The American Iron and Steel Institute Standards Council has launched a Small Project Fellowship Program to identify and provide funding for research projects that will significantly impact the reliability, performance, and cost-competitiveness of cold-formed steel framing products in a variety of end-use applications. AISI also announced four project winners for the 2014 awards. AISI’s Standards Council initiates cold-formed steel standards development projects and maintains accreditation by the American National Standards Institute.

The Small Project Fellowship Program provides a streamlined mechanism for AISI’s standards development committees (the Committee on Specifications and Committee on Framing Standards), industry stakeholders, academics and students to collaborate on relatively short-term, highly focused, and mutually beneficial projects. Project selections are based on several factors, including the potential for long-term impact on the industry; steel industry engagement and co-funding; and results for the AISI standards development committee, the student, and the academic institution. 

The winning research proposals and academic institutions for 2014 are:

  • “Engineering Metal Building Roof Systems With Sandwich Panels” – Virginia Tech
  • “Design Examples and Standards for Narrow Strap-Braced Shear Walls” – The Johns Hopkins University and McGill University
  • "Advancing Second Order and Direct Analysis for Cold-Formed Steel” – The Johns Hopkins University and Bucknell University
  • "Direct Strength Method for Steel Deck” – University of Florida

“These projects represent several applications that we have identified with the potential to provide long-term impact on our industry,” said Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “The Small Project Fellowship Program combines AISI’s longstanding commitment to improving the reliability and performance of cold-formed steel building products and practices with its support of academic research in pursuit of standards development objectives. Through the years, we have found that actively engaging professors and students in research projects like these is mutually beneficial and often yields maximum benefits for the industry.”

Larson said that the Small Project Fellowship Program will consider proposals on an annual basis, with applications available in template form in August of each year. Proposals will be due in October, and project selections announced in February at the joint winter meeting of AISI’s Committee on Specifications and Committee on Framing Standards. Proposals are accepted based on criteria identified in the template; industry engagement and co-funding; evaluation of factors such as impact, urgency and likelihood of success; and recommendations of AISI standards subcommittee chairpersons.