“Success requires that we consistently work to achieve our goals through integrated initiatives that place priority on moving the steel construction industry forward simultaneously on multiple fronts.”
Michael Holleran, P.Eng.
Though iron has been around for centuries, its usage of structural steel in construction is relatively modern. As the production methods improved around the Industrial Revolution, new materials and shapes were developed, and the presence of structural steel was founded. The fathers of modern steel making (1856 Bessemer and 1879 Thomas) mastered a method to remove impurities from the steel manufacturing process which increased its quality and its possibilities. With such new developments, the use of steel in construction grew rapidly and in turn, became more cost-effective. World War I was another major milestone in the history of steel production with more than 50 million tons of steel being produced in North America entering into 1920. Fast forward only 100 years to 2020 … structural steel is used today for every building application imaginable. The advancement of structural steel has been built on education and research.
The Education and Research Council (ERC) has been fundamental in the progression and development of structural steel through the promotion of academic research and technical education. No other construction material has advanced so quickly, in such a short amount of time. We at the ERC, embrace and foster these changes. Through the support of their contributors, the ERC has been able to improve design codes, innovate new structural steel products, and educate the Canadian design community.
The ERC has undergone a remarkable evolution in the past five years (evolving from Steel Structures Education Foundation – SSEF, to now the ERC) as we have pursued our vision to advance the education and research in steel construction. What is more evident than ever before, though, is that we cannot achieve success if we choose to pursue these goals independently. Rather, success requires that we consistently work to achieve our goals through integrated initiatives that place a priority on moving the steel construction industry forward simultaneously on multiple fronts.
After four years as the Chair of the ERC, my tenor has ended, and I have decided to pass the torch to our next successor. I would like to express how sincerely grateful I am for the honor and privilege of working with the Council, their wisdom and guidance is immeasurable in the direction and progression of steel construction to the present and future generations.
Once again, please consider supporting the ERC to ensure steel research continues and the growth of the structural steel industry remains strong for the next generation. Your funding is needed in order to sustain steel education and research. A full list of recent research and education projects can be viewed on the CISC website. Please contact the CISC for more information on how your funding can directly support education and research in the steel industry.
*This article was originally published in Advantage Steel no. 66 and can be found here.