November 2020 Print

President's Message

November 2020 

The last month was hectic in preparing for our first virtual dinner event. Thanks to all those who participated in planning the meeting. Planning committee members included Devon Lumbard (Vice President), Nick Herskedal (Secretary), John Weninger (Program Chair), Dave Hunn (House Chair), and with support from Mary Lee Hellner, Rachel Leung, Kaylee Efstathiu, Tim Piland, and Laura Rice. This forum provides you with the best opportunity to learn what our committees are doing and get engaged. The success of this meeting will chart the course for more frequent meetings in the future, so I am expecting to see a lot of you at this kick-off event.

In my last President’s message, I said I was a bit disappointed that there were not too many of our members in attendance for the webinar on “Cast-in-Place Concrete Slab Collectors.” I am happy to announce that this was not the case for our most recent webinar, “Concrete Mix Basics and Reviewing Mix Designs,” by Clay Slocum. We had over 55 registered participants for the event. I'm unsure if it was my message or the topic but I know it was rewarding for the presenter and for those who could attend. One of the points that I picked up from the meeting was the advantages of the use of fly ash in concrete mixes in addition to other pozzolanas which brings me to the main topic of this month’s message: Sustainable Design and Net-Zero Construction. 

Climate Change–An Innovative Opportunity

Over the past year or so, looking at the level of destruction from the wildfires in California, it is clear that climate change is a reality. As structural engineers, we need to recognize this fact and find ways to combat it. As some of you may be aware, the Governor signed an order banning sales of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. Now, many will say this is crazy and that it cannot be done for reasons including the destruction of the economy or that it will be struck down by the courts. If this ban survives legal challenges and can be enforced by 2035, it provides an opportunity for automobile manufactures to build cars that do not rely on fossil fuels and instead rely on renewable sources of energy. Changes to the infrastructure will also have to be made to support this new directive. You might ask, “what does this has to do with structural engineering?” I would say a lot! We are in the midst of a climate emergency. California experienced the hottest August in its history. Compared to 2019, twenty-six times more acres of land had already burned by this time from wildfires in 2020. If we want to be leaders in slowing the rate of climate change, we need to understand the principles of sustainable design and embodied carbon.

In the article “Seeking Material Change” that Kate Simonen published in the September 2020 edition of ASCE’s Civil Engineering magazine, she states “...building-material manufacturing is a significant chunk of the global greenhouse gas emissions pie.” As engineers, sometimes we understand things better in terms of formulas and equations and there is a simple formula to estimate the amount of building embodied carbon:

Material Quantity Estimate × Embodied Carbon per Unit Material Building Embodied Carbon Estimate

However, there is a dilemma. Do we build buildings strong enough so they will last? This would mean that the amount of embodied carbon amortized over the life of the building is less. To achieve this goal, a long-term mindset is required. It requires closely working with architects, building officials, and owners to figure out the best strategy. Then comes messaging. The building that has the most significant impact on decarbonization is the existing building. It is better to retrofit an existing building to sustain the damaging effects of wind, fire, and earthquake before the event and in doing so minimize potential collapse or irreparable structural damage. There are new technologies to achieve superior seismic performance in high seismic areas such as designs that include passive energy dissipating devices. The application of this technology, while widely implemented in other countries, is slow to catch on in the United States. How do we promote superior building performance and at the same time achieve net-zero goals? Let’s begin that conversation within our profession today!

Don’t Forget to Register for Our November 10th Virtual Dinner Meeting 

Please watch your inbox for a notification on how to register for this event.  Or, to access the registration page, simply go to our website and click on the dinner event in the calendar. 

If you have ideas and would like to help with planning and organizing this or future events, please notify our executive secretary Mary Lee Hellner.  I am looking forward to connecting with you all at our first virtual dinner meeting on Tuesday, November 10th at 5:30PM.  

Let's turn on our cameras and reconnect!  

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

2020-2021 SEAOCC President

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Calendar of Events

Nov 10

Board of Directors Meeting & Membership Meeting

Virtual Meeting, Contact [email protected] 

Click here to register for the Membership Meeting! This meeting is free to attend.

Nov 13

sE3 COMMITTEE meeting

Virtual Meeting, Contact Anna Tekatuz


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Platinum Sponsors


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Committee Reports

SE3 Committee plans

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

Your SE3 committee is actively planning a panel discussion event for January 2021. This panel discussion on work experiences will be related to career development and catered to less experienced engineers. The panelists will share tips and best practices to persist, persevere, and remain engaged in a structural engineering career. 

We are in communication with the newly convened SEAOC SE3 committee whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for greater communication between MOs and the SEAOC board, and to provide statewide initiatives around social and racial justice. We look forward to collaborating with the state committee.

We are also working with the SEAOC Board to brainstorm diversity, equity, and inclusion session ideas to be featured at the upcoming SEAOC Convention.

If you are interested in joining the SE3 committee to help make an impact or have topics you would like the committee to discuss, please reach out to Anna Tekautz at [email protected].

2021 seaocc Sponsorship offerings - now live!

By Devon Lumbard, S.E.

SEAOCC’s new and updated sponsorship program is now live! To learn more about becoming a sponsor, click on sponsors from the “About” tab on our website.

The rates for each grade of Firm and Industry sponsorship (Platinum, Gold, and Silver) have been tailored to align with the benefit provided.  The base sponsorship focuses on recognition of our sponsors through the website, newsletter, and dinner signage. 

There are separate links for SE firms and Industry partners that would like to continue their support for SEAOCC, and for new sponsors. In addition, there are sponsorship opportunities for specific events like the SEAOCC Golf Tournament at Teal Bend, Student Competition Awards Night and the President’s Award Dinner. Platinum sponsor renewals or new sponsors will receive a 10% rebate on the entire sponsorship cost, if they purchase special events sponsorships which exceeds $1000 at the time of purchase.

SEAOCC remains committed to its sponsors and its membership and strives hard to keep the mission and vison of SEAOCC alive and thriving!

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Gold Sponsors

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Job Forum

Job Posting
Oct. 16, 2020


Job Posting
Oct. 12, 2020


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Welcome New Members

new members posted on october 13, 2020

Mohamed Abdelaziz - Norman Scheel Structural Engineering - Associate
Bryce Gagner - Buehler - Associate
Daniel Maldonado - Student

new members approved on October 13, 2020

Tyler Wilfong, Advanced Structural Design - Associate
Christopher Hilson, Degenkolb - Member S.E.
Kale Stiverson, Lionakis - Associate
Rubinjeet Sangha - Student

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ncsea structural engineering practitioner survey

You are invited to participate in the 2020 NCSEA Structural Engineering Practitioner Survey. Your survey responses will assist NCSEA's Basic Education Committee (BEC) in communicating with universities, current students, and rising professionals about the attributes sought in new hires by the structural engineering community as well as look for opportunities to supplement education where needed.

The BEC advocates an academic curriculum which prepares students for practice in the structural engineering profession. Additionally, the committee is looking to supplement educational curriculum for structural engineering students by engaging with educational professionals, NCSEA committees, and member organizations, and assisting with activities that promote the knowledge and skills the engineering community views as necessary when entering the profession. The BEC seeks your input to identify the courses and technical skills required of individuals entering the structural engineering workforce, as well as, the preparedness of today’s graduates.

The information gathered will be compared with that from surveys completed in 2016 and the 2019 Curriculum Survey completed by accredited ABET institutions, then shared with the structural engineering community.

2020 sea grant program open for applications

The NCSEA Grant Program was developed in 2015 to award SEAs funding for projects that grow and promote their SEA and the structural engineering profession in accordance with the NCSEA Mission Statement. This program is funded by the NCSEA Foundation, which was established earlier this year to further support the non-profit activities of NCSEA and its Member Organizations. The goal of the Foundation and the Grant Program are to advance the structural engineering profession through technical development, education, and outreach.  

In 2018, SEAOCC won a grant for the snow load project and in 2019, SEAOCC was awarded a grant to help kickstart our new SE3 committee. Do you have an idea for a project that SEAOCC should apply a grant for? If so, please contact and let us know! NCSEA requires that applications are approved by each SEA before being submitted. The deadline to apply for an NCSEA grant is December 1st. 

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Ask SEAOCC Leadership

you have ten minutes to hide a pen in your house, and you will will $10,000 if a detective cannot find it in the next 24 hours. The pen must be retrievable after the time limit. where do you put the pen?

"Inside my dog's bed. He wouldn't let a stranger get anywhere near it!" - Laura Rice

"Kitchen junk drawer. I can't find anything but I'm told it's in there somewhere." - Ben Faircloth

"I will reassign this task to my 5 year old. I have no idea where he hides things but he seems to know where everything is. I should ask him where all my missing socks are." - Sonia Eliseo

"I can't tell you my secret hiding place or else it wouldn't be a secret!" - Devon Lumbard

"In the attic, under the insulation." - Jeremy Kellogg

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Board of Directors

Roy Lobo


Vice President
Devon Lumbard


Tim Piland, S.E.


Past President
Ben Faircloth, S.E.


Director - Central District
Allison Konwinski


Director - Central District
Rachel Leung, P.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


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Industry News

Structural Masonry Design Webinar Announced

The Northwest Concrete Masonry Association is sponsoring a newly updated three-part webinar series on reinforced masonry design. It will focus on the requirements of the 2018 IBC Chapter 21 and the referenced material standard TMS 402/602 codes. Both working stress and strength design of reinforced concrete masonry will be covered.

Learn how to use and interpret the building code through masonry building element design examples. Participants can earn continuing education credit. The webinar dates are November 19, December 3, and December 10.

This is a practical design webinar for practicing engineers.

Register at

Questions? Please call 425.697.5298

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