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Three New Members Elected to AISC Board
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM.

AISC announced the election of three new members to its Board of Directors at its recent Annual Meeting in Miami.


Robert Philip Stupp, Jr., executive vice president of Stupp Bros., Inc., St. Louis; Lawrence F. Kruth, P.E., vice president of engineering, technology and safety at Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation, Lansing, Mich.; and Mark W. Trimble, P.E., marketing manager at Huntington Steel & Supply Company, Huntington, W.Va., will immediately begin serving on the Board, assisting with the organization’s planning and leadership in the steel construction industry.


“I’m pleased to welcome these three new members to the AISC Board,” commented AISC Chair William B. (Brad) Bourne III of Universal Steel, Inc., Lithonia, Ga. “This is a very experienced group, and their knowledge of our industry will immediately affect the quality of the Board. All three of them are currently very active with AISC Committees and will hit the ground running. I thank them all for their commitment of both time and resources.”



In addition to being executive vice president of Stupp Bros., Stupp is also president of the company’s fabrication segment and of subsidiary Hammert’s Iron Works, Inc. Previously, he served for three years as assistant general manager for Stupp’s bridge division, Stupp Bridge Company, and before that was vice president for more than a decade when it was named Stupp Bros. Bridge & Iron Co. For the past nine years, he’s served as director of the Central Fabricators Association in Chicago and is also a member of AISC’s Ad Hoc Committee on Barcode Standards. His father is Robert (Bob) P. Stupp, a former AISC chairman of the board and the longest-serving board member in AISC’s history. AISC’s prestigious Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence was created in 1998 in recognition of his unparalleled leadership in the steel construction industry.



Kruth is vice president of engineering, technology and safety at Douglas Steel Fabricating Corporation, Lansing, Mich., and a member of its Board of Directors. With more than 30 years of structural engineering experience, he’s responsible for managing the engineering department, advancing technology in the company as well as all safety for the shop and field. Previously, he served for seven years as a project manager for the company. He serves as Chair of the AISC Safety Committee and is a member of the AISC Research Committee. He’s also a member of AISC’s TC6 Connection Design Specification Committee, AISC’s TC13 Quality Control & Assurance Specification Committee and the AISC Specification Committee. He has also been appointed to the MIOSHA Part 26, Structural Steel Erection Advisory Committee and MIOSHA Part 10, Lifting & Digging Advisory Committee.



Trimble is one of six Huntington executive team members charged with business development and client satisfaction. He’s been with the company for about 20 years and started out as manager of its structural fabrication division. Previously, he owned and managed an engineering and surveying practice in Kentucky. He’s a past president of both the West Virginia Steel Fabricators Association and West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. He’s currently a member of AISC’s Planning Committee for NASCC: The Steel Conference.


Stupp, Kruth and Trimble join 27 AISC board members who contribute a significant amount of time and outstanding service to the success of AISC and the structural steel industry. View a list of all of the officers and directors on AISC’s website, here.

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Steel Shots: Pink Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM.


More than two million lbs. of steel for the 132,000-sq.-ft Springfield Clinic 1st expansion in Springfield, Ill., fabricated by Selvaggio Steel, Springfield, Ill., (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) is being painted with pink protective coating in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Photo: Courtesy of Selvaggio Steel


In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, O’Shea Healthcare Builders, Springfield, Ill., in partnership with Springfield Clinic, will be hosting a free steel beam signing event for the public called “Pink Steel Day: Building Strength from Within” at the construction site of the new Springfield Clinic 1st expansion in Springfield, Ill., on October 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guests will be able to sign a pink steel beam that will be installed in the building, and the first 500 attendees will receive a free t-shirt. (And all are encouraged to wear pink!)


pink-steel_sitn_2.jpg“When we realized the steel would be fabricated and erected in October, and that the new facility held specialists directly involved in breast cancer detection and treatment, we knew this was a very special opportunity,” said Tom Fitch, S.E., vice president of Harold O’Shea Builders (who also provided the left photo).


The new building’s steel frame is coated entirely in pink. Fabricated by Selvaggio Steel, Springfield, Ill., (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) more than two million lbs. of steel for the 132,000-sq.-ft building is being fabricated and painted with pink protective coating.


In early 2012, representatives of Springfield Clinic and Memorial Medical Center officially launched the $60.5-million construction of the new four-story medical office building, which will be occupied by 65 additional physicians, surgeons and mid-level providers affiliated with Springfield Clinic.


Steel fabrication and erection for the project began in October and is expected to be completed by mid-January 2013. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014.


For more information about the event, visit
, which includes a video that shows a glimpse of the steel fabrication and painting process for the project.

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NSBA’s Curved Bridges Course Almost Full
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM.

The National Steel Bridge Alliance is offering a five-day course, presented by the National Highway Institute, on LRFD Analysis and Design of Skewed and Horizontally Curved Steel Highway Bridges October 22-26 at the University of Richmond, Va.


Led by Michael Grubb of Grubb & Associates, Inc., and John Yadlosky of HDR, Inc., the course applies the principles of LRFD to the analysis and design of skewed and horizontally curved steel highway bridges. It provides a combination of discussions and workshop exercises focusing primarily on skewed and horizontally curved steel I-girder bridges, and the accompanying Reference Manual also includes design examples for horizontally curved steel box-girder bridges. For structural applications, the curriculum follows the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design specifications, 5th Edition, 2010 (AASHTO LRFD Specifications).


Upon completion of the course, participants will receive 31 PDHs/3.1 CEUs and be able to:


  • Describe the bridge superstructure analysis, design, fabrication and construction process for skewed or horizontally curved steel I-girder superstructures and for horizontally curved steel box-girder superstructures in accordance with the AASHTO LRFD Specifications
  • Illustrate the application of the AASHTO LRFD Specifications to the analysis and design process for skewed and curved steel-bridge superstructures, taking into account erection and construction considerations
  • Demonstrate understanding of analysis and design specification requirements for skewed and curved steel girder bridges through the completion of participant exercises and guided walkthroughs and the review of design examples


Space is limited and only a few spots remain! Click here for additional information and to register.

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Designer Shortage Soon?
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM.

A combination of several factors, including scarce employment opportunities and attrition, are expected to cause a shortage of qualified designers in the U.S. by 2014, according to a recent survey by McGraw-Hill Construction, as reported in Architectural Record.


The survey of 1,007 U.S. designers found that nearly one-quarter of respondents anticipated a shortage of architects resulting from a combination of designers exiting the profession, baby boomers retiring, a lack of skills among architects looking for work and less talent in the pipeline as dim job prospects discourage students from entering the field. Firms both large (more than 50 employees) and small (less than 10) anticipated some level of shortage of designers, but nearly half of respondents from larger firms expect it to be severe.


A parallel survey of 448 American Institute of Architects (AIA) members revealed similar results, with 60% of professionals surveyed anticipating a loss of knowledge due to older architects retiring, and almost all thought the economy would make it difficult for architecture students to enter the field.


“Architecture firms need to think strategically,” said Harvey Bernstein, McGraw-Hill Construction vice president of industry insight and alliances. “Not only about how to draw talented professionals to their firms, but also about how they will attract more architects to the profession.”

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Happy 75th Anniversary, Lake Shore Drive Bridge!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM.

Last Friday marked 75 years of service for Chicago’s N. Lake Shore Drive Bridge.


When the steel bridge opened on October 5, 1937, the dedication ceremony was attended by tens of thousands and served as part of a year of celebrations for the 100th anniversary of Chicago’s incorporation as a city.


“Chicago–the city of broad shoulders and big heart–has finished another job,” remarked then-mayor Edward J. Kelly at the dedication ceremony of the bridge, which at the time was called the Outer Drive Bridge. “The struggles, the years and work of planning, the boundless energy and courage of Chicago’s builders to complete the longest bascule bridge in the world is a thrilling record of cooperation and conquest.”


President Franklin D. Roosevelt also spoke during the festivities, and the bridge was renamed the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Bridge in his honor in 1982.


At the time of construction it was the widest, longest and heaviest double-leaf bascule bridge in the world, and was part of a larger plan to build a major highway through downtown Chicago to facilitate traffic flow in and out of the city. The original crossing consisted of two bascule bridges: the current double-leaf bridge at the Chicago River and a shorter span single-leaf bridge over Ogden Slip. The bascule over Ogden Slip was removed and replaced with a fixed bridge in the mid-1980s in a project that added the lower deck to the double-leaf bridge and straightened the original S-curve in the realignment of Lake Shore Drive.


lsdp1-12_sitn.jpgThe bridge has the heaviest leaf weight of all the Chicago Loop bridges (each leaf weighs 6,420 tons) and the highest traffic flow in the city with a daily traffic count of more than 114,000 vehicles. In its early years, it was raised 2,100 times annually. Today it’s raised about 50 times a year for the annual migration of sailboats and the occasional convention-related dinner cruise. Over the course of its life the bridge has been raised approximately 38,800 times.


This massive gateway into the city received some notoriety in 2004 when Richard Dorsay was found using the bridge as a home. He had built a shelter between the beams and girders under the deck and was reportedly was able to tap into power for a space heater, TV, microwave and video games. He was found and evicted in December 2004.


For more information about the Lake Shore Drive Bridge, contact Jim Phillips (who provided this commentary) at 312.540.0696 or visit his website. There you’ll find additional photos and videos about the bridge, as well as engineering drawings. At the website’s left-hand column you’ll also find multimedia pages for other Chicago Loop bridges.

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Fourth Annual SteelDay Draws More Than 10,000
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 8, 2012 at 3:59 PM.

steeldaysign_sitn.jpgThe numbers are in! More than 10,000 people attended 175 free events across the U.S. on September 28, the fourth annual SteelDay. Hosted by AISC, its members and partners, SteelDay is the structural steel industry’s largest networking and educational event for the design and construction community and the public.


Architects, engineers, contractors, specifiers, university faculty and students and the general public visited steel mills, fabricators, service centers, galvanizers and other steel facilities, and even actual job sites and special events in major cities, to see the industry’s processes and innovations firsthand and learn directly from industry experts.


steelday-2012_attendees_sitn.jpg“SteelDay enjoyed much success again this year and we continue to get glowing feedback from those who attended events,” commented Ross Allbritton, AISC’s industry mobilization manager. “There is no other single day in the nation where so much valuable information is exchanged across all disciplines of the structural steel industry.”


For a recap of highlights from this year’s SteelDay, view AISC’s press release at (direct link: If you attended an event, you can get your certificates of attendance and share your feedback at You can also share your photos and videos on SteelDay’s Facebook page. Simply click on the “Photo/Video” button and share.


Next year’s SteelDay is scheduled for October 4, 2013. Mark your calendar!

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Steel Shots: Seismically Sound
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM.


A seismically sound new performing arts center on the California State University, Northridge campus connects campus and community in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. This photo shows the construction of the seating balcony risers which were cast on permanent steel-framed formwork, eliminating the need for temporary concrete forming and shoring. Photo: Lee Choo, Courtesy of California State University, Northridge


For nearly two decades, Northridge has been known as the center of the 1994 earthquake of the same name.


But as of last year, it has become an epicenter of the arts with the opening of the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC). Located on the California State University, Northridge campus, VPAC brings a world-class performance hall to the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles and creates a dramatic inviting gateway between the school and the community.


Designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, the $98 million, 166,000-sq.-ft facility features a 1,700-seat public performance hall as its centerpiece. The Great Hall is designed as an acoustically superior, flexible performance space, accommodating symphonic orchestra, theater, musical performance, dance, opera, lecture and film. The VPAC complex, part of the university’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, also includes a 178-seat flexible “black box” theater, the campus radio station, a 230-seat lecture hall and rehearsal, educational and performance support spaces.


The VPAC design team was challenged by the high seismic demands of southern California coupled with the irregular geometry of the performance hall. Design elements such as large cantilevered roofs, tall glass walls and tiered seating balconies added further complexity to the structural design.


Both steel and concrete systems were evaluated for the performance hall structure. To accurately compare costs, both systems were evaluated with finishes providing the same level of required acoustic performance. The evaluation revealed comparable superstructure costs. However, the large mass of a concrete system would have increased seismic forces and penalized the foundations, and a steel-framed solution was therefore chosen.


You can read more about the VPAC project and its elegant and innovative use of structural steel in the October 2012 issue of MSC (available now!). Click here for a PDF of the article.

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SteelDay Inspires Manufacturing Day
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM.

Drawing from the success of SteelDay (which boasted about 175 events nationwide last Friday and more than 9,000 attendees, with attendance numbers still coming in!), the manufacturing industry has launched a national Manufacturing Day with the inaugural event happening tomorrow, October 5.


Designed to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to careers available in manufacturing fields, participating manufacturing facilities will be providing open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events around the country.


The effort is sponsored by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA), the U.S. Commerce Department’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP, part of DOC’s National Institute of Standards and Technology), Wisconsin MEP (WMEP) and Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC).


Ed Youdell, president and CEO of FMA recently interviewed with IMPO magazine about how the idea for Manufacturing Day originated and said, “FMA had benchmarked with the folks who put on SteelDay and came up with the model for creating a virtual toolkit for manufacturers to use to have open houses across the U.S., and set-up a website for them to post events for the public to register.”


To learn more about Manufacturing Day and to find an event near you, visit

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New AISC Bridge Certification Requirements Posted
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 3, 2012 at 1:04 PM.

AISC has posted the new requirements for its updated Bridge Quality Management System (QMS) Certification Program at In addition to the new Standard for Steel Bridges – 2011 (AISC 205-11), this criteria will increase and more clearly define the requirements a participant must meet to become certified or maintain their current certification.


Starting November 1, 2012, all new applicants must adhere to the Standard for Steel Bridges – 2011 (AISC 205-11) and the new requirements, and all existing participants must adhere to these starting July 1, 2013. The transition between the current “Simple and Major Bridge Checklists” and new bridge standard will be complete on July 1, 2014. After this time, “Simple Bridge” and “Major Bridge” will no longer be valid AISC Certification categories, and participants will have three AISC QMS Certified Fabricator options under the Bridge QMS Certification category: Simple Bridges, Intermediate Bridges, and Advanced Bridges – in which to become certified.


For the latest program updates and other key dates, please visit, which includes additional information and resources. If you have additional questions or comments, please contact AISC’s Certification Department at


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Atlas Tube Launches HSS Video Series
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 2, 2012 at 4:46 PM.

Atlas Tube (an AISC member) has launched an educational video series on hollow structural sections (HSS), which premiered on SteelDay last Friday. The series, titled “Designing with HSS,” will inform engineers and contractors how HSS is produced and its design potential. The videos will cover a wide range of HSS topics over the next few months, providing an overview of the product’s benefits and uses in structural engineering and across the industry.


The first video, available for viewing today on Atlas Tube’s blog and YouTube channel, discusses uses and applications of HSS, including:

  • Seismic
  • Long span
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Tall columns


Atlas Tube encourages ideas on topics for its video series. If you have suggestions or questions about any of the information provided in the series, contact Brad Fletcher at


You can also subscribe to the HSS video series at Atlas Tube’s YouTube channel at

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