American Institute of Steel Construction - 2019 T.R. Higgins Lecture
An NGSEA event
Structural Stability— Letting the Fundamentals Guide Your Judgement
One of the great things about working with structural steel is that most design provisions are based on first principles and fairly predictable experimental test results. This is especially true when assessing structural stability. The primary objective of this lecture is to show how most stability problems can be understood by focusing on the big picture rather than on the details of the seemingly complex mathematics. The presentation will begin by identifying those factors that primarily impact the buckling strength of a system, member, or cross section. Drawing on several example applications, the proper use of today’s computational analysis tools will be demonstrated as a means for enhancing engineering judgement. A case will be made for how a fundamental understanding of structural stability is often sufficient for today’s steel designers, whether applying the direct analysis method to assess system strength or a column curve to evaluate the strength of a compression member. The lecture will also include an overview of the author’s paper “Formulation and Validation of Minimum Brace Stiffness for Systems of Compression Members.”
Ronald D. Ziemian is a professor at Bucknell University. He received his BSCE, MENG, and PhD degrees from Cornell University. In addition to authoring papers on the design and analysis of steel and aluminum structures, Ron is co‐author of the textbook Matrix Structural Analysis (Wiley, 2000), the developer of the educational analysis software MASTAN2, and the editor for the 6th edition of the Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures (Wiley, 2010). He is the Co-Editor in Chief of Elsevier’s Journal of Constructional Steel Research. Ron is a member of AISC’s Committee on Specifications, chairs AISC’s TC3 - Loads, Analysis and Stability, and previously chaired AISC's TG on Inelastic Analysis and Design. He also serves on the AISI and Aluminum Association Specification Committees, is active with the Steel Joist Institute, and the former chair of the Structural Stability Research Council. Ron was awarded the ASCE Norman Medal (1994), the AISC Special Achievement Award (2006), and the ASCE Shortridge Hardesty Award (2013) for his contributions to the profession related to the stability analysis and design of metal structures.