NASCC: The Steel Conference Headed to Baltimore
The Steel Conference/World Steel Bridge Symposium is poised to display the latest in steel building and bridge design and construction from April 11-13, 2018, in Baltimore.
If you’re involved in the design or construction of steel buildings or bridges, NASCC: The Steel Conference is the premiere opportunity to immerse yourself in the latest design concepts, construction techniques and cutting-edge research while earning PDHs and engaging with thousands of industry professionals. The 2018 conference takes place April 11-13, 2018, in Baltimore and offers more than 130 sessions covering a wide array of pertinent topics as well as an equally diverse trade show with more than 200 exhibitors showcasing products ranging from fabrication equipment to structural design software.
The conference also provides powerful networking opportunities. Scott Melnick, senior vice president at the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC),
the organizers of the event, commented, “I know networking is often just a buzzword, but The Steel Conference is really the one place that brings together nearly 5,000 professionals involved in the design and construction of steel buildings and bridges.” Last year’s conference attracted a record-breaking 4,597 attendees.
As 2017 attendee Nyckey Heath, P.E., of Bennett Steel Inc. (an AISC member and certified fabricator) stated: “The industry connections, personal relationships, cutting-edge technology and face-to-face interactions are worth way more than the cost of the entire trip. I have met many people who have proven to be valuable resources for me as an engineer, fabricator and erector. This is an investment in your company’s future!”
Top-Notch Professional Education
Attendees can earn up to 16 PDHs by attending the conference’s dynamic, expert-led sessions (plus an additional 4 PDHs if they attend the optional pre-conference short course). Speakers range from Carol Drucker of Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers talking about stiffeners, doublers and web plates, to Walter P Moore’s Rafael Sabelli providing 10 seismic lessons learned from designing large, complex structures.
Sessions focus on structural engineering, steel fabrication, erection, detailing, business issues and technology. The program also offers a full track on legal issues, such as delay claims, contracts and bidding.
“NASCC is the only event I’ve found that allows me to expand my knowledge and peer group for our industry on such a grand scale,” said 2017 attendee Matt Brown of Weitz Supply Chain.
This year’s conference also features three keynote sessions—one each day. The first is on a general topic designed to engage the audience and will be presented by Dan Goods, a visual strategist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. The second will feature a presentation from the top-rated speaker from the last decade of The Steel Conference: Duane Miller, P.E., ScD, manager, engineering services and welding design consultant at Lincoln Electric. The third keynote is the 2018 T.R. Higgins Lecture, presented by 2018 award winner Robert J. Connor, a professor at Purdue University School of Engineering.
Also included is the Structural Stability Research Council’s Annual Stability Conference, which has been held in conjunction with The Steel Conference since 2001 and brings together researchers from around the world to report and discuss the latest research in structural stability, including design, behavior and analysis. The Stability Conference begins on Tuesday afternoon, a day before the formal start of The Steel Conference, with sessions consisting of a combination of research presentations.
In addition, there’s an Architect’s Program, a tailored collection of more than 50 unique sessions for architects. Offering AIA Learning Units, HSW credits and GBCI continuing education hours, the program is the newest education and networking event at the conference for architects designing with structural steel. Attendees can earn up to 6.5 AIA LUs by attending the one-day program on Wednesday, April 11, and 16 AIA LUs by attending the full conference.
With so many sessions running concurrently, it can be tough to select the ones right for you. AISC has created tracks (or groupings) to help you find the sessions most interesting to you. Attendees aren’t required to preregister for specific tracks and are encouraged to explore a wide range of sessions, including the 13 sessions at the Stability Conference and the 26 sessions at the World Steel Bridge Symposium.
The Bridge Symposium
The National Steel Bridge Alliance’s biennial conference, the World Steel Bridge Symposium (WSBS), returns this year in conjunction with The Steel Conference. The Symposium brings together bridge design engineers, construction professionals, academics, transportation officials, fabricators, erectors and builders to discuss and learn state-of-the-art practices for enhancing steel bridge design, fabrication and construction techniques. It’s the premier event for timely and applicable information for those involved in bridge design and construction.
Between conference sessions, make sure you save time in your schedule to check out the massive exhibit hall. This year’s expo features more than 200 exhibitors demonstrating a wide array of products. You’ll find fabrication equipment, detailing software, connection products, safety equipment, engineering software and coatings. Equipment manufacturers also typically provide full demonstrations of their equipment. Steel beams are cut, punched and drilled right on the exhibit hall floor.
The exhibit hall opens on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 12:15 p.m., and will feature a Welcome Lunch for everyone in the hall. Also on Wednesday, you’ll be able to witness student teams from the National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC) assemble their own tenth-scale steel bridges. The NSSBC is an annual collegiate competition and an exciting visual display of engineering students’ structural design and analysis skills at work. This year’s national championship event will be held May 25-26 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (to learn more, visit www.aisc.org/nssbc).
If you can’t make it to Baltimore for The Steel Conference, you can register for the next best thing. NASCC Live offers a choice of 26 of the best sessions streamed live. You can watch the sessions from your home or office, ask the speaker questions and receive PDH credit.
“While not a substitute for attending The Steel Conference in person, NASCC Live is a fantastic opportunity to hear some of our expert speakers and get a taste of the technical sessions,” explained Melnick.
To register for NASCC Live or view the full schedule, visit www.aisc.org/nascclive.
Registering for the Conference
One low registration fee gains you access to all the technical sessions (including NASCC: The Steel Conference, SSRC Annual Stability Conference, and the World Steel Bridge Symposium), the keynote sessions, the T.R. Higgins Lecture and the exhibition hall at the conference. Visit www.aisc.org/nascc to register or view the full program.