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Steel in the News

Vision Task Force Foretells How Projects Will Be Built in 2021
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 16, 2014 at 10:02 AM.

The Vision Task Force of the National Institute of Building Sciences’ buildingSMART Alliance has launched, a new website that offers a glimpse into the not-too-distant future of the building industry.


The Alliance is the developer of the nation’s BIM standard, the National BIM Standard - United States (NBIMS-US). Its NBIMS-US Planning Committee formed the NBIMS-US 2021 Vision Task Force (VTF) last year to focus on defining, forecasting and, in some cases, guessing at the future of the building industry to gain insight into what the NBIMS-US will need to be able to support that future.


“The initial effort of the 2021 Vision Task Force was to ask subject matter experts from every part of our industry to provide short essays about the nature of their role, profession or industry as it will be in 8-10 years – a timeframe we believe it is possible to reasonably predict,” explained Chris Moor, chair of the NBIMS-US Project Committee and VTF, and AISC’s director of industry initiatives.


The VTF collected nearly 40 of these essays, and then spent considerable time researching additional sources about the future of the industry.


“We then wove this knowledge together into a single, compelling and tangible vision of how a construction project may be built in the future, including the technologies and processes that would be in common use,” said Moor. “We delivered this vision in both novel and newspaper article formats to capture the imaginations of different audiences.”


The website offers the reader the opportunity to download a story delivered via a choice of two literary vehicles—a short novel and a fictional newspaper article—through which to explore the design, construction and opening day of a fictional children’s care center in Springfield, U.S., and to meet the key players of the team that created the project.


Major findings among the VTF’s essays and other research used to develop the story fall into six broad categories: Sustainability; Facility Management and Operations; Data, Interoperability and Integration; Building Codes, Specifications and Standards; Technology; and Processes, Efficiency and Collaboration. All of the categories are expanded on in the summary within the publications.


But while these categories identify some of the anticipated progress of the industry during the next decade, what was more revealing was just how the industry might get there.


“Everything we discovered points to an industry looking for solutions; looking for a better way. And it’s up to the owners, the government and everyone who wants our industry to succeed to embrace the challenge of finding those solutions,” added Moor. “We have to find a way to get there. We need mandates, investment, a cultural shift and a brand new educational platform to help the industry become more efficient.”


To learn more about the buildingSMART Alliance, visit


You can also meet George Jetson, the steel fabricator of the future, in Moor’s article “Tomorrowland” from the October 2013 issue of MSC

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2015 AISC Milek Fellowship Call for Proposals
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 15, 2014 at 10:47 AM.

University faculty are invited to apply for AISC’s 2015 Milek Fellowship, which is given to a promising university faculty member to conduct structural steel research. The award amount has been increased to a four-year, $50,000-per-year award for a total of $200,000. The winning faculty member will also be recognized in industry publications and receive free registration to NASCC: The Steel Conference for the four years following their selection as an AISC Milek Fellow.


The Milek Fellowship program is designed to contribute to the research careers of young faculty who teach and conduct research investigations related to structural steel, while producing research results beneficial to designers, fabricators and erectors of structural steel.


The award recipient is also to use the fellowship to support students with high potential to be valuable contributors to the U.S. structural steel industry. Funds are provided to conduct research that meets the long-terms needs of the industry, assist in leveraging additional outside funds for fellowship-related research and develop graduate students for academic and design careers in the industry.


The selected faculty fellow is required to fund at least one doctoral candidate during the Fellowship. The chosen student(s) will be named AISC Graduate Fellows and featured in MSC.


Proposals will be accepted until September 15, 2014. Required application information includes:


  • Candidate’s name, affiliation, mailing address, telephone and email address

  • Description of the research to be conducted

  • Discussion of the relevance and usefulness of the research to structural steel construction (design, detailing, fabrication, installation, maintenance, renovation, materials, management, protection from corrosion etc.)


The award is named after William A. Milek, former AISC vice president of engineering and research, in recognition of his invaluable contributions to AISC and the structural steel industry.


For complete information about the Milek Fellowship program, past faculty fellows, AISC research interests and the full proposal requirements and application, visit

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Free Chicago Loop Bridges Event May 25
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM.

Spending your Memorial Day weekend in the “Windy City”? Chicago Loop Bridges is sponsoring a free day at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum on Sunday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to recognize the four Chicago Loop bridges celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2014. (Note that all of the Loop’s 18 bridges are steel!)


The bridges with milestone anniversaries this year are: W Monroe St. - 95 (1919); N Clark St. - 85 (1929); N State St. (Bataan Corregidor Memorial Bridge) - 65 (1949); and W Randolph St. - 30 (1984). The museum will feature a special display about the history of these fascinating movable bridges, and free souvenir magnets will be offered while supplies last. Jim Phillips of Chicago Loop Bridges will also be available to answer questions.
mich-94-top.jpgThe museum is located at 376 N. Michigan Ave in the SW bridgehouse of the Du Sable Bridge (also known as the Michigan Avenue Bridge), shown in the photo at left. Beginning at river level and spiraling five stories up, the museum provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore a historic landmark bridge house and the inner workings of Chicago’s most famous bridge.
For more information about the event, contact Jim Phillips at 312.540.0696 or

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Student Steel Bridge Teams Ready for National Competition
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 12, 2014 at 2:58 PM.

nssbc_web_ad.jpgNearly 50 university teams will converge at the University of Akron in Ohio May 23-24 to compete in the 2014 ASCE/AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC). Approximately 200 student engineering teams from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and China participated in a total of 18 regional competitions, and the top teams from each region will have a chance put their skills on display at the national level.  


Congratulations to this year’s qualifying teams! They are:

1. Arkansas State University
2. California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
3. California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
4. Clemson University
5. Colorado School of Mines
6. Ecole de Technologie Superieure
7. George Washington University
8. Georgia Institute of Technology
9. Kansas State University
10. Lafayette College
11. Lakehead University
12. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
13. Michigan State University
14. Milwaukee School of Engineering
15. Minnesota State University, Mankato
16. Missouri University of Science and Technology
17. New Jersey Institute of Technology
18. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
19. Oregon State University
20. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
21. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
22. Southern Polytechnic State University
23. SUNY College of Technology at Canton
24. Texas A&M University
25. The Citadel
26. The College of New Jersey
27. Trine University
28. Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico
29. University at Buffalo, SUNY
30. University of Akron
31. University of British Columbia
32. University of California, Berkeley
33. University of California, Davis
34. University of Central Florida
35. University of Connecticut
36. University of Florida
37. University of Hawaii at Manoa
38. University of Michigan
39. University of Pittsburgh - Johnstown
40. University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
41. University of Southern California
42. University of Tennessee at Martin
43. University of Texas - San Antonio
44. University of Virginia
45. University of Wisconsin at Madison
46. Washington State University
47. Western Kentucky University
48. Worcester Polytechnic Institute
49. Youngstown State University
The NSSBC challenges teams with building their own designed and fabricated steel bridges under the pressure of the clock. Bridge rankings are based on a variety of factors including: construction cost, construction speed, total bridge weight and bridge stiffness.
To learn more, visit

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Steel Shots: A New Way to Ride
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM.

The new Denver Union Station Bus Concourse opens on Sunday, marking a critical milestone for the city’s precedent-setting intermodal hub. Its SOM-designed Train Hall canopy (shown above), an efficient and formally expressive means of sheltering multiple railway tracks, comprises 11 steel arch trusses spanning nearly 180 ft, clad in bright white tensioned fabric. LPR Construction Co. (an AISC member) was the steel erector for the project. Photo: Robert Polidori


Today, the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) will mark the opening of the Union Station Bus Concourse with a grand ribbon-cutting celebration that will include remarks from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, numerous state and local officials, RTD General Manager Phil Washington and other dignitaries. The bus concourse is a vital component of the new Denver Union Station Intermodal Hub, the centerpiece of RTD’s FasTracks transit expansion program. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) designed the intercity bus terminal and the broader Denver Union Station complex; the firm also developed the master plan for the surrounding transit-oriented neighborhood. Service at the Union Station Bus Concourse will begin on Sunday.  
Denver’s historic Union Station is a Beaux Arts gem located on the edge of downtown. SOM was commissioned to expand and transform this station into a major regional transportation hub. To do so, the firm converted 20 acres of former rail yards into an urban transit district that orchestrates light rail, commuter and intercity rail, bicycle and bus routes, and pedestrian pathways into an intuitive intermodal hub. The Union Station Bus Concourse is situated at the heart of this vibrant network, directly beneath the rail station.
“This project represents a major investment in transit-oriented development with extraordinarily far-reaching social and economic consequences,” said Roger Duffy, design partner. “The bus concourse is the result of nearly a decade of thoughtful public consultation and bold design. Its completion helps realize this community’s aspirations for a truly transformational neighborhood and landmark public project.”
Measuring 980 ft in length, the 22-gate underground bus concourse services 16 regional, express and local bus routes. The terminal serves a dual purpose as a subterranean pedestrian concourse that connects the constellation of transportation programs distributed across the site. Vivid colors and natural lighting help passengers orient themselves, whether they are boarding buses, navigating to the light rail or commuter rail stations or ascending into the capital city.
The Train Hall canopy comprises 11 steel arch trusses spanning nearly 180 ft, clad in bright white tensioned fabric. In profile, the canopy rises 70 ft at either end and descends in a dynamic sweep to 22 ft at the center, a gesture that allows the structure to protect the passenger platforms below, while remaining clear of the view corridor established to protect views of the historic station. In addition to Amtrak service, four commuter rail lines are scheduled to open in 2016 and 2018.

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Seismic Standard Supplement Now Available
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 8, 2014 at 10:26 AM.

The AISC standard Prequalified Moment Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications (ANSI/AISC 358-10) has been updated with a second supplement, ANSI/AISC 358s2-14. The second supplement adds the proprietary SidePlate moment connection to the roster of prequalified connections. The prequalified moment connection standard is an essential companion to the AISC Seismic Provisions (ANSI/AISC 341-10).


The supplemented standard now covers seven moment connections: reduced beam section connections; bolted stiffened and unstiffened extended end-plates; bolted flange plate connections; welded unreinforced flange-welded web connections; Kaiser bolted bracket connections; ConXtech CONXL connections; and SidePlate connections. Each connection chapter includes a step-by-step design procedure.


For ease of use, ANSI/AISC 358-10 and its supplements ANSI/AISC 358s1-11 and ANSI/AISC 358s2-14 are available as an integrated, single free download at Learn more about the standard, as well as other current AISC specifications and codes available for free downloading, at

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Charles Salmon, Renowned Structural Engineering Professor and Author, Dies
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 7, 2014 at 4:14 PM.

chuck-salmon.jpgCharles (Chuck) G. Salmon, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died unexpectedly on April 28 in Las Vegas, where he had been living since his retirement from UW. He was 83.


Throughout his career as a professor, Salmon taught and mentored thousands of students. He was highly respected within the structural engineering community and also authored/co-authored several widely used textbooks on structural analysis and steel design, most notably Steel Structures, Design and Behavior. He received AISC’s prestigious T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award in 1981 and an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.


Over the years, he was very active in numerous professional engineering societies including: AISC, American Welding Society (AWS), American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers (WSPE).


He is survived by his children, Margaret (Hans) Eusch, David (Ellen Kodis) Salmon and Martha (Robert) Witt; his sister; and seven grandchildren, and was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth “Bette” Salmon.

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Updates to MasterFormat
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 6, 2014 at 3:28 PM.

The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) recently released updates to MasterFormat, their master list of titles and numbers used to organize specifications and other construction documents for commercial, industrial and institutional building projects in North America.


Revisions to the publication include the addition of “selective demolition” sections to most divisions of the format, providing guidance for companies and project managers who need to incorporate demolition into their plans.


For more information, visit

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Steel Shots: Oculus Arch Complete
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 5, 2014 at 5:31 PM.


The last piece of the south keystone arch at World Trade Center’s Oculus was installed today. Photo: Courtesy of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


The World Trade Center Transportation Hub, when completed in 2015, will serve more than 200,000 daily commuters and millions of annual visitors from around the world.
The Hub’s winged gateway, also known as the Oculus, uses more than 10,000 tons of structural steel to create its distinctive shape. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Santiago Calatrava, its street-level entrance features a curved rib roof and soaring arches that lead commuters to the Hub’s underground PATH rail system, 11 New York City Subway lines, 225,000 sq. ft of retail and restaurant space, four office towers at the WTC site, the World Financial Center and the Winter Garden – all of which comprises one of the most extensive underground pedestrian connections in New York City.
For additional information on the WTC Transportation Hub’s construction progress, visit

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Supplement to AISC Nuclear Facilities Spec Available for Public Review
Posted by Tasha Weiss on May 2, 2014 at 1:28 PM.

A supplement to the AISC Specification for Safety-Related Steel Structures for Nuclear Facilities (ANSI/AISC N690-12) is available for public review from May 2 to June 19. Developed by an AISC Adhoc Subcommittee under Task Committee 12 - Nuclear Facilities Design and ultimately approved by the AISC Committee on Specifications, the draft supplement consists of a new appendix providing requirements for the design and construction of steel-plate composite walls. The system consists of two steel faceplates composite with structural concrete sandwiched between them for use in safety-related structures for nuclear facilities.


The supplement is available at Copies are also available (for a $15 nominal charge) by calling 312.670.5411. Please submit comments using the Public Review Comment Form to Janet Cummins, engineering and research coordinator, at by June 19, 2014, for consideration.

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