Night School 33: A tale of two lateral systems -- Speed Core and Seismic Braced Frames

Presented by:  Amit Varma, Ph.D., Joshua Mouras, Rafael Sabelli, SE

This course takes a deep dive into two viable lateral force resisting systems: SpeedCore, a concrete-filled composite plate shear wall system; and Seismic Braced Frames. 

The first half of the course focuses on SpeedCore. SpeedCore is a revolutionary concrete-filled composite steel plate shear wall (CF-CPSW) core. This course will provide everything you need to know to harness the power of SpeedCore.  We’ll first look at the development, testing, and research of the system.  We’ll then jump into analysis and design of SpeedCore.  System proportioning, element design, connections, and erection consideration. Examples, calculations, and practical insights will be presented by an engineer who has utilized the system for west coast projects.  This first session is presented by Amit Varma of Purdue University, a key SpeedCore researcher and T.R. Higgins Award winner.  Sessions 2, 3, and 4 are presented by Joshua Mouras of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, who has firsthand experience in designing the SpeedCore system.

In the second half of the course, the focus will be on seismic braced frames, reviewing design concepts and connections. The sessions will discuss expected behavior, design requirements and review design examples for various braced frames including: Ordinary and Special Concentrically Braced Frames, and Buckling Restrained Braced Frames.  This half of the course is presented by Rafael Sabelli of Walter P Moore, a recognized industry leader in the development of seismic design solutions and seismic design regulations. 

Individual Registration

Register one person. Each registrant has access to the course including the live webinar, recording, and quiz for each session, the final exam, and a certificate.

    • $500 Member
    • $900 Non-Member
    • $250 Student/Faculty
    • Government Agency:  Discounts available.  Contact

Group Registration
Register an unlimited number of people from your company roster. Each registrant has access to the course including the live webinar, recording, and quiz for each session, the final exam, and a certificate. All registrants must participate from their own account to receive credit.
    • $1480 Member
    • $2280 Non-Member
    • Government Agency:  Discounts available.  Contact

Substitution and Cancellations:  Substitutions may be made at any time. Cancellations received 1-3 days prior to the webinar will be charged a $50 service charge. Cancellations and no shows the day of the webinar session will not receive a refund.

Connection Instructions:  Click on "Webinar Access" in the course navigation.  The webinar can be accessed on that page 15 minutes prior to start time.  Handouts may be downloaded on that page 24 hours in advance of the webinar.

Are you already registered as a group and need to add more colleagues? Add to your group registration here.

Course Schedule
Live broadcast for all sessions 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Central
October 10, 2023Session 1: SpeedCore: Concept Development, Testing, and Research
October 17, 2023Session 2: SpeedCore: System Proportioning
October 24, 2023Session 3: SpeedCore: Element Design
November 7, 2023Session 4: SpeedCore: Connections and Erection Considerations
November 21, 2023Session 5: Seismic Design and Behavior of Concentrically Braced Frames 
November 28, 2023Session 6: Special Concentrically Braced Frames (SCBF)
December 5, 2023Session 7: Ordinary Concentrically Braced Frames (OCBF)
December 12, 2023Session 8: Buckling-Restrained Braced Frames (BRBF)
You have until Course Completion Day -- one month after the last live session, January 9, 2024 -- to access the materials and earn recorded PDHs.

Amit H. Varma, Ph.D. received his BS in Civil Engineering from IIT-Bombay (’94), MS from Univ. of Oklahoma (’96), and PhD from Lehigh University (’01). He has been an academic for 20 years and at Purdue University for 16 years. 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. Varma’s research products are the basis of (and directly cited in) several AISC specifications (AISC 360, AISC 341, AISC N690) for the design of steel-concrete composite structures for building structures and safety-related nuclear facilities. He has previously received the AISC Milek Faculty Fellowship Award (2004), AISC Special Achievement Award (2017, 2020), and the ASCE Shortridge Hardesty Award (2019). Varma is the Chair of AISI/AISC Task Committee 8 on Fire Design, and member of Task Committee 5 on Composite Design. He is also a member of the AISC Committee of Specifications and ASCE/SEI 7 Standard Committee.

Varma lives in West Lafayette, Ind., with his mother, wife, and two daughters.

Josh Mouras is a Senior Associate with Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), an internationally recognized structural and civil engineering firm with offices in Seattle and Chicago. With over 15 years of experience, his portfolio of engineering design work reflects a wide variety of building types both across the country and abroad. He has worked on steel high-rise office towers from 20 to 67 stories, multiple convention center developments as large as 5.5 million square feet, long-span aviation and factory spaces with clear spans over 240 feet, and numerous designs in high seismic zones. As the leader of MKA's Steel Technical Specialist Team, he is also a resource for the firm offering unique knowledge and insight for structures with complex steel designs, especially related to steel detailing and constructability. Josh earned his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and his Masters in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. He is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction and is engaged with multiple steel-related research and development initiatives.

Rafael Sabelli, SE is a Sr. Principal and Director of Seismic Design at Walter P Moore. Rafael has earned a Special Achievement Award from AISC, as well as the T.R. Higgins Lectureship award. And in 2021, he received an AISC Lifetime Achievement Award. He is active in the development of seismic design standards for steel systems and is a member of the AISC Seismic Provisions Committee, the ASCE 7 Seismic Task Committee, and the NIST Building Seismic Safety Council’s Provisions Update Committee. Rafael is the chair of the AISC Seismic Design Manual committee and was the Project manager for the 5-volume SEAOC Seismic Design Manual. Rafael is co-author of Ductile Design of Steel Structures, and has written extensively on the design and behavior of steel seismic systems. He has served as Chair of the Seismology Committee of the Structural Engineers Association of California and as President of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. He frequently lectures on the topic of steel seismic design, and often on behalf of AISC.