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Steel in the News

New Bridge Blog
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 24, 2014 at 4:57 PM.

Structal-Bridges (an AISC/NSBA member and AISC certified fabricator), a division of Canam Group, has launched a blog that will serve as a platform for sharing expertise on various topics related to the bridge construction industry.


“Structal-Bridges has created a blog that, we hope, will become an ally in the execution of bridge projects,” said Robin Lapointe, vice president, Structal-Bridges. “This latest initiative is in line with our ongoing efforts aimed at the pursuit of a better customer experience. Through the means of regular posts by our experts, this blog will present technical articles, case studies as well as information on our new products and services.”


Visit the blog at; articles can be shared and the site provides an option to receive email alerts when new articles are issued. The blog can also be accessed on Structal-Bridges’ website homepage ( by clicking on the “Blog” tab or on the banner “Follow our blog.” You can also keep up with Structal-Bridge updates on Twitter @StructalBridges. 

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Rapid Repair for Jacksonville’s Mathews Bridge
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM.

Architecture and engineering firm RS&H, in association with Five Studios, has produced a documentary short film, “In the Blink of an Eye,” which details the story of the Mathews Bridge Emergency Repairs in Jacksonville, Fla.


In September of last year, a Navy transport ship being towed by tugboats hit the Mathews Bridge, a steel bridge that spans 7,736 ft across the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. The impact severed a main truss member, one of the bottom beams that support the triangle shape (a truss) of the bridge. Although the bridge did not collapse from losing this primary beam, it was immediately closed to traffic based on safety concerns.


The video showmatthews-bridge-repair-video.jpgs the process and challenges the project team overcame together to reopen the bridge in just 34 days from September 26 through October 29, 2013. More than 200 workers came together for this emergency repair project.


A five-minute version of the video is available on the RS&H website. The full, 15-minute version can be viewed at

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Seeking 2015 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award Nominations
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 17, 2014 at 9:35 AM.

Nominations are now being accepted for AISC’s prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award, which includes a $15,000 cash award. The award recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel. The winner will be recognized at the 2015 NASCC: The Steel Conference, March 25-27 in Nashville, and also will present their lecture at various professional association events throughout the year.


AISC encourages anyone involved in the design community and steel construction industry to submit nominations. Nominations must be submitted by August 1, 2014, and include the following information:


  • Name and affiliation of the individual nominated (past winners may not be nominated again)

  • Title of the paper(s) for which the individual is nominated, including publication citation

  • Reasons for nomination

  • A copy of the paper(s), as well as any published discussion


The author must be a permanent resident of the U.S. and available to fulfill the commitments of the award. The paper(s) must have been published in a professional journal between January 1, 2009 and January 1, 2014, and the award winner is required to attend and present at the 2015 NASCC and also give a minimum of six presentations of their lecture on selected occasions during the year.


The award will be given to a nominated individual based on their reputation as a lecturer and the jury’s evaluation of the paper(s) named in the nomination. Papers will be judged for originality, clarity of presentation, contribution to engineering knowledge, future significance and value to the fabricated structural steel industry.


Please send nominations for the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award to:


T.R. Higgins Award Nomination
c/o Janet T. Cummins
Engineering & Research Coordinator
American Institute of Steel Construction
One East Wacker Drive, Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60601


Or, nominations may be submitted via email to Janet Cummins at


The current T.R. Higgins Lecturer is Larry S. Muir, P.E., who subsequently became AISC’s director of technical assistance as of last December. Previously he provided structural steel consulting services to fabricators, erectors, and engineers, and served as a consultant in the AISC Steel Solutions Center. He’s honored for his paper “Designing Compact Gussets with the Uniform Force Method,” published in the first quarter 2008 issue of AISC’s Engineering Journal.


Other recent recipients include: William F. Baker, P.E., S.E., for co-authoring the papers “Stability Design of the Bow String Trusses of the Virginia Beach Convention Center” and “Applications of Structural Optimization in Architectural Design,” published in the proceedings of the combined 2012 ASCE Structures Congress and 20th Analysis and Computation Specialty Conference; Michel Bruneau, P.E., Ph.D., for his papers on steel plate shear wall design published in AISC’s Engineering Journal and the proceedings of the Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering; and Charles W. Roeder, P.E., Ph.D., for his paper “Gusset Plate Connections for Seismic Design,” published in the Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Connections in Steel Structures.


The award is named for Theodore R. Higgins, Ph.D., former AISC director of engineering and research, who was widely acclaimed for his many contributions to the advancement of engineering technology related to fabricated structural steel.


More information on the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award and its past winners can be found at


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Steel Shots: Doubling the Dixie
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM.


The Dixie Highway Flyover between Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach, Fla., is a Prize Bridge Medium Span winner in NSBA’s 2014 Prize Bridge awards competition. And about the winning bridge, Thomas R. Cooper, P.E., P.Eng., lead structural engineer at Parsons Brinckeroff in Denver, and a judge in the competition, said: “Painted steel box girders provided a clean and efficient solution to a curved alignment traversing the street-level intersections below.” Photo: Courtesy of Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.


The Dixie Highway is done doubling up. The last remaining two-lane stretch, in northern Broward and Palm Beach Counties (Fla.), has been expanded to four lanes in the form of a flyover that crosses the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railroad, several local streets and the Hillsboro Canal, a waterway that separates the cities of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach.


Two separate structures were constructed using a total of 3,250 tons of structural steel. The main bridge is a 1,390-ft, eight-span, S-curved, steel box girder bridge with a super-elevated transition. The steel tubs are 6 ft and 7 ft deep for ease of maintenance and sit 16 ft to 30 ft above grade. The second bridge is a single-span, 218-ft single steel box pedestrian bridge connecting Pioneer Park in Deerfield Beach to Boca Raton over the canal.


Read more about the Dixie Highway Flyover and all of this year’s Prize Bridge award winners in the current June issue of MSC.

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Get Your Music Heard on SteelDay’s Playlist
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 12, 2014 at 3:17 PM.

AISC is now accepting musical entries for the second annual STEELapalooza contest celebrating SteelDay!


Budding artists in the structural design community and steel construction industry have the opportunity to get their original music heard nationwide–for free! If you work for a structural steel fabricator, erector, detailer, structural design firm, producer or service center, you’re encouraged to submit an original, previously unpublished composition of any music genre. Songs/lyrics do not need to be related to steel.


Submittals will be accepted until July 15. Winners will be announced on August 1 and their music will be compiled onto a CD to be distributed on SteelDay (September 19) at events taking place throughout the country.


For information about how to enter, and to listen to last year’s playlist, visit


SteelDay host enrollment is also open! To sign up to host an event or to learn more, go to

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HOK Steel Design Wins Green Building Competition
Posted by Tasha Weiss on June 11, 2014 at 2:09 PM.

hok-school-design.jpgTeam members from global design and engineering firm HOK’s Chicago office have won the 2014 School Annex Design Competition, organized by the Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Chicago (LBCCC). The competition tasked entrants to design a sustainable classroom building as an annex to the overcrowded Eli Whitney Elementary School on Chicago’s southwest side.


HOK’s team focused on a structural steel design strategy that connects their building to the site with a surface that people can sit and walk on and see throughout the building.


“We wanted to float our building to open up the ground plan in order to maximize open space for school/community activities and greenspace for a playground, public garden and rain water collection pond,” said Justin Warner, one of HOK’s team members. “Essentially, we designed the school as a steel trussed bridge. The building is supported at either end. The school entrance anchors at the north end and integrates into the structural grid of the existing annex to the south.”


The design also employs a bimetallic facade paneling system that responds to solar orientation and ambient temperatures in order to shade or provide light into the building.


LBCCC hopes the competition will encourage the development and construction of a fully certified Living Building in Chicago. The Living Building Challenge is an international sustainable building certification program created in 2006 by the non-profit International Living Future Institute.


For additional information about HOK’s winning design and the competition, visit http://lbccchicagocompetition.wordpress.


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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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