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  • January 30, 2023 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    The Applied Technology Council (ATC), in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is seeking licensed U.S. civil and structural engineers from a range of experience levels to serve as trial users for the forthcoming Guidelines for Post-Earthquake Assessment, Repair, and Retrofit of Buildings. Currently in the later stages of development under the FEMA-funded ATC-145 project, these guidelines are intended to serve as the state-of-the-art standard in post-earthquake repair decision-making once released to the wider structural engineering community. The overall framework is applicable across all structural materials, but parameters are only available for reinforced concrete at this time.

    Trial studies are designed to improve the clarity and usability of the methodology and confirm the consistency and reasonableness of the results. Trial users will provide feedback that improves the future effectiveness of the Guidelines and be provided with an early look at this forthcoming document.

    Interest form submissions are due on February 8, 2023. Visit this link for important information about the opportunity, including minimum requirements for eligibility, scope of services, benefits for trial users, and a link to the interest form.

    ATC-145 Guidelines Trial Users - Interest Form Due 2023-02-08.pdf

  • January 25, 2023 6:39 PM | Anonymous

    This morning’s 4.2M earthquake off the coast of Malibu and Santa Monica rattled a few out of our sleep but had little to no significant impact. These are the “good” earthquakes, they keep us on our toes without keeping us out of our homes. They are also great reminders that we need to be prepared to respond to bigger events. That preparedness includes effective plans for response and communication whether between family members, business teams, or those who may be called upon to respond and support their communities.

    To this end, SEAOC has empowered their DES committee, in collaboration with our own DES committee (and other MO DES committees), to refine our statewide disaster response and communications plans to allow consistent response throughout the state when the need arises. The success of these plans lies within the ability to bring engaged members together quickly across the state. In accomplishing this, we encourage our members to reachout to our local DES Committees or the Board to express interest in joining the efforts.

    Current contact information can be found on our website at

  • December 30, 2022 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    As we ring in 2023, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year! We will be celebrating the beginning of 2023 with our annual Trivia Night on January 26. Sign up your team - up to 8 people - and join this friendly competition for fun, refreshments, and prizes.

    I’d also like to congratulate all the participants of the first annual SoCal Gingerbread Challenge. This was one of the most fun events of my SEAOSC career – I can still smell the gingerbread and sugar in the air! All teams did an amazing job showcasing Structural Engineering creativity to non-engineers and engineers alike. The event drew thousands of visitors and was featured by a number of local news outlets. Thank you to all our volunteers who made this event a success:

    Aileen Santos-Redman, Aleeta Dene, Andrew Yu, Bernard Cruz, Claudia Zapata-Kraft, Dan Fox, Dragos Ursu, Gaetano Bologna, Jamie Garza, Jeff Ellis, Kelsey Parolini, Maria Mohammed, Matt Michnewich, Shirin Kiani, Steven Shepherd, Susan Dowty, and Traci Wong.

    I can’t wait for next year!

    In the coming months, keep an eye out for programs on the 2023 updates to the California Building Code. This year also brings our next Leadership Symposium, hosted by the WiSE Committee. We have many other interesting programs coming up, which you can see here:

    Warmest Regards,

    Patti Harburg - Petrich, S.E.
    SEAOSC President 2022-23

  • December 12, 2022 9:32 PM | Anonymous

    This week, thousands visited SEAOSC’s first SoCal Gingerbread Challenge in person and online to see revel in the festive creations made by more than a dozen teams from across the region. (If you weren’t able to make it, you can visit the structures online here.) On Thursday, dozens of engineers and industry professionals assembled at the Burbank Town Center where they had only five hours to create (and decorate) their structures. The results were impressive, as many of the in-person attendees reacted to seeing the structures with gasps of awe and disbelief: “These were built in only 5 hours!?”

    From Friday through Sunday, the public was invited to see what Structural Engineers do when it comes to making buildings stand up. From the youngest “future engineer” to retirees who were interested in seeing the spectacle, all ages came to the exhibit to see the structures. While judges, including an architect and building official, evaluated the structures on Friday morning, all attendees and online visitors were invited to cast a vote for their favorite structure – the most votes being crowned the people’s choice award. And as a way to give back this season, every structure was paired with a nonprofit organization; and every vote was a donation to that partner organization. By 5pm on Sunday, when the voting had closed, more than 3,000 votes had been cast in person and online.

    With the competition closed, teams returned to the location where they had spent an intense five hours just days before for an awards ceremony and reception. The results were in; the judges and public had spoken. The winners were:

    1. People’s Choice: Union Station (Structural Focus/Architectural Resources Group)

    2. President’s Award: Union Station (Structural Focus/Architectural Resources Group)

    3. Best in Show: Once-ler’s House from The Lorax (SGH)

    4. Tallest: Eastern Columbia Building (Structural Technologies)

    5. Most Creative Original Structure: ICC 'Elf-valuation' Service Certification Workshop (ICC-ES)

    6. Best Replica Building: Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (IMEG)

    7. Best Decorated: Casita from Encanto (Buro Happold)

    The reaction from participants and the attendees alike will make this an annual tradition. With some improvements from this year, the SoCal Gingerbread Challenge will return in 2023, and every SEAOSC member should consider forming or joining a team to compete! Teams were able to deepen bonds within their companies and even create deeper connections with clients and partner firms (like architects) as they planned and executed their structures. Ultimately, this was an opportunity to promote the profession and reach new people on what structural engineers do and how essential their work is to the existence of our cities and communities. You can see more on this in news reports from local papers and TV news.
  • December 05, 2022 5:58 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    I hope each of you had a happy and restful Thanksgiving weekend. This year has felt incredibly busy, and I think we all needed a break! 

    As we move towards the end of the year, I’d like to invite you to attend our first annual SoCal Gingerbread Challenge this week, December 9 – 11 at Burbank Town Center. This event is designed to help non-engineers understand what we do as structural engineers in a fun and memorable way.  Our teams have come up with creative and exciting designs that I can’t wait to see created out of gingerbread!  We’re also using the Gingerbread Challenge as an opportunity to give back to our community.  Each gingerbread team is partnering with a local philanthropy, to which SEAOSC will be donating a portion of the proceeds. Bring your friends and family – kids who attend will be able to build their own gingerbread structure and test it on SEAOSC’s shake table. Hope to see you there! 

    Warmest Regards,

    Patti Harburg - Petrich, S.E.
    SEAOSC President 2022-23

  • November 11, 2022 3:43 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    We have all seen a lot of change the last three or four years - change in our homes, communities, and professional industry. The way we do business, the way we connect with one another, and the cultures of our work environments have all been rethought. The operations of SEAOSC are no exception, and we are excited about the direction the association is headed in service to our members and the profession as a whole.

    The SEAOSC Board of Directors feels this is the right time to reevaluate the association bylaws to bring them in alignment with the trajectory of the industry and to better reflect the way we do business. A lot has changed since the last set of amendments were made over 20 years ago, and there is no time like the present to dig in and do the work.  For those of you eligible, please take a moment to review the first round proposed amendments and take part in the democratic process. It's one of the main roles of a voting member of the association: to help decide on the future of your association. The bylaws are the foundation of that future. We ask that you login in and vote today on the proposed changes.  If you have any comments or suggestions, or if you are interested in joining the committee for future conversations, please reach out to the SEAOSC office at


    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
    2022-23 SEAOSC Bylaws Committee Chair

  • October 31, 2022 6:23 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    I have two interesting and exciting upcoming events to share with you this week.

    First, I hope you can join SEAOSC for our Risky Business Breakfast in Orange County on November 15. Board Member Maria Mohammed will moderate a panel on risk management featuring Dr. Vida Tarassoly, Karin Thorp, and Jeff Crosier. The discussion will cover a range of topics important to your practice, whether you are an emerging professional or seasoned engineer, including common missteps that lead to lawsuits, personal liability versus firm liability, and how to get invoices paid. Sign up now at

    And next, I’d like to invite you to participate in SEAOSC’s Inaugural Gingerbread Challenge at Burbank Town Center on December 8! This event is designed to showcase what we do as structural engineers to non-engineers in a fun and memorable way. Teams will have the opportunity to build the gingerbread structure of your dreams and compete for prizes! The gingerbread will be provided – no baking is required. Even more exciting, we’re partnering with local philanthropies to give back to the community. You don’t need to be an engineer or architect to participate on a team –just bring your festive spirit and creativity! Sign up now at

    Hope to see you soon!

    Warmest Regards,

    Patti Harburg - Petrich, S.E.
    SEAOSC President 2022-23

  • October 24, 2022 3:59 PM | Anonymous

    On Tuesday, October 18th, the SEAOSC and AIA LA communities came together at the Buro Happold office in DTLA to delve deep into recent adaptive reuse projects. The event offered an opportunity to engage on the importance of adaptive reuse structures in preserving culture, promoting sustainability, and cultivating existing spaces--including for new housing.

    Roberto Vazquez (Omgivning), Dr. Luis Toranzo (KPFF), and Russell McLellan (SGH) presented three case studies, each with their own challenges: the Lane Building, a non-ductile concrete building built in the 1920’s with extreme torsion issues; the Historic San Jose City Hall, a neglected but beautiful 1950’s curved structure repurposed to provide new housing; and 2. N Lake, a 1980’s (pre-Northridge) moment frame building in Pasadena with a proposed damper solution to increase ductility.

    The three presentations were emblematic of a common theme: adaptive reuse is not only vital to maintain and enhance historic architecture, it is quite often the most sustainable way to create a new building space and provides a concrete solution to Los Angeles’s current housing crisis. The panel of presenters provided different engineering and architectural perspectives on what goes into revitalizing existing structures and bringing them up to code (or to the peer reviewers’ standards). 

    With such a successful turnout, SEAOSC and AIA LA plan to continue the series in 2023 and expand to touch on topics of policies, tools, and case studies to continue to build collaboration between engineers and architects.

    Images by Genevieve Graham

    See all event photos here.

  • October 03, 2022 6:52 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    It was great to see the fantastic turnout at our SEAOSC Committee Showcase last Wednesday. I’d like to thank all the committee members who helped us master minigolf, Structural Focus for hosting us, our generous sponsors Fyfe, DuraFuse, and Safe-T-Proof, and Stratiscope for all their work in planning and executing an amazing night.

    It was exciting to see such interest from our members in participating in our committees. There is a diversity of committees to get involved in, from technical subjects to member engagement. Committees offer an opportunity for each of us, as structural engineers, to both contribute to our profession and our community but also gain professional development and grow our personal networks.

    The first SEAOSC committee I participated in was the Sustainability Committee, back in 2005. I learned a lot, not just about sustainability but how to move an initiative forward, how to create consensus, and how SEAOSC works as an Association. The relationships I made through my work in the Sustainability Committee continue to be valuable today, over 15 years later.

    Today, our Committees are producing great work, from the upcoming Leadership Symposium to white papers to helping influence new legislation.

    There is something for everyone in our SEAOSC Committees, for any background or level of experience. The more diverse perspectives we hear, the stronger our Association will be. I encourage you to reach out and participate in a committee that interests you!

    Warmest Regards,

    Patti Harburg - Petrich, S.E.
    SEAOSC President 2022-23

  • September 09, 2022 4:51 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    The 2022 SEAOC Convention was as hot as the desert was!  

    I’d like to congratulate Tim Kaucher and the 2022 SEAOC Convention Committee for an amazing job. The Convention was a great opportunity to reconnect with our community of structural engineers, learn about the latest technical advances, grow the profession through the Pathways program, and have a lot of fun. I’d also like to give a shout out to the SEAOSC President’s Cup team who came together with a W for our MO! A huge thank you to all who contributed to this year’s incredibly successful Convention. 

    Committee Team: 


    • Tom Harris & Angel Leon


    • Laura Basualdo, Alfred Tran, Jeena Jayamon

    Convention Social Functions

    • Eric Velazquez, Andrea Aguilar

    Young Members

    • Leslie Martinez Hernandez

    Presidents Cup

    • Julia De Hart

    Convention App and Registration

    • Alejandra Bravo

    Cal Poly Slo Students who helped with Registration as well as whatever was asked of them (including President’s Cup!): 

    • Morgan Cuthbert
    • Sasha Padilla
    • Shaina Dickie
    • Brayden Martinez

    Special Thanks to: 

    • Kendall Johnson, chair for 2023 and was invaluable in her help with the app/registration software and who had great input throughout our convention
    • Jessica Chen & Sikandar Porter-Gill for help with the Pathways Mentoring Roundtable
    • Andy Liu, Ashley Gaur, David Pomerleau, Jakub Valigura, Kevin Chang, Nilofar Doorandish, Rahul Sharma, Xiaomi Mitsuhashi for their assistance with the review and rating of the technical abstracts.

    We have an exciting lineup of events coming up. 

    This week, on September 14, join SEAOSC at Brass Bear Brewing in Santa Barbara for the first Structured Connections of the year. You’ll hear from Andrew Stuffler, SEAOSC’s 2021 Building Official of the Year. Andrew will be speaking about the Cal OES Safety Assessment Program lead staff changes, SAP outreach efforts, and the SAP deployment challenges that we should all expect from extreme weather and anticipated major earthquakes in south Santa Barbara County. 

    I can’t wait for our 2022 Committee Showcase on September 28 at Structural Focus. Come join SEAOSC for a fun evening of mini golf, biergarten, and the Kogi truck while you learn about what our committees are planning for the upcoming year.  Each committee will be hosting their own mini golf hole! If you thought last year was fun, this year is looking to be even better. 

    Congrats again on a great Convention and hope to see you soon! 

    Warmest Regards,

    Patti Harburg - Petrich, S.E.
    SEAOSC President 2022-23

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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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