The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Standards Council is seeking research proposals for its 2024 Small Project/Fellowship Program. Launched in 2014, AISI’s Small Project/Fellowship Program identifies and provides funding for research projects that will significantly impact the reliability, performance and cost-competitiveness of cold-formed steel products. The program provides a streamlined mechanism for AISI’s standards development committees (the Committee on Specifications, the Committee on Framing Standards and the Committee on Energy Standards), industry stakeholders, academics and students to collaborate on relatively short-term, highly focused and mutually beneficial projects.
“The research generated through AISI’s Small Project/Fellowship Program has significantly advanced the understanding of cold-formed steel behavior and established improved design methods for a variety of cold-formed steel applications,” said Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director of AISI’s Construction Technical Program. “These findings have been incorporated into recent AISI design standards. The program has also helped to transition several talented cold-formed steel research students into successful research professionals who are continuing to contribute to our understanding of cold-formed steel behavior.”
The small project and fellowship requests should be developed and submitted by a project team that includes a student (if known at the time of submittal), an academic advisor from the student’s academic institution and an industry advisor. Either the academic advisor or industry advisor must be a member of the relevant AISI standards development committee. Project selections are based on several factors, including: 1) the potential for long-term impact on the industry, 2) steel industry engagement and co-funding, and 3) results for the AISI standards development committees, the student and the academic institution.
AISI funding is limited to $25,000 on small projects, which include stated deliverables; and $25,000 on individual fellowships, which do not include overhead expenses. Project ideas may be generated by the AISI standards development committee, industry advisor, academic advisor or student. A list of potential project ideas is available from Helen Chen, manager of AISI Construction Standards Development, who can be reached at email@example.com.
Proposals for the 2024 Small Project/Fellowship Program are due to AISI by October 31, 2023. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to Jay Larson, secretary of the AISI Standards Council, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Winning projects are expected to be determined and announced by the AISI Standards Council by January 15, 2024.
The past 10 years (2014-2023) of this successful program have allowed AISI member companies to leverage their investment of $260,000 with an additional $93,700 investment by partner associations to support 41 small projects and fellowships involving 41 students, 12 academic institutions, 14 academic advisors, 32 industry advisors, and 12 AISI standards development subcommittees. Research reports detailing the projects and their results are available for free download from the AISI Design Resources section of www.buildusingsteel.org.
AISI’s Standards Council initiates cold-formed steel standards development projects and maintains accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). AISI has a long history of supporting academic research in pursuit of its standards development objectives. These efforts have generally been driven by the AISI standards development committees and have focused on stakeholder objectives. AISI understands that the effective engagement of academics and students is mutually beneficial and often yields maximum benefits for the industry.