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Re: Schooling (was Connections)

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Dear Mr. Lowen:

I am currently scheduled to teach a steel design course in
Winter quarter 2004 (starting in early January).  I have been
following the connections discussion with some interest, as I
am always concerned about injecting realistic design scenarios
into the students' curriculum.  I am one of those "Ph.D never
had a real job" educators, but I'm making efforts to overcome
that as best I can.

Can you give any suggestions about "best practices" for steel
connection detailing?  If you only had three weeks to discuss
both welded and bolted connections (isn't that terrifying?), what
would you want the engineering students to have seen?

I already require them to sketch/draft all of their details,
and they are required to ensure that they provide clearance
per AISC Tables 7-3(a) and (b).  I require them to design
all-bolted, all-welded, and knife-in type connections as a
routine part of the curriculum.  I have tried to emphasize
such constructability aspects as providing beam seats and
penetrations for erection bolts, even for fully-welded
connections.  However, not having had any access to a
professional detailier (most of my information has come
from design engineers whose offices often specify details
but are not specifically *skilled* in the area), I have always
had some doubts about the value/aaplicability of those

Having once designed an un-contructable connection myself
(we do much of our own fabrication and erection in our
research lab), I have become acutely familiar with the
issues arising in assembly.  I still feel stupid when our
chief engineer brings up that connection, and it was *several*
years ago now.

Any advice or pointers to detailing practices would be
helpful.  Are there some "standard" details which are so
commonly used that they should always be taught?


Charley Hamilton

Charles Hamilton, PhD EIT               Faculty Fellow
Department of Civil and                 Phone: 949.824.3752
    Environmental Engineering           FAX:   949.824.2117
University of California, Irvine        Email: chamilto(--nospam--at)

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