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Innovation through Partnerships Highlighted at Structures Congress 09


The Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), commenced the 41st Structures Congress from April 30 - May 2, 2009 in Austin, Texas in partnership with the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin.
The laboratory, named after Professor Phil M. Ferguson, is located on the Pickle Research Campus of the University of Texas at Austin and is an integral part of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Students and faculty conduct large-scale tests of a broad range of civil engineering structures in this facility, including steel bridge girders and steel frame structures for buildings and industrial structures.
Hirschfeld Industries works in partnership with the Ferguson Structural engineering Laboratory by fabricating advanced structures designed and tested by the Lab. The 41st Structures Congress held a tour of the Lab, that included Texas Barbeque and Texas musicians. The event, called, “Beams Barbeque and Blues” created awareness of the Ferguson Lab’s collaboration with Hirschfeld Industries to hundreds of civil engineers and structural engineers from all over the U.S.
The theme for the partnership between the Ferguson Lab and Hirschfeld Industries is “Building Bridges Together for the Present and the Future.”  Beyond advances for steel bridges, the Lab also houses the Maglev Guideway Research Center in collaboration with Hirschfeld Industries for the deployment of the Transrapid Maglev for the California-Nevada Interstate Maglev Project – a JV including Parsons, General Atomics, Hirschfeld Industries and M. Neil Cummings, President.
Also debuted for the first time before this international body of structural engineers at the Ferguson Lab was an 8-ton full-scale multi-story steel frame mockup fabricated and erected by Hirschfeld Industries to exhibit the new SidePlate FRAME™ system which was recently developed by SidePlate Systems. This cost breakthrough in steel frame fabrication and erection retains all of the same performance attributes of SidePlate® technology that have become internationally recognized over the past 15 years, including a steel tonnage savings of 1-4 psf depending on local load conditions, while eliminating all CJP welds and achieving a significant reduction in both fabrication and erection man-hours when compared to traditional connection systems.
Hirschfeld was the first major fabricator to recognize SidePlate FRAME’s unmatched economy, multi-hazard prowess, and unparalleled spectrum of design applications for both traditional buildings and heavy industrial structures. SidePlate® technology is ideally suited and proven through actual testing to protect structures against terrorist bomb blast, progressive collapse, earthquake and extreme wind events, and other disasters. Recent applications include the new San Antonio Military Medical Center now under construction; where Hirschfeld is currently fabricating and erecting.
David Houghton, S.E. is the Inventor of SidePlate® technology
Dr. Karl H. Frank is a Warren S. Bellows Centennial Professor in Civil Engineering, Director of the Maglev Guideway Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin and formerly Director of the Ferguson Structural Engineering Laboratory.
Jesse Karns, S.E. is the Director of Research & Design Development, SidePlate Systems
About Hirschfeld Industries LP
Hirschfeld Industries is one of the largest fully integrated fabricators of highly engineered structural steel components in North America. The company serves a wide range of end markets including transportation infrastructure, industrial development, commercial construction and power generation.
With eleven facilities and over 900 employees providing a national presence and industry leading footprint, Hirschfeld Industries is a major participant in the expansion and redevelopment of the U.S. transportation and energy infrastructure systems, both government-funded and private enterprises. Hirschfeld Industries was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in San Angelo, Texas.


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