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  • May 13, 2022 6:52 PM | Anonymous
    Cal Poly SLO SEAOSC Student Chapter is currently led by its President, Jay Skaff. They have recently built their club back up after being online due to COVID for over a year and began the year strong through the Big/Little Sibling program, making sure to welcome the first years with open arms. They achieved an all-time high of SEAOSC members registered for the chapter along with a strong young member involvement promising a great future for our club. 

    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

  • May 09, 2022 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    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.

  • April 22, 2022 3:33 PM | Anonymous

    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.

  • April 18, 2022 5:32 PM | Anonymous

    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:

    The deadline to submit nominations for this year’s SEAOSC Safer Cities Awards is on Tuesday, May 3rd at 3:00 pm.

  • April 18, 2022 4:59 PM | Anonymous

    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. 

  • April 18, 2022 12:20 AM | Anonymous

    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.

  • April 12, 2022 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    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.

  • April 04, 2022 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    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.


    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.

    SEAOSC President, 2021-22
  • March 14, 2022 8:04 PM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    The building and construction sector is responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions. To meet the 1.5°C carbon budget, all new buildings and major renovations must be designed to be zero carbon today.  The design decisions we make as structural engineers directly impact the ability for the design and construction industry to meet these goals. Structural engineers are in a key position to facilitate the mitigation of carbon emissions through the systems we design and materials we specify.  You can find additional information and resources in this article by SEAOSC Sustainability Committee Chair Luke Lombardi. 

    There are a number of ways in which the structural engineering community can lead, and in a first step the SEAOSC Board has taken a leadership position addressing concrete construction specifically: SEAOSC supports the use of low-carbon concrete as long as it performs the same or better than concrete conforming with current code requirements.

    So what does this mean for SEAOSC Members and SEAOSC Committees? Our Concrete Committee is empowered to work with technical and industry partners to help shape codes and design guidelines.  Our Sustainability Committee is empowered to provide resources and advocacy in the use of low carbon materials.  Our Legislative Action Committee is empowered to work with jurisdictions to create legislative change. And Members benefit from these efforts in the form of education opportunities for you and your colleagues, resources to share with clients, and tools for your projects, all while working together to reduce carbon in our communities.

  • March 08, 2022 8:55 AM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    By Luke Lombardi, PE, Co-Chair, SEAOSC Sustainability Committee

    You may have noticed the increasing number of news articles about climate change or have received increasingly frequent client communications inquiring about embodied carbon, LCAs, and net-zero buildings--topics generally unfamiliar to the traditional day-to-day activities of structural engineering. If you’ve been buried in calculations, coordination, and construction administration, these topics and endlessly new acronyms might feel a bit overwhelming. Let’s break it down and explain why these issues are important and relevant for structural engineers and why structural engineers play a vital role in guiding this pivotal transition towards sustainable building design.

    Full disclosure: we are sharing a lot of links. The intent isn’t to overload you, but to provide an ongoing resource. There is an abundance of foundational research and case studies available. Understanding a few basics is really all you need to know to start making an immediate impact. For quick reference, the most important points are underlined and bolded. Summary / action items are at the end.

    Climate science has been around for decades along with the corresponding calls to mitigate emissions. We’ve recently seen increasingly alarming reports from scientists and calls for action in Paris, Glasgow (Arch 2030 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué), and most recently with the IPCC’s Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability report. Governments, clients, and our industry member organizations have joined in this call for action by declaring a state of emergency around climate change (e.g. Engineers Declare). 

    Globally, we have a limited “carbon budget” of approximately 460bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) to have a 50% chance of keeping warming below 1.5C – that’s just 11.5 years of current (2020) emissions. Every fraction of a degree matters as cities and communities around the world are at risk (negative impacts outlined by Nasa and Carbon Brief). It is simply not feasible to adapt our building code provisions - think wind speeds or temperature ranges - at the same pace as  climate change.

    Aggressive reductions are needed now for emissions to be reduced in half by 2030 to realistically meet this budget. The shift towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is important, but buildings are also a pillar of the U.S. decarbonization plan.

    Buildings are responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions (EIA report, 2018) with about three quarters coming from building operations and the remaining quarter resulting from  materials and construction. In Los Angeles, this proportion is 43% of greenhouse gas emissionsmore than any other sector in the city, including transportation. Globally, the emissions from cement, steel, and aluminum manufacturing represent a staggering 23% of all emissions

    By 2060, the global building stock is projected to double. This is the equivalent of constructing an entire New York City every month. Embodied carbon emissions between now and 2050 are expected to be the source of the majority of emissions from this projected new construction.

    This is the purview of structural engineers. We specify the size and type of material needed for safe construction and have a responsibility to understand these elements best. Material quantity and the specified material, which has a corresponding global warming potential (GWP), form the basis for embodied carbon calculation. Though some might suggest this consideration is “out of scope,” has our industry not previously expanded other aspects of our expertise as new information is discovered? For example, every significant earthquake provides a new learning opportunity to access and adapt to better protect and serve our communities. We no longer use pre-Northridge steel moment connections. Management of embodied carbon in our structures is similarly an extension of practicing this responsibility to public safety.

    Is it even possible? SEI has published How to Get to Zero outlining different paths of design change, electrification, material innovation, and purchased offsets--some more costly than others.

    In the past year and a half, 75 structural engineering firms have joined SE 2050 to “support the vision that all structural engineers shall understand, reduce, and ultimately eliminate embodied carbon in their projects by 2050. This list of progressive companies includes 18 local structural engineering firms in the SEAOSC region. 

    What is the next step? Get informed about strategies for reduction from AIA, CLF, or LETI (UK). Using less carbon-intensive materials in new-builds and finding ways to extend the functional life of structures (e.g. circular economy).

    There is a growing precedent driving new policies that address embodied carbon similar to building operational emissions. Take the London Tulip for example. Embodied carbon legislation has now been introduced on the floor of British parliament, and as of this past February has been proposed in California as well.

    As structural engineers, we have a collective leadership opportunity to embrace this transition during the climate crisis. We can choose to support the responsible use of natural resources in design through resilient seismic design as well as adaptive reuse. Moving towards using materials that contribute to ecosystems and carbon sequestration is a challenge structural engineers are trained to meet.

    Summary: Carbon emissions generated from buildings, both old and new, significantly contribute to climate change. Structural engineers are in a key position to facilitate, rather than incumber, the mitigation of these emissions through the systems we design and materials we specify. Public perception, closely followed by public policy, is rapidly changing. By taking action now, as structural engineers, we can choose to define our leadership role rather than rely on others in the industry to prescribe changes to structural elements and design.

    How you can get started:

    Check out the SE 2050 Program Requirements Guidance Document for more ideas.

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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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