The new yellow sculpture on campus is not just a piece of art, it’s a learning tool designed by AISC to demonstrate popular structural steel construction techniques. AISC is short for the American Institute of Steel Construction, a technical institute and trade association serving the structural steel industry. The sculpture is a freely downloadable design as part of AISC’s university educational program. MTU joins a list of over 170 other schools with one of these sculptures. If you haven’t seen it yet, it sits on Michigan Tech’s campus in between Dillman and the M&M.
The sculpture is designed as an educational tool for students to visualize steel connections. There are multiple structural steel buildings on campus, but that steel and those techniques are hidden within the guts of the buildings. This sculpture brings that technology out into the light of day. An associate professor in the civil, environmental, and geospatial engineering department said, “I hope my students think about the various components and I hope they get inspiration for steel building practices they might consider using as practitioners.”
This sculpture had been on the faculty’s wish list for a while. Swartz credited Interim Dean of the College of Engineering Audra N. Morse for finally making the installation possible. Morse worked with Russel Becker, an MTU alumnus who donated the sculpture. The sculpture was fabricated by LeJeune Steel in Minnesota and shipped to campus. This could serve as a jumping off point for future campus development. If you think MTU needs more visual and interactive fixtures on campus, contact the dean or an administrator. These projects can be great ways for alumni to give back to the school and if students express interest more projects may develop.