In September, I shared with you SEAOSC’s mission statement and the ways that the association was actively advocating “in service to our community”. I asked what the phrase “in service to our community” looks like for you, and how SEAOSC can help you with that vision? As the months have unfolded, I have seen our members work together on a number of projects that I truly believe not only advance the profession of Structural Engineering but to strengthen our communities as well.
Over the past months I have also been fortunate to glimpse ways in which our SEAOSC members carry the association mission into their personal lives and careers - stepping into leadership roles when the opportunity arises. Did you know that one of our members sits on the City of Alhambra Planning Commission and another participates in a City advisory body focusing on regional community resilience? These individuals, with training and expertise in Structural Engineering, are getting involved in their communities, spurring innovation and growth while also giving a face to our industry. Other SEAOSC members have taken leadership roles on School Boards, Scouting organizations, and ACE Mentoring – all of which are providing influence and setting examples for future generations.
It is not just the community, organization, or institution that benefits when you volunteer for leadership positions, but there are benefits for you as well:
You have the opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals with experiences, background and mindsets that may very well differ from the professionals you work with on a daily basis.
It allows you to take on levels of responsibility, management, or leadership that may not be available to you in your office. Ultimately allowing you to develop skills that will propel you in your professional career.
It will grow your network, and possibly open new opportunities for you down the road.
These are all benefits I have experienced as I have navigated the executive positions of SEAOSC, and can honestly say for as much as I have given I have received it back two-fold.
And speaking of SEAOSC leadership, I am happy to share that all five individuals, nominated by the SEAOSC Nominating Committee have graciously accepted the invitation to join the 2022/23 Board. We introduced you to Margaux Burkholder in last week’s email and Steven Shepherd in this one, and we will continue those introductions in the coming weeks so that you will also get to know Daniel Zepeda, Richard Byrd, and incoming Treasurer Garrett Mills. Keep an eye on our weekly newsletters for this content.
I look forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events, including the joint ACI/SEAOSC dinner in Fullerton next week. Please don’t hesitate to say “hi” and share your leadership story with me.
Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
The Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) is pleased to present a unique opportunity for Students and Early-Career Professionals during the 2022 SEAOC Convention in Indian Wells, CA. In continuing our response to the 2020 SEAOC Call to Action we are convening a group of Engineering Students and Early-Career Professionals to share ideas on enhancing the pathways into and through the profession of structural engineering in California. To accomplish this, SEAOC is inviting interested students and early-career professionals to apply to join the SE Pathways Cohort at the 2022 SEAOC Convention.
This will be a great opportunity to network with the practicing professionals and colleagues; learn keys issues the SE profession is facing, including Diversity Equality and Inclusion; meet representatives from trades that may assist you in your future as practicing engineers; and most important, have an opportunity to help shape the future of Structural Engineering practice in California. We strongly encourage all to apply for this opportunity. Additional benefits and opportunities you will receive include:
Full Access to the 2022 SEAOC Convention Program
· Two tracks of technical subjects
· One track on professional development topics
· Industry Receptions & Meals with Colleagues
Primary Expenses Paid
· Full Convention Registration
· On-Site Accommodations for 3 Nights
· Reimbursed Travel Expenses
· 1-Year Free SEAOC Membership
Special SE Pathways Cohort Activities Include:
· Private Reception with Cohort Members and Industry Mentors
· Participation is Pathways Workshops & Roundtable Conversations
· Invitation to YMF Speed Mentoring Session
This program's goal is to sponsor at least 20 students and 20 early-career professionals for inaugural SE Pathways Cohort. Students should be in at least their third year of undergraduate engineering (structural emphasis) studies and early-career professionals should be within their first three years of structural engineering industry involvement. Application & Registration information can be found on the 2022 SEAOC Convention Website at https://www.seaoc.org/page/2022ConventionMain.
Read SE Pathways Cohort Invitation for Student Members here.
Read SE Pathways Cohort Invitation for Young Members here.
Read SE Pathways Cohort Invitation for Faculty here.
Download the 2022 SEAOC Convention Cohort Program Application here.
Read the 2022 SEAOC Convention Pathways Track here.
The chapter has held weekly meetings hearing from a variety of lovely companies from industry speak on projects, career paths, and more. As a chapter, they also hosted Quarterly SEAOSC trips to San Francisco, New York, and San Diego visiting firms and their respective projects led by their Vice President Robert Hardwick. Moreover, the chapter won the Annual AEI Canstruction competition, collecting a great number of cans donated to our local food bank.
The student chapter also implemented new events such as Graduate School Panels with various alumni sharing their Grad school experiences. Another new event was their first-ever Service Trip to Yosemite, retrofitting structures in the national park. Lastly, the infamous Structural Forum run by our Forum Chair, Tia Kelly, and her amazing Forum Committee, organized a fantastic Forum with over 50 companies in attendance and a handful of incredible speakers.
Overall, the goals of the chapter this year were to increase student involvement, continue connecting with professionals in our industry, and create an inclusive professional club for all SEAOSC members.
Their newly elected President Chapter, Sasha Padilla, strives to continue reaching the same goals along with creating new events such as Alumni gatherings, SEAOSC Student Chapter socials, and all in all continuing Cal Poly SEAOSC’s presence in the industry even more.
Cal Poly SLO Student Chapter at the MHP Office in Long Beach
EERI-SEAOSC at UCLA is a culmination of our students' efforts to build a community of scholars, faculty, and professionals who share a single goal: to reduce earthquake risk and to advance the field of structural engineering in California and beyond. Over the past year, together with parent organization SEAOSC, EERI-SEAOSC at UCLA again hosted its annual earthquake engineering networking fair in November of 2021, and its official career fair in January. Each quarter, they supported the research conducted by our student community by hosting research roundtable series where they invited student speakers across UCLA to present their research to fellow students, faculty, and industry leaders. The professional development team organized a comprehensive program with numerous office visits, information sessions, and networking opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. They also partnered with other student organizations such as CalGeo and ASCE at UCLA to bring diverse events to our student body, including FE Exam and PE Exam bootcamps, resume review workshops, and hosted industry speakers from across southern California. Each of their events were carefully conducted to further support our vision of community and innovation that binds our chapter together, a tradition we work hard to uphold each year.
Next year, EERI-SEAOSC at UCLA has planned to launch an initiative to promote accessibility and inclusivity in our programs. The organization's board next year will comprise of more undergraduate and transfer students dedicated to structural and earthquake engineering, and hopes to introduce more undergraduate-friendly opportunities to mentor, research, and take on higher-level internships through their partner programs in the coming years.
Over seventy attendees participated in SEAOSC’s technical summit, “Sustainability in Structural Design.” In the first all-day in-person training of its kind, engineers heard from industry leading presenters giving a comprehensive education on “Embodied Carbon 101” (Megan Stringer, Holmes) as well as “An Owner’s Approach to Carbon” (Sara Neff, Lendlease). Buro Happold’s Michael Hoehn shared about the available tools for calculating embodied carbon and projected future developments for automated workflows using the open-source BHoM tool. The morning concluded with a view of the policy landscape shaping design and product procurement by Natasha Balwit, and California state Assemblymember, Chris Holden, speaking to the group via video on his proposed “Carbon Intensity of Construction and Building Materials Act.” Fourteen SE 2050 signatory firms participated in discussing their embodied carbon action plans over lunch, which lead into an afternoon session that was geared at pragmatic carbon reduction strategies. The group heard from industry representatives: Brandon Wray (NRMCA), Mike Romanowski (Woodworks) and Aleeta Dene (APA Engineered Wood Association), and Andrea Chiu (Nucor). Lastly, the day concluded with three case studies by practitioners: 843 N Spring Street by Tye Bailey (LEVER) and Rachelle Habchi (Glotman Simpson), Intuit Arena by Margaux Burkholder (Walter P Moore), and a tech campus by Gina Kope (Holmes).
After a full day, the stimulated group then continued the conversation over happy hour.
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Initiated in 2018, the SEAOSC Safer Cities Awards program celebrates contributions by the local community and civic leaders and organizations working to enhance the resilience of cities throughout the Southern California region. These awards recognize partners and individuals who in their own roles are supporting this vision, often in coordination and collaboration with the structural engineering community.
Awards presented in 2022 are for contributions made in 2021. Organizations and individuals who are not past recipients of the award are eligible. Nominations are open to the public, and self-nominations are also accepted.
To submit a nomination, visit: https://seaosc.wufoo.com/forms/seaosc-2022-safer-cities-award-nomination-form/
The deadline to submit nominations for this year’s SEAOSC Safer Cities Awards is on Tuesday, May 3rd at 3:00 pm.
On April 2, 2022, the SEAOSC Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted an interactive booth and represented structural engineering profession as one of the 40 partners across the AEC industry for the Paul Revere William's Day, a once-yearly event that connects professionals from architecture, design, engineering, and construction to students across many experience levels to introduce interest in design professions at a young age. Volunteers from SEAOSC -- Vickey Rogers, Noya Wang, Brett Beekman, Laura Basualdo, Carlos Zarate Jr., and Cheng Song -- demonstrated structural engineering concepts using shake tables and Mola Kits. Students were invited to build their structures with the materials from Mola Kits and bring them to test on the shake table that simulates an earthquake. They were guided by engineers to experiment modifying design parameters, such as removing structural elements and changing the frequency of shaking, to observe how structures change behaviors accordingly. Intrigued students asked many questions about various aspects of the profession, and the SEAOSC members shared passionately about their experience and perspectives.
The great San Francisco earthquake occurred on this day in 1906. With an estimated magnitude of 7.9, this earthquake destroyed most of the City of San Francisco. The earthquake damage was exacerbated by the multiple fires that broke out as a result of broken gas lines from the earthquake shaking, and which burned over many days. Most of the City's residents were left homeless after the earthquake.This earthquake is noted as the deadliest earthquake in the history of the United States with over 3000 casualties.
See the SEAOSC existing buildings fact sheet and use the Find an Engineer search feature on our website to help determine your building’s seismic risk and possible mitigation strategies.
LOS ANGELES, Calif., (April 12, 2022) – On the heels of Women in Construction Week and the last day of Women’s History Month, four architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry professional women’s organizations joined forces for the inaugural Women Working Together (WWT) Networking Event. A collaboration between the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Women in Architecture Committee (AIALA-WiA); National Association of Women in Construction Los Angeles Chapter (NAWIC-LA); Structural Engineers Association of Southern California Women in Structural Engineering Committee (SEAOSC-WiSE) and Women in Operations Southern California Chapter (WiOPS), the sold-out evening event took place on March 31, 2022 at City Green in Downtown Los Angeles.
With approximately 170 people in attendance, this was the first time these four organizations have collaborated to provide an opportunity for their members to interact. In keeping with the “women working together” theme, the event featured a selection of wine procured and made by women wine makers from Vinovore, as well as a special performance by Spags, an electric female violinist who is a master at creatively merging the classical violin with modern music.
“Working in male-dominated industries of varying degrees, women in architecture, engineering and construction careers may not have many other women to interact with and learn from in their daily work environments.” says Michelle Kam-Biron, WWT Steering Committee member representing SEAOSC-WiSE, mass timber specialist at Structurlam. “The WWT Networking Event provided an opportunity for the participating professional organizations and members to connect as a larger group and expand their voice, work to increase opportunities for principal positions in their industries and develop mutually beneficial relationships moving forward.”
“This event, during Women’s History Month, delivers allyship, support and collaboration that will lead to positive change in our professions well beyond this celebratory time,” said Jennifer Noel Wong, WWT Steering Committee member representing AIA|LA -WiA, Associate at CO Architects.
With the numbers beginning to improve due to company and professional organization efforts like the WWT event, women are still underrepresented in the AEC industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women comprise only 10.9% of construction industry workers, yet they make up 47% of the nation’s workforce. Architecture and engineering fare a little better with women comprising just 27% of the workers in this sector. Studies also show that AEC industry careers for women are often short lived due to inflexible hours, non-progressive culture, lack of advancement and limited mentorship opportunities.
“In response to the AEC industry experiencing pre- and post-pandemic talent shortages along with increases in market demands and realizing the advantages of having a diverse staff, attracting and retaining more women to AEC careers has become a growing industry-wide focus,” says Kam-Biron. “Exemplifying this movement, the organizations leading WWT are seeing an uptick in engagement among industry companies boosting our efforts to support and advance women in their AEC careers.”
“The company sponsorships and turnout for our inaugural WWT event were overwhelming,” said Ileana Holguin, WWT Steering Committee member representing NAWIC-LA, vice president, project executive at McCarthy Building Companies. “It was inspiring to meet and talk with so many supportive men and women in different AEC-industry roles and stages of their careers. With college interns, project managers, vice presidents, business owners and more engaging in conversations, everyone had the opportunity to develop fruitful new business connections and relationships.”
The event garnered the financial support of 21 companies including: Brandow & Johnston, Coleman Equipment Rentals, Clark Construction, IMEG Corporation, McCarthy Building Companies, Pacific Wall Systems, Inc., T&S Structural, Abet Laminati, Giroux Glass Inc., HBC, JRM Construction West, Martin Bros., Murray Company, Vulcan Materials Company, Structural Focus, Thornton Tomasetti, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Kimley Horn, MATT Construction, Miyamoto and USGBC-LA.
Kelly Strain, senior project manager at Chambers Group, and environmental consulting firm, said, “A highlight for me was having the opportunity to meet a vast array of interesting, bright, and accomplished individuals.” Other positive feedback about the evening echoed by multiple attendees reflected the pleasure they received in connecting with other women, discovering opportunities to positively impact the advancement of women, being part of the significant turnout—of both men and women—to support women in the industry, and last but not least, enjoying an elegant event, venue and entertainment.
The planning team reveals that this will likely not be an isolated event. “Due to this level of interest within the industry, the WWT steering committee is planning another WWT event next year and will continue to look for regular opportunities to network with one another,” says Kam-Biron.
The following individuals served on the WWT steering committee: Michelle Kam-Biron, SEAOSC-WiSE, Structurlam; Ashley Richardson, AIALA-WiA, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects; Jennifer Noel Wong, AIALA-WiA, CO Architects; Leah Wimberly, WiOPS, Pacific Wall Systems, Inc; Barbara Kotsos, NAWIC-LA, Giroux Glass; Ileana Holguin, and NAWIC-LA, McCarthy Building Companies.
As I reflect on the month of March - my first thought is “We’re Back”! The Association hit its stride this month with THREE unique in-person programs for your enjoyment and development. A majority of you join SEAOSC for technical training, the community, and/or the professional development. Well, I think we were able to check each of those boxes this past month.
The day-long Sustainability in Structural Design summit was a great success. It brought together engineers from across the state to learn and share how members of our industry are responding to the call for reduced embodied carbon in buildings. We reviewed the fundamentals of embodied carbon, explored the owner and policy side of reduced carbon initiatives, and took tips from successful projects right in our own backyard. I was struck by Sara Neff’s message (and I’m going to paraphrase here) that to an owner with aggressive target sustainability goals, Structural Engineer’s are now one of the first consultants invited to her table for programming and design development because structural material choices have such an impact in the bigger energy conversation. I left the day excited for the role we can play in bringing change to our communities, and with a promise to revisit and revamp my standard project specs. A sincere thank you goes to Sustainability Chair Luke Lombardi for orchestrating such a powerful event. For those who were not able to join us, check out this Resources Pocketbook, thoughtfully assembled by our event planning committee. Also mark your calendars for June when we intend to compliment this discussion with content that includes resilience, adaptive reuse, and circular economy.
For a different spin on professional development, our half-day public speaking workshop was not only successful, but a lot of fun too! Thanks to Nance Rosen’s energetic approach, we spent time exploring how to make each encounter meaningful and rich for the audience. I took many notes, but the one line that is circled and underlined at the top of the page is this… “all speaking is public speaking”. Whether an audience of 1 or 1,000 we should come to the conversation prepared and ready to illustrate a meaningful message. Thanks to the support of CSI and grant funding from NCSEA we will be providing all of our members with a 1 hour video that will allow you to explore some of this content in the comfort of your office chair.
And finally, last week SEAOSC’s WiSE Committee partnered with AIALA-AiA, NAWIC LA, and WiOPS to put on the Women Working Together Networking Event. This too was a success with over 175 attendees from across the A/E/C industry. It was exciting to see this cross association collaboration, and I look forward to future endeavors. A nod of gratitude goes to Michelle Kam Biron for her vision and leadership in this event.
If you missed these great opportunities, don’t fret, there is more coming up for you to take advantage of. On April 13th for example, we will be in Burbank for dinner and a panel discussion on how to navigate the business risks that Structural Engineers are faced with. Take a minute to jot it on your calendar and join us for the evening. I also encourage you to share your SEAOSC experiences with colleagues and friends. The most important component of our SEAOSC community are the people, and we would love to see that community grow. Please consider introducing us to one of your office mates by inviting them to accompany you to an upcoming event. We will even help with the registration - for each SEAOSC member who brings a guest on April 13th, your guest is welcome at our member rate. Additionally, we will provide you with 2 drink tickets. I look forward to chatting with each of you soon.
SEAOSC Office10945 Burbank Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91601
Phone: (562) 908-6131
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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is the oldest structural engineering association in the world.