December 2020 Print

President's Message

DECember 2020 

With cases of COVID spiking around the country, this year’s Thanksgiving was likely a different one for most of you due to the pandemic. That said, we hope everyone stayed safe and got some time off to relax and spend quality time with family and loved ones either in person or virtually.  
SEAOC’s activities also were not spared the COVID tentacles and our most anticipated event, the SEAOC Convention could not be held in Hawaii, as originally planned. It was postponed until December 2, 2020, and will be conducted as a virtual event. By now, you should have received multiple announcements asking you to register for the convention. I hope many of you have already registered as there are great topics and speakers. If you do not plan on attending the convention, I encourage you to at least join the Excellence in Structural Engineering (EiSE) Awards program on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 5:00 PM. The special EiSE program is combined with the Fellows program for the new inductees into the SEAOC College of Fellows.

This year Ryan Kersting is the SEAOCC’s nominee to the SEAOC College of Fellows for his many contributions to the organization over the years. 

Knowing Ryan, I am sure he will continue with his stellar contributions to SEAOC as chair of the Legislative Committee and other prominent roles in SEAOC and NCSEA. 
“Since this is accessible to everyone, don’t forget to invite industry partners and clients or family and friends who may enjoy seeing the impact you and your profession have on the California built environment.”
In other news, on November 10, 2020, we held our first Virtual Dinner meeting with 61 of our members registering for the event. It started with an update from the President and then everyone was split up into different breakout rooms hosted by our committee chairs. Nick Herskedal did the honors of managing the logistics for the evening. It concluded with an excellent presentation by Dr. Kit Miyamoto. He took us on a tour to Nepal to show some of the damage caused by the Nepal earthquake and how with local help and material they were able to restore a historical palace to its former glory. Click here to view the presentation and the paper describing the retrofit. A survey was sent to all the registrants, click here or scroll down to view the results.
As usual, our continuing education chair Sonia Eliseo continued with her excellent work of getting great speakers for our webinars. This month the speaker was Jeremy Zorne, from GEOCON Consultants, Inc., and the title of his presentation was “Geotechnical Investigation
Methods, Geotechnical Mitigation & Foundation Types.” I must say, I truly enjoyed the presentation. There were over 45 registrants in attendance. I now feel much more knowledgeable about geotechnical investigations. I am sure the others who attended felt similarly. 

To quote a famous saying by George Bernard Shaw,

“Science never does not solve a problem without creating ten more.”

So, now I have many more questions but at least I know who to call (or hire) if I have a geotechnical question or need. Click here for a link to Mr. Zorne's presentation. 
As we approach the holidays, we look forward to it with perhaps mixed emotions. Will it have the same joyous ring as holiday seasons of the past, or will it take on a more somber tone? What is assured is that the holiday season will not be the same as last year. The COVID-19 situation has worsened, and limits on gatherings will certainly dampen spirits. On a brighter note, it appears coronavirus vaccines will soon be available, and in time we should be able to get back to a more vibrant lifestyle.
From the SEAOCC team, we wish you a happy holiday season and a bright and prosperous New Year!   
Roy Lobo, Ph.D., S.E.

2020-2021 SEAOCC President

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Calendar of Events

Dec 8

Board of Directors Meeting 

Virtual Meeting, Contact [email protected] 


Dec 11

sE3 COMMITTEE meeting

Virtual Meeting, Contact Anna Tekatuz


Dec 16

ymf ugly sweater competition

Virtual Meeting, Contact Matt Quan

jan 12

Membership meeting

2020 T.R. Higgens Lecture , Virtual Meeting, Contact [email protected] 

Save the date! View more information here. 

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Platinum Sponsors


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SEAOCC 2020-2021 Budget

By Roy Lobo and Tim Piland

Our budget for FY 2020-2021 is finally out. There was a little bit of a delay as we were figuring out  our anticipated income from membership and other planned activities. I am pleased to report that the state of our finances is still in the black with an anticipated net income of $2,100.00.  Thanks to the hard work by our Treasurer (Tim Piland), Bookkeeper (Twyla) , and Executive Secretary (Mary Lee Hellner) working tirelessly and on a shoe-string budget we were able to keep anticipated expenses in line with our income.  

We are trimming down the number of scholarships but keeping the amount the same, to attract the most deserving and talented students from each of the college student nominations. 

SEAOCC is continuing its  sponsorship of the CREATE Mentoring Program.  This year’s recipient of the SEAOCC scholarship of $1,000 to the CREATE program goes to Alexander Garcia from Sutter Union High School for his excellence in academic achievement and leadership of his CREATE team all four years of his high school career. Click here for a short video of the award’s winning student.

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Virtual Meeting Survey Results

Participant Survey Results, Virtual Dinner Meeting, November 10, 2020

Our first virtual dinner meeting was held on November 10, 2020. There were 61 members who registered for the event and over 45 members in attendance. This is great participation for a virtual meeting so let’s keep our attendance up for upcoming meetings, too! 

A short survey was sent out to members who registered for the event.  Twenty (20) members responded to the survey which my creative math tells me is approximately 50% of those who attended. The results were very positive and encouraging to the organizers to hold more events like this one. One-hundred percent (100%) of survey participants responded that they either strongly agree or agree that the virtual dinner meetings are a good way to keep members engaged in SEAOCC. Therefore, if you have ideas for our next event which will be held in January, please email me at [email protected]

Survey questions and responses are provided below:

Question 1: Events such as the virtual dinner meeting are a good way to keep members engaged in SEAOCC.

Question 2: The virtual dinner meeting met your expectations.

Question 3: The time allocated for the introduction and to ask questions was adequate.

Question 4: The time allocated for each breakout session was adequate.

Question 5: The Zoom platform worked well and should be used for future virtual events until in-person events can resume.

Question 6: I am likely to join a committee or continue in a committee that I attended during the virtual dinner meeting.

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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 approved on November 10, 2020

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

no new members posted on november 10, 2020

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Join us in celebrating Ryan Kerting's accomplishments as the SEAOCC Member S.E. to be inducted into the SEAOC College of Fellows, as well as acelebration of the structural engineering profession in California as we highlight special projects submitted for the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards.

SEAOCC advanced two projects to the SEAOC EISE competition for consideration,

  • Dyer-Kelly Elementary School Replacement Campus by LIONAKIS in the New Construction Category
  • SMUD Headquarters Seismic Retrofit by Buehler Engineering, Inc. in the Retrofit Alteration Category

In concert with the 2020 Virtual Convention, this special EiSE and Fellows program celebrates the legacy of structural engineering and highlights projects that look to current and future possibilities. Even if you are unable to take advantage of the great convention content, you can still join the EiSE and Fellows Celebration, by following the link above! This portion of the Convention is accessible to everyone, so don't forget to invite industry partners and clients or family and friends who may enjoy seeing the impact you and your profession have on the California built environment.

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Ask SEAOCC Leadership

Would you rather be stuck in a broken elevator or on a broken ski lift?

"Been in lift, it's more terrifying." - Tim Piland

"Definitely a broken elevator. I hate being cold and sleeping helps me get through stress. No way to sleep on a ski lift. Now if it was a gondola, maybe that would be a perference." - Lisa Podesto

"My obituary would read better if I met my demise on a mountainside rather than in a concrete pit under a building, so ski lift." - Ben Faircloth

"Ski lift, of course!" - Dave Hunn

"Ski Lift fingers crossed that it is not in inclement weather." - Jeremy Kellogg

"Ski lift, think of the view!" - Nick Herskedal

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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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