University Programs

Steel Connections: A Teaching Aid for Design Considerations

Steel connection design and detailing is an important aspect of structural design. This teaching aid focuses on simple shear connections, and it includes student activities and lecture resources. The modules incorporate a web-based connection design software package (Qnect) and a case study building to illustrate the use of different types of connections and to facilitate discussions about design decisions. There are six short videos and supplemental student activities, as well as three PowerPoint modules that can be incorporated into a lecture. This set complements the 3D-Printed Connections teaching aid.  

Videos and Student Activities

There are six short videos that walk through using the software in conjunction with a case study building, including discussions about design decisions and different types of connections. The videos are intended to be completed independently by each student, either as a homework assignment or an in-class recitation where each student has a computer.

There are also supplemental student activities to accompany each video and additional instructions for the instructor.


Note: These modules were developed in coordination with the authors of “Unified Design of Steel Structures, 3rd Edition” ( The textbook includes an integrated design project to demonstrate various aspects of steel design using a case study building, which has been incorporated into these videos and activities. You do not need to use the textbook in class to have access to this teaching aid. All model files for the case study building are available on the AISC Educator Forum.

PowerPoint Files

There are three PowerPoint files that cover the basics of steel connection design. All modules can be adapted for students in civil or architectural engineering, architecture, and construction management courses. (Note that Module 1 is intended more for structural courses, as it includes an overview of AISC provisions and limit states.) 

  • Module 1: Introduction and Basic Principles
  • Module 2: Connection Basics: Bolts and Welds
  • Module 3: Constructability Considerations