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Steel in the News

Arup Develops 3D Printed Structural Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 10, 2014 at 11:16 AM.

additive_manufacturing_1_900×600_davidfotografie.jpgUsing the latest 3D printing techniques, or more accurately, “additive manufacturing,” engineering and consulting firm Arup has produced a design method for critical structural steel elements for use in complex projects.


Arup created a redesign of a steel node for a lightweight structure using additive manufacturing and claims that by using this new technique, complex individually designed pieces can be created far more efficiently.


“This has tremendous implications for reducing costs and cutting waste,” said Salome Galjaard, a team leader with Arup. “But most importantly, this approach potentially enables a very sophisticated design, without the need to simplify the design in a later stage to lower costs.”


Arup funded the development work and collaborated with a number of partners to realize the designs, including WithinLab (an engineering design software and consulting company), CRDM/3D Systems (the additive manufacturing partner) and EOS, who worked on the early development of the technology.


To learn more, see Arup’s news release


Image: David de Jong via Arup

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Steel Shots: UC Davis Constructs Winning Bridge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM.


Student team members from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) prepare for the vertical load test in the 2014 National Student Steel Bridge Competition finals, held over Memorial Day weekend at the University of Akron in Ohio. UC Davis won the overall award with their lightweight bridge design and excellence in efficiency. Photo: AISC


uc-davis-2-awards-presentation.jpgA team of 20 students from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) were named champions in the 2014 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC), hosted by the University of Akron’s College of Engineering, May 23-24 in Akron, Ohio.  Left photo: Matt McCreary


For the third consecutive year, second place overall went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. University of California, Berkeley, took third place overall this year.


About 600 students from 47 college and university teams participated in the 23rd annual national competition and demonstrated their ability to design, fabricate and construct their own scaled steel bridge in the shortest time and under specific building constraints. This prestigious intercollegiate competition challenges civil engineering students to further expand upon their structural design and construction skills learned in the classroom and provides practical experience in communication and teamwork.


Categories of competition were construction speed, stiffness, lightness, economy, display and efficiency. The teams with the best combined rankings across all categories earn overall award recognition.


This is the second time UC Davis has won the national championship title in the school’s history. Their first win was in 2005.


“We were thrilled to come in first place,” said Quincy Dahm, S.M.ASCE, one of the team captains of the UC Davis steel bridge team. “It had been too long since our last victory, and we wanted to leave a mark this year. A few people were determined to make that happen and that’s what drove us to success, a lot of hours from a handful of students.”


Dahm also credits the team’s win to the extremely lightweight design of their bridge. At 79 lbs., their bridge was 12lbs. lighter than the second lightest, which allowed them to sit back at 6th and 9th place for stiffness and construction economy respectively. Of course, those categories required plenty of effort as well. “We practiced building the bridge nearly every day and fabrication demanded precision to keep deflection under control. If we slacked at all in any area, I doubt we would have gotten first place.”


“It has been a challenging year, and the student team worked extremely hard since the very beginning,” added Dawn Cheng, Ph.D., M.ASCE, faculty advisor for the UC Davis steel bridge team and associate professor at the UC Davis Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “This well-deserved achievement takes dedication, hard work and perfection of engineering and leadership skills. Winning is not the final goal of the competition. Being part of such a great life time experience is what matters.”


To view the top three winners in each category, see AISC’s press release.


The complete competition rankings are available at Photos from this year’s competition can be found on AISC’s Facebook page ( in the NSSBC 2014 photo album.


Next year’s NSSBC will be held May 22-23 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. To learn more about the competition, visit or

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A Green Roof for Barclays Center
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 5, 2014 at 9:51 AM.

barclays-center-roof.jpgA steel-supported, sustainable roof will be installed on Barclays Center sports and entertainment venue in Brooklyn, N.Y., (one of last year’s AISC IDEAS2 winners). Banker Steel (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator), the steel fabricator for Barclays Center, will also provide the steel fabrication for its new roof. Rendering: SHoP Architects


Late last year, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) and Greenland Group Co. (Greenland) completed a definitive agreement for a joint venture to develop Atlantic Yards, a 22-acre residential and commercial real estate project in Brooklyn. The joint venture, which is expected to close in 2014, would cover both phase one and phase two of the project – excluding Barclays Center and the first housing tower, B2 – including infrastructure, a permanent MTA rail yard, a platform above the rail yard and future residential units. The closing of the agreement is subject to necessary regulatory approvals.
“Our original design for the arena had anticipated a green roof as part of our effort to achieve Silver LEED certification,” said MaryAnne Gilmartin, FCRC president and chief executive officer. “While we independently reached that goal, we always hoped to still create a green roof, further improving the environmental footprint of the arena and also making a more direct connection to the sedum covered transit entrance on the plaza.”
Gilmartin explained that in addition to providing a more appealing roof for people visiting and living around the arena, it will also enhance the space for those who will be living in the residential buildings surrounding Barclays Center. The B2 prefabricated steel tower, the first residential building, is currently under construction. At 32 stories, it will be the world’s tallest modular high-rise building when it’s completed next year. Read more about B2 in the current June issue of MSC.
The new roof, supported by a steel structure, will be built above the existing one with an air gap that goes from four ft at the edge of the roof to 10 ft at the highest point. Trays will be arranged to create a “flocking” pattern complementary to the weathering steel exterior and pre-fabricated for streamlined installation. In addition, the arena foundation was built to support this type of load, so minimal reinforcement is required. It is anticipated that three cranes will be needed to install the structure over a period of six months. Roof construction is expected to take approximately nine months.


A detailed project description and additional photos of Barclays Center can be found in the 2013 IDEAS2 Awards article from the May 2013 issue of MSC.

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Seismic Load Paths Webinar June 19
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 2, 2014 at 5:06 PM.

AISC will be hosting a live webinar on Thursday, June 19, titled “Seismic Load Paths for Steel Buildings,” which will focus on seismic load paths and the role of diaphragms and components of diaphragms including chords and collectors.


In seismic design, every element with mass is considered a point of application and the foundation is considered the point of resistance. The webinar will also discuss foundation issues and the concept of deformation compatibility of the entire structure. This is an encore presentation of Session 7: Building Configuration, from AISC’s previous Night School course on Fundamentals of Earthquake Engineering for Building Structures. The session has been modified to function as a stand-alone presentation.


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 webinar, visit

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Steel Structure Trivia: Solar in the City
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM.


Last week, project team members of Chicago’s Solar Canopy, a Merit award winner in last year’s AISC IDEAS2 awards program, were presented with awards from AISC for excellence in steel-frame building design during a ceremony at the project site. The 11-ft-tall prototype structure, conceived by Carbon Day Automotive to promote sustainability initiatives in Chicago, consists of three tons of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) and is designed to harvest solar energy for use in powering electric/hybrid vehicles. Pictured (L-R): George Wendt and Ken Pecho, Chicago Metal Rolled Products (AISC Member); Michael Dimitroff, Chicago Park District; Gordon Gill and Robert Forest, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Bob Sinn and Chris Erwin, Thornton Tomasetti; and Hal Emalfarb, Carbon Day Automotive. Photo: AISC


Trivia Question:


Owned by the Chicago Park District, the Solar Canopy was unveiled in a temporary location in Douglas Park as one of the focal points of the International Olympic Committee’s visit to the city. The structure found its permanent home in 2010 in what Chicago location?




The Solar Canopy was relocated in 2010 to Chicago’s Northerly Island, a 91-acre peninsula located just south of the Adler Planetarium and east of Soldier Field, and has been actively charging electric vehicles there ever since.


Congratulations to our sole trivia winner: Nathan Lang, senior project engineer with Merrill Iron & Steel, Inc. in Schofield, Wis. (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator).


cmrp-pipe-bending.jpgChicago Metal Rolled Products (an AISC member) was the steel bender-roller for the project and provided a tour of their Chicago facility following the awards presentation. The left photo (click to enlarge) shows one of their machines used to bend steel pipe into compound curves, like the ones that create the Solar Canopy’s tree-like form.


A detailed project description and additional photos of the Solar Canopy can be found in the 2013 IDEAS2 Awards article from the May 2013 issue of MSC.





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Steel Sculpture Competition Entries Due Sept. 2
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 27, 2014 at 5:17 PM.

Make your structural steel vision come to life! How? By entering AISC’s fourth annual Steel Sculpture Competition!
AISC is searching for the greatest steel sculptures. If you’re an AISC full or associate member, join this year’s competition and create your own innovative steel sculpture for a chance to have your company featured in MSC and more.
Here are the rules:


  • The sculpture must be steel (and only steel), but shapes, sizes and steel type can be your personal preference.
  • The sculpture must be made entirely by your staff.
  • The finished sculpture must fit in a 2-ft by 2-ft by 2-ft box (for shipping purposes).
  • All entries must include a title and the name of the company submitting the project.
  • There’s no theme! But keep in mind these characteristics of steel: adaptable, economical, quick and sustainable.

Submit photos of your sculpture by September 2, 2014 to AISC’s Jenny McDonald at  
From September 8-12, all entries will be posted to AISC’s Facebook page ( where they’ll be voted on by fans. The top five finalists will be put on display at the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference, March 25-27 in Nashville, where the ultimate winner will be chosen by attendees. The winner will also be featured in MSC and receive a catered lunch for their company.
Learn more about the competition at  
lunch-atop-a-skyscraper.jpgRead about this year’s winning sculpture, “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” in the May issue of MSC.
The competition is part of SteelDay, the structural steel industry’s largest educational and networking event, held nationwide. It’s scheduled for September 19 this year; mark your calendars! If you’re interested in hosting or attending an event, visit





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Steel Shots: Capital Wheel to Open Friday
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM.


Soaring 180 ft above the Potomac River waterfront at National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Md., the Capital Wheel, set to open in time for Memorial Day weekend, will join a growing number of large-scale observation wheels around the globe as an iconic, world-class attraction. The wheel’s 150-ton steel grid base structure was fabricated by Cianbro (an AISC member and AISC certified fabricator) at its Baltimore yard. The individual components were then delivered by barge and erected on site. Photo: Courtesy of Terex Corporation


The idea of an observation wheel as a tourist draw dates back to 1893 when the world’s first Ferris wheel (also supported by steel), designed and built by George Ferris, Jr., wowed attendees at the Chicago World’s Fair. Since that time, the scale and sophistication of observation wheels has steadily grown.


At 180 ft, the Capital Wheel at National Harbor, a 300-acre multi-use waterfront development just south of Washington, D.C., will boast some of the most iconic vantage points imaginable, offering views of the White House, Capitol building, National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery. It features 42 enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas, each seating eight, and will operate year-round.


To learn more about the Capital Wheel, visit The site features a two-minute video that shows how it was built, as well as time-lapse footage of its construction progress. You can also find photos and updates on the Capital Wheel’s Facebook page:

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Structural Analysis Night School Begins June 23
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM.

Registration is open for AISC’s new Night School course “Classical Methods of Structural Analysis,” which begins June 23. The course consists of eight webinar sessions on Monday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and will address many of the classical methods used in the analysis of structures before the advent of the computer, which will aid in understanding modern analysis and design requirements for structural steel.


This course is intended to help structural engineers provide better service to their clients by improving their understanding of structural behavior and refreshing their ability to use the tools necessary for quick preliminary evaluation of structures.


Session 1: June 23  -   Introduction and Basic Concepts
Session 2: June 30  -   Strain Energy and Real Work
Session 3: July 14   -   Deflections by Virtual Work
Session 4: July 21   -   Moment Areas and Elastic Weights
Session 5: July 28   -   Indeterminate Structures and the General Method
Session 6: August 11 - Indeterminate Structures by Slope Deflection
Session 7: August 18 - Approximate Methods and Moment Distribution
Session 8: August 25 - Classical Approaches Applied to Second-order Analysis


Attendees can either register for the entire eight-session package, one attendee per connection, and receive up to 1.2 CEUs/12 PDHs and 1 “EEU” certificate upon passing a series of quizzes and a final exam, or, register for individual webinars, with an unlimited number of attendees per connection, and receive 0.15 CEUs/1.5 PDHs per session.


For additional information about the course, registration details and pricing, visit

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Nucor Promotes Chad Utermark to Executive Vice President
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 19, 2014 at 4:12 PM.

chad-utermark.jpgNucor Corporation announced last week that Chad Utermark, vice president and general manager of Nucor-Yamato Steel Company, has been promoted to executive vice president of beam and plate products. Joe Stratman, who has served in the position since 2007, will continue to focus on the business development activities for which he assumed responsibility in 2010.


Utermark began his career with Nucor as a utility operator at Nucor Steel-Arkansas in 1992, became shift supervisor in 1995 and was promoted to hot mill manager in 1999. In 2003, he transferred to Nucor Steel-Texas as their roll mill manager and was promoted to general Manager in 2008 and vice president in 2009. He has served as vice president and general manager of Nucor-Yamato Steel Company since 2011. He also has served on AISC’s Board of Directors for the past two years.


Leon Topalian, vice president and general manager of Nucor Steel Kankakee, Inc., will become vice president and general manager of Nucor-Yamato Steel Company. A replacement for Topalian will be named at a later date.


John Ferriola, Nucor’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, commented, “The promotions of Chad and Leon result from the thoughtful and orderly succession planning that has been a significant strategic initiative through the Nucor organization in recent years. Chad will be a strong addition to our executive management team and will continue the success that Joe and his team have achieved in optimizing existing operations and completing strategic acquisitions to profitably grow Nucor’s beam and plate businesses.”


To learn more about Nucor, visit

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Steel Shots: 9/11 Memorial Museum Opens
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 16, 2014 at 3:56 PM.


Visible not only from inside the building but also from the memorial’s plaza, the two 70-ft-tall steel tridents installed in the museum’s entry pavilion serve as a visual reference to the original World Trade Center—and actually stood next to each other on the eastern facade of the original North Tower—as well as a symbol of endurance. Photo: AISC


President Barack Obama joined Sept. 11 survivors, victims’ families and rescue workers yesterday to commemorate the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum. It opens to the public next Wednesday.


The Museum’s 110,000 sq. ft of exhibition space tells the story of 9/11 through multimedia displays, personal narratives and a collection of monumental and personal artifacts. The space includes two core exhibitions at the archeological heart of the site: the memorial exhibition, called “In Memoriam,” and a three-part historical exhibition that explores the day of the attacks, what led to them and their aftermath.


More than 8,000 tons of structural steel was used in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which was designed by Davis Brody Bond. The entry pavilion, designed by architect Snohetta (Adamson Associates was the architect of record) and structural engineer Buro Happold, uses 1,200 tons of steel, fabricated and erected by AISC member/AISC Certified Fabricator/Advanced Certified Steel Erector W&W/AFCO Steel.


“The magnitude of the historic importance of the site and its symbolism made it essential for us to find a balance between the collective and the individual experience,” said Steven M. Davis, FAIA, founding partner of Davis Brody Bond. “We relied on four principles to guide our work: memory, authenticity, scale and emotion, hoping to provide the most sensitive, respectful and informative experience for visitors.”


Added Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snohetta: “As a reflection of the present, the Museum pavilion we designed serves as a bridge between the memory of past events embraced by the Memorial design and the trust in the future, signified by the neighboring office towers.”


The article “Trident True” from the January 2014 issue of MSC provides additional details about the towering tridents. To learn more about the 9/11 Memorial Museum, visit


Earthcam has also released a time-lapse video of World Trade Center Plaza in conjunction with the dedication of the Memorial Museum. In the video, webcam images collected over the past 10 years are assembled to document the rebuilding and construction of the site. 


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