Jim Fisher's Keys for Successful Design: Quips and Myths

For more than half a century, James M. Fisher has been the design industry's leading pragmatist. Whether designing an industrial facility or leading AISC's specification efforts, Jim has been the go-to person for practical advice on both design and constructability. His keynote presentation highlights what he has learned about how to create successful designs. These items are not calculations and analysis methods, but rather using good judgment and considering the needs of the structural team members (engineers, steel detailers, steel fabricators, erectors, material suppliers) and the owner. Means of creating successful designs with quality construction documents, and by cooperation with the team members are discussed. Quips and myths which affect quality designs and lead to create successful designs are presented. Challenges are presented to senior and young engineers and to educators.

James Fisher

James M. Fisher, PhD, PE is Emeritus Vice President of CSD in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a BS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in 1962. After serving two years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he continued his formal education and in 1965 and 1968 respectively he received his MS and PhD degrees in Structural Engineering from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining Computerized Design in 1973, Fisher was an assistant professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Fisher's structural expertise has resulted in authoring and co-authoring sixteen books, numerous technical publications, and several AISC seminars and short courses. He has lectured for AISC throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Fisher served as the Chairman of the AISC Specification Committee from 2003 until 2010. He continues to be active on several AISC Specification Task Committees. He is a member of the AISI Cold-Formed Specification Committee and ASCE 7.  In addition, Fisher serves as the Consulting Engineer to the Steel Joist Institute (SJI).

In 1984, Fisher received the T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award presented by AISC, and in 2000 he received AISC's Lifetime Achievement Award. Both awards recognized his exceptional contribution to the steel construction industry. He also received AISC's highest award, the J. Lloyd Kimbrough Award in 2006. Fisher is the 2020 NASCC: The Steel Conference Speaker Award winner and will present the keynote session presentation at the 2021 conference. 


SpeedCore and Steel-Concrete Composite Construction: The Best of Both Worlds

The American Institute of Steel Construction has awarded its 2021 T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award to Amit H. Varma, Karl H. Kettelhut Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research at Purdue University’s Lyles School of Civil Engineering.

Varma will share what he’s learned from more than 12 years of researching composite steel-concrete construction, highlighting experimental behavior, numerical modeling, and design of composite walls and the SpeedCore system for wind loading, seismic loading, and fire loading conditions.

Amit Varma

“I first met Amit when AISC awarded him our first Milek Fellowship in 2004,” said AISC Vice President of Engineering and Research Lawrence F. Kruth, PE. “Since then, he has become a world-renowned researcher in steel and fire. AISC is proud to recognize Amit for his outstanding research accomplishments. I look forward to hearing his keynote at the Steel Conference in April.”

Varma has dedicated his academic and professional life to the development of innovative steel-concrete composite structures for the built infrastructure including commercial, industrial, and safety-related nuclear structures. He has conducted fundamental research leading to the development of design provisions for composite members, connections, and overall structural systems subjected to extreme loading conditions including seismic, fire, blast, and impactive loading.

“Amit Varma’s research on SpeedCore is a game-changer for our industry,” said Kruth. “His research includes not only the seismic resistance of SpeedCore but also performance-based fire engineering; his research has demonstrated that no additional fireproofing is required for SpeedCore.“