March 2020 Presentation

March 3rd, 2020 Monthly Presentation:

“Top Things You Should Know About HSS Connections”

Presented by Brad Fletcher, S.E.

Senior Sales Engineer - Atlas Tube

Receive (1.0) PDH and (1.0) AIA LU/HSW


Dinner Buffet and Open Bar

Topic Description:

Hollow structural steel (HSS) member connections often seem mysterious — but they don’t have to. While not a how-to guide, this presentation highlights aspects of HSS connection design that are often overlooked or misunderstood. Attendees will gain a clear understanding of tension, shear, moment and truss connections and how they differ from other types of connections.


  • HSS connections share multiple limit states with other types of connections, however, for HSS there are usually additional limit states that need to be checked. This often leads to confusion and misunderstanding of these types of connections.
  • This presentation will cover some frequently asked questions about the design of different types of HSS connections, including both bolted and welded, for tension/compression, shear and moments.
  • Understanding the HSS specific limit states and how they directly influence the connections can lead to more economical and cost effective connections. Too often, misunderstanding these limits states produces to poor connection design or the need to reinforce connections after fabrication.


Speaker Biography:

Brad Fletcher is has 28 years of experience in engineering design and the steel industry, providing technical expertise on the use of steel hollows structural sections (HSS) and pipe piling products to design engineers, detailers, fabricators, and architects.

Brad is a registered structural engineer in Illinois, and has held senior positions at leading architecture and engineers firms: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Sargent & Lundy, and Halvorson & Partners. For the past 12 years at Atlas Steel, Brad has focuses his efforts on serving as a liaison between structural designers and the steel industry.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Ciivl Engineering from Purdue University. He is active in many industry groups, including AISC, the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois, and ASTM International. He participates in Technical Committees responsible for the AISC Specification as well of the HSS committee of the Steel Tube Institute. Brad is also on the board of the CISC Research and Education Council (formerly SSEF) in Canada and the S16 Technical Committee for the Canadian Standards Association.