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Hirschfeld Industries Bridges the Resource Gap

Company Donates Equipment to Purdue University's Bowen Laboratory for R&D

Purdue University's Bowen Laboratory

Lafayette, Ind. (July 17, 2013) – Hirschfeld Industries is helping move steel bridge fatigue and fracture research forward by donating steel fabrications to Purdue University's Bowen Laboratory. Over the past few years, Hirschfeld has donated several full-scale specimens and fixtures to the Bowen Laboratory in support of large-scale civil engineering research conducted by Professor Dr. Robert J. Connor and his graduate students to help advance the steel bridge industry.

Hirschfeld’s donation of the fabrication allows Connor to perform more testing and educate more students, a key to developing new knowledge in the design of steel bridges and producing the next generation of steel bridge engineers and researchers.

This summer, Hirschfeld will provide specimens for the pooled fund projects at a reduced cost so that more testing can be performed within the project budgets.

“Securing the amount of funding needed to perform the type of large-scale steel research we do at Bowen Laboratory is a challenge in today's economic climate,” said Connor. “Hirschfeld asked if there was anything they could do to help us and our students with our research and then came back with a tremendous gift. It is great when industries see the value in our research and students; it really makes our advancements possible.”

Last year Hirschfeld donated two 12-foot long sections of five-foot deep plate bridge girders to the Bowen Laboratory for use in graduate and undergraduate classes. Large components are extremely useful when teaching courses on steel design and inspection and help demonstrate the challenges of fabricating large steel components. 

Purdue University's Bowen LaboratoryIn the spring of 2013, Hirschfeld also donated the fabrication for two large loading frames in addition to multiple heavy support plates for hydraulic actuators. These fixtures will be used for two transportation pooled fund studies, TPF-5(238) and TPF-5(253). They will focus on fatigue and fracture testing of large-scale steel girders for which Purdue is the lead institution. These fixtures will become a permanent part of the laboratory and can be used on future tests, enhancing the research capability of  the program and the continued generation of new knowledge.

"Everyone at Hirschfeld has been so helpful in assisting us detail the fixtures to be economical and useful for future testing for myself and other colleagues,” said Connor. “They never made us feel like a bunch of ‘university guys’ bugging them. We can’t thank the Hirschfeld family enough.”


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