Today at NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference--T.R. Higgins Lecture

The T.R. Higgins Lecture on the final day of NASCC: The Virtual Steel Conference showcased more than 12 years of research into SpeedCore, a groundbreaking system consisting of composite plate shear walls and coupling beams, and its advantages in commercial, industrial, and nuclear construction. 

Presenting the lecture, “SpeedCore and Steel-Concrete Composite Construction--The Best of Both Worlds,” was Amit H. Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research at Purdue University's Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Varma summarized the results of research into the experimental behavior, numerical modeling, and design of composite walls and the SpeedCore system for wind loading, seismic loading, and fire loading conditions. He discussed how this research culminated in the development of design specifications, provisions, and guidelines for composite walls and systems for various applications. 

"Amit Varma's research on SpeedCore is a game-changer for our industry" said AISC’s vice president of engineering and research, Lawrence F. Kruth, PE. "His research includes not only the seismic resistance of SpeedCore but also performance-based fire engineering--and it  has demonstrated that no additional fireproofing is required for SpeedCore."

This was just one of the many sessions taking place today and throughout this week. Our sessions run the gamut of steel design and construction and are organized into tracks like innovations, seismic engineering, technology, connections, and more. See the full listing and conference information at