SEAoA convention

The Structural Engineers Association of Arizona offers an annual convention to promote continuing education, networking opportunities and technical information for the our members and structural engineering community.

The Structural Engineers Association of Arizona 2021 Virtual Conference is a great way for SEAoA to provide you with an excellent opportunity to gain professional and technical knowledge, acquire Professional Development Hours (PDH’s) and interact with Structural Engineers throughout the state. Make sure to tune-in during the breaks to hear from the our Silver Sponsors, and be entered for a chance to win some great raffle prizes! 

Conference Schedule

(see below for presentation summaries and speaker bios)

   Thursday, June 10, 2021  Friday, June 11, 2021
8:00am - 9:30am  Opening Remarks, Exploring the Limits of 8-inch Concrete Masonry  Opening Remarks, IBC 2018/ASCE 7-16
 9:30am - 9:45am  BREAK   BREAK
9:45am-11:15am   Serviceability Design for the Practicing Structural Engineer  Overview of Mass Timber Products Based on IBC 2018
LUNCH BREAK  Excellence in Engineering Awards & LUNCH BREAK
Structural Re-Evaluation of the Collapse of WTC 7   The Basics of Diaphragm Design and Connections
1:30pm-1:45pm   BREAK  BREAK 
1:45pm-3:15pm   SpeedCore - Composite Plate Shear Walls - Concrete Filled  Construction Collaboration in Virtual Environments
3:!5pm-3:30pm   BREAK   BREAK
3:30pm-5:00pm   Features and Advantages of Post Tensioning   Three Decades of Innovation in Applications of FRP
 5:00pm  Closing Remarks  Closing Remarks

Presentation Summaries and Speaker Bios

How High Can You Go? Exploring the Limits of 8 inch Concrete Masonry

This presentation will explore how the selection of materials, design methodology, and constructability influence the maximum height that can be achieved with an eight inch concrete masonry wall. Along the way, we will answer questions such as:

  • ·     What strength of masonry can be specified?
  • ·      How much reinforcing is too much?
  • ·      Does allowable stress design or strength design allow the design of taller walls?
  • ·      How much deflection can we allow?

John M. Hochwalt, PE, SEKPFF Seattle Structural | Director of Engineering Associate 

John M. Hochwalt is from Seattle, Washington where he is Director of Engineering for the Seattle structural group of KPFF Consulting Engineers. John has practiced structural engineering for over thirty years. He is the current editor of the Reinforced Masonry Engineering Handbook, and has authored and edited many other publications on the design of masonry structures. He is actively involved in the development of the building code for masonry structures, TMS 402, currently serving as chair of the subcommittee for Seismic and Limit Design and as a voting member of the TMS 402 Main Committee.

Edward Freyermuth, CCCMTechnical Consultant for the Arizona Masonry Council

Has 40 years of experience in the masonry industry, and currently serving on the Technical Committee with the Arizona Masonry Guild and Council, as well as the Technical Sub-committee for the National Concrete Masonry Association. He is a Member of ASTM serving on C12 (Mortar and Grout) and C15 (Manufactured Masonry Units); Currently serving as Chair of ASTM Task Group on Unit Specifications. Ed is actively involved in the development of the Masonry Building Code, TMS 402 Main Committee, and currently serving on the Pre-stressed masonry and Veneer and Glass Block a member of the TMS 402/602 Main Committee, also serving on several sub-committees.

Serviceability for the Practicing Structural Engineer

This session will provide practical information and design examples to evaluate the serviceability performance of buildings against requirements of the IBC and ASCE 7. It will provide detailed explanations and examples of applications of code provisions and standards specific to various materials, building systems, and building components. This session will also discuss the ways the codes currently address serviceability and how future versions of the code may be adapting serviceability requirements

    Emily Guglielmo, P.E., S.E. earned her Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from UCLA, and her Master's Degree in Structural Engineering from UC Berkeley. She has nearly two decades of structural engineering experience, all with Martin/Martin, Inc. She began her career in their Denver, CO area office, and is currently a Principal with the firm, managing their San Francisco Bay Area office. She has lectured on building code provisions across the nation and is the Chair of the NCSEA Wind Engineering Committee.  A licensed PE, SE, and CE, Emily has received a number of awards, including SEI Fellow and the Susan M. Frey NCSEA Educator Award, for effective instruction for practicing structural engineers.

    A Structural Re-Evaluation of the Collapse of WTC-7

    The sudden collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 on September 11, 2001 was an unprecedented failure of a high-rise steel framed building.  The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued a report on the event seven years later, concluding that normal office fires caused the collapse. Numerous questions have arisen in the years since then regarding the conclusion of the NIST report.  In 2016, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth hired the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) to study all available evidence regarding the collapse and render an opinion on the validity of the NIST conclusion.  Professor Leroy Hulsey and two of his graduate students worked for four years on the report utilizing state-of-the-art methodology to examine the evidence.  A draft of the UAF report was issued in September, 2019 and was subjected to peer and public review for six months.  The final revised report was issued in late March, 2020 and at present is in the process of being submitted to several peer-reviewed journals for publication.

    The UAF report, “A Structural RE-Evaluation of the Collapse of WTC 7“, disagrees with the NIST report and concludes that the failure of WTC 7 was not caused by random fires in the building leading to a progressive collapse.  Instead, the UAF report concludes that the failure was a global collapse caused by the sudden removal of all the core columns in the building over eight stories, followed a split second later by the collapse of all the perimeter columns.

    J. Leroy Hulsey, Ph.D., P.E. earned his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, his Master's Degree in Civil Engineering and his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from University of Missouri at Rolla.  He has held his P.E. registration in North Carolina, Alaska, Alabama, Illinois and Missouri and his S.E. in Illinois and Alaska.  Over a 40-year period, the author has investigated, designed, or researched hundreds of small, medium, and long span bridges.  Between 1964 to present, Dr. Hulsey has designed and investigated many steel, concrete, and masonry low-rise buildings in the mid-west and eastern United States. Dr.  Hulsey also has extensive consulting and research experience with advanced composite materials. Dr. Hulsey has been responsible for failure investigations for structures in the mid-west, East Coast and Alaska.  This sometimes means installing instrumentation and testing a structure for a given condition.  Dr. Hulsey has extensive instrumentation experience.  This experience is often used to explain the behavior of an existing structure.  Examples, includes developing design methods for unusual structures such as water slides, the response of an automobile during a crash, and developing methods to evaluate the response of buildings to vibrating equipment in manufacturing plants.  Dr. Hulsey has also assisted engineers in evaluating the framing systems for assembly areas such as the Dean dome.  Dr. Hulsey is also a retired and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks after being a professor of Civil and Structural Engineering for over 30 years.

      SpeedCore – Composite Plate Shear Walls – Concrete-Filled

      SpeedCore2 is a non-proprietary system of concrete-filled composite plate shear walls (CF-CPSW).  The system replaces reinforced concrete core construction in multi-story buildings with the advantage of construction speed standing out as the most significant project benefit. The steel plate composite wall system leverages the stiffness of concrete and the speed and accuracy of steel for a superior lateral system.

      The history of composite construction is briefly reviewed with an emphasis on the use of the composite wall system in nuclear facilities.  The innovative shift from industrial to commercial construction will be detailed with a specific discussion of the Rainier Square Tower project designed by Magnusson Klemencic Associates. Basic design principles of the SpeedCore system used for Rainier Square are discussed with reference to the design resources currently available.  Research on the SpeedCore system investigating structural and fire protection optimization are shared within the context of the future of the system and its innovative impact on the design and construction industries.

      Michael Gannon, S.E., P.E., is a Senior Engineer at the2 American Institute of Steel Construction. As secretary of the AISC Task Committee 9 on Seismic Systems and the AISC Manual Subcommittee M3 on the Seismic Manual, Mr. Gannon works with industry experts to plan and develop various AISC standards and publications. These include ANSI/AISC 341 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings and the AISC Seismic Design Manual. Prior to joining AISC, Mr. Gannon worked for over eight years as a consulting structural engineer with a primary focus in steel connection design and construction engineering. Michael’s education includes a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and a M.S. in Engineering, Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan.

      Features and Advantages of Post-Tensioning

      This presentation is intended to illustrate the benefits of post-tensioning in buildings and to provide attendees with an understanding of post-tensioning systems. Starting with a brief introduction to the system followed by a presentation on diverse applications of post-tensioning in building construction.  This course is intended to be an introductory course for structural engineers new to post-tensioned concrete design. 

      Carine Leys, P.E., S.E. currently serves as Technical Director for Odeh Engineers and is a leading expert in structural analysis software. She has over twenty-three years of industry experience, particularly in post-tensioned concrete design. Carine has worked on a wide variety of projects, ranging from special and mixed-use structures to individual buildings, located throughout the United States and internationally. She has served as designer and design manager for landmark projects including high-rise buildings in Dubai, UAE and malls in California, USA, among others.

      Carine formerly worked for ADAPT Corporation,  a structural engineering and concrete software development company in California, serving clients in over 80 countries, where she was involved in the design of more than 6.5 million m2 of area in concrete structures. She has hosted numerous seminarsand presentations, sharing her expertise with multiple domestic and international engineering companies, with particular emphasis in training and the streamlining of design procedures. Her unique project management skills have put Carine in a leadership role, directing internal engineering design staff as well as external project staff including engineering teams, architects, contractors, geotechnical engineers, and estimators.

      An Overview of the Structural Provisions of the 2018 IBC/ ASCE 7-16

      This presentation starts with a look at the major standards referenced by that 2018 IBC. The referenced standards for design loads, masonry, structural steel, wood, and cold-formed steel have all been updated from the 2015 to the 2018 IBC. The presentation then focuses on the major changes from ASCE 7-10 to ASCE 7-16, which are also the major structural changes from the 2015 to the 2018 IBC. Very substantial changes in seismic design, wind design, design live loads, and design load combinations are reviewed. The seminar ends with a brief look into the near term future.

      Dr. S. K. Ghosh heads the consulting practice, S. K. Ghosh Associates LLC, Palatine, Illinois, now a subsidiary of the International Code Council.  Dr. Ghosh is active on many national technical committees, is an Honorary Member of ACI, and is a Fellow of ASCE, SEI, and PCI.  He is a member of ACI Committee 318, Standard Building Code and the ASCE 7 Standard Committee (Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures). He is a former member of the Boards of Direction of ACI, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Building Seismic Safety Council. He is a member of the Board of Governors of ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute.

      Dr. Ghosh has influenced seismic design provisions in the United States for many years. In addition to authoring many publications in the area of structural design, Dr. Ghosh has investigated and reported on structural performance in most recent earthquakes.

      Overview of Mass Timber Products Based on the 2018 IBC and What’s to Come in 2021 IBC

      Throughout the country, cities and states are early adopting the 2021 International Building Code mass timber provisions which expands the use of wood construction from 6 to 18 stories and demand for mass timber buildings are on the rise.  This presentation will provide an overview of mass timber structural systems that include cross-laminated timber (CLT), structural composite lumber (SCL), glued-laminated timber (glulam), mechanically laminated decking (aka nail-laminated timber, NLT), and large section sawn timbers.   Heavy Timber and Mass Timber structural applications as well as fire protection requirements per the 2018 and 2021 IBC will be discussed. 

      Michelle Kam-Biron, P.E., S.E. is a California licensed structural engineer and recently joined Structurlam Mass Timber Corporation as a Mass Timber Specialist working with key decision makers to utilize Structurlam Mass Timber products.  Prior to joining Structurlam, she has over 10 years of experience in the wood industry as Vice President of Education for the American Wood Council (AWC) and Senior Technical Director – National Lead Mid-rise/Multi-family Construction at WoodWorks.  Ms. Kam-Biron has over 20 years of experience managing and designing a wide range of projects and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Architectural Engineering (ARCE).  She is a Past-President for SEAOSC.  She is a certified Earthquake Disaster Assessment volunteer and a member of the International Code Council.   She currently volunteers her time on the NCSEA Basic Education, the ICC Professional Development Council Education Committee and is Past-Chair of ASCE-SEI Wood Education Committee as well as Chair of the SEAOSC Women in Structural Engineering Committee.

      The Basics of Diaphragm Design and Connections

      A primer on the use of structural steel deck connection types, details, patterns and applications. It also includes a brief discussion of hanging load connections and an overview of design resources including the use of online web tools to comply with the IBC 2018 / AISI S310 provisions for steel deck.

      Kelsey Lavicka, PE, Engineer, Verco Decking, Inc. Has taught numerous webinar and presentations for Verco Decking including presentations to SEAoA (South), SEANW. Worked with Steel deck for 8+ years. He is also the LTC battalion commander of the Arizona National Guard Regional Training Battalion (1-215th RTI) with a long experience in teaching. Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science – Western Illinois University, 2001, Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering (Structural emphasis)– University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012. Holds PE in Arizona, Utah, Texas and Nevada.  City of Chicago Licensed Supervising Electrician, City of Chicago Licensed A-Card Mason, Alternate Director for Verco Decking, Steel Deck Institute, US Army Certified Instructor

      Construction Collaboration in Virtual Environments

      The past year has demonstrated the need for new protocols and game-changing technologies as construction projects live on throughout the pandemic. Join us for “Construction Collaboration During Virtual Times.” Learn more about our team’s first-hand experiences with technologies that provide the safe execution of virtual design, pre-bid, and post-bid activities.  

      Steven Deller, S.E., P.E. - Structural Org Manager, Senior Project Manager and Structural Engineer responsible for managing the structural business organization for the Pennsylvania Facilities Region.  Also functions as a Senior Project Manager for structural design and construction-phase services for a wide variety of projects, including mass transit facilities, bridges, office buildings, tunnels, and industrial structures.  Also performs structural inspections, writes reports, reviews shop drawings, and designs the rehabilitation of existing structures.  Steven has been with Gannett Fleming for 21 years.

      William Curran, P.E. - Mechanical Department Manager/Associate/ Senior Mechanical Engineer/Project Manager/Supervisor providing design, planning, and coordination of mechanical projects for industrial, commercial, science technology, educational, and transportation facilities.  Designs generally involve heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment; system distribution; central plant systems; and controls.  This work includes selecting equipment, laying out systems, designing controls, developing component and system specifications, and providing construction administration, commissioning, start-up, and troubleshooting services.  Bill has been with Gannett Fleming for 8 years, half of his 16 year (and counting) career.

      Anthony Conchado - Engineering Technology Manager - A member of the Engineering Technology Team, responsible for providing leadership, vision, collaboration and technical guidance in identifying, analyzing, and developing technology trends and processes that can be applied to the engineering and architectural business lines, to assist the firm in sustaining innovation, efficiency and profitability. Supporting engineering teams in defining process optimizations with a focus towards innovative technology solutions.

      Three Decades of Innovation in Applications of FRP

      By now, most civil engineers are familiar with the original concept of repair and strengthening of structures using Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) products that was proposed by the speaker in the late 1980s.  In that technique known as “wet layup”, fabrics of glass or carbon are saturated with epoxy and they are bonded to the surface of the structure; by the next day, the materials become 2-3 times stronger than steel.  This presentation starts with a brief overview of that technology and how FRP solutions have been used in Arizona to solve construction errors, and repair or strengthen deteriorated structures. Case studies cover  a wide range of applications, including residential buildings, hospitals, mines, and a recent ADOT/SRP project where this technology saved these agencies millions in repair costs.

      The second half of the presentation will focus on several new products developed by the presenter that facilitate repair solutions where the original wet layup system could not be used.  A review of these developments and some of the testing by government agencies such as Texas DOT and the Army Corps of Engineers will be presented.  Case studies where these products have been used worldwide to repair ports, piers, bridges, seawalls, pipes and culverts resulting in savings in repair time and cost will be presented.

      Mo Ehsani, Ph.D, P.E., S.E. received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan before joining the department of Civil Engineering at the University of Arizona in 1982.  He pioneered the field of repair and retrofit of civil structures with Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) materials in the 1980s and has published these findings in numerous professional journals such as ACI, ASCE, Earthquake Spectra, etc.  Dr. Ehsani is a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Concrete Institute (FACI).  He has served as President of the SEAoA and is a registered professional engineer in eighteen states. Professor Ehsani has been featured on major media such as CNN, National Public Radio, the History Channel, and Engineering News Record for his expertise on strengthening of structures, particularly related to earthquakes, terrorist attacks and other potential structural disasters.  He has invented twenty FRP systems and received the 2014 Arizona Technology Leader of The Year Award.

      In 2010, Dr. Ehsani left the University of Arizona as a Professor Emeritus to devote his full attention to QuakeWrap, Inc., a company he had founded in 1994 that specializes in repair and retrofit of structures with FRP.  The company offers turnkey design/build solutions to its international clients.  Numerous award-winning projects and creative solutions/products developed to address the clients’ needs attest to the unique capabilities of this company. In September 2014, QuakeWrap was inducted into the U.S. Congressional Records as “…a small business that has grown by being a leader in state-of-the-art technology and by embracing exporting as key to its growth strategy.”

      The SEAoA Convention Committee would like to thank the 2021 Virtual Conference Sponsors:

      Previous SEAoA Conventions (Click Image for More Information)

      2018 Convention  


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      Phone: 602-492-6732

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