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Get Your Music Heard on SteelDay’s Playlist
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM.

New this year for SteelDay, which takes place October 4 (have you signed up to host or attend an event yet?), music will be added to the fifth annual national celebration of the structural steel industry with “STEEL-a-palooza.”


AISC is accepting original, previously unpublished music to be compiled (if selected) onto a CD collection for distribution at SteelDay events all around the country. If you’re an artist with a direct connection to the structural steel industry, enter your music for a chance to be a part of the STEEL-a-palooza music series and have your music heard nationwide, for free.


If you work for a structural engineering firm, structural steel fabricator, erector, detailer, producer or service center, you’re encouraged to submit an original composition of any music genre. You’ll be helping promote SteelDay, steel workers and the arts.


Submittals will be accepted until September 3, 2013, at 8 a.m. CST. Winners will be announced September 9, 2013; CDs will be distributed on SteelDay, October 4, 2013.


For more information on how to enter, visit To learn more about SteelDay and to sign up to host or attend an event, go to

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Medlock Honored by AISI and AASHTO
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 15, 2013 at 1:51 PM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) Steel Bridge Task Force and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Technical Committee for Structural Steel Design have named Ronald D. Medlock, P.E., as the recipient of the 2013 Richard S. Fountain Award. Medlock is vice president of technical services at High Steel Structures, Inc. (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator/advanced certified erector)


Named for the founder of the Steel Bridge Task Force, the Richard S. Fountain Award recognizes leadership in steel bridge research and outstanding efforts to advance AASHTO specifications. Medlock received the award at the meeting of the Steel Bridge Task Force earlier this month in Baltimore. The award was presented by Alex Wilson, chairman of SMDI’s Steel Bridge Task Force and manager of customer technical services for ArcelorMittal USA (an AISC member); and Gregory R. Perfetti, chairman of the AASHTO T-14 Steel Bridge Structures Committee and State Bridge Design Engineer, Structure Design Unit, North Carolina Department of Transportation.   
“We are pleased to present this award to Ronnie Medlock, who has made many outstanding contributions to the steel bridge industry through his fabrication and welding-related code activities,” said Wilson. “He co-founded and leads the AASHTO/National Steel Bridge Alliance Collaboration, a group of steel bridge professionals who have published standards that make it easier for bridge owners, designers and engineers to choose steel for cost-effective bridge design solutions.”


The AASHTO/NSBA Collaboration has published more than a dozen standards related to steel bridge detailing, shop drawing review, fabrication, inspection, coatings, bearings, erection and analysis.  


As vice president of technical services at High Steel, Medlock is responsible for steel bridge fabrication engineering and quality control and leads advances in technology, particularly with respect to welding and modeling. Before joining the company in 2006, he worked for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), where he was responsible for steel bridge fabrication inspection. At TxDOT, he initiated the Texas Quality Council, a multi-disciplined group that established best practices for design, fabrication and erection of steel bridges in Texas. He also participated in the AASHTO Technology Implementation Group Panel on accelerated bridge construction. He is active in the following organizations and serves in committee leadership positions for several: NSBA, the AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures, American Welding Society, American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the Transportation Research Board. In 2010, Medlock was recognized with a Special Achievement Award by AISC.



Photo (click on image to enlarge): Ronald D. Medlock, P.E. (third from left), receives the 2013 Richard S. Fountain Award from Gregory R. Perfetti (far left), Professor Dennis Mertz from the University of Delaware (second from left), and Alex D. Wilson. Photo by Steel Market Development Institute.





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Submit a Steel App
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 13, 2013 at 5:40 PM.

Do you have an idea for an app that would be useful to the steel design and construction industry? Here’s your chance to bring it to life! Create an open source app that is relevant and functional for the design, erection, fabrication or inspection of structural steel buildings and/or bridges and you could win a cash prize of: Gold Award - $5,000; Silver Award - $3,000; and Bronze Award - $1,000. The winning apps will also be featured in MSC, as well as AISC’s social media channels, and also announced on SteelDay, which takes place October 4.
Here are the rules to enter:


  • Create an open source app and “tweet” the URL on Twitter using #SteelApps in your post. You must be following @AISC on Twitter and reside, and have a bank account, in the U.S.
  • Submit your app by September 22, 2013, and include your name, email, phone number, app title and app purpose in your source code.
  • All entries must either be in the public domain or available under an OSI-approved open-source license. For an entry to be considered valid, AISC will require access to a functional version of the software and an indication of where the public code repository can be found. AISC reserves the right to modify contest rules and regulations.
  • Entries using web technologies (JavaScript, etc.) are preferred, but “native” software may be used provided it is accessible and operable using major operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS). Any fees or developer program licenses that may be associated with placing your app in an “app store” or other distribution channel are solely your responsibility.
  • You may base your entry on existing open source projects but must have been personally responsible for the addition of significant new features (combining functions in a novel fashion counts as a new feature) which are relevant to the structural steel industry.

For questions, you can contact the AISC Steel Solutions Center at or 866.ASK.AISC.



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Steel Shots: Building America
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 12, 2013 at 5:34 PM.


The contributions of America’s industrial-era workers are memorialized on a new sheet of USPS Forever stamps titled “Made in America: Building a Nation.” The stamps, which feature black-and-white photographs of early 20th-century industrial workers, include the above images of ironworkers on the iconic Empire State Building (which took nearly 60,000 tons of steel to construct). In the top row, from left to right, are two riveters and a welder on the building; and in the bottom row, from left to right, are a crew member guiding a beam and a laborer hoisting a ball on the skyscraper. Photos: Copyright 2013 U.S. Postal Service


Later this year, USPS will issue a new set of 12 stamps titled “Made in America: Building a Nation,” honoring the early 20th-century industrial workers who helped build our country.


The pane includes images of ironworkers on the iconic, steel-framed Empire State Building. Early skyscrapers like the Empire State Building required an astounding amount of manpower. It took slightly more than a year to complete, and opened in 1931. Thousands of workers, including riveters and welders, helped build the massive high-rise structure; many of whom were immigrants and Native Americans.


Five different stamp sheets will be available. Each one will contain the same stamps, but will be anchored by a different selvage photograph, including two featuring Empire State Building ironworkers and one that depicts a female welder.


“Stamps are like a miniature American portrait gallery,” said recently appointed Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Tom Perez. “They are an expression of our values and a connection to our past. That’s why it’s so fitting that this series depicts Americans at work. These iconic images tell a powerful story about American economic strength and prosperity. These men and women and millions like them really did build a nation.”


You can view images of all 12 stamps, a video and more information about the stamp series on the USPS website ( 

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Reminder: NBIMS-US V3 Ballot Submissions Due August 19
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 9, 2013 at 2:14 PM.

There are less than two weeks left to submit proposed revisions and standards for inclusion in the National BIM Standard – United States (NBIMS-US). The Ballot Submission Period for NBIMS-US Version 3 ends August 19, 2013. You can view the schedule on the National BIM Standard website (


To view a sampling of ballots that have been submitted to the NBIMS-US Project Committee or are currently in the pipeline, see the buildingSMART alliance’s press release.


Since NBIMS Version 1- Part 1 was first released in 2007, the content of the standard has evolved. The current edition, NBIMS-US Version 2, is a consensus-based standard that includes reference standards, information exchange standards (which are built upon the reference standards) and best practice guidelines to support users in their implementation of non-proprietary BIM standards-based deliverables.


Not only is NBIMS-US Version 2 the BIM standard used here in the U.S., but applicable portions of the standard also serve as the basis of a number of other countries’ BIM standards, including South Korea and the United Kingdom.


Therefore, the submitted ballots, if approved by the Project Committee, could potentially impact millions of people in facilities being built around the world.


NBIMS Project Committee members can download ballots.


Individuals and organizations that are not yet NBIMS-US members can learn how to get involved. (Only members can submit ballots and vote on changes to the standard.)






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Fifth Annual SteelDay to be Celebrated Nationwide October 4
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 7, 2013 at 4:25 PM.

steelday2013_logo-4.jpgWhere will you be on SteelDay this year? Whether you visit a structural steel facility, tour a job site or attend a seminar, you can join the structural steel industry’s largest educational and networking event on October 4 as it returns for a fifth successive year. Hosted by AISC, its members and partners, SteelDay is your opportunity to see first-hand how the structural steel industry contributes to building America. To learn more and sign up for this year’s events, visit  


SteelDay is a great opportunity for architects, engineers, contractors, owners, university faculty and students, government officials and others to see the structural steel industry’s latest technologies and construction processes in action, learn directly from the industry experts and build new relationships.


“There is no other single day in the nation where so much valuable information is exchanged across all disciplines of the structural steel industry,” said Ross Allbritton, AISC industry mobilization manager.


New to SteelDay this year is a free “Innovations in Steel” webinar that will be shown at select SteelDay events. The presentation will demonstrate how recent steel industry innovations allow engineers and architects to easily express their design concepts and overcome client serviceability concerns. Attendees will gain knowledge on how steel can provide cost-effective and time-saving project solutions and can also receive continuing education credit (1.0 Contact Hour/1.0 PDH/0.1 CEU/1.0 AIA CES LU) for viewing the presentation and taking a quiz. The presentation will be delivered by Tabitha Stine, S.E., P.E., LEED AP, AISC’s director of technical marketing, who will be available to answer your questions on SteelDay via Twitter (@TabySu1). Those who join the conversation by using hashtag #Steelovation or “tweet” AISC (@AISC) using hashtag #SteelDay will be entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  


Year after year, SteelDay proves to be an invaluable experience for AEC professionals as well as students who are considering careers in the industry, including Rose Milavitz, a civil engineering student at Northwestern University. Last year on SteelDay, she toured Chicago’s first Girder-Slab project, an eight-story apartment building in Evanston, Ill. “I’ve never been in a building that was in the process of being built, so that was really cool to see,” she said. “I think opportunities like SteelDay are important for students so that we’re able to see things that we learn about in the classroom. We don’t get a lot of chances to see things for real.”


Even if you’ve attended a SteelDay event in the past, you haven’t seen it all. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect to see at some of this year’s events:


  • Structural steel fabricators: Learn how structural steel is prepared for a building or bridge using off-site, controlled conditions, which ensure a consistently high-quality product while reducing errors and costly fixes at the job site. Also learn why most steel fabricators use 3D models/BIM to streamline production and increase efficiency.
  • Steel mills/producers: Steel is the most recycled material on earth, and today’s modern mills produce steel containing an average of 90% recycled material. Witness steel recycling capabilities and procedures at scrap metal recycling and steel production facilities, and develop an understanding of rolling schedules and steel availability.
  • Steel service centers: See what thousands of tons of steel looks like! And learn about the crucial role these facilities play in the industry.
  • HSS producers: Watch the fascinating process of manufacturing top-quality hollow structural sections (HSS) and learn about shape availability.
  • Bender-rollers: Curved steel doesn’t just happen; precision instruments and experts are responsible for these increasingly popular architectural and structural elements. Observe the very specialized and skilled process of bending and rolling steel shapes.
  • Galvanizers: See the Hot-Dip Galvanizing (HDG) process, from staging the material through to its receiving a full protective coating against corrosion.


To learn more about what’s in store this year, see AISC’s press release.


And in special recognition of the fifth annual SteelDay, music will be added to the national celebration of the structural steel industry with “STEEL-a-palooza.” AISC is accepting original, previously unpublished music to be compiled (if selected) onto a CD collection for distribution at SteelDay events all around the country. If you are an artist with a direct personal connection to the structural steel industry, enter your music for a chance to be a part of the STEEL-a-palooza music series and have your music distributed nationally for free. You’ll be helping promote SteelDay, steel workers and the arts. For more information on how to enter, visit


To find and register for SteelDay events by state and event type, visit (updates will continuously be posted to the map as new events and details are added). You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at,, and


For questions about attending or hosting SteelDay events, please contact AISC’s Jenny McDonald at 312.670.5433, or

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Steel Plate Shear Walls Webinar This Thursday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 6, 2013 at 5:57 PM.

If you haven’t already registered for AISC’s live webinar “Practical Application of Steel Plate Shear Walls,” which happens this Thursday (August 8), you still have time! Online registration will remain open until 11 p.m. (PDT) tomorrow night.


Steel plate shear walls have gained exposure in recent years as an innovative lateral system. In this webinar, you’ll learn about the advantages of steel plate shear walls and how they differ from traditional lateral systems. The presentation will cover the background of steel plate shear walls and the research that has been done, as well as how the system became codified. It will also discuss the behavior and design of the two basic types of systems: stiffened and unstiffened shear walls.


The 1.5-hour webinar will begin at the following times, relative to time zone:
10:30 a.m. PDT
11:30 a.m. MDT
12:30 p.m. CDT
1:30 p.m. EDT
The cost of the webinar is $185 for AISC 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 CEUs/1.5 PDHs) and complete instructions for accessing the live webinar.
For more information and to register for the live webinar, go to

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New Catalog Simplifies Steel Deck Specification
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM.

steel-decking-catalog.jpgNew Millennium Building Systems (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator) recently released an updated Steel Roof and Floor Decking catalog (click on left image to enlarge), which includes extensive information on the three major categories of decking offered by the company: roof decks, floor decks and composite floor decks. Available sizes, yield strengths, finishes and fire ratings are included for each.
The release of this new resource follows the addition of a New Millennium metal deck manufacturing facility in Hope, Ark., increasing the overall production capability of the company.
“The catalog and our expanded production capabilities show our commitment to the steel deck market,” said Doug Robbins, New Millennium’s national sales manager for steel decking. “It will be a great tool for deck specifiers. As a specifier, nothing beats being able to pull up the catalog where the tabs are easily identifiable and all the information is there.”
The new deck catalog joins the company’s two previous releases: the Steel Joist and Joist Girders catalog and the Special Profile Steel Joists catalog.
To order or download the New Millennium catalogs, visit

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Steel Shots: Blooms within Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 2, 2013 at 3:31 PM.


The Glasshouse — the centerpiece of the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition at the foot of Seattle’s Space Needle — is framed with 90 tons of structural steel and houses a suspended 1,340-piece, 100-ft-long glass sculpture as well as the Garden, which serves as a backdrop for a number of monumental sculptures and other installations. Photo: Novum Structures


A garden of glass is blooming at the foot of Seattle’s Space Needle.


Chihuly Garden and Glass, an exhibition exploring the career of Northwest artist Dale Chihuly, transformed 1.5 acres of asphalt into an outdoor garden. To mark the occasion, Chihuly himself dedicated the exhibition’s centerpiece Glasshouse by signing and dating one of the building’s structural beams.


Designed by Owen Richards Architects and Novum Structures, the Glasshouse, which is 40 ft tall and occupies 4,500 sq. ft, is framed with 90 tons of structural steel and houses a suspended 1,340-ft, 100-ft-long glass sculpture as well as the Garden, which serves as a backdrop for a number of monumental sculptures and other installations. The project consists of twelve W18X106 wide-flange columns or “ribs,” while all of the support framing at the roof and end walls was fabricated from square and rectangular HSS.


The glass connections, point-supported spider connections attached with rivet nuts, were prepared in Northwest Steel Fab, Inc.’s (AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) shop; everything had to be “handmade” with incredible accuracy due to the large number of glass connectors. In addition, the primary steel members could not be processed through any of the shop’s automated equipment as they needed to be rolled. The steel components were all laid out by hand, and holes were manually drilled at the connection plates of the ribs.


Construction took only nine months and the project opened in May.


The Glasshouse is part of the “What’s Cool in Steel” section in the August 2013 issue of MSC (available now!). Check out the issue to read about other cool steel projects including a Cool Cottage, a Cool Art Installation, a Cool Carousel and more.  

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2014 Prize Bridge Competition Call for Entries
Posted by Tasha Weiss on August 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM.

award-cms-banner.jpgThe National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) is now accepting entries for its 2014 Prize Bridge Competition, which honors significant and innovative steel bridges constructed in the U.S. The winners will be announced at the 2014 World Steel Bridge Symposium (WSBS), which will be co-located with NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto, March 26-29, 2014, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Entries are due by December 31, 2013 and must be submitted online at


NSBA’s Prize Bridge Competition began in 1928 and is the oldest and most prestigious awards program of its kind in the steel design and construction industry. The winning bridges will be featured in MSC and the project team members will be presented with distinguished awards at the 2014 WSBS in Toronto. 


To qualify for the competition, all bridges must be constructed of structural steel and located in the U.S. (defined as the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories). Eligible bridges must have been completed and open to traffic between May 1, 2011 and September 30, 2013.


An independent panel of industry experts will judge entries on the following criteria: innovation, aesthetics, economics and design and engineering solutions. Entries may be judged in more than one category, but each entry can only receive one award.


Award categories include:


  • Major Span: One or more spans greater than or equal to 400 ft
  • Long Span: Longest span equal to or greater than 250 ft but less than 400 ft
  • Medium Span: Longest span equal to or greater than 140 ft but less than 250 ft
  • Short Span: No single span greater than 140 ft
  • Movable Span
  • Reconstructed: Having undergone major reconstruction, rehabilitation, or widening
  • Special Purpose: Bridge not identifiable in one of the above categories including pedestrian, pipeline, and airplane


In addition, NSBA will offer special recognition to one project that best exemplifies Accelerated Bridge Construction and one project that best exemplifies a full range of sustainable attributes.


For more information about the competition and to submit your steel bridge project for consideration, visit


For detailed descriptions and photos of last year’s Prize Bridge winners, you can read the article from the June 2012 issue of MSC.

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