Continuing Education

Night School Current Course

Night School is a curriculum of courses on structural steel design and construction topics. Each course consists of eight sessions presented as ninety minute webinars. There are two ways to register for Night School, either as an eight session package or as individual webinars.

Looking for Night School 13: Design of Industrial Buildings?  View Past Course Details for quiz and attendance information.

Night School 14: Fundamentals of Stability

Written and Presented by Members of the Structural Stability Research Council (SSRC)
Summer 2017 Course

The high-strength and stiffness-to-weight ratios of structural steels make them ideal design materials. Throw a consideration for economy into the mix, and the result often includes relatively slender members and systems in which structural stability is of primary concern. In fact, a quick review of any steel specification will convince you of the need to know at least the fundamentals. With this in mind, this 8-session, 12-hour course will present an overview of the behavior of compression, flexural and beam-column members as well as an introduction to system stability. In addition, the behavior and design of bracing intended to resist such failure modes will be presented.

Note - this is the same program as Night School 2, from 2013.

Registration Options


8-Session Package

Individual Sessions


Register Register
Sessions Included (8) 90 minute sessions   (1) 90 minute session
 PDH Credits

 Up to 12 PDHs (1.5 PDHs per attended session) 

1.5 PDHs per webinar
PDH Certificates Issued

Registrant only

Unlimited per connection
EEU credits1  1 EEU certificate upon passing 7 of 8 quizzes + final exam and attending all sessions  Not available 
 Attendance2 "Make up" (recorded) sessions available online for three weeks after air date  Live only 
 Recording Access Available online for three weeks after air date. Email with link sent two days after session.   Not available
Quiz Access  Available through My AISC account two days after session.   Not available
Access to PDF file of presentation file prior to each session Included Included
Price Per Connection   
Member $500 $185 
 Non-member  $900  $285 
Full-time Student/ Full-time Faculty   $250  $155 
Public Agency Employee   $500  $155 

1 EEU-Equivalent Education Unit. Eight session registrants who attend all sessions (live or recorded) and pass 7 of 8 quizzes and the final exam will be awarded 1.0 EEU. Earning an EEU is worth a maximum of 12 PDHs.

2 Registrants who watch the recorded version (available for 8-session package registrants only) must take and pass a quiz in order to receive PDHs.

Substitutions and Cancellations: Substitutions can be made at any time. Eight Session package registration cancellations received 1-3 days prior to Session 1 will be charged a $150 service charge. Cancellations and no shows the day of Session 1 and later will not receive a refund.  Individual session registration cancellations received 1-3 days prior to the webinar will be charged a $50 service charge. Cancellations and no shows the day of the webinar session will not receive a refund. 


Session 1: June 5 - Course Introduction and Behavior of Compression Members

Presented by Ronald D. Ziemian, PE, PhD

This lecture will begin with a brief overview of the 8-lecture course. The behavior of compression members will then be covered. The assumptions in the solution to the Euler column problem will be used as a basis for systematically moving from the theoretical solution presented in 1759 to the modern day methods of design and analysis of compression members. Emphasis will be placed on the effects of material yielding accentuated by the presence of residual stresses, initial imperfections, and end conditions. The flexural buckling strength of members without slender elements will be covered and ultimately presented in the form of column curves.

Session 2: June 12 - Design of Compression Members

Presented by Perry Green, PE, PhD

Initially, an overview of flexural, torsional, and flexural-torsional resistance of individual column members will be provided. Emphasis then will be placed on defining and assessing the AISC LRFD and ASD strengths of various structural shapes, including wide flange, round and square HSS, cruciform, equal and unequal single and double leg angles, WT, channel, and built-up shapes.

Session 3: June 26 - Behavior of Flexural Members

Presented by Ronald D. Ziemian, PE, PhD

Using an approach similar to that employed in Session 1, this lecture will begin by presenting and dissecting the solution to the differential equation that defines the elastic lateral torsional buckling (LTB) strength of beams. Related flexural and torsional concepts, including the benefits of warping resistance, will be briefly reviewed. The assumption of elastic behavior will then be relaxed to define the inelastic LTB and plastic moment capacities of flexural members. The strength of beams without slender elements will be covered and ultimately presented in the form of beam resistance curves.

Session 4: July 10 - Design of Flexural Members

Presented by Todd Helwig, PE, PhD

This lecture will focus on the design of flexural members for the pertinent stability limit states. Solutions for the effects of moment gradient and load position will be covered including moment gradient factors for a variety of common design situations. This lecture will include material pertinent to both rolled sections as well as built-up members. Efficient use of the design aids in the AISC manual will be addressed as well as methods for the preliminary sizing of built-up girders.

Session 5: July 17 - Stability of Structural Systems

Presented by Ronald D. Ziemian, PE, PhD

This lecture will begin with a review of basic concepts related to the stability of structural systems. With an eye towards design, the difference between a bifurcation or critical load analysis and the loss in stiffness due to second-order effects and material yielding, as the maximum resistance of physical structures is approached, will be emphasized. The lecture will conclude with an overview of the direct analysis and effective length methods.

Session 6: July 24 - Design of Members Subject to Compression and Flexure

Presented by Donald W. White, PE, PhD

This lecture will begin with an overview of the fundamental stability behavior of beam-column members. The discussion then will focus on the background to and use of beam-column interaction equations in the AISC Specification Section H1.3 for compact I-section members loaded in major-axis bending within the plane of a frame. Efficient and economical design of rolled W-section beam-columns using the AISC Manual Section 6 design aids will be addressed. The session will close with a focus on advanced procedures, sanctioned within the commentary of the AISC Specifications, that allow the designer to account for substantial increases in the strength of WT and other singly-symmetric beam-column members.

Session 7: July 31 - Fundamental Concepts of Bracing Compression and Flexural Members

Presented by Todd Helwig, PE, PhD

This lecture will focus on the fundamental behavior related to bracing of compression and flexural members. The dual criteria of stiffness and strength will be covered. The effects of imperfections on brace forces will be addressed, along with the impact of connection flexibility and cross-sectional distortion on the effectiveness of the bracing. An overview of the different classifications of bracing including relative, nodal, continuous, and lean-on bracing will be provided.

Session 8: August 7 - Design of Bracing Compression and Flexural Members

Presented by Joseph A. Yura, PE, PhD

This lecture will emphasize the design requirements for column and beam systems. Several design examples will be provided that demonstrate the effective use of the AISC Specification Appendix 6 provisions. These examples will include relative, nodal, and lean-on applications. The uses of the provisions covered in the specification appendix as well as modifications covered in the specification commentary will be addressed.

Quiz and Attendance records

Quiz Answers

View answers to Night School 14 quizzes.

Quiz 1: 1. a, 2. c, 3. a, 4. e, 5. b, 6. c, 7. e, 8. d, 9. b, 10. d
Quiz 2: 1. c, 2. c, 3. e, 4. d, 5. b, 6. b, 7. d, 8. a, 9. e, 10. b
Quiz 3: 1. e, 2. d, 3. c, 4. a, 5. e, 6. d, 7. b, 8. b, 9. b, 10. c

Attendance and Quiz Scores

View attendance and quiz records for 8-session package registrants of Night School 14.


Todd Helwig

Todd Helwig, PhD

Dr. Helwig is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ronald Ziemian

Ronald D. Ziemian

Dr. Ziemian is Associate Dean, College of Engineering at Bucknell University.

Don White

Donald W White

Dr. White is a Professor at the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) in Atlanta, Georgia.

Perry Green

Perry S. Green

Dr. Green is a Senior Civil Engineer at Bechtel Power Corporation.

Joseph Yura

Joseph A. Yura

Dr. Yura is Emeritus Professor in Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.