Identity & Origin
The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is the oldest structural engineering association in the world, and is one of four regional structural engineering associations (known as Member Organizations) of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC). The individual members of each regional association are automatically members of SEAOC. SEAOSC members are civil, structural, and geotechnical engineers regularly engaged in the practice of structural engineering. SEAOSC also draws membership from related fields involved in design and construction, including academe (professors and students), contractors, architects, and representatives from industry and government.
SEAOSC is incorporated as a California not-for-profit, tax exempt, trade association under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(6). Member Organizations operate autonomously, each having their own staffs, Boards of Directors, budgets, and member programs and services independent of SEAOC. SEAOSC is governed by a Board of Directors, which is composed of representatives of different regions in Southern California.
“To advance the science of structural engineering; to assist the public in obtaining dependable structural engineering services; to encourage engineering education; to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession and to enlighten the public with regard to the province of the structural engineer.”
This was the avowed purpose of the new Structural Engineers Association of Southern California as it came into being in a meeting at the University Club in Los Angeles on February 20, 1929. The organizers were a group of 12 structural engineering consultants; 2 were also architects and one was a professor at the California Institute of Technology. Many of the organizers are well known today for their contributions to the science of structural engineering.
Charter Members: Beanfield, Bowen, Derrick, DeLine, Erick, Jeffers, Mellema, Martel, Noerenberg, Noice & Walz
Meanwhile, consulting structural engineers in the San Francisco area were meeting informally. The official beginning of the Northern California Association is traced to a meeting held at the Engineer’s Club in San Francisco on January 19, 1930. On April 14, 1930, the Northern California Association was officially organized.
After the formation of the Northern California Association in 1930, it quickly became apparent that much could be gained from closer contact between the Northern and Southern California groups. There was considerable discussion in both groups about establishing a means of correlation efforts and exchanging ideas between the north and the south. An exploratory meeting was held in Santa Monica in 1931 between representatives of the two Associations. Later that year, the state Association was founded. The first convention of SEAOC was held at the Santa Maria Inn on December 3 and 4, 1932. A constitution was adopted at that time, and was later ratified by the constituent Associations.