April 2017

Newsletter of the Seattle Chapter
Structural Engineers Association of Washington

In This Issue

  1. April Dinner Meeting
  2. From the Board
  3. February Dinner Meeting Recap
  4. Nominating Committee Report
  5. SSB 5185 Good Samaritan Protection for SEAW
  6. Wind Engineering Committee
  7. YMF Corner
  8. SEAW UW Chapter Update
  9. SEFW Update
  10. Southwest Chapter Update
  11. South Central Chapter Update
  12. Simpson Strong-Tie Workshops Coming to Washington
  13. Facebook Update
  14. Membership Postings
  15. Employment Opportunities
  16. From the Editor
  17. Upcoming Events

Seattle Chapter Leadership

Cary Kopczynski

Vice President

Chun Lau


Theodore E. Smith


Michael Bramhall

Past President

Theodore E. Smith

Directors 2014-2017

Adam Slivers
Hans-Erik Blomgren

Directors 2015-2018

Joyce Lem
Darrell Staaleson

Directors 2016-2019
Douglas Beck
Shalini Prochazka

YMF President

Morgan Wiese

April Dinner Meeting

Joint Meeting with SEAW Seattle and Southwest Chapters

TOPIC: Response to the August 24, 2016 Central Italy Earthquake 

WHEN: WED April 19, 2017

LOCATION: Galliano's Cucina,  14201 Interurban Ave So., Tukwila 98168

5:00-6:00 Registration/Networking
6:00-6:40 Dinner
6:45-7:00 Welcome/Announcements
7:00-8:15 Program

$35 Members
$40 Non-members


EERI Learning from Earthquakes Program supported a joint international effort to respond to the August 24, 2016 Central Italy Earthquake. This team worked jointly with Italian engineers and researchers to observe and document the damage after the earthquake, focus on the performance of schools and hospitals, and understand how lessons learned from the 2009 L'Aquilla earthquake were applied after this event. Dr. Paolo Calvi of the University of Washington, and Dr. Erica Fischer of Degenkolb were two of the EERI team members that traveled to Italy. They will discuss the emergency management response, structural behavior, and the retrofit programs that have developed within Italy over the last 15 years. Since the August 24th earthquake, there have been numerous earthquakes and aftershocks in the region. This presentation will incorporate how Italy is responding to these additional earthquakes, and how they have affected the natural, built, social, and political environments.


Paolo Calvi is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Washington where he serves as Faculty Advisor for the UW EERI Student Chapter. This past September he has been a member of the EERI Reconnaissance Team that traveled to Italy following the earthquake of August 24, 2016. He has a BA and an MSCE from the University of Pavia (Italy) and a PhD from the University of Toronto (Canada). He has extensive experience in the area of advanced experimental and numerical response of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete structures, with particular emphasis on shear critical structures subjected to monotonic, cyclic and dynamic loads. Before joining the University of Washington as a faculty member in September 2015, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), working on the protection of non-structural elements and structural systems by means of base isolation.

His current research studies include development of mechanical models to estimate the residual strength of RC and PC bridge structures relying on observable crack patterns, to allow direct comparisons between residual capacity and potential demands. His prior work has focused on large-scale testing of shear critical RC structures and on development of non-linear models, simplified assessment tools and design guidelines. Over the past five years, he has been actively involved in the testing of more than 70 large scale structural elements such as beams, panels, walls, transfer girders and coupling beams.

He is a registered Professional Engineer in Italy and has been involved in several international research and consulting projects in Europe, Canada and USA. He is affiliated to the EUCENTRE Foundation where he holds a researcher position.

Erica Fischer, PhD, is a Design Engineer at Degenkolb Engineers in Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about earthquake reconnaissance and has been a member of reconnaissance teams that traveled to Haiti, Napa, and, most recently, Italy, last September. Dr. Fischer is the co-chair of the EERI Younger Members Committee and co-founder of the Virtual Earthquake Reconnaissance Team. She is a volunteer with Build Change and performs ongoing research on disaster resilience in both developing and developed countries.

Register Now!

From the Board
By Adam Silvers

SEAW was formed in 1950 in response to the 1949 Seattle Earthquake. There were two motivations. The first was to provide a group of volunteer structural engineers to assist the Seattle Building Department in determining the extent of structural damage to buildings. The second was to develop a building code that incorporated earthquake resistance. So, in its formation, the SEAW's mission was to advance the professional practice of its members and therefore enhance the public's safety.

Continuing education is one of the cornerstones of the association's activities. Every member of SEAW should take part in continuing education. Our code of ethics requires that engineers "maintain their competency by continuing their professional development throughout their careers and shall provide opportunities for the professional development of those individuals under their supervision." (Washington Administrative Code 196-27A-020). Furthermore, if you aren't participating, you aren't getting your money's worth. Read more

SSB 5185 Good Samaritan Protection for SEAW

SB 5185 - Providing immunity from liability for professional or trade association providing emergency response volunteers.

The SEAW Legislative Committee would like to alert our members that the following legislation is expected to be moved to the floor of the Washington House of Representatives and is expected to be scheduled for a House floor vote before April 12.

CALL TO ACTION: We encourage you to learn more about this measure. We hope you will join us in support of this legislation.

Please contact your House Representatives Legislators immediately to express your opinion.

If your Representative is on the Rules Committee it is especially important to contact them immediately. Read more

Wind Engineering Committee
By Scott Douglas

Next Meeting: Thursday, April 13th from Noon to 1:00 pm at DCI Engineers (818 Stewart Street, Ste. 1000, Downtown Seattle). The April meeting will focus on the three design examples SEAW WEC members are authoring in cooperation with the SEAOC Wind Committee for the proposed SEAOC Wind Design Manual. All members are encouraged to participate either in person or via Go-to-Meeting. Please contact the WEC chair, Scott Douglas sdouglasscott@gmail.com, to join the WEC and to receive information and announcements on Committee activities and actions.

SEAW UW Chapter Update
By Morgan Wiese

The SEAW UW Student Chapter attended an office visit to AHBL's office on February 27th. We met with Andrea Sauter, a senior structural engineer, who explained the reality of being a working engineer to the students through elaborating on some projects she has recently completed, the time commitments that are sometimes required (very late nights are not just for university life), juggling facetime with clients, typically managing 8-12 projects at a given time, and the engineer's role when using BIM software. A student enquired if a Master's degree was a necessity when applying to a future career. Ms. Sauter responded that recently she has seen a rise in applicants with a Master's degree, most likely due to the increased competition. However, she noted that most senior engineers did not have a Master's.

Meeting at AHBL Office.

South Central Chapter Update
By Jill Shuttleworth and Tony Vader

The South Central (SC) Chapter of SEAW has been providing special awards for students who have structural engineering related projects at the Mid-Columbia Regional Science and Engineering Fair. This fair is held every year at Columbia Center in Kennewick, WA. This year there were no high school structural engineering projects but we did award 4 prizes to middle school students.

2 $25 awards to the following 6th graders:
Does the Shape Matter - dome, pyramid, box, "skyscraper" by Angela Corona, Sierra Vista Middle School Sunnyside
Earthquake Resistant Buildings - Blocks in running bond and stack bond by Annika Samra, Enterprise Middle School, West Richland

1 $50 award to the following 8th grader:
Bridge Strength - Warren, Pratt, Howe, modified Warren, by Ethan Cate, Franklin Middle School, Yakima

1 $75 award to the following 7th grader:
Wood vs Steel Deflection experiment explored I and E by Jerome Zito, Christ the King, Richland

In addition, the SC Chapter donated $300 to support the Mid-Columbia Science and Engineering Fair. Donations help run the fair and provide monetary awards in the form of scholarships, for students to attend International Science & Engineering Fair and Science & Engineering Camps

Facebook Update
By Darrell Staaleson

The SEAW Facebook Page has 2,373 'Likes' which is up from 2,358 for last month. That means 2,373 people will see your post immediately.

Among other things available on our Facebook page, you can watch the video of Paul Brallier of the SEAW Disaster Preparedness Committee giving testimony in favor of SB 5185 to the Senate State Government Committee.

The most liked recent post from our Facebook page was this photo of Val, Doc, and Hirsch who the Nominating Committee asked to help "explain it to them." This reached 1396 people.

Upcoming Events

April 18 - Disaster Prep & Response Committee Meeting

April 19 - Seattle Chapter Joint Meeting with Southwest Chapter

April 19 - Seattle Chapter Board Meeting

April 20 - South Central Chapter Meeting

February Dinner Meeting Recap
By Marcus Freeman

SEAW and ACI were honored to have Mike Schneider speak at last February's joint meeting hosted by the Museum of Flight. Mr. Schneider spoke on "The Concrete Industry: A Global Perspective." As the current ACI President and Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Baker Concrete Construction, Inc., Mr. Schneider was able to share his wealth of experience and unique perspective on both the advancements and challenges currently facing the concrete industry. Read more

Nominating Committee Report

The SEAW Seattle Chapter Nominating Committee has submitted the following choices for its 2017 board candidates: 

President: Chun Lau, Brown and Caldwell
Vice President: Darrell Staaleson, Staaleson Engineering
Directors, 2017-2020: Mark Whitely, Cary Kopczynski & Company
Mike Visser, Visser Engineering
Director, 2018: Kevin Solberg. (The nominating committee recommended Kevin Solberg to take the place of Darrell Staaleson for a one year term as Director subject to the approval by the Seattle Chapter Board of Directors.)

In accordance with chapter bylaws, Article III, Section 3(b): "...Prior to February 20, the Nominating Committee shall report their nominations for office: one (1) name for President, at least one (1) name for Vice President, and at least on (1) name for each Director to be elected. Notice of candidates for office shall be made to the membership in the March newsletter, or by other means, no later than March 10. Additional nominations may be made by petition of at least five (5) Member SEs when receive within 10 days of date of notice." 

This year's nominating committee consisted of Tom Corcoran (Chair), Ted Smith, Adam Slivers, Scott Douglas and Darrell Staaleson, Peter Sommers, Cale Ash, Cary Kopczynski (non-voting member.)

YMF Corner
By Sean Augustino

On Friday, March 17th, the YMF joined Sika for a tour of their new Surrey, BC production plant. The trip was organized by local representative Kevin Vaughn, and we were shown around the plant by plant manager Mohammed Hachim. There were 5 SEAW/YMF members in the group representing Cary Kopczynski and Co., Integrated Design Engineers, Integrus Architecture, MLA Engineering, and the SEAW Seattle Chapter. Also joining us was David Landry from Masons Supply Company. Read more

SEFW Update

The Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington recently reviewed the entries to its first FilmsWorks Initiative video competition. Winners will be announced in April at our first Annual Donor Meeting and then posted on vimeo.com/sefw and sefw.org. The theme, "What is cool about structural engineering?" has produced some pretty engaging short videos! We can't wait to share them.

SEFW received word that there were 11 applications for the SEAW Scholarship Program this year. The committee is reviewing the applications then will ask SEFW to fund several awards. We are eager to meet this year's recipients! Read more

Southwest Chapter Update
By Bill Sandbo

The Southwest (SW) Chapter has been successful in meeting one of our primary goals for the year, by holding a monthly meeting every month thus far in 2016-2017.  Topics have included updates from WSDOT, testing of APA wood panels, joint session with CSI about waterproofing concrete, Washington State Center Expansion project update and a session about "contracts, risk and liability in structural engineering". Our April meeting is will be held jointly with the Seattle Chapter regarding the response to the 2016 Central Italy Earthquake, see above for more info. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements about the SEAW-SW Chapter Scholarship application as well as elections for next year.  Finally, please be sure to mark your calendars for June 29th. The SW Chapter will be hosting our first ever summer social event at the Tacoma Rainiers game complete with BBQ buffet, drinks and our own private party deck. It is sure to be a fun event and we hope that a SW Chapter summer social with the Tacoma Rainiers will become an annual tradition. Keep your eyes peeled for registration information and register soon, we are limited to 50 people on the party deck.

Simpson Strong-Tie Workshops Coming to Washington

Upcoming Workshops:

Back to Basics:
(Connectors, Fasteners, Anchor & Lateral Systems)

This workshop is focused on providing practical and relevant information pertaining to proper connections and uses of Simpson Strong-Tie products for continuous load path. We will discuss common construction practices, code information, new products, corrosion concerns, and effective field and design solutions. Lateral systems will also be discussed and the workshop will include hands on demonstrations.

April 11, 2017 Sequim, WA 8:00 am-4:00 pm
April 13, 2017 Seattle, WA 8:00 am-4:00 pm
April 18, 2017 Kent, WA 8:00 am-4:00 pm

Read more

Membership Postings

In accordance with SEAW bylaws, membership applications are vetted by the Executive Director, granted probationary status by the chapter board, and posted for membership comment. Membership is considered accepted 30 days after posting if current year dues are paid and no member objections have been received. Read more

Employment Opportunities

Designer, Design Engineer, Project Engineer - SEFT Consulting Group

Entry Level Structural Engineer - Peterson Structural Engineers

Opportunities for Mid-Level Design Engineers and Senior Project Manager - Seattle Structural PS Inc.

Senior Structural Engineer - Arup

Associate Structural Engineer - Linchpin Structural Engineer

Project Engineer/Manager - Wiseman + Rohy Structural Engineers

Sr. Structural Engineer - MLA Engineering, PLLC

Structural and Design Engineers - Lund Opsahl, LLC

Read more

From the Editor
By Darrell Staaleson, PIC Chair

Equilibrium publication Team: 

Darrell Staaleson, Editor
Tim Nordstrom
Zohrah Ali
Allison Tran - Grammar, spelling, and you'll-never-believe-how-they-spelt-that!

1. The Board of Directors for the Seattle Chapter has decided to make Equilibrium available to all chapters Statewide. In the coming months we will be adding a section for news and articles from each chapter.


1. All members are welcome to submit articles to Equilibrium. Write Engineer's Notes from Afield; or summarize an interesting technical design you worked on; write about how you have been successful and increased productivity with an accounting procedures or marketing technique; write about your experiences in community services; or share some construction site photos and talk about lessons learned.

2. "A Picture and a Paragraph." And please use the Article submittal form provided. And please note that when I say, "picture" I mean an actual "picture" and not a blank space where the "picture" should be. 


 Structural Engineers Association of Washington
206-209-5283 | www.seaw.org | info@seaw.org