Fourth annual SteelDay draws attendance of more than 10,000 people
October 8, 2012 from American Institute of Steel Construction
(Chicago, IL) – More than 10,000 people attended about 175 free events across the U.S. on September 28 for the fourth annual SteelDay. Hosted by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), its members and partners, SteelDay is the structural steel industry’s largest networking and educational event for the design and construction community and the public.
Architects, engineers, contractors, specifiers, university faculty and students and the general public visited steel mills, fabricators, service centers, galvanizers and other steel facilities to see the industry’s processes and innovations firsthand and learn directly from industry experts.
“SteelDay enjoyed much success again this year and we continue to get glowing feedback from those who attended events,” commented Ross Allbritton, AISC industry mobilization manager. “There is no other single day in the nation where so much valuable information is exchanged across all disciplines of the structural steel industry.”
Steel facilities throughout the country opened their doors for tours, demonstrations, presentations and other celebratory activities. Some events also took place on actual jobsites where attendees had the opportunity to see how design becomes project reality.
In Chicago, about 65 people toured the city’s first Girder-Slab project, a new eight-story apartment building under construction in Evanston, Ill. A group of students from Northwestern University attended including Rose Milavitz, a civil engineering junior, who said, “I’ve never been in a building that was in the process of being built, so that was really cool to see. I think opportunities like SteelDay are important for students so that we’re able to see things that we learn about in the classroom. We don’t get a lot of chances to see things for real.”
MC Ironworks (MCIW), a structural steel fabricator in Lehigh Valley, Pa., (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) welcomed about 50 people to its SteelDay tour of MCIW’s 90,000-sq.-ft facility. John Cancelliere, CEO and president, was excited to see that 29 of those in attendance were engineering students as he has made it one of his missions to encourage engineering students to consider careers in the steel industry.
“We have a shortage of structural engineers,” said Cancelliere. “SteelDay gives a fantastic opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to experience the work, people and technology behind today’s steel industry firsthand.” While the majority of students came from nearby Lehigh University, students also traveled from New York’s Manhattan University and the University of Buffalo.
SteelDay also proves to be an invaluable opportunity for AEC professionals such as Sravan Gade with structural engineering firm Stroud, Pence & Associates. Gade attended a SteelDay event at SteelFab of Virginia, Inc. (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) and commented, “I really liked the way SteelFab representatives took me around their facility explaining all the processes involved and answering all of my questions, both technical and non-technical. Events like this give everybody an opportunity to gain a better perspective of the steel industry, and it helps expand one's network.”
In addition to connecting attendees with local structural steel representatives across the U.S., this year’s SteelDay featured live webinars and special events in large cities such as New York City, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C.
One special event that didn’t take place in a big city but attracted a crowd of about 2,500 people was a pre-SteelDay celebration on September 22 at PKM Steel Service, Inc. (an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator) in Salina, Kan. In addition to tours of PKM’s facility and more than 100 vendor booths on display for the community, the event featured several entrepreneurial speakers including Nolan Bushnell, founder of the Atari Corporation, known as the “father of the video game industry” and one of the few people to have hired the late Steve Jobs.
Bushnell’s advice to AEC professionals and entrepreneurs is “Be active. Do different things, learn different things. Go to different places and trade shows. Try to be the sponge that soaks up the world and does things differently. The more you do different things, the more you have a foundation of ideas to put underneath your ideas. That makes you more successful. I think that the most important thing is for everyone to be a lifelong learner.”
If you attended a SteelDay event, you can share your photos and videos on SteelDay’s Facebook page. Simply click on the “Photo/Video” button and share.
Certificates of attendance and additional information on this year’s SteelDay can be found at www.SteelDay.org. Next year’s SteelDay is scheduled for October 4, 2013.
For more information contact:
American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information.
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