June 2020 Print

President's Message

Change is in the air.  Our lives are different than they were a few short months ago when Covid-19 first forced its way into our lives.  I admit my simple concerns were initially, “when can we get back to normal?”  As time and additional events rose to public attention, I think most of us began to question what normal is or should be. 

SEAOCC exists as a means for us to act together and shape our collective profession.  What should normal be for us?  Do you think you have a good grip on what normal is for your fellow members?  If you are asking yourself questions like this (and I hope you are), then I challenge you to get involved.  Join the SEAOCC SE3 committee.  See Anna’s Committee Report below.  Please help NCSEA’s SE3 Committee gather data by taking their survey.  Share the link with others in your office or employment and encourage them to take the survey.  You don’t even need to be a SEAOCC member. https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5536448/The-2020-SE3-Survey (Survey Closes June 15, ACT NOW!)

With the culmination of the 2019-20 SEAOCC operational and fiscal years, comes the changing of the guard.  Members and Member SE’s should have received a Ballot to vote for the 2020-21 Board of Directors.  Please VOTE before the polls close June 12th I am happy to report that the ballot is full of concerned, thoughtful and energetic candidates.  SEAOCC will be in good hands.

Thank you to Past President Ali Sumer for the guiding hand and good advice.  Thank you to Vice President Roy Lobo for shepherding the December Social and EISE Competition. Thank you to our Treasurer Tim Piland for his meticulous efforts. Thank you to the Board, and to the Committee Chairs who do the grunt work.  This year was especially taxing on them as we developed new operational protocols to make up for the retirement of our Longtime ES at the end of last year.

There is more to come, and there will be a time soon to get together again and celebrate the good.  I hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Benjamin Ian Faircloth

2019-2020 SEAOCC President

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Calendar of Events


Golf Tournament - CANCELLED

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

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Committee Reports

SEAOCC SE3 committee

By Anna Tekautz, S.E., SE3 CHAIR

Your SEAOCC SE3 committee has continued their monthly meetings in a virtual setting.  During our latest session, we established the local SEAOCC SE3 Mission Statement:  

To raise awareness and promote dialogue on issues impacting practicing structural engineers in our local community in an effort to positively impact work environments, increase employee satisfaction and retention, and create a more engaged and diverse workforce. 

The Committee looks forward to hosting in-person events when it is safe and advised by local health officials. We hope you will support and join us in our mission. 

If you are interested in joining the committee or have topics you would like the committee to discuss, please reach out to Anna Tekautz at [email protected]

yMF corner

By Matt Quan, P.E., YMF Chair

Welcome to this month’s edition of the YMF Corner! It’s been an interesting time for everyone with our profession moving into a work from home setup almost overnight and our social lives having to take a backseat with someone named Corona, making sure to stay 6 feet apart if possible. I hope you and your families are well during this time as we adjust to the new normal. It was strange going to the market for the first time since the shelter-in-place order, with many people wearing masks and the ground littered with people traffic directing signs. I think I’ve come up with about 5 more hobbies to keep myself occupied, and I hope that you have been discovering old/new/latent hobbies as well! With that said, let’s get into what the YMF have been up to recently.

Barring any large social gathering, YMF was successful in hosting its first online happy hour between YMF members (and our honorary YMF member Ali Sumer). If you haven’t already gotten onto the online video chat game, I highly recommend it to stay in touch with your family and friends, it is especially interesting (special) when you have over twenty people in the same video chat at the same time. Joking aside, technology has really pushed the limits of what we can do to stay in contact with one another, and I’m finding that we can remain functional in terms of how we communicate with one another even given the light of the situation we find ourselves in. Before the pandemic was in full swing, YMF was starting to plan out site visits/plant visits to show younger members how structure and architecture come together, but this has been put on an indefinite hold until we know more about the situation with the virus and what activities will be safe for attendees in the future. I’m optimistic that our long-term strategies to deal with the virus will help us return to some normalcy soon.

Up next, I’m pleased to introduce our next Get to Know Your YMF (GTKYYMF) portion of the YMF Corner! If you aren’t already bamboozled with the acronym, prepare yourself for some riveting question and answer from our YMF member: Ian Geocaris!


Nickname: Currently don’t have a nickname but call me whatever you like.

Licenses held: Currently I only have my EIT but am hoping to start studying soon to take the PE!

College(s) graduated from and major: I am originally from Madison Wisconsin and went to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering I went to UC- Davis for my masters in structural engineering.

Years in the industry: I am quite new in the industry. I have just about 0.75 years so far.

Company you work for: Currently I am working at Buehler Structural Engineers here in Sacramento.

Favorite engineering feat: I have always been fascinated with how they constructed the St. Louis Arch.

Favorite project you have done and why: I enjoyed working on a retrofit to a bridge built in 1932 between two factory wings. It was an interesting challenge.

Worst or Funniest Experience you have had as an engineer?

I had accidentally deleted my roofing plan in Revit the day it needed to go out and I needed to re-make it. That turned into a long night!

What is your favorite material? I think that steel has some interesting properties.

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be? I would most likely be doing something with coding.

What’s your newest hobby during shelter in place? I have been messing around with some digital art with all of this time indoors. It’s a great way to relax!

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SE3 Survey 2020 Open Now!

The NCSEA SE3 Committee is requesting your participation in its third nationwide survey of structural engineering professionals, now through June 12. This is the largest survey of structural engineering professionals in the United States and provides valuable comprehensive information about our profession regarding demographics, compensation, satisfaction, engagement, and retention.

By participating in this anonymous survey, you will be helping us understand which factors influence engagement and retention for structural engineers living in Central California.

Please take the 10-15 minute survey and forward to as many colleagues in your area as you feel comfortable, especially ones that are not part of SEAOCC or those who have left for other careers, as they are the hardest to reach, but equally important! We need to get feedback from as many Sacramento / Central California region structural engineers as possible to ensure our voice is heard at the national level when survey findings and paths forward are discussed.

2020 Survey Link: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5536448/The-2020-SE3-Survey

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Getting to Know You - Ben Faircloth

If you’re reading this, then you must already recognize Ben’s face from the President’s Report. This year, SEAOCC experienced plenty of firsts, including not starting with an Executive Secretary, implementing methods to keep up with and encouraging committee involvement, and of course navigating SEAOCC activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is certainly busy and admits not managing a work/life balance.

Ben’s a Sacramento area local, as he grew up in Orangeville. There was a brief stint during his childhood where his moved to Michigan when his horticulturist father followed a job opportunity to work on ranches.

As a high schooler at a loss on career paths, Ben took a career assessment test and attempted to select answers to prove that he was destined to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. Instead of defending his love for flying planes, the test results introduced Ben to the field of civil engineering. After further investigation, Ben realized that the personality results perfectly described him, and his college major was decided.

Ben met his wife, Kathy, at UC Irvine’s dorms. To this day, he’s still astonished that she graduated a year early despite changing major after freshman year. These days she’s busy looking after their three children (2 daughters, 1 son, ranging from high school to elementary) and carting them to numerous activities, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and volleyball.

The family wouldn’t be complete without their affectionately deemed derpy dog, Phil. Although Ben and Kathy had discussed adopting a dog, one day without Ben’s knowledge, Kathy and the kids visited an animal shelter. Ben came home from work to the kids, and the kids begged to keep the adorable dog. How could dad say no?

Ben’s ideal weekend consists of relaxing and working around the house or the yard. He enjoys the outdoors and lists mountain biking and hiking as his hobbies. These days, Ben’s son’s Boy Scouts is the source of outdoor adventures. Last summer, he chaperoned his son’s troop’s multi-day, 50-mile canoe trip. The adults were concerned about the boys flipping their canoes over. Don’t ask whose canoe actually tipped! All in all, it was a successful trip.

His dream vacation spots include historic places in both the US and Europe, but he would especially love to experience Japanese culture. He’s concerned about the language barrier though, so if you have any tips or experiences, be sure to strike up a conversation about it the next time you see him.

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Photo Gallery

Click here for our photo gallery. New pictures from Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the Capitol.

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The 2020 SEAOC Convention is going virtual. View the SEAOC announcement here. Stay tuned for updates.

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Ask SEAOCC Leadership

Shelter-in-place Q&A with Laura rice


"My extensive collection of POP vinyl figurines."

What are you doing more of during shelter-in-place that you didn't have time before?

"Cooking, sewing, exercising. But mostly playing Animal Crossing."

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Job Forum

Job Posting
Jun. 5, 2020


Design Engineer

Response Structural Engineers

Job Posting
Jun. 1, 2020


Job Seeker
May. 1, 2020


Supervisor, Substation Civil Engineering Services

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Job Posting
Apr. 15, 2020


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