January Virtual Meeting

January 12, 2021
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM


January 12th Virtual Meeting: T.R. Higgins Lecture


5:30 – 6:00 PM


6:00 - 7:30 PM

Presentation by Dr. Bo Dowswell

Please join us for SEAOCC’s January Virtual Meeting.  AISC’s 2020 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award winner, Bo Dowswell, PE, PhD, will present "Gusset Plates: The Evolution of Simplified Design Models". This lecture provides a brief history of gusset plate design methods before considering current approaches and previewing a new method to predict the compression strength of gusset plates using notional loads.

The T.R. Higgins lecture by Dr. Bo Dowswell will be preceded by a virtual social half-hour where attendees will be randomly assigned to one of three breakout rooms.  There will be a host to facilitate the discussions but the intent is to get to know a little more about one another.  

Please note that registration will be limited to 100 people, so register early! 

Participants will be able switch to breakout sessions of their choice or return to the main meeting room and the host will switch you. For optimal functionality, please download the latest version of Zoom here:


2020 Higgins Lecture  


Gusset Plates: The Evolution of Simplified Design Models  


In the design of steel structures, each member is isolated and evaluated using the appropriate AISC  Specification requirements. Similarly, gusset plate connections can be complex structural systems  that are separated into several elements for design purposes. The behavior of these gusset plate  elements can be captured with simple design models, where portions of the plate are treated as  structural members with well-documented and predictable behavior. This presentation will provide  a brief history of gusset plate design methods and discuss their evolution over the last century.  Current design provisions will be discussed, where column and beam models are used to predict  the strength of gusset plates in various configurations, including wrap-around gusset plates.  

Learning Objectives  

  1. Participants will gain a historical perspective on gusset plate design  
  2. Participants will learn about current design methods for gusset plates in various  configurations.  
  3. Participants will learn about recent research and new design methods for gusset plates.  


Bo Dowswell started in the steel industry in 1985 as a detailer. Since then, he earned B.S., M.S.  and Ph.D. degrees from Auburn University and The University of Alabama at Birmingham. As a  professional engineer, his design practice focuses on steel structures. Currently, he is principal of  both SDS Consulting, a design firm, and ARC International, which specializes in research and  consulting. Bo is also an adjunct professor at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, where  his research and teaching is concentrated on steel connection design. Additionally, he provides  consulting services for the AISC Steel Solutions Center.  

Dr. Dowswell is the author of AISC Design Guide 33-Curved Member Design, and he regularly  publishes technical articles on steel design. He is a member of several AISC Committees, including  the Committee on Specifications, the Committee on Manuals, the Committee on Research and the  Task Group on Industrial Buildings and Nonbuilding Structures. Bo is also a member of Structural  Stability Research Council, where his activities are primarily related to connection element and  beam stability.




$15.00 Member Ticket

$100.00 Non-Member Ticket