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Innovation Contest for Welding Students
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 31, 2012 at 5:22 PM.

Global manufacturer Victor Technologies, based in St. Louis, recently announced its 2012 “Innovation to Shape the World” contest. The competition is for students in welding and cutting programs at secondary and post-secondary schools, as well as technical and vocational schools.


Three beginning (first or second year) students will win $250 by submitting a 500-word essay supporting the contest theme, and student members on three intermediate/advanced teams will each win $500 for completing a welding and cutting project. In addition, six schools associated with the winners will receive a cutting, welding and gas control package valued at $4,000.


“The contest, along with our regular 35% discount to educational institutions, demonstrates our commitment to giving students and schools the inspiration and tools they need to shape their future,” said Martin Quinn, Victor’s CEO.


Entries will be accepted until October 30, and the winners will be announced at the 2012 FABTECH show in Las Vegas, November 12-14. The contest rules, entry forms and submission guidelines are available at

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Steel Structure Trivia: What on Earth?
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 27, 2012 at 10:01 AM.


Here’s MSC’s July Steel Structure Trivia question! This 376-ft-high observation tower opens to the public tomorrow and offers visitors panoramic views of a leading world city. Your challenge is to provide the name and location of this spiraling steel structure.


Answer: This shot is of the new ArcelorMittal Orbit at Olympic Park in East London, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Congratulations to Jason Squitiere, P.E., a project engineer with The Harman Group, Inc., King of Prussia, Pa.; Andrea Surovek, an associate professor of civil engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; and Troyer Ritter, an engineer with Shoemaker and Haaland, Coralville, Iowa, for being the first three people to supply the correct answer! And thank you to all who participated.


The Olympic motto is “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.”


And one of the many representations of this motto at London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games takes the shape in the form of a 376-ft-tall (114.5) spiraling red steel sculpture that dominates the East London skyline: The ArcelorMittal Orbit.


The tallest sculpture in the U.K., it sits between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and serves as a beacon of Olympic Park during the Games (and then Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as the area will be known after the Games).


As shown in the photo, the sculpture lights up the city with its 250 color spotlights. Each can be individually controlled to produce a stunning digital combination of static and animated effects, including a 15-minute moving light show every evening of the Games.


Conceived and designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the observation tower represents a modern “twist” on combining architecture with structural engineering, where visitors can engage with its artistic expression via an incorporated spiral walkway.


Construction took 18 months and was completed late last year. The project is built with nearly 2,000 tons of steel, produced from ArcelorMittal plants around the world. Steel was the only material considered for this project because, according to Balmond, it was the only material that could provide the minimum thickness and maximum strength required for the coiling structure.


You can read more about the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the August issue of MSC, available August 1. Galleries of construction photos and videos of the project can also be found at


Another Olympic fun steel fact: Did you know the London Olympics’ official mascots are two drops of hardened molten steel? Named Wenlock and Mandeville, the animations depict drips of steel from a steelworks in Bolton, part of Greater Manchester. Wenlock is named after the Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner of the current Olympic Games; and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which Mandeville is named after, is a facility in Buckinghamshire that initially organized the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor to the Paralympic Games. See and learn more the steel mascots at Wikipedia.


You can test your steel structure knowledge right here on our MSC website on the last Friday of each month, where a new photo of a steel structure will be posted to the Steel in the News section as our weekly “Steel Shot.” Your challenge is to correctly answer the trivia question provided in the news post, based on what you see in the photo. The next question will be posted at 10 a.m. (CDT) on Friday, August 31.


backscratcher-007_sitn.jpgThe first three people who supply the correct answer will receive a MSC-branded stainless steel back scratcher! You’ll need it to successfully tackle those pesky itches after the trivia pressure subsides. (And check out that telescoping action! Wow!) Its five-fingered curved design reaches from 7 in. to 20 3/4 in. in length.





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Online Joist Specification Tools Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM.

New Millennium Building Systems, a Fort Wayne, Ind.-based steel fabrication business that produces joists, girders and decking for nonresidential construction projects (and an AISC member), is offering a new series of digital specification tools for engineers to more easily design and specify steel joists and girders.


The new digital tools provide data field entry for fast and accurate computations of span, load and other design criteria required for joist specification, including K-Series, LH-Series, DLH-Series, KCS-Series, joist girders and special profile joists manufactured by New Millennium.


The interactive, web-based interface includes comprehensive entry fields, drop-down menus, specification guidance features and the ability to back-step to change entries for optional designations. In addition, the company says that additional online tools are in development, including ones for metal decking.


The tools will also soon be available as mobile apps for iPhone and Android users. Incorporating the most recent SJI 43rd Edition steel joist specifications, the tools enable engineers to specify a joist via ASD or LRFD design methods, in U.S. or metric units of measure, and with K/LH/DLH-Series joists and “lowest weight” or “lowest cost” designations.


The new digital specification tools are available at

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Upcoming Opportunities for NV and MA Subcontractors
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 25, 2012 at 4:31 PM.

If you’re a subcontractor in Nevada or Massachusetts, check out these upcoming project and educational opportunities:


General contractor Swinerton Builders Government is currently bidding on a Veterans Affairs project in Las Vegas. A pre-proposal conference and small business workshop for all prospective bidders and subcontractors is scheduled for August 8 at 10 a.m. (PDT) at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in Las Vegas.


Bids are for the construction of a 26,500-sq.-ft, three-story VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) Administration Building and Education Center, totaling 79,500 sq. ft, with a utility tunnel from the southwest corner of the existing VASNHS Medical Center to the Administration Building and Education Center. The estimated cost range for this project is between $20 million and $50 million.


Bids are due to Swinerton Builders Government by August 30 at noon MST. Contact: Leah Jones,, 303.418.5372 (phone), 877.349.3103 (fax).


Boston-based Suffolk Construction has launched a new comprehensive educational program designed to enhance the capabilities of Supplier Diversity Office (SDO)-certified businesses. The Suffolk Construction Subcontractor Development Series, part of the company’s award-winning Learning & Development program, is a seven-session program that will assist subcontractors in cultivating long-term growth; strengthen the capacity of disadvantaged, minority and women business enterprises; and foster relationships with Suffolk. The program begins on September 13 and will be provided at no cost to 30 select participants.


The Subcontractor Development Series will be offered exclusively to 15 union and 15 non-union subcontractors that are certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or Women Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). Firms must also have been in business for a minimum of two years.pages-from-program-overview-and-course-descriptions-for-website.jpg

The application deadline is August 10 at 5 p.m. EDT
, and selected participants will be notified by 5 p.m. (EDT) on August 24. For more information on the program and to apply, visit
. Click on the image (right) to link to the program overview and course descriptions.







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Latest AISC Nuclear Spec Available for Free Download
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM.

The 2012 version of AISC’s Specification for Safety-Related Steel Structures for Nuclear Facilities (ANSI/AISC N690-12) is now available for free downloading at AISC’s website, here. The specification includes updated provisions for the design of safety-related steel structures and steel elements in nuclear facilities.


The specification is written as a supplement to the AISC 2010 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 360-10) and replaces ANSI/AISC N690-06. It has been approved by the AISC Committee on Specifications and is ANSI-accredited.


“As a supplement to ANSI/AISC 360-10, the new 2012 Specification for Safety-Related Steel Structures for Nuclear Facilities has adopted many of the same revisions as those incorporated in ANSI/AISC 360-10,” commented Cynthia Duncan, AISC’s director of engineering. “One major addition and departure from that standard is the new Chapter NN on Quality Control and Quality Assurance. This chapter has some different terminology due to the regulatory nature of nuclear facilities design.”


The specification can be downloaded at no charge by visiting AISC’s Specifications, Codes and Standards page at or The 2006 version and other related documents are also available for free on AISC’s Historical Standards page.

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Beyond-Design Events Focus of Reactor Conference
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM.

The 22nd International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT-22), which will be held on August 18-23, 2013 in San Francisco, has announced its call for papers. Abstracts must be submitted by September 17, 2012.


The events at Fukushima Daiichi have triggered a mandate for an assessment of safety and reliability for all nuclear power plants. Plant safety and reliability assessment for “beyond design” events, both in the U.S. and Europe, will be required in the coming years. This will include all operating plants as well as those already under licensing, design and construction. The key input for such evaluations is the seismic hazard and associated risk assessment. Consequently, SMiRT-22 has adopted the theme of Safety and Reliability as the focal point for the technical program.


Papers are solicited in the following conference topics:

  •     Mechanics of materials
  •     Fracture mechanics and structural integrity
  •     Applied computation, simulation and animation
  •     Characterization of loads
  •     Modeling, testing and response analysis of structures, systems and components
  •     Design and construction issues
  •     Safety, reliability, risk and margins
  •     Issues related to operations, inspection and maintenance
  •     Fuel-cycle facilities, waste management and decommissioning
  •     Challenges of new reactors


SMiRT-22 is being organized and hosted by the International Association for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (IASMiRT), The American Association for Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (AASMiRT) and Bechtel Power Corporation. For more information about the conference, visit

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Steel Shots: Touchdown!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 20, 2012 at 3:16 PM.


The last steel beam for the renovation of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, Calif., has been installed. AISC regional engineer Brian Miller visited the site and snapped this photo a couple of days after the topping out ceremony on June 20. About 2,000 tons of steel is being used for the $152 million project.


About a year and a half away from the 100th Rose Bowl game at “America’s Stadium,” the $152 million Rose Bowl Stadium renovation project in Pasadena, Calif., has reached another milestone: the installation of the last major piece of structural steel.


Hundreds of construction workers signed their names to the beam before a 300-ton crane lifted it 103 ft into its place within the bowl. According to the Rose Bowl Operating Co., crews have worked on the project for 60,000 hours so far, with a perfect safety record, and have installed about 2,000 tons of steel.


W&W Steel, an AISC member, performed the steel fabrication, and Long Beach, Calif.-based Bragg Crane and Rigging, also an AISC member, was the steel erector for the project.


The largest investment in the history of the 88-year-old iconic structure will improve public safety, enhance the fan experience and maintain the national historic landmark status of the Rose Bowl Stadium, while developing revenue sources to fund the project and other long-term improvements to the stadium’s facilities. The financing plan includes lease extensions that will ensure UCLA will play its home football games at the Rose Bowl through 2042 and host the Rose Bowl Game through at least 2043.


The goals of the three-phase project are to expedite tunnel ingress/egress, improve concourse circulation, increase the number of concession stands and restrooms, provide state-of-the-art premium seating products in a rebuilt press box and install a new scoreboard and cutting-edge video board. The renovation will also address key stadium infrastructure needs that will allow the facility to continue to operate for decades to come. The project will be completed in late 2013.


Click here to learn more about the Rose Bowl Stadium renovation project and see news and photos from the topping out ceremony.

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2012 SteelDay Sculpture Competition
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 19, 2012 at 4:07 PM.

SteelDay not only shows off the structural steel industry’s innovative capabilities, but also serves as an opportunity to show what you can do creatively with steel. How? By entering the second annual Steel Sculpture Competition!


If you’re an AISC full or associate member, join this year’s competition and enter your own steel sculpture for a chance to be one of five finalists to win a trip to the 2013 NASCC: The Steel Conference, April 17-19, in St. Louis, where your sculpture will be on display and the ultimate winner will be chosen by attendees. The winner will also be featured in MSC and receive a catered lunch.


There are only two limitations to the entry: It must be made entirely of steel (shapes and type not specified), and it must fit into a 2-ft by 2-ft by 2-ft box (for shipping purposes).


Submit your entry by sending a description and photos of your sculpture to AISC’s Maria Blood at by September 14. All entries will then be posted to SteelDay’s Facebook page, where the top five entries will be determined by a public vote.


Additional information and rules for entering can be found at


steelday-sculpture_sitn_500.jpgCheck out last year’s winning sculpture, “The Welder.”


And remember, everyone is invited to attend a free SteelDay event on Friday, September 28! For more information and to find an event near you, visit Why attend? Watch this video to find out!






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Free Accelerated Bridge Construction Webinar
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM.

Bill McEleney, director of the National Steel Bridge Alliance, will be presenting a free webinar, titled “ABC Short-Span Low-Volume Bridge Types & Lessons Learned – Part 1: Steel,” next Thursday, July 26, as part of a three-part series hosted by the Accelerated Bridge Construction Center at Florida International University (FIU).


The webinar runs 1-2 p.m. EDT. To register, go to Attendees can also earn 1 PDH credit.


Across the country, the use of accelerated bridge construction (ABC) has proven beneficial for short- and long-span bridge projects during which traffic flow needs to be maintained. McEleney’s presentation is the first in a series of three industry presentations on lessons learned from accelerated short-span bridge construction projects with low-volume traffic. He’ll discuss steel solutions that meet the need to replace single- and multi-span bridges with total bridge lengths ranging from 20 ft to 140 ft, in a prefabricated and accelerated manner.


The presentation will also cover details on various steel ABC projects and focus on ways to further improve the accelerated construction of steel bridges. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.


For more information, visit or email

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Welcome, Mr. President
Posted by Tasha Weiss on July 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM.

president-obama-011_sitn.jpgDavid Hale, president of Tampa Tank/Florida Structural Steel, an AISC/NSBA member and AISC certified fabricator, had the priviledge of introducing President Barack Obama during his April visit to the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla., to speak about the importance of local small businesses and jobs that fuel international trade.


Tampa Tank/Florida Structural Steel fabricates and erects large steel storage tanks and steel highway bridges. The company employs about 200 people in its two Tampa fabrication plants and local corporate office.


In his opening speech, Hale pointed to The Free Trade Agreement and its role in the company’s continued growth over the past five years.


He noted, “The Free Trade Agreement is instrumental in our growth by supporting our obama3.JPGexport business. We are continuously involved in projects in Central and South America and, in fact, we have opened support offices in Guatemala, Panama and Colombia. We have shipped projects in the past year to all over Central America, the Caribbean, three projects to Africa, two projects to Saudi Arabia and have another large project to Panama as well as have one developing in Ecuador. We are truly in a global economy.”


Hale then welcomed President Obama in front of several hundred people, where the President stressed that America has always been powered by doers and builders who thrive on competition. He vowed that such success would continue.


You can read more about President Obama’s visit to the Port of Tampa in the Bradenton Herald.

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