Edward Nelson, an architectural engineering student, was selected to receive the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Undergraduate Research Fellowship. As a recipient of the Fellowship, he received $2,500 for his research pursuits which begin this fall.

Nelson’s research will focus on determining the flexural and axial capacity of steel hollow structural section (HSS) end-plate connections through analytical and physical testing.

According to Nelson’s research proposal, “The end goal of this work will be concluding if the design method in Steel Design Guide is accurate, should be modified (e.g., safety factors), or a new design method should be implemented.”

The research topic was selected by Dr. Pouria Bahmani, assistant professor in the Civil and Architectural Engineering and Construction Management Department, who will be working with Nelson and serve as the faculty advisor on the project. Graduate students also will be working on the project alongside Nelson and Bahmani.

Nelson is looking forward to conducting physical testing, witnessing the results and experiencing the research process.

“This research will help me develop a better understanding of steel design and construction as well as the individual and collaborative research process to prepare me for further research endeavors, especially involving possible future work on this project,” said Nelson.

The project will consist of two phases, a research phase and experimental testing phase. Nelson explained the most challenging aspect of the project will likely be setting up the physical testing.

“Structural testing is intricate and can be difficult to get working just right,” said Nelson. “The most rewarding part of the research, however, will be getting results and data from the tests and being able to use it to verify or formulate equations for safer and more efficient structural design.”

Dr. Devin Huber, director of research for AISC, explained this project was chosen because “the review panel thought this would be a very good and worthwhile project with results that could be of great value to the structural steel industry.”