Modern Steel Construction » Steel in the News

Steel in the News

Modjeski and Masters Appoints New Chairman
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 12, 2014 at 3:09 PM.

zprucz-headshot_sitn.jpgModjeski and Masters has appointed Zolan Prucz, Ph.D., P.E., as its new Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. In this new role, Prucz will help guide strategic direction of the firm following the retirement of John Kulicki (the 2012 recipient of AISC’s J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award for his significant achievements in bridge analysis and design.)
Prucz began his career with Modjeski and Masters in 1983 and has become an authority on engineering aspects related to bridge vessel collision and bridge protection design. Other areas of expertise include an understanding of the effects of corrosion and fatigue on steel bridges, deterioration of timber bridges, seismic evaluations, and bridge damage and collapse investigations. He served as principal investigator and project manager for a statewide study for Louisiana DOTD, whose scope was to evaluate vulnerability to vessel collision of 28 bridges in the state.  As a follow up to study, Prucz helped to develop vessel collision design criteria for movable bridges – the results of which are contained in the AASHTO LRFD Movable Highway Bridge Design Specifications. He was also instrumental in the development of a system-wide bridge fatigue damage and timber bridge rating assessment methodology for several first class railroads.
“I have always felt honored to be part of a company that holds technical excellence and superior client service above all else,” said Prucz. “I look forward to this new position and the opportunity it brings to work so closely with the firm’s leadership team to provide our clients with high quality engineering services and help employees reach their full potential through professional growth and development opportunities.”

Bookmark and Share

Steel Bridge Collaboration Meeting Coming to New Orleans
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM.

aashto-nsba_logos_2010.gifIf you’re a steel bridge professional interested in exchanging ideas with others in the industry, you should consider attending the next AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration meeting to be held in New Orleans April 8-9 at the Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue.


All collaboration meetings are free and open to anyone interested in participating; however registration is requested.


An NSBA-sponsored dinner will be held the evening of Tuesday, April 8; RSVPs must be received by Monday, March 17. A block of hotel rooms have been reserved at a special rate, and those reservations must also be made by March 17.


For more information, see the meeting announcement.


The mission of the Collaboration is to achieve quality and value in steel bridges by standardization of design, fabrication, and erection and by the sharing of resources. Through the Collaboration, steel bridge professionals work together in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect to develop details, specifications and practices and to exchange knowledge, technology and expertise.


To learn more, visit

Bookmark and Share

Joist Standard Available for Public Review
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 6, 2014 at 10:42 AM.

The 2015 draft of the Steel Joist Institute’s “Single Joist Standard Specification for K-, LH-, and DLH-Series and Joist Girders” is available for public review until May 31, 2014. The consolidation effort of these three separate American National Standards (ANS) into one ANS will eliminate contradictions between the series and provide a simplified approach for the specifying professional.


The specifications and review forms are available for download on the SJI website at along with the review forms. Comments may be submitted online, or by sending them to Ken Charles, SJI’s managing director, at by May 31, 2014, for consideration. Printed copies of the specification document also are available for $24 by calling 843.407.4091.


For additional information, visit

Bookmark and Share

General Contractors Recognize BIM Expertise of Structural Steel Industry
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 4, 2014 at 5:59 PM.

BIM adoption by general contractors has skyrocketed from 28% to 74% since 2007 according to a recent market report published by McGraw-Hill Construction. These same general contractors point to structural steel fabricators and erectors as the most BIM-savvy of trade contractors indicating that 62% have high or very high BIM skills compared to only 13% for concrete and masonry contractors.


While experiencing a positive return-on-investment for their BIM activities, general contractors point to BIM as an effective means of reducing errors, omissions, rework and cost on construction projects.


The independent report states “the steel fabricators/erectors stand out as the leaders in BIM proficiency…It stands to reason that as more general contractors expand their BIM programs, these two categories of specialty contractor (steel and HVAC) will rise in esteem and value for their BIM capabilities.” You can read the full report here.


Roger Ferch, president of AISC, commented “it is rewarding to see our industry’s long-term commitment to develop BIM tools and expertise recognized by the contractors we work with on a daily basis. Clearly, if a general contractor wants to get the most out of their BIM investment they will select structural steel as a framing system and work with the steel fabricator early in the project’s life.”


“We didn’t get here by accident,” added Chris Moor, AISC’s director of industry initiatives and chair of the National BIM Standard - United States Project Committee. “AISC and the structural steel industry has been leading this effort for almost two decades.”


AISC is not resting on its laurels and continues to analyze the industry looking for opportunities to increase the efficiency of its members and their clients. The construction industry is changing and evolving. As the requirement and need to share information and knowledge among project team members grow, AISC is leading the way, developing new ways and means of sharing data between distributed team members and organizations. In addition, within the structural steel industry itself, technological advances of software, machinery and robotics places us at the edge of a new era of even more automation and efficiency. And AISC again leads the way here, evolving the way we exchange data between the Building Information Model and the shop floor; the management tools and the automated equipment.


AISC introduced BIMsteel (, a series of interoperability initiatives, in early 2013 with the aim of developing new processes and providing new solutions that help the industry take advantage of these opportunities and ensure that we achieve the potential this new era promises.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Industry Mourns Robert P. Stupp
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 3, 2014 at 6:34 PM.

stupp_1.jpgAISC, its Board of Directors, and the entire fabricated structural steel industry is saddened today to learn about the passing of an industry giant, Robert P. Stupp.


Stupp was the longest serving board member in the Institute’s history and the former president of one of the largest fabricators in the United States, Stupp Bros., Inc. A former chair of the AISC Board, he was instrumental in every successful initiative during the past four decades, but especially the creation of the National Steel Bridge Alliance. The Institute’s highest honor, the Robert P. Stupp Excellence in Leadership Award, is named for him, and he was its first recipient, earning it in 1998.


On behalf of the steel industry, and to honor its most distinguished member, the AISC Board of Directors proclaims Wednesday, March 5, 2014, as Robert P. Stupp Day and asks that all members of the industry observe a moment of silence at 10 a.m. EST to honor his passing.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Structure Trivia: Campus Hangout
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 28, 2014 at 1:01 PM.


Here’s MSC’s February Steel Structure Trivia question! The above photo shows one of the more than 150 AISC steel sculptures located on college and university campuses around the U.S., designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows students a variety of members and connections (and most have been donated by local fabricators). Your trivia question is: Where is this steel sculpture located?




This steel sculpture is located on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. Clad in the royal purple shirts (KSU’s official school color) are officers and advisors from the Structural Engineering Association of Kansas and Missouri (SEAKM). Photo: Courtesy of KSU 


Congratulations to our winners: Christopher Cichon, a structural associate at Sargent & Lundy in Chicago; Manop Kaewmoracharoen, Ph.D., a civil engineering professor at Chiang Mai University in Thailand; and Barbara Monroy, a structural engineer at Black & Veatch in Overland Park, Kans.


The sculpture, titled “Ad Astra E Terra,” was donated in 1988 by then Havens Steel Company. Located on the northwest side of the university’s Seaton Hall, it is dedicated to the Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Sciences for the advancement of education in the design and construction of steel structures.


Originally created by Duane Ellifritt, professor emeritus from the University of Florida, the AISC Steel Sculpture was designed to be a visual teaching aid that shows a variety of members and connections. It consists of 25 steel members, 43 connection elements, more than 26 weld groups and more than 144 individual bolts.


You can see if a school near you has a steel sculpture on the Faculty and Students channel of the AISC website.
To find out how to get a Steel Sculpture on your campus, please email Maria Mnookin at Fabricators interested in building and donating a steel sculpture to a university should also contact Maria.
To see more of the sculptures at various schools, visit the AISC Education Flickr page or AISC’s Facebook album.



Bookmark and Share

New Video Series Addresses Construction Risks
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM.

safety-video.jpgTo help business owners and contractors assess and prepare for construction-related risks and take steps to prevent and mitigate losses, ACE USA has launched a construction risks video podcast series.


The three new videos address risks in today’s marketplace and provide information to consider when preparing for on-site safety hazards and overall construction industry exposures.


AISC also provides safety information and resources specific to the fabricated structural steel industry at As a reminder, AISC will be hosting a free, 75-minute arc welding safety webinar tomorrow, February 28 at 11:30 a.m. CST. For more information and to register for the live webinar, visit

Bookmark and Share

AISC to Live Stream Select Sessions from NASCC
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 26, 2014 at 3:50 PM.

What’s the next best thing to attending the 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference in Toronto (March 26-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre)? Sitting in the comfort of your office or conference room watching selected streaming sessions online! AISC is offering virtual attendees the opportunity to view their choice of 11 sessions (out of 22 being streamed) – and to receive CEU/PDH credits.


“Streaming sessions proved to be very popular last year and more than 300 people participated,” explained Scott Melnick, an AISC vice president. “It’s a very economical option and gives you a good taste of the sessions at the Conference. Not only do you save on travel and hotel costs, but it only costs $225 for AISC members ($350 for non-members) with each additional viewer from the same company paying only $10. It’s not as good as being at the conference, but it’s the next best thing.”


Sessions range from “HSS Connections - Designing and Fabricating the Correct Way” to “Understanding the Code of Standard Practice” to “Tips for Successful Delegation of Connection Design.”


To register for NASCC Live! or to view all of this year’s streaming sessions, visit For more information about NASCC: The Steel Conference, visit

Bookmark and Share

AISI Releases Industry ‘Profile 2014′
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM.

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) recently released its Profile 2014, highlighting the importance of the North American steel industry to our nation’s economy, manufacturing and national security. In the 35-page booklet, AISI outlines the steel industry’s economic contributions, dedication to advancing environmental stewardship, leadership in global productivity and its vital role to the construction, automotive and container markets.  


The Profile 2014 includes:


  • Facts about why steel is fundamental to building a sustainable future;
  • The steel industry’s job creation and labor performance records;
  • Steel shipments by markets and statistical highlights;
  • Steel’s vital role to America’s infrastructure and national security;
  • Breakthrough technologies advancing the U.S. steelmaking process; and,
  • A map of steel’s presence in the U.S., and list of AISI producer members, locations and products.


Click here to view the online version of the Profile 2014.

Bookmark and Share

Steel Shots: Steel Sets the Stage in Sochi
Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM.


The Sochi Olympics opening ceremony featured a majestic scenery of seven floating islands representing various regions of Russia. Steel truss framing was used to support the foam cladding and visual scenic elements on the islands, built mostly out of HSS 2-in. by 1-in. by 1/8-in. ASTM A500 grade B steel. The above photo shows the steel framing used for the island representing the forests of the Urals. Click on the photo for a view of the complete island as seen during the opening ceremony. Photos: Courtesy of Show Canada


The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics have come to a close, but here’s a look at how steel set the stage for the ceremonies at Fisht Olympic Stadium.


Built primarily for the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics, serving as their Olympic Stadium, the 40,000-person open-air stadium boasts one of the largest indoor stages ever build, covering the entire stadium surface at around 120,000 sq. ft. Composed primarily of wide-flanges beams and HSS tubes, the total stage structure weight adds up to a staggering 2.7 million lbs.


Show Canada was given the mandate to design, manufacture and install the main stage and scenic elements for the ceremonies of Sochi’s Olympic Games. “The engineering department was required to design and engineer all of the structural elements according to the AISC Steel Construction Manual LRFD / AISC 360-10,” said Jean-Philippe Major, engineering director at Show Canada.
The seven floating islands representing different regions of Russia, from the Kamchatka volcanoes and the forests of the Urals to icebound Lake Baikal of Siberia, were a part of the major canvas of the Olympics opening ceremony.
The main engineering challenge was to design an optimized light steel truss framing to support the foam cladding and  visual scenic elements present on the islands, said Major. The frames were built mostly out of HSS 2-in. by 1-in. by 1/8-in. ASTM A500 grade B steel. Furthermore, the maximum allowable load of 2,400 lb. per rig point (four rig points total per island) was one of the main difficulties in the structural design of these very artistic scenery elements. Special connection between trusses for easy assembly and shipping were designed and engineered using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and manual calculations to ensure the islands’ structural reliability.


For additional information and photos from the Sochi Olympics ceremonies, visit


Bookmark and Share