University Programs

Faculty-Led Field Trips

Up to $20,000 is available to faculty for structural steel-related field trips--apply today!

The AISC Education Foundation offers an exciting opportunity for you and your students to experience the incredible world of structural steel first-hand! Plan a field trip for your students to visit a local steel facility and receive a grant of up to $1,500 from the Education Foundation to cover transportation costs. AISC will be offering grants on a continuous basis throughout the upcoming year for tours and shop visits until our funding is exhausted.

Field trip ideas include:

If you aren’t connected with a local steel facility, we’ll be happy to help you find one! Contact Dita Frank at to get started.



  • Faculty must be teaching in a field related to the structural steel industry (such as architecture, engineering, and construction).
  • A faculty member must complete and submit the application and oversee the field trip.
  • A faculty member must complete the reimbursement form, provide applicable receipts, an AISC release form for each attendee, and a group photo within 30 days of the field trip and by December 1, 2024 at the latest.

Applications will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis until the funding is exhausted. Up to $20,000 will be awarded for field trips in 2024.

Funds can be used for:

  • Transportation costs (university or third-party rental vehicles, gas expenses, tolls, etc. OR personal vehicle mileage reimbursement.)
  • Meal expenses for the group (i.e. doughnuts/bagels for breakfast, boxed sandwiches or pizza for lunch).
  • Necessary equipment for the trip (PPE, audio devices, etc.) Note: many facilities will provide this for tour groups at no cost. Please check with the tour organizer to see what is needed before requesting funding for these items.

Check out a few examples of past field trips associated with SteelDay.

Event Examples

2022 Oklahoma State University Tour of W&W/AFCO Steel

Event Summary

"Students from the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture (Architecture and Architectural Engineering majors) attended a field trip to W&W/AFCO Steel's fabrication facility in Oklahoma City. Students loved the event and many commented that they did not realize everything that goes into steel fabrication."

-Christina McCoy, SE, RA, LEED AP, Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering, Oklahoma State University School of Architecture

One student commented: "I truly loved the field trip; I enjoyed watching how a beam is created from start to finish."

2021 University of Kansas Tour of HME, Inc.

Event Summary

"We took a group of 17 students (not all shown in the group photo) from Lawrence, KS to Topeka, KS. They were able to tour the HME, Inc. steel fabrication facility, as well as the Topeka Foundry and Ironworks facility.  They were at HME and/or Topeka Foundry for around 3.5 hours, including the provided lunch, tours, and other activities."

- William Collins, PhD, PE, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of Kansas

2019 Georgia Tech Tour of Gerdau Steel Mill

Event Summary

"A group of 20 students, faculty, and staff traveled to the Gerdau Steel Mill in Cartersville, GA by coach bus. The student group was very diverse, including freshman all the way to PhD candidates. Gerdau provided an in-depth, 2-hour tour of the mill. Students were amazed to see first-hand how steel was made. The staff at Gerdau kindly answered the multitude of questions asked by the students. Overall it was a fantastic experience for all. Thank you for the generous support by AISC and Gerdau for this amazing learning opportunity!"

- Ryan Sherman, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

2018 Virginia Tech Tour of W&W|AFCO Steel - Hirschfeld Division

Event Summary

"Steel Day was a great success! We had 65 students ranging from PhDs to Sophomores attend our field trip to Hirschfeld. The students seemed to love it and were very engaged - asked a ton of questions. Hirschfeld had some huge girders that they were fabricating - the biggest one was 150 tons and requires all of their cranes to pick simultaneously!!!"

  - Matthew Hebdon, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech

2017 West Point Bridge Tours

Event Summary

"Cadets and faculty from the Civil Engineering Division celebrated SteelDay by visiting two local steel structures.  First, Dr. Brock Barry, LTC Jake Bruhl, and I led cadets through a round-robin tour of the Bear Mountain Bridge to learn about the anchorage, history, and structural design of the bridge.  Mr. Tom Scaglione, Chief of Staff for the New York State Bridge Authority, Ms. Danielle Mass, Deputy Chief of Staff for the New York State Bridge Authority, Mr. Bill Sullivan, the Bridge Manager, and Mr. Steve Accilli, the Bridge Foreman, provided inside knowledge of the bridge to include details of the steel parallel cable suspenders, steel trusses, and 350-feet steel towers.  The cadets and faculty then traveled to the Tappan Zee Bridge where they enjoyed a briefing on the $4 billion 3.1-mile twin span cable-stayed bridge.  Mr. Walter Reichert, Vice-President of Tappan Zee Constructors and Mr. Dan Marcy, Community Relations Specialist for New NY Bridge Project, described the organization, planning, and challenges that come with such a huge endeavor and answered cadets’ questions about this new piece of critical infrastructure."

  - COL Aaron T. Hill, Jr. PhD, PE, PMP, Dept. of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, West Point