Archive for October 2013
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Fifth Annual SteelDay Draws More Than 10,000
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM.
The numbers are in! More than 10,000 people attended 125 free events around the U.S. on October 4, the fifth annual SteelDay, hosted by AISC, its members and partners.
AEC professionals, university faculty and students and the general public learned about the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges by visiting various structural steel facilities, touring job sites, attending educational presentations and joining in networking events. (The photo at right shows a group of SteelDay attendees touring the Tower at PNC Plaza jobsite, a planned skyscraper in Pittsburgh.)
“SteelDay enjoyed much success again this year for the fifth annual celebration,” commented Ross Allbritton, AISC industry mobilization manager. “Many hosts and attendees have participated in all five years, and new people join us every single year. We continue to add new opportunities to the events, and the feedback this year has been very rewarding.”
One new opportunity for participants was a SteelDay Twitter contest. Those who follow AISC (@aisc) on Twitter and ‘tweeted’ about SteelDay were entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet. The contest winner was Chris Marvin (@BarelyCivil), a staff engineer with AISC-member fabricator Cives Engineering Corporation in Atlanta. He attended a SteelDay event at the Gerdau mill in Cartesville, Ga., (also an AISC member) for a guided tour of the facility and a presentation on BIM and the steel market.
“I think from a steel industry standpoint everyone should go see a mill at least once in their life,” tweeted Marvin.
“Working for a fabricator I have always been curious about the process steel goes through to get to our plants,” he explained. “Seeing the massive operation at the mill I visited gave me a lot of clarity as to just how efficient our industry is. I knew going into the tour that mills were dependent on scrap to recycle into their steel, but I had no idea just how many sources they acquired the scrap from. I am so thankful to the people that took the time out of their schedule to lead our tour through the mill. I had a really great experience and hope to attend more SteelDay events in the future!”
In Atchison, Kan., more than 30 attendees saw the production of some of the steel castings being designed and produced for the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. The photo at left shows the world’s largest Universal Pin Connectors by Cast Connex (an AISC member), which mate with 32-in. OD pipe and submit forces through the SFRS, connecting directly to the underside of the main EBF links which run the perimeter of the entire building. They’re some of the smallest castings being produced for the project, weighing 6,000 lbs. each; some of the cast nodes for the project will weigh as much as 45,000 lbs.
For a recap of highlights from this year’s SteelDay, view AISC’s press release.
Photos from this year’s SteelDay events can be found on AISC’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG in the “SteelDay 2013” photo album. If you’d like to share your photos, please contact AISC’s Victoria Cservenyak at email@example.com.
If you attended a SteelDay event, you can receive your certificate of attendance and share your feedback at www.SteelDay.org.
Next year’s SteelDay is scheduled for September 19, 2014. Mark your calendar!
Free Engineering Forum in Chicago this Friday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 15, 2013 at 4:37 PM.
Structural engineers and civil engineering students in the Chicago area are invited to attend an ATC-Chicago Engineering Forum: An Exchange of Perspectives in Structural Engineering, hosted by the Applied Technology Council (ATC), this Friday from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at 111 South Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago.
The forum is designed to enable structural engineers in the Chicago area and ATC representatives from around the nation to get to know each other better. The program will include presentations on recent and emerging developments in earthquake and structural engineering, highlights from the comprehensive array of projects currently underway nationwide by ATC; and brief presentations by representatives of leading structural engineering firms in the Chicago area on current projects and capabilities of their firms.
A certificate documenting 2.0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) will be provided to registered participants.
For more information and to register, visit www.atcouncil.org/registration/?id=1013.
Steel Shots: Play On
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 14, 2013 at 5:58 PM.
With a facade that resembles frets on a guitar neck, a new steel building on Onondaga Community College’s campus in Syracuse, N.Y., was built over a 60-ft gorge and houses the school’s music department. (Click on the above photo to view the facade concept design.) Photo: Courtesy of Onondaga Community College
Opened in time for fall semester, Onondaga Community College’s new 45,000-sq.-ft “bridge building” crosses the foliage-filled Furnace Brook Gorge, a 60-ft-deep fissure that divides its campus in Syracuse, N.Y.
Uniting the east and west campuses, the new two-story building provides a protected crossing over the gorge and houses facilities for the entire music school including a 150-seat music recital hall, a music resource center, a 2,500-sq.-ft instrumental rehearsal room, a 1,800-sq.-ft choral rehearsal room, 20 practice rooms of various sizes, 16 faculty teaching offices and eight classrooms.
A ceremonial ribbon cutting was held at the building earlier this month.
To learn more about the steel design and construction of the project, you can read the article from the January 2013 issue of MSC.
Steel Design Student Competition Winners Announced
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 10, 2013 at 5:11 PM.
Twenty-four architecture students from universities around North America were honored in the 13th annual ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition. The program challenges architecture students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. A total of $14,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winning students and their faculty sponsors.
Students submitted designs in two categories that required steel to be used as the primary structural material and with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design. The Bridge to Building category challenged students to design a pedestrian bridge that would enrich its location and provide a vital spatial connection, as well as include an ancillary function – a small pavilion – that supports the cause for the crossing.
Philadelphia University students Christopher Garrow, Heather Martin and Kaitlyn Shenk won first place for designing “Stream_Line.”
Donald Dunham, one of their faculty sponsors, said of the competition, “Real-world issues require more inclusive and interdisciplinary strategies – strategies that can help craft sustainable real-world solutions. Giving our students real-world frameworks through international and national competition forums allows them to test new knowledge patterns in the most competitive, creative and intellectual environments.”
Category II was the open submission design option and permitted students to select a site and building program that included at least one long-span steel structure. Top honors in this category went to Trevor Larsen and Ben Pennell from California Polytechnic State University for designing “Injection,” and Byron Marroquin and Sal Vargas for their “Inverted Landscape” design.
About 250 project submissions from more than 1,000 students were received during this year’s steel design competition, and nearly 100 faculty members served as student advisers for the competition. In total, 48 universities from across North America took part.
For more information about the competition and to view the complete list of winners and their steel designs, visit www.aisc.org/studentdesign or www.acsa-arch.org/programs-events/compet
New Steel-Frame Design Approved for Fire Protection Thickness
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 10, 2013 at 3:47 PM.
Two successful full-scale fire tests conducted by AISI and AISC at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provide insight for construction professionals struggling to decide whether to specify restrained or unrestrained fire protection thicknesses for structural steel-framed buildings. The answer is that the required fire protection will be the same, at least for the floor construction described in the new U.L. Design No. D982.
AISI and AISC conducted tests of two unrestrained structural steel-framed floor specimens with 4.5 in. of normal weight concrete over steel deck supported by a W-shape beam. The first test was conducted in January and ran for two hours and 32 minutes before the loading mechanism reached its limit. The second test was held in March and ran for two hours and 29 minutes before the limit was reached. Both tests exceeded expectations.
“Based on tests that the steel industry conducted 30 years ago and on empirical observations made since then, we have always advocated that restrained ratings are applicable for the vast majority of structural steel-framed building designs,” said Robert Wills, P.E., vice president, Construction Market Development for the Steel Market Development Institute, a business unit of AISI. “These new tests give the steel industry the opportunity to update the state of fire science and document for a new generation of architects, engineers and code officials that steel-framed buildings can be designed with fire protection thicknesses that are both safe and cost-effective.”
The new UL Design No. D982 provides for two-hour unrestrained assembly ratings with unprotected steel deck and SFRM (Spray-Applied Fire-Resistive Materials) protection on the steel beam with thickness sufficient to obtain a one-hour unrestrained beam (temperature-based) rating.
More information on the tests is available in an article from the September 2013 issue of MSC, “Restrained or Unrestrained?” by Charles J. Carter, S.E., P.E., Ph.D.; and Farid Alfawakhiri, P.ENG., Ph.D.
“Simply stated, these test results are great,” said Carter. “They provide a solution that eliminates the need to argue about what fire protection thickness is required. Now, if you decide to use a restrained rating or one of these unrestrained ratings, you will get the same fire protection thickness.”
Star Seismic Chief Engineer Named SEAU Engineer of the Year
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 9, 2013 at 11:22 AM.
Kimberly Robinson, S.E., chief engineer of Star Seismic (an AISC member), has been named Engineer of the Year by the Structural Engineers Association of Utah (SEAU), making her their official nominee for the Utah Engineers Council (UEC) award of the same title.
Robinson was honored at the SEAU’s opening social last month and will be invited to the UEC banquet this spring.
A structural engineer with 18 years of experience, Robinson is well known and active in the seismic design structural engineering community. She has several publication credits in MSC and regularly presents for industry organizations and conferences, most recently NASCC: The Steel Conference, the Structural Engineers Association of South Carolina, the Structural Engineers Association Northwest and Structural Engineering Society New Zealand.
Robinson frequently participates in and provides continuing education for structural engineers and has served as a curriculum advisor for the Civil Engineering program at the University of Utah, her alma mater. She also consults with AISC code writing authorities on connection and seismic design and was secretary/treasurer of the Structural Engineers Association of Utah.
You can read her latest MSC article, “No Buckling Under Pressure,” from the November 2012 issue, which she co-authored with Ryan A. Kersting, S.E., an associate principal at Buehler and Buehler Structural Engineers in Sacramento, and Brandt Saxey, S.E., chief engineer with CoreBrace, LLC (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator) in West Jordan, Utah.
Vote for Your Favorite Structural Steel Sculpture
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 7, 2013 at 1:09 PM.
AISC members spent all summer creating scintillating structural steel sculptures, and now’s your chance to vote for your favorite! Secure your choice sculpture a spot in Toronto for the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference in three steps:
1. Log-in to your Facebook account (www.facebook.com) and visit www.steelday.org/SculptureCompVoting.
2. “Like” the image of your favorite sculpture (or sculptures); you can choose up to five.
3. Share the best sculptures with your Facebook friends so they can vote too.
The five sculptures with the most “likes” will be sent to NASCC, where attendees will vote for the winning sculpture.
Voting ends this Friday, October 11 at 5 p.m. CST! For questions please email AISC’s Jenny McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steel Shots: Happy SteelDay 2013!
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 4, 2013 at 1:34 PM.
AISC President Roger Ferch (far left) and Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-IN) (far right) with University of Delaware students (from left) Lindsay Taylor, Mark Wisniewski and Audrey Landmark, participants in this year’s ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition. The students, as well as the winners of the competition from the University of California – Berkeley, and competition contestants from the University of Akron and University of Maryland, showcased their large-scale, modular steel bridge designs during a SteelDay kick-off event at AISI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: AISC
Today marks the structural steel industry’s fifth annual SteelDay and about 125 events are taking place throughout the country to celebrate. Since its inception, SteelDay has drawn in tens of thousands of architects, engineers, contractors, students and others who take the day to see the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges by visiting structural steel facilities and job sites, attending learning presentations and joining in networking events.
This year’s SteelDay kicked off on Wednesday with a special event hosted by the National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), in conjunction with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the House and Senate Steel Caucuses, at AISI’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dozens of attendees learned about the importance of engineering education as well current issues surrounding the nation’s infrastructure.
The event featured remarks from Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), AISC President Roger Ferch, AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson, and Pat Natale, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
“We want a strong steel industry in this country,” commented Congresswoman Foxx. “We commend you for what you’re doing, and thank you for educating us.”
Added Congressman Visclosky, “Thank you to the National Steel Bridge Alliance and AISI for continuing to remind people that we ought to make things in the United States of America and we do have a strong, efficient, vibrant steel sector in this country.”
At the event, the winners of the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition from the University of California - Berkeley, as well as competition contestants from the University of Akron, University of Delaware and University of Maryland showcased their large-scale, modular steel bridge designs, illustrating the importance of engineering education and training. The annual Student Steel Bridge competition brings together the next generation of structural engineers to demonstrate their skills in steel design, fabrication, and teamwork in building scaled designed and fabricated bridges.
“We need to be investing in our future and our students,” said Natale. “We need the leadership of our faculty that are helping to grow these students, and we need to excite these young folks to get them into our profession.”
Additional photos from the event can be found in AISI’s press release.
To find out more about what’s happening around the country for SteelDay, visit www.SteelDay.org. You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG, www.twitter.com/aisc, and www.youtube.com/AISCsteelTV. Those who ‘tweet’ through the rest of today using #SteelDay or #Steelovation on Twitter will be entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Individuals must be following AISC (@aisc) on Twitter to qualify and are allowed a maximum of five entries; each tweet counts as one entry. The winner will be announced by AISC on Monday, October 7, via Twitter.
U.S. Manufacturing Picks Up Speed
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 3, 2013 at 3:44 PM.
U.S. factory activity expanded last month at the fastest pace in two and a half years, a sign that manufacturing could strengthen economic growth and hiring in coming months.
The Institute for Supply Management said earlier this week that its manufacturing index rose in September to 56.2, the highest since April 2011. That’s up from 55.7 in August and the fourth straight increase in the index. A reading above 50 indicates growth.
Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 are reporting growth in September, including fabricated metal products.
The manufacturing industry celebrates its second annual Manufacturing Day tomorrow. Inspired by the structural steel industry’s national SteelDay (which also takes place tomorrow!) participating manufacturing facilities will be providing a variety of events around the country to highlight the importance of the industry to the nation’s economy and draw attention to careers available in manufacturing fields.
Another industry-related event coming up is FABTECH, North America’s largest trade show and conference for metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing, which will be held November 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. (AISC will be exhibiting at booth #N331.) More information can be found at www.fabtechexpo.com.
NSBA to Co-Host SteelDay Kick-Off Event Tomorrow
Posted by Tasha Weiss on October 1, 2013 at 3:55 PM.
The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA), in conjunction with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and the House and Senate Steel Caucuses, will host a free public event and student steel bridge display at the AISI Headquarters, 25 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 800, in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, October 2, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. The event kicks off this year’s SteelDay which takes place nationwide this Friday, October 4. (If you’ll be in the D.C. area and would like to attend, you can sign up at the event registration page).
The event will feature remarks by House Steel Caucus Chairmen Reps. Tim Murphy (R-PA) and Pete Visclosky (D-IN), and Roger Ferch, president of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, Pat Natale, executive director and chief staff officer and secretary of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and others.
In addition, winners of the 2013 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition from the University of California - Berkeley, as well as competition contestants from the University of Akron, University of Delaware and University of Maryland will showcase their large-scale steel bridge models during the event.
Those who ‘tweet’ during the event and throughout SteelDay using #SteelDay on Twitter will be entered into a drawing to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Individuals must be following AISC (@aisc) on Twitter to qualify and are allowed a maximum of five entries; each tweet counts as one entry. The winner will be announced by AISC on Monday, October 7, via Twitter.
This special event on Capitol Hill is one of 125 events expected around the U.S. for the fifth annual SteelDay, the structural steel industry’s largest educational and networking celebration. Hosted by AISC, its members and partners, SteelDay invites the AEC community and the public to see the contributions the industry has made in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges with free jobsite and steel facility tours, educational seminars and online presentations.
Have you signed for a SteelDay event yet? You still have time! To find and register for SteelDay events by state and event type, visit www.SteelDay.org/FreeEvents. You can also keep up with SteelDay updates and discussions via AISC’s social media channels at www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG, www.twitter.com/aisc, and www.youtube.com/AISCsteelTV.