SEAOSD November 17, 2020 Webinar "Gusset Plates: The Evolution of Simplified Design Models"

November 17, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
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Webinar (Will be done online)
Links will be sent soon to registered attendees only



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. The presentation will conclude with a preview of a new method to predict the compression strength of gusset plates using notional loads.


  1. Historical Perspective
  2. Current Design Provisions
  3. The Notional Load Method
  4. Question and Answer

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 

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.


$0.00 SEAOSD Member

$10.00 SEAOSD Non-Member