February 2017

Newsletter of the Seattle Chapter
Structural Engineers Association of Washington

In This Issue

  1. Message from the Board
  2. From the Editor
  3. February Meeting Announcement
  4. March Meeting Announcement
  5. YMF Corner
  6. Congratulations!
  7. Good Samaritan Protection for SEAW
  8. Technical Summary: Assessing the Tier 1 Evaluation Procedure
  9. Technical Summary: Seismic Evaluation of Seattle City Light South Service Center Building "A"
  10. Technical Summary: Structural Assessment of Ross Dam Bridge
  11. Technical Summary: Positive Moment Girder Connections
  12. Facebook Update
  13. SEFW Update
  14. Upcoming 2017 Structural Masonry Design Seminars
  15. SEAW January 2017 Firms Showcase and Student Event
  16. Membership Postings
  17. Employment Opportunities

From the Board
By Ted Smith

Talk About Money

Most February Equilibriums for the last 20 years or so have included an article from me, wearing my Treasurer's hat, discussing the financial condition and proposed budgets for SEAW State and SEAW Seattle. I expect you can hardly wait to get this year's version. After a year working on the transition to our new management team who has been busily handling the finances with a different team approach, different bookkeeping program and different database version, I thought I'd be able to present a clear, correct and easily understandable set of reports and budgets. Eh, not so fast. Turns out our organizations are complicated. Who knew? But I can say we've all survived the year and are getting much closer to the goal. The latest reports indicate that both the State and Seattle Chapter are still considerably better than just solvent. The reports also showed us a few items that had been missed and need to be rectified. Stay tuned for the reorganized budgets.

The very successful updated and online SE Refresher course contributed significantly to the Seattle Chapter's 2016 financial success. The very successful Code Update Seminar presented by the Continuing Education Committee's incredible volunteers contributed significantly to the State's 2016 financial success. Thanks to all the organizers and presenters who accomplished this most vital part of SEAW's mission.

I can't miss this opportunity to plug the Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington (SEFW), our 501(c)3 charitable corporation. SEFW presented its Sixth Annual Free Fall Forum featuring "Engineers, Architects, and Builders: A legacy of Innovation in the Pacific Northwest", and is working on plans for the 2017 Forum. The Foundation also maintains the funds for the SEAW Scholarship Program and is focusing on funding SEAW's outreach to students, promoting interest in engineering education. Recent examples include funding of the university student bridge design and construction competition, and grants to high schools for structural engineering related projects. I've always thought of the Foundation as representing individual Structural Engineers, as well as SEAW and SE companies. If each of SEAW's 800+ members donated just $50 annually, the SEFW could do so much more.

Please consider a donation to the Foundation to support scholarships and other activities, especially if your company pays your dues, or if you are a Life Member (like me) and no longer have to pay dues.

From the Editor
By Darrell Staaleson

At the January Seattle Chapter Board Meeting I asked Joyce Lem, Chair of Disaster Preparedness Committee, to give me a brief write up, "Just a few sentences." President Cary said, "A Picture and a Paragraph." Excellent!

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.

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; or write about your experiences in community services.

We are looking for another Member to help with the publication of the Equilibrium. Please contact me at dstaal@staaleng.com if you are interested. Currently, the Equilibrium publication team includes:

Darrell Staaleson, Editor
Allison Tran
Cara Condon

YMF Corner
By Morgan Wiese

This past week the YMF happy hour was partnered with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and sponsored by PAE consulting engineers at PAE's office in the Bullitt Center, which was also a project they worked on. It was a great event and included a presentation by several people on the design team who described the decisions they had to make and how they had to think differently to achieve the greenest commercial office building. While one of the main goals was a net zero energy building, the building was designed for a 250 year life span. Most buildings today are designed for a life span of 30-50 years, so this long life span brought a new set of challenges that had to be designed around, such as how things could easily be replaced as they met their end of life (like the window system). Thank you to PAE and ASHRAE for hosting this event!

On February 4th, the YMF will be hosting a table at the Puget Sound Engineers Council (PSEC) fair. This is a great event where we will be showing kids in grades K-12 what being a structural engineer means and what we do. If you are interested in volunteering for this event please contact Gino Mazzotti at seawymf@gmail.com.

The photo has Marcus Freeman (YMF VP) in the back and Tim Lewis (YMF Secretary) in the front. 

Good Samaritan Protection for SEAW
By Joyce Lem

Many of you have taken the ATC-20, ATC-45, and SAP classes that teach how to do building safety assessments following a disaster such as a large earthquake. In those classes, you learned that the Washington State Good Samaritan Law provides immunity from liability for individual volunteer engineers, architects, and building inspectors when they are deployed in the field by local jurisdictions after large natural disasters or emergencies. 

Paul Brallier of the SEAW Disaster Preparedness Committee gives testimony in favor of SB 5185 to the Senate State Government Committee.

However, current State law does not provide immunity from liability to the organizations that provide the training for the volunteers, enroll the volunteers and help dispatch them. To "plug this hole" in the law, i.e., extend similar liability protection to organizations such as SEAW, WABO, and the AIA, Senate Bill 5185 and House Bill 1277 have been introduced in the 2017 legislative session. The bills are identical, modifying the language in the existing Good Samaritan Law (RCW 38.52.180) to extend immunity to professional and trade organizations. Read more

Technical Summary: Structural Assessment of Ross Dam Bridge
By Yashar Zafari

The span of interest with the cracking. The span and supports are labeled in yellow. 

During a bridge inspection in 2012, inspectors discovered small cracks along a span of the Ross Intake Bridge. Sealant was applied to the cracks so they could be monitored. In 2014 the cracks were observed to have expanded. Since the Ross Intake Bridge is the only access route to the intake structure, it is important that the bridge be structurally sound. Consequently, Seattle City Light (SCL) tasked CEE 17.2 to assess the structural integrity of the bridge and provide a recommended design option for repair and/or strengthening of the structure. Read more

Facebook Update
By Darrell Staaleson, PIC Chair

The SEAW Facebook Page has 2,353 'Likes' which is up from 2,332 for last month. That means 2,353 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 which reached 961 people. 

Seminar Announcement: Timber Rivets by Dr. Ghosh.

SEFW Update
By Mark D'Amato/Angela Gottula Twining

The Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington has several things going on right now! 

Panel Discussion at 2016 Fall Forum.Moderator Tyler Sprague and panelists David Miller, Carla Keel, and Scott Redman, plus special guest Dan Evans, former governor and US Senator.

The video recording of our 2016 Fall Forum has been published online! The video features Tyler Sprague from the UW and Gov. Dan Evans, as well as our other panelists from "Engineers, Architects, Builders: A Legacy of Innovation in the Pacific Northwest." Check it out today on sefw.org/education or on vimeo.com/sefw. Read more

SEAW January 2017 Firms Showcase and Student Event

Tuesday, January 24 marked our ninth Seattle Chapter Younger Member Forum featuring a Firms Showcase and Student Project Showcase. The meeting took place at the University of Washington Waterfront Activities Center.

Our Student presenters.  From left to right Yashar Zafari, #2, Kristina Tsvetanova, Francesca Galeotti, #5, and Nicholas Welling. 

Our meeting kicked off with the popular Firms Showcase networking event from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The showcase was an opportunity to introduce attendees to a variety of structural design firms in the Seattle area, their work on various types of projects, and answer questions from students on what it's like to work for a Seattle area structural design firm. Read more

February Meeting Announcement

The Concrete Industry: A Global Perspective
February 28, 2017

Mike Schneider will provide an overview of the concrete industry from his unique perspective as President of ACI International.  Mr Schneider will discuss significant advancements of the last several decades, both nationally and internationally, and identify future challenges facing all industry stakeholders. In addition, he will present several major projects that illustrate the key points of his talk. We are fortunate to have Mr Schneider as our speaker for what promises to be an informative, insightful, and well attended meeting. Seating is limited...sign up early! 

Mike Schneider is a veteran of the concrete industry. He started with Baker Concrete Construction (Monroe, Ohio) as a Project Manager in 1978, and is currently Sr. Vice President/Chief People Officer. He also serves as the company champion of Baker's Incident & Injury Free (IIF) Program and is responsible for safety within Baker on a Global basis. Mike has been a member of ACI since 1981 and currently serves as ACI President. In 2006, he was named an ACI Fellow and received the Rogers H. Corbetta Concrete Construction Award in 2011. He's also a member and past President of ASCC (American Society of Concrete Contractors). Locally, Mike received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Construction Foundation of Greater Cincinnati in 2012. Mike is involved with the Boy Scouts of America and serves on numerous boards throughout the Cincinnati community.

March Meeting Announcement

March 15, 2017

Our March meeting is a joint meeting with ASCE Seattle Section. Shannon Gillespie Interim Executive Director of the Washington State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors will bring us up to date on the law and rules about digital signatures for document and Jill Short, the Board's Investigation Manager will discuss the investigation process, just in case you have not been following the law and rules!"


Mark D'Amato, P.E., S.E., DCI Engineers, has been selected as recipient of the 2017 Professional Engineer of the Year Award for his outstanding service to the engineering profession and his lifetime of achievement in excellence and innovation in structural engineering. 


Read the full text of the award.

Technical Summary: Assessing the Tier 1 Evaluation Procedure
By Francesca Galeotti

On February 6, 2016, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred in Taiwan near Tainan City with an epicenter 28 km (17 mi) northeast of Pingtung City in southern Taiwan, in the Meinong District of Kaohsiung. The epicenter (22.92°N, 120.54°E) was located on the Chishan fault, striking at a depth of around 23 km (14 mi). Through a collaborative NSF-funded Rapid project, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Purdue University conducted two reconnaissance missions to document and analyze the damaged buildings. In total, documentation was collected for 127 buildings including extensive photographing and measurement of damage. Read more

Technical Summary: Seismic Evaluation of Seattle City Light South Service Center Building "A"
By Nicholas Welling, Alex Pangelinan and Dean Zimmermann

Seattle City Light (SCL) requested from Seattle University design team 17.3 an ASCE 41-13 Tier 1 seismic evaluation of the South Service Center Building A as well as an additional deflection analysis that will be used to evaluate the risk of pounding. The building is located in Seattle on 4th Ave. S. and S. Spokane St and serves as one of two power service centers for the City of Seattle. The building was originally constructed in 1924 with building additions made in 1937, 1974 and 2000. A voluntary seismic upgrade was performed in 1999 to retrofit the original building, but SCL wishes to perform an updated seismic evaluation utilizing ASCE 41-13. Read more

Technical Summary: Positive Moment Girder Connections
By Kristina Tsvetanova

Strut-and-tie mechanism in the diaphragm-girder connection

In bridges with precast prestressed concrete girders, the resistance to seismic effects is achieved by the interaction between the columns, the cap beam and the girders. Said components must be connected, such that flexural resistance is provided. The bottom flanges of the two girders, meeting end-to-end at the cap beam, will be under tension and compression, respectively. The tension connection is presently made by extending some of the bottom strands into the cast-in-place cap beam. At this location, the space available is too small for development by bond in the straight strands alone. Since concrete in diaphragm is highly confined it can probably carry high bearing stress and a small bearing area may be possible. Thus, the goal of this project is to create a reliable, effective, as well as practically applicable way of anchoring strands, extended from the girder into the cap beam. Read more

Upcoming 2017 Structural Masonry Design Seminars

The Northwest Concrete Masonry Association will be conducting a full-day seminar focusing on the design of reinforced concrete masonry construction. Both working stress and strength design methods of the new 2015 IBC and 2013 TMS 402/ACI 530 masonry codes will be covered.

The seminar will include the explanation of new code provisions and step-by-step design examples of masonry building elements by manual and automated methods. It is aimed at practicing engineers who want to learn how to design masonry in a practical and efficient manner. It will be presented by two professional engineers at each location. The seminar will consist of 7.5 hours of continuing education. Certificates of attendance will be issued.

Seminar dates and locations include:

February 8, 2017 - Oregon City, OR
February 10, 2017 - Kennewick, WA
February 28, 2017 - Anchorage, AK
March 14, 2017 - Spokane, WA

Additional information can be obtained from the Northwest Concrete Masonry Association at 425.697.5298 or www.nwcma.org. Online registration is available at www.nwcma.org/seminar.

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

Sr Structural Engineer - MLA Engineering, PLLC

Structural and Design Engineer - Lund Opsahl, LLC

Structural Design Engineer - Morrison-Maierle, Inc.

Read more


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