welded connections or Chapter N inspection intervals, for continuing education credits or to see the latest design software and fabrication equipment, there’s no better place to be than this year’s NASCC: The Steel Conference.


If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for April 18-20 in Dallas and join the more than 4,000 steel construction industry professionals that are expected to attend. It’s an opportunity to learn about the latest design methodologies for buildings and bridges, network with your peers and see the latest offerings from nearly 200 exhibitors (to see the full program, visit


And while there’s no real substitute for being at the conference, we realize not everyone can attend in person. The solution? AISC will be streaming 20 sessions live from the conference. Virtual attendees can attend up to 10 of the sessions and also receive up to 13 professional development hours. (Registration for the virtual conference is $250 for AISC members and $400 for non-members.) For more information about the NASCC virtual conference, visit


If you are planning to be in Dallas for the conference, keep in mind that if you haven’t made your hotel arrangements yet, March 25 is the deadline to book your hotel room at the Gaylord Texan Hotel & Convention Center, the official NASCC hotel. After that date the room blocks will be released, and reservations will be based on availability and higher rates will be charged. Reserve a hotel room and plan your trip at

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Walter P Moore Receives ACEC Engineering Excellence Award
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Water P Moore is one of the winners of this year’s American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards. The firm was recognized for its structural design of the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.


An innovative foundation and structural system enabled the 22,000-seat multi-purpose arena to rise from an unstable, flood-prone site congested with massive underground structures, tunnels and pits. One of building’s most notable and striking elements is its 406-ft-long structural steel roof truss featuring an 11,000-sq.-ft “waterfall,” a three-story glass facade supported by curved architecturally-exposed steel tubes.


Nearly 3,000 tons of steel total was used for the KFC Yum! Center, which opened in October 2010. More information about the arena, including photos and videos, can be found at


All 25 winners will be recognized at ACEC’s Engineering Excellence Awards Gala, April 17, 2012 in Washington, D.C.

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Steel Shots: Restoring One of America’s Great Machines
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 9, 2012 at 2:17 PM.


An early look at Alcoa’s 50,000-ton forging press (“The Fifty”), one of the country’s original heavy presses, whose power and precision were used for making large and complex metal parts. Photo: Library of Congress

After talks of retiring one of the great machines of American industry, The Fifty, when it broke down three years ago, Alcoa has redesigned the massive Mesta Press at the company’s Cleveland Ironworks. A recent article by Tim Heffernan, published in The Atlantic, describes the story of this 92-ft structure—with five stories above and seven below ground—which began production in 1955 and is scheduled to resume service early this year.


Heffernan says that what sets The Fifty apart from the average forging press is its extraordinary scale. The machine weighs 16 million lbs and is made up of 14 major structural components, all cast in ductile iron, that weigh as much as 250 tons each. (Its yard-thick steel bolts are 78 ft long!) When activated, The Fifty’s eight main hydraulic cylinders deliver up to 50,000 tons of compressive force, which Heffernan compares to bench-pressing the battleship USS Iowa, with 860 tons to spare.
It is with this power, combined with amazing precision, that gives The Fifty its far-reaching utility. The press was originally installed as part of the Air Force Heavy Press program following World War II, and since then has made essential metal parts for industrial gas turbines, helicopters and aircraft. Every manned U.S. military aircraft now flying uses parts forged by The Fifty, as does every commercial aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing.


You can read more about The Fifty and its future plans in The Atlantic article, available at

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Engineering Journal Q1 Now Online
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM.

The First Quarter 2012 issue of Engineering Journal is now available online in digital edition format. View the current issue online by clicking here.


Papers in Engineering Journal Q1 include:

  • “Applications of Pretensioned Anchor Rods in Industrial Facilities,” by Shu-Jin Fang
  • “Recommendations for Shear Lag Factors for Longitudinally Welded Tension Members,” by Patrick J. Fortney and William A. Thornton
  • “Mechanical Properties of ASTM A992 Steel After Fire,” by Jinwoo Lee, Michael D. Engelhardt and Eric M. Taleff
  • “Current Steel Structures Research No. 29,” by Reidar Bjorhovde

Each quarterly current issue of EJ is available in digital format and free to the public until the next issue is published.


The complete collection of Engineering Journal articles is searchable at Current and past articles can be downloaded as PDFs and are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers; just make sure you are logged into the AISC website ( before searching. Non-members will be directed to the AISC Bookstore at to purchase articles.

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2011 High Performance Building Awards Winners Announced
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM.

The National Institute of Building Sciences’ Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) recently announced the recipients of its 2011 Beyond Green High Performance Building Awards. The awards recognize initiatives that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance construction practices. The program consists of three award categories: High Performance Buildings, High Performance Initiatives and High Performance Products.


Two steel projects achieved Honor Awards in the High Performance Buildings category:


11-redding-school-of-arts-images_page_4_image_0001.jpgThe Redding School of Arts in northern California took First Place for a New Academic Complex. With an emphasis on the performing arts, the 77,000-sq.-ft public charter school, which features exposed steel framing, has been designed with a balance of traditional design elements and innovative technology concepts. The school’s mission the school is to use LEED Platinum certification as a starting point, and it has a building “dashboard” that will show how well it is actually performing. (Photo: Whittaker Photography)


untitled-11.jpgThe second steel-framed winner, the U.S. Port of Entry in Calais, Maine, was awarded First Place for New Construction. Energy-efficient design and the reuse of materials were important components of the project, making it one of the nation’s first LEED Gold ports. Located on the eastern-most land port of entry into the U.S. from Canada, the facility consists of one 80,000-sq.-ft building separated into two different operational building sections, and is part of a larger infrastructure project that enhances the flow of transportation between the two countries while improving security for customs and border protection. (Photo: Paul Warchol)


To view the full list of award winners, go to SBIC’s press release at

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AISC Seeks Nominations for Top Designer Awards
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 6, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

AISC is seeking nominations for its prestigious Awards Program, including the J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Special Achievement Award. These awards honor those who have made significant contributions to the design and construction of fabricated steel buildings and bridges.


The Kimbrough Award recognizes the pre-eminent steel designers of their era, Lifetime Achievement Awards honor living individuals who have “made a difference” in AISC’s and the structural steel industry’s success and the Special Achievement Awards provide recognition to individuals who have demonstrated specific notable achievements. (For a full list of award winners and award criteria, please visit


Deadline for nominations is April 18 and nominations should include:

  • Award category (J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award, Lifetime Achievement Award or Special Achievement)
  • Name and affiliation of person nominated
  • Reasons for nomination
  • Nominees’ background information (years of service, outstanding achievements in the structural steel design community and steel industry, etc.)


Nominations should be sent to Charles J. Carter, AISC’s Vice President and Chief Structural Engineer, at

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2nd Edition of Geschwindner’s Steel Design Textbook now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 5, 2012 at 8:19 PM.

unified-design-of-steel-structures-2nd-edition.jpgLouis F. Geschwindner, P.E., Ph.D., has published a new edition of his text book, Unified Design of Steel Structures, as a second course for civil and architectural engineers. Geschwindner is a well-respected educator and lecturer who recently retired after serving for nearly 40 years as a faculty member in the Architectural Engineering Department at Penn State, and also served for nine years as AISC’s vice president of engineering and research.


This new edition of Geschwindner’s book provides an understanding of the necessary skills and knowledge for investigating, designing and detailing steel structures, using the latest design methods. It is compatible with the 2010 AISC Code of Standard Practice and references the AISC Manual for design examples and illustrations. New sections have also been added on topics such as direct analysis, torsional and flexural-torsional buckling of columns; filled HSS columns; and composite column interaction. In addition, the new edition features more real-world examples and new 3D illustrations.


Unified Design of Steel Structures, 2nd Edition, is available from the publisher in hardcover for $168.95, or as a digital version for $101.50 (visit, or from for $134.49 (hardcover). 

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Steel Shots: Higher Education
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 2, 2012 at 12:21 PM.


The complicated vertical stack of Roosevelt University’s new 32-story “vertical quad,” along with the building’s undulating facades, results in no two floors being alike and is a showcase for the versatility of steel framing. The photo shows two-story deep outrigger trusses connecting to built-up box columns, which increases the lateral stiffness of the concrete core and maintains accelerations in the tower’s residential levels within recommended limits. Photo: Magnusson Klemencic Associates


In 2007, Roosevelt University, an independent non-profit institute in the Chicago metropolitan area, faced a dilemma regarding the future of its main downtown campus. The City of Chicago had just instituted new code provisions requiring that all high-rise buildings, new or old, be fully sprinklered, and the university’s 17-story residential and student life building, the Herman Crown Center, did not meet this criteria. Because the university’s downtown campus revolved around the Center and the adjacent world-renowned, historic Auditorium Building, a tough decision had to be made on whether to renovate the existing building or abandon it and start anew.


After evaluating the costs of upgrading the existing building and considering future growth projections, the university’s board of trustees approved a plan to demolish the Herman Crown Center and build a new, modern structure that addressed the university’s specific requirements.


However, while the new building would contain all of the amenities and features of a modern university, there was one critical element missing: land area. By the nature of its downtown location and small 16,000-sq.-ft lot, the entire program would need to exist in a vertical configuration rather than a traditional horizontal campus layout. The concept of a university quad would literally need to be turned on its side.


With this in mind the project team developed a striking 32-story building that cleverly meets all programming requirements in one vertical stack. To handle this complete stack of building uses, structural steel was ultimately selected for its ability to provide column-free spaces at the classrooms and laboratories, allow future flexibility as the University’s needs change and accommodate the project’s required framing complexities.


When completed this month, the new tower will form an exciting addition to Roosevelt University’s growing downtown campus and the Chicago skyline. As a true “vertical university,” the project provides an excellent model for other universities with similar space constraints.


You can read more about the Roosevelt University project in the March issue of MSC, available now.

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