AISI to Provide Technical Assistance on National Science Foundation Project

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 2, 2011 – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) announced today that it will provide technical assistance for research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop new non-proprietary framing systems using cold-formed steel. The new systems will deliver resilient and affordable cold-formed steel solutions to meet the increasing worldwide demand for housing. A member of AISI’s Construction Technical Program (CTP) will participate on the project’s Industry Advisory Board.
The project will be led by Professor Benjamin Schafer, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University; and by Professor Metwally Abu-Hamd, P.E., in the Department of Structural Engineering at Cairo University. The research will result in:  1) new cold-formed steel framing systems with the potential to significantly increase building technical performance and function, and 2) a series of archetype studies that explore different framing solutions from economic and environmental perspectives. The building archetype studies will focus on applicability in both the United States and Egypt and on evaluating the viability of conventional and new cold-formed steel framing systems for those markets. 

“The North American marketplace can benefit from engagement with international cold-formed steel framing innovation and the best practices that will be developed as part of this National Science Foundation-initiated  project,” Robert J. Wills, P.E., Vice President, Construction Market Development, Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), said. “We have the opportunity to take these advanced practices and apply them to design challenges that we currently face in North America.” Wills said that this work will complement current cold-formed steel design research being conducted by Dr. Schafer, a proven leader and innovator in this field.

AISI’s codes and standards work is conducted under the Construction Market Council of the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI, which oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the competitive use of steel by meeting the demands of the marketplace. For more information on SMDI’s Construction Market program, visit

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 118 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179