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July 2014

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This month’s newsletter includes information about:

    • Jeff Carlson Joins NSBA as Western Regional Director
    • Students Demonstrate Engineering Prowess at NSSBC
    • Simple for Dead Load - Continuous for Live Load Research Provided in AISC's Engineering Journal
    • NSBA Prize Bridge Winners Featured in MSC
    • Video: Rapid Repair for Jacksonville's Mathews Bridge
    • New Bridge Blog by Structal-Bridges  


Jeff Carlson Joins NSBA as Western Regional Director

 Jeff Carlson headshot_300  

In support of NSBA’s expanding technical and marketing activities for steel bridge design and construction throughout the country, the alliance is proud to welcome Jeff Carlson, P.E., as its Western Regional Director. In this position, Carlson is responsible for working with state DOTs, bridge design consultants and construction professionals in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, providing technical and project assistance and communicating the many advantages - from design flexibility to cost savings - that structural steel brings to bridge projects.

“Jeff’s background adds another dimension and a fresh perspective to the NSBA team,” said Bill McEleney, NSBA’s managing director. “His experience dealing directly with owners will surely be appreciated by our DOT colleagues as we work to better quantify the life-cycle advantages of steel bridges.”

Carlson brings 10 years of project management and engineering experience to NSBA. Most recently he was a financial analyst and project manager for Omni Development Corporation in Denver, where he was responsible for managing real estate redevelopment projects which included overseeing several construction professionals, providing financial recommendations and developing budgets for presentation to the owner. Prior to that, he was a research analyst for Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors in Hartford, Conn. Before entering the real estate market, he worked for six years as a professional engineer and project manager for Martin/Martin Consulting Engineers in Lakewood, Colo.

He earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science in Structural Engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree from Colorado State University.

Carlson resides in Englewood, Colo., and can be reached at 720.440.3011 or carlson@steelbridges.org. To view a map of NSBA staff’s territories, visit our website homepage (www.steelbridges.org).

Students Demonstrate Engineering Prowess at NSSBC

A 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.

UC Davis load test
Student team members from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) prepare for the vertical load test in the 2014 NSSBC finals. The team won the overall award with their lightweight bridge design and excellence in efficiency. Photo: AISC

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 www.nssbc.info. Photos from the competition can be found on AISC’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AISCdotORG) 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 www.aisc.org/steelbridge or www.nssbc.info.

Simple for Dead Load - Continuous for Live Load Research Provided in AISC's Engineering Journal

A message from Keith Grubb, P.E., S.E., editor of Engineering Journal:

Anytime I run across statistics about our nation’s bridge infrastructure, I am staggered by the numbers. For example, the Federal Highway Administration’s National Bridge Inventory statistics for 2012 indicate that there are 607,000 bridges in the United States and that 24% of them are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Those numbers imply that a significant amount of bridge construction is in our future.

Most bridges are not signature spans like New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge—a steel truss structure currently being replaced with twin cable-stayed steel structures. Rather, they are the highway bridges we drive over and under every day. The National Steel Bridge Alliance is always on the lookout for innovations that further increase the cost effectiveness of these types of steel bridges. One such concept is called “simple-made-continuous” or “simple for dead load–continuous for live load” (SDCL for short). The SDCL concept combines the constructability of simple-span structures with the in-service performance of continuous spans through the use of a unique field connection between adjacent girders. This field connection has been the focus of several studies investigating the ease of construction and long-term durability of effective connection details.

This year, the second and third quarter issues of AISC’s Engineering Journal contain a collection of peer-reviewed papers highlighting research on the SDCL concept. In a slight departure from our regular format, one paper in each issue presents a successful SDCL steel bridge case study.

The third quarter 2014 issue of EJ is now available online as a single downloadable file at www.aisc.org/ej. It will be available for download and viewing until the next issue is posted.

The second quarter issue will also be publicly available until August 15 via our newsletter. Click here for the second quarter 2014 issue of EJ.

Article searches for the complete collection of EJ are available at www.aisc.org/ej. Downloads of current and past articles in PDF format are free to AISC members and ePubs subscribers. Non-AISC members may subscribe to EJ at the AISC bookstore.

For more information on SDCL steel bridge solutions, visit www.steelbridges.org.

NSBA Prize Bridge Winners Featured in MSC

Have you seen the June issue of Modern Steel Construction magazine? It includes a special section devoted to this year’s NSBA Prize Bridge award winners, ranging from a reconstructed bridge that had been partially destroyed by a barge to a massive delta frame spanning the Shenandoah River.

MSC June 2014 cover

The section contains detailed information about the winners, with stunning photos of each.

Click here for a PDF reprint of the Prize Bridge Awards section.

Video: Rapid Repair for Jacksonville’s Mathews Bridge

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 is considered to be fracture critical, it did not collapse from losing this primary member. It was however immediately closed to traffic based on safety concerns.

Mathews Bridge

The video shows 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 http://vimeo.com/97370834.

New Bridge Blog by Structal-Bridges

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 http://blog.structalbridges.com; 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 (www.structalbridges.com) 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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