March 2021 Print

President's Message

march 2021 

February being a short month and forces a lot of work into a reduced timeframe including my President’s message. While I am writing this message, it also happens to be Engineers Week! That said, there is a PECG-sponsored Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 15 introduced by Luz Rivas which recognizes February 21 - 27, 2021 as Engineers Week. 

An excerpt from the resolution states: 

“WHEREAS, Professional engineers are leaders in the development of more efficient, environmentally sustainable, technologically advanced designs relating to water quality, sewage treatment, sanitary engineering, flood control, structural integrity of buildings and bridges, seismic safety, cleanup of hazardous waste and toxic sites, and public transportation, including highways, rail, waterways, and airports;”

This proposed tenet also dovetails into an article that I happened to stumble on in the Jan-Feb 2021 edition of the Civil Engineering Magazine from ASCE that referenced the newly updated Code of Ethics for ASCE members. 

The updated Code of Ethics has moved away from expressing requirements as canons and is now organized into five stakeholder categories:

  1. Society
  2. Natural and Built Environment
  3. Profession
  4. Clients and Employers 
  5. Peers

The second stakeholder category, NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, Section 2a, states “adhere to the principles of sustainable development,” and 2d states “use resources wisely while minimizing resource depletion.” The first stakeholder category, SOCIETY, Section 1a states “first and foremost protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

So how do we balance these two guiding principles that some may feel do not necessarily go together? Structures need to be strong, robust, and resilient to resist the forces of nature and at the same time be sustainable. How does this work?

One way to look at it is if I build my structure to last then I am not using up natural resources amortized over the life of the building. So, that is a plus. The other is how can I optimize my design to be strong enough and sustainable at the same time. We can achieve both with creative thinking. Some of the solutions are out there and being implemented today, but we must do more.

Are we living up to the standards of our profession as engineers and are we complying with the ASCE code-of-ethics? Are we looking for more efficient and environmentally sustainable designs? If you are, I applaud your efforts. If you were not aware of these objectives, maybe now is the time to rethink how we are doing our business. Environmentally sustainable designs are what we must not just advocate for but also implement. This should be done in all aspects of our profession including design and construction as well as in the development of Codes and Standards.

Sitting on the ASCE 7-22 and ASCE 41-23 committees, I see a lack of emphasis on including sustainable concepts. The general philosophy is to find the most conservative solution to the worst-case “what-if” scenario. Do we get more safety or peace of mind knowing that the solution is conservative? One could argue that this accounts for design or construction errors and the inherent factor of safety will compensate for the mistake. There is no question that erring on the side of being conservative will normally err on the side of safety. But is it the best solution?

There is a common understanding that conservatism is always better. Today’s building codes seem to have drifted away from more efficient designs and do not even mention “environmentally sustainable designs.” It is therefore up to us to promote such designs if not through conventional designs then at least through alternate methods of compliance. It will require educating your local building official and the owner on the need and benefits of such designs. A few of the actions we can take include: 1) integrating the latest technology including passive energy devices to protect against hazards like earthquakes, 2) design and recommend curtain wall systems that are energy-efficient, 3) use the right construction material that is appropriately treated and protected for it use to prevent deterioration and maintenance 4)promote the use of photovoltaic panels to reduce energy demands from nonrenewable sources, 5) ensure construction materials are resistant or protected from fire, this list can be endless!

The latest power outage in Texas is costing that state tens of billions of dollars and the loss of lives is unconscionable for what was a preventable event. An article in the Texas Tribune “Power companies get exactly what they want”: How Texas repeatedly failed to protect its power grid against extreme weather is the perfect example of what we in California must pay attention to in protecting our buildings and infrastructure from all potential disasters and not just earthquakes. We may not get the science right every time but if we do not design our buildings and our infrastructure to be robust enough with proper code enforcement, testing, and inspection, we may find ourselves in a situation similar to Texas.

In closing, last month was an active month for our chapter. We had two back-to-back presentations, one by Chris Tokas who spoke about “The Effect of the Pandemic on Future Hospital Design and Construction” and another by Joe LaBrie who gave us his “Top 10 Healthcare Facilities Opportunities for Structural Engineers in 2021”. The existing buildings committee chaired by Eric Fuller had its first meeting and there are more planned for this year. The SE-3 committee chaired by Anna Tekautz has been very active as usual and looking for more members and involvement. The Sustainable Design committee chaired by Lisa Podesto is also very active with regular planned meetings during the year. For additional updates and notices from SEAOC, please also see SEAOC TALK FEBRUARY 2021.

If you have ideas for a future presentation or would like to get more involved in our association, please send us an email at [email protected]. Be well and stay safe!

Roy Lobo, Ph.D., S.E.

2020-2021 SEAOCC President

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Calendar of Events

mar 5

Se3 Committee Meeting

Virtual Meeting at noon, Contact Anna Tekautz for Link


mar 9

board of directors and membership meeting

BOD Meeting from 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Contact [email protected] for Link

Membership Meeting from 5:30 p.m - 7:00 p.m: SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity (MOSAC), presented by Larry Jones, S.E., LEED AP & Scott Mulligan, S.E.

For more information and registration, click here.

mar  12 

Sustainabilty Committee Meeting

Explore the Parksmart Program

Virtual Meeting at noon, Contact Lisa Podesto for Link

MAR 16

existing buildings committee meeting

Virtual Meeting at 5:30 p.m. Contact Eric Fuller for Link


MAR 17

seismology committee meeting

Virtual Meeting at 5:00 p.m. Contact David Palmer for Link


mar 31
apr 1


post-disaster safety assesment program (SAP) evaluator 2 day training 

More Information and Registration here.
apr 13

Student night and career fair

Save the Date! See event description under the committee reports. 

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Platinum Sponsors


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Committee Reports

SE3 Commitee 

By Anna Tekautz, S.E., SE3 Commiteee Chair

Did you know the SE3 committee stands for “Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity”? While each MO has their own mission statement, the NCSEA collective mission is: 

To raise awareness and promote dialogue on professional practice issues in an effort to improve engagement and equity in the structural engineering profession. 

SE3 encompasses a variety of subject areas, including:

  • Employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention
  • Coaching, mentorship, and career planning
  • Leadership and/or business management
  • Pay/compensation and pay equity
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Work-life balance
  • Flexibility benefits
  • Improving work environments across our profession
  • Promoting the value and role of the structural engineer 


This month, we encourage you to check out the following articles on work-life balance and flexibility benefits. 

If you are interested in any of the SE3 subjects, please consider joining the committee. The more committee members we have, the more events we can host and the more aspects of SE3 we can address.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR SE3 COMMITTEE: Featuring Committee Member Leticia Valenzuela

What piques your interest most about SE3? 

I like what SE3 stands for and that it focuses on non-technical aspects of the profession. Conversations that happen within SE3 are engaging and insightful.

In addition to volunteering on the SE3 committee, where else do you volunteer? Why do you enjoy giving back your community? 

I also volunteer my time to the CREATE mentoring program. I really enjoy giving back to younger students and the future of our industry. I’m grateful to have had the influences I did when I was younger that lead me to this industry, and I’d like to be that person for somebody as well. You really never know who you’ll influence and what resonates with someone. There are so many reasons I love to give back and be a ‘mentor’ to younger people. Not only do they learn from me, but I learn from them as well. 

How many years have you been in the industry? 

Going on 6 years this year.

What is your least favorite thing about COVID 19?

Aside from getting it (10/10 DO NOT RECOMMEND!)….Not being able to see family or play soccer.

What is your most favorite thing about COVID 19? 

The slower pace of life, not having to drive all the time, and last but not least, getting a puppy (Obi) and being able to spend a lot of time with him and our other dog, Leia.

seismology committee

By David Palmer, S.E., Seismology Committee Chair

At the last SEAOCC Seismology meeting, we discussed ASCE 7-16 Section 13.5.3, with a particular focus on the provision’s application to exterior light-frame wall cladding systems.  Lucas Jolly and Jason Scanlan led the discussion, communicating background from their experiences on design projects, as well as a paper they are developing on the subject.  Diane Gould and Ryan Turner provided additional background relative to DSA’s interpretation of the provision and its application to light-frame cladding systems.  There was very good discussion on the topic and the committee has agreed to continue working on this topic, with a goal of providing clarity on the intended application of the provision (the code authors’ original intent was to apply it to precast (stiff, low-deformability) panels) and possibly developing drift limits where the inherent deformation capacity of light-frame systems would permit traditional connection detailing. 

Lucas and Jason subsequently presented the topic to the SEAOC Seismology Committee – again, with good discussion and agreement to support and further the work they have done.  Recently, I received feedback from the other members of the State committee following discussions with their member organization committees, which I will be sharing at the upcoming Seismology Committee meeting on Wednesday March 17th.  If you are not currently a member of the Seismology Committee, but would like to attend this meeting, please let me know via email at [email protected].

Student Relations 

By Amy Hopkins, P.E., Student Relations Chair

This year's student night will feature a virtual career fair, providing SEAOCC member firms the opportunity to engage students, discover more about interested candidates, and pursue follow-up opportunities in a virtual environment. After registering, the representative of the Firm will be provided a link to their booth which will allow them to customize layout, colors, and information on the site. Firms will be able to add videos, pictures, logos, and available positions or internships.


By Matt Quan, YMF Chair

YMF hosted its first ever morning social coffee half-hour in late February with great success! We have been looking for ways to host events in this virtual environment while also trying to avoid the virtual fatigue that some may be feeling, now that we have been working from home for a large percentage of the time for almost a year now. I don’t think I can remember the faces of half my coworkers, my button up shirts are growing cobwebs, and my morning commute bike runs flat and is feeling neglected, but I digress. The coffee half-hour was a great opportunity to catch up with the YMF and see what everyone has been up to. Many have added a fur baby or two to their families (I’m slightly jealous). We shared our morning drink preferences for coffee, tea, and water. I learned a thing or two about espresso (thanks Kaylee). All in all, everyone seems to have adjusted to our new work/home environment. By popular demand, we will be hosting the morning social coffee half-hour on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future. YMF, check your inboxes for a survey for days/times. With all that said, I leave you with this picture.  May it brighten your day, I mean just look at all those smiling faces!

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Gold Sponsors

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2021 SEAOC Convention Call for Abstracts - Extended to April 10, 2021

Abstracts are requested for papers to be presented as part of the Technical Program for the 2021 SEAOC Convention, to be held September 22 through 25, 2021. The convention planning committee is continuously evaluating state and federal guidelines to determine if the convention will be hosted in-person at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA, or virtually from the safety of your own home.

The Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) is respected as an authoritative world leader in the practice of structural and earthquake engineering, as a nationally influential participant in structural code and standard development and as a valuable resource to practicing structural engineers in California. To this degree, we encourage those with educational topics to share with our engineering community with subject areas that include but are not limited to:

  • Building codes & standards
  • Cities & politics,
  • Business & economics
  • Legal, innovation & resilience
  • Recent project case studies,
  • Diversity, equity, & inclusion.

Abstracts can be submitted here. If you have any questions, please email [email protected] We look forward to receiving your abstracts and hope to see you in Carlsbad in September.


The 2021 SEAOC Convention Technical Committee

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Job Forum

Submit an Ad - members 

Submit an Ad - Non-Members

Job Posting
Feb. 15, 2021



Job Seeker
Feb. 5, 2021


Job Posting
Jan. 28, 2021


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Welcome New Members

new members posted on february 12, 2021

Todd Petrick - Mead & Hunt - Member

Chis Sheldon - Wood Roders - Associate

Ramneet Sidhu - Associate

Brian Sutliff - WSP USA - Member SE

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BSSC Council Meeting and Symposium on 2020 NEHRP Provisions

March 4th, 2021 | 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. PST

Developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) Provisions Update Committee (PUC) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures (NEHRP Provisions) help translate new knowledge and recent research results for improving national standards and codes. The Provisions are a state-of-art resource and reference document for design professionals and standard and code-development organizations.

Join us on March 4, 2021 for the BSSC Council Meeting to celebrate the completion of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions (FEMA P-2082)-10th edition and recognize our distinguished industry leaders for advancing seismic safety. This will be an opportunity to learn about the Council’s activities.

Following the BSSC Council meeting, the BSSC Symposium on the Provisions will present recommended changes to ASCE/SEI 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures. These changes may significantly impact future seismic design of buildings. The symposium also will present a report on the PUC identified unresolved issues and recommended future topics and research needs.

Most of the recommended changes in the Provisions are expected to be accepted by ASCE/SEI 7-22. The standard will be adopted by reference in the 2024 International Building Code. 

  • Learn the most important code change proposals regarding future seismic design requirements for buildings
  • Provide input to help improve future seismic design and research
  • Earn professional development hours (PDHs)


Click here for more information and free registration. 

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Ask SEAOCC Leadership

What is something that you are currently excited about?

"I am excited for spring and the start of the baseball season!" - Jeremy Kellogg

"I'm excited about my family all getting their vaccines, even if I have to wait a long time." - Nick Herskedal

"Chasing that fresh pow on the mountains!" - Matt Quan

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Board of Directors

Roy Lobo, S.E.


Vice President
Devon Lumbard, S.E.


Tim Piland, S.E.


Past President
Ben Faircloth, S.E.


Director - Central District
Allison Konwinski, S.E.


Director - Central District
Rachel Leung, S.E.


Director - Central District
Laura Rice, S.E.


Director - Central District
Louay Shamrokh, S.E.


Director - East District
Brett McElhaney, S.E.


Director - North District
Jeremy Kellogg, S.E.


Director - South District
Doug Mayer, S.E.


Nick Herskedal, S.E.


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