February 2020 Print

President's Message

I am happy to announce that we have a new Executive Secretary in Mary Lee Hellner, and I am excited for the new potential Mary Lee brings to our organization.  Mary Lee will be attending the February Dinner meeting, so stop in and introduce yourself.  She has included some more information about herself below, and can be contacted through the [email protected] email address.  Speaking of the February dinner meeting, I am looking forward to some more clarity on the Site-Specific Seismic Hazard Analysis required by the 2019 CBC. Take a look at the Calendar for more information and a link to register if you haven’t already.  While you are reviewing the Calendar, you’ll see events for the Seismology Committee, Drone Club and Student Competition. More information is provide below for each of these events.

Thanks to the efforts of SEAOCC’s Continuing Education Committee chaired by Sonia Eliseo, last week’s FEMA P-2006 Seminar was a great success.  The need for published standard design examples following Performance Based Design procedures was great, and FEMA P-2006 fill’s that gap.  The seminar functioned to introduce Performance Based Design Methodology to those beginning their foray into ASCE-41 and presented clarifications and updates for those who have been using it for a while.  Similarly, the FEMA P-2006 examples will serve as a common reference for those looking to learn from scratch as well as serve as a quick reference to those who may have been using the methodology for years but have questions about specific conditions.  The presenters included SEAOCC’s Chris Tokas (Fellow) and Roy Lobo (Vice President).  If you missed the seminar, you can download a free PDF copy of FEMA P-2006 from https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/167871.  Take a look at the cover, you’ll see the SEAOC logo featured prominently.  Take a look at the inside cover sheet, and you’ll see SEAOC and SEAOCC members named in the Panels, Groups and Reviewers who worked to develop the document [Roy Lobo, Chris Tokas, and Fred Turner (Fellow)].

SEAOC needs volunteers to attend an event that raises the visibility of SEAOC in the California Legislature while at the same time promoting engineering to young women and girls (win-win).  See the SEAOC News section of this newsletter for more information about “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” at the Capital.  To participate, you MUST respond to [email protected] by 4PM Tuesday 2/4.

SEAOCC has made some changes to the sponsorship program.  We’ve aligned the renewal dates to align with the calendar year and the fiscal year of the companies that typically participate.  If you or your company are interested in being a sponsor, please check out our website (https://seaocc.org/sponsors.php) for more information.

YMF is looking for a group-activity, and would like to tour a project under construction.  If you have a project in construction that could be interesting, contact the YMF Committee Chair Matt Quan.

Have an idea for a Dinner meeting topic?  We have an opening in April.  This could be an opportunity for you to share a challenging project.  Contact Program Chair John Weninger with your thoughts and ideas on topics you want to hear about.


Benjamin Ian Faircloth

2019-2020 SEAOCC President

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Meet Our New Executive Secretary!

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of the SEAOCC members.  I am Mary Lee Hellner and have been given the opportunity to be the executive secretary for your organization.  I am a retired high school administrator after 20 years in the education field.  I recently relocated to the Sacramento area to enjoy my retirement.  I spend most of my free time now with my six grandchildren, my new puppy, and traveling.  My most recent trip was to Australia and New Zealand.  I look forward to assisting SEAOCC in all areas of need.

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Calendar of Events


Seismology Committee Meeting - Feburary 4th 
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM at Stantec Office

The purpose for this meeting will be the review and discussion of the recently released BSSC PUC Member Organization Ballot #4proposals.
Read more here.

Feburary Membership Dinner Meeting - Feburary 11th

"Seismic Design Updates for CBC 2019 and Application of Site-Specific (Non-Ergodic) Seismic Hazard Analysis for Ground Motion Optimization" Presented By Pedro Espinosa, G.E., and David Tegue, phD, P.E.

Registration is Open

Drone Club - Feburary 13th
4:30 - 6:30 pm at OSHPD, see more info here.

Student Competition - Feburary 29th
See below for volunteering information.

March Membership Meeting: Student Night - March 10th


SAVE THE DATE: Golf Tournament - June 4th

Click here to see our calendar for the most up-to-date information!

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Committee Reports

SE3 Committee

Your newly formed SE3 Committee is actively engaged in a dialogue to improve the careers and experiences of practicing structural engineers.  We are currently working to create our mission statement and organize SE3 events for the upcoming year.  

Each month the SE3 Committee will share a link to an article related to improving working environments across our profession. This will expose the SEAOCC membership to nationwide best practices and new research related to employee engagement, work culture, diversity, inclusion, mentorship, career guidance, and more! This month’s article is slightly dated, as it was originally published in Structural Magazine in April 2015; however the results and insights taken from the survey remain valuable today. https://www.structuremag.org/?p=8336

If you’re interested in joining the conversation and contributing to engagement and equity across our profession, please reach out to Anna Tekautz [email protected] or join us at a committee meeting.  

If you are interested in learning more, you can also register for NCSEA's free upcoming webinar below:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 12:00PM (Central) | 10:00 am Pacific, 11:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Eastern

SNOW LOAD MAP UPDATE-call for snow load studies

By John Corless, S.E., Snow Load Committee Chair

The Ground Snow and Rain Load Subcommittee of ASCE 7 is starting a national snow load study to update the snow map in ASCE 7 and eliminate most or all site specific case study (CS) areas.  The team performing the study has recently completed studies for Utah, Idaho, and Washington and members of the steering committee have recently performed a study for Colorado.  The goal is for the study to be completed by late summer 2020 so it can be balloted and adopted in ASCE 7-22 which will be published at the end of 2021.  The end product will be a representative map in ASCE 7 which directs the user to a website to look up the snow load similar to seismic, tsunami, and wind.  This effort has superseded SEAOCC’s effort to produce a snow load map for CS areas in California.

At the steering committee kick-off meeting, I was asked to collect and provide any snow load studies done in California for comparison.  Preferred studies will meet the criteria in ASCE 7-16 7.2, “based on an extreme value statistical analysis of data available in the vicinity of the site using a value with a 2% annual probability of being exceeded (50-year mean recurrence interval).”  Please email me at [email protected] any snow load studies you are aware of done by counties, cities, etc. by the end of March.  Most of the California county snow maps or tables that our committee has collected do not reference a study and most snow loads are not consistent across county lines.

sustainable Design committee 

By Lisa Podesto, P.E., SEAOCC SDC Co-Chair

The Sustainable Design Committee (SDC) will be taking their November dinner meeting presentation: The Carbon Imperative: Ushering in a New Age of Building Design on the road, visiting structural engineering offices in the Sacramento area who want to learn about why the issue of a building’s carbon foot print is so relevant to the future of building design and how engineers play a key role.

We will be doing our presentation on February 12, 2020 at noon at the office of Lionakis. Offices interested in having a lunch presentation in their office, please contact Lisa Podesto at [email protected].

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Volunteers Wanted - Student Competition

We are looking for volunteers to help with the SEAOCC Student Competition. The competition will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Sacramento State. If you have not heard of this before, this is a quick competition held once a year, where the students form a small team and attend a competition where they are given approximately 4 hours, materials, and a set of guidelines from which to build a simple structure. The structure is then tested compared to the other structures that were built that day. The students are then given a few days to prepare a presentation for the general meeting to explain what they built and how it performed. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Amy Hopkins at [email protected]com

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Welcome New Members


new members posted on january 14, 2020

Emily Jahansouz, Degenkolb Engineers - Associate
Craig Keller, IT Enidine, INC - Industry
Kevin Logsdon, HGA - Member
Daniel Miller, Degenkolb Engineers - Associate
David Miller, Degenkolb Engineers - Member SE
Hayden Sahnow, Redbuilt LLC - Affiliate
Eric Slomenski, Degenkolb Engineers - Member
Hazen Talbott, JCWagner & Associates - Member
Jeremy Mululu, Harley Elliz Devereuax - Associate

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2/20/2020 - Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the Capitol 

Assemblywoman Rivas will be presenting ACR 154 on the Assembly Floor on Feb 20, 2020 to commemorate Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. The Asemblywomen is hoping to have a few women engineers up in the Gallery to recognize during the presentation. Floor Session will begin at 9am that morning.

If any members are interested in attending, please respond to [email protected] by 4PM on Tuesday, February 4th if you are interested in attending.

2020 seaocc convention Call for Abstracts


Abstracts are requested for papers to be presented as part of the Technical Program for the 2020 SEAOC Convention, to be held September 9 through 12, at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali Beach, Maui, Hawaii.

We look forward to bringing together our colleagues from California, the US, and around the Pacific, through a diverse and engaging program of technical presentations, working sessions and meetings.

Interested presenters should upload an abstract of their paper (300 words or less) by February 21, 2020, via the Call for Abstracts form by clicking here.

Please note:

  • All accepted presenters are required to submit a paper, register, and attend the Convention.
  • All papers presented at the 2020 SEAOC Convention will be published in the Convention Proceedings.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] 

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and hope to see you in Maui in September.


The 2020 SEAOC Convention Technical Committee

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Photo Gallery

SEAOCC Fellow Chris Tokas, S.E. Presenting at the ASCE 41 Seminar on January 30th.

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Ask SEAOCC Leadership

You've been given an elephant. You can't give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant??

"Paper weight" - Ali Sumer

"I would RENT my elephant...circus bday parties, weddings, etc. Also, his name would be Dumbo :) " - Leticia Valenzula

"Charge people to see it." - Tim Piland

"(Assuming that this an African elephant and not an Asian elephant) I would buy some land and set up a place for my elephant and everyone else's to have play dates. They're very social creatures with strong family bonds!" - Laura Rice

"Build a barn for it, then find it some friends." - Devon Lumbard

"If the elephant is a metaphor and not an actual animal, I'd try to see if I can find a way to make money off the elephant...rent him for parties, sign him up to do commercials, look into the profit margins associated with buying a zoo or circus. Find a way to make lemonade from lemons.

If the elephant is actually an animal, I'd use it as a great excuse to buy more property and make it part of the family. If you knew my family, you'd know an elphant would fit right in 😉 " - Lisa Podesto

"I'd ride it everywhere, especially to meetings, and start hijinks." - Ben Faircloth

"I would set the elephant free - quickly - before my kids find out that I was given an elephant." - David Palmer

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Job Forum

Job Posting
Dec. 6, 2019


Job Seeker
Feb. 1, 2020

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