New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending.
-James R. Sherman
I like that you're broken,
Broken like me;
Maybe that makes me a fool
I love Student Night. It’s nice to see the youth and enthusiasm that is so prominently on display. As I reflected on this year’s event, I realized that I also love it for the sense of an impending re-start. It’s a time when many students are looking to make the jump from mostly-learning to mostly-working. When I was a graduating senior, I may have been burned out on school and scared about mounting debt, but I had no family to return to, so I was highly motivated to weasel my way into the world of paid labor.
In those final months I somehow had the blind self-confidence to write cover letters in which I aspired to be remembered alongside great architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. I even included fancy formatting (which did NOT fax well—and yes, I am old enough to have faxed my resume). But structural engineering is not for poseurs, and not for the faint of heart; it has a way of instilling humility in those who forget that this job is about life and death. Jim Wiseman and Steve Rohy used to joke that my cover letter was so goofy they interviewed me more out of curiosity than a belief that I was their next hire, but hire me they did.
This month’s photo lies more or less half way between those brash cover letters and these monthly messages, on the day my brother deployed to Iraq. Looking at us, you might not guess that he owed me $20,000 from my various attempts to help him get back up on his feet after his life had taken a few wrong turns. He had couch-surfed with a number of relatives, he’d been homeless, and he’d been in jail. He’d lost cars due to impound fines, and he’d lost storage lockers when he couldn’t come up with rent. My wife was not thrilled about the money I was giving away. But I have this irrepressible belief in second chances. While he was deployed, Jesse sent checks every month, and by the time that deployment was up, he had paid back all he owed. Second chances; fresh starts.
Speaking of second chances, I still own the black Mustang in that photo. Almost a year to the day of the photo, the motor gave out for the third time in ten years, and the car sat in my driveway for six years. I had a lot of offers from people who wanted to buy it, but my story with that car wasn’t done being told; I saved up and had it restored.
Maybe it’s a personality defect, or a reflection of the opportunities that have been given to me, but I love a come-back story; be it people, cars, or buildings. School modernizations, shopping center renovations, building repositioning, termite repair, fire damage repair; these things aren’t usually as sexy as the ground-up construction, but there’s often a great story that we can help write a sequel to.
A year or so ago, I was standing inside of an old concrete building, not far from where we hold our monthly meetings. Shuttered for years, the building has a proud (but neglected) look to it, inside and out. While standing in a majestic high-volume lobby space, looking up at the waffle slabs, CMU walls, and clerestory windows above, I couldn’t help but feel a tangible urge to bring it back to life.
In November, I attended a YMF event at BJ’s in La Jolla. It wasn’t until I mapped the drive that I realized it was a building I had engineered, in a shopping center I’d helped to renovate a couple of years back. Seeing the old buildings get a new lease on life wasn’t as satisfying as watching my brother come home with money in his pocket, but it was a good feeling.
Part of these experiences is emotional: a sort of respect for the embodied history a place represents. But part of it is rational: a respect for the embodied carbon the existing building represents. It can be tricky, though. Perhaps that concrete shearwall building won’t meet current Code ductility requirements. Or maybe there are cracks in the shearwalls (or diaphragms). Much of the code was built around providing guidance for new construction; rather than repair, renovation, or strengthening of existing. As Keith Kesner’s presentation showed, there is a stronger push to bring that work into the Building Code. For anyone (like me) who has watched the development of Code provisions for existing buildings, you might be wondering what’s in store for the next building Code cycle, and how to use ASCE 41. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a local seminar that we could go to, that explained ASCE 41, with solved problems? Stay tuned, there might be. And you can thank Jenn Ciofolo when it happens.
Second chances; fresh starts. Did you notice that April’s meeting will feature a presentation on the upgrade of UCSD’s Large High Performance Outdoor Shake Table? Don’t miss it!
Thank you to everyone who has already signed up to play or sponsor our golf tournament. April is fast approaching, so go register to come have a fun day of golf. Late fees apply starting at midnight on March 29th.
The deadline for submission for Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards is coming up. Celebrate your work! Let’s send some amazing SEAOSD projects to the state level for awards.
Please check out our website for other announcements and upcoming events. It’s not too late to nominate someone for next year’s board; if you would like to do so, please contact Curtis Patterson at [email protected] or me at [email protected].
Steven Crook, S.E.
New Members for March-April
Bailey Fuimaono ~ Student
Sara Mohamed ~ Student
Camille Casillang ~ Student
Margaret Peterson ~ Associate
Cameron Eng ~ Student
Henryk Pedersen ~ Associate
Kayla Erler ~ Student
Kelvin Chuong ~ Student
Arthur Kwong ~ Student
Tiffany La ~ Student
Ryan Mansing ~ Student
Lu Ming Tsai ~ Student
Nicholas Kadiyala ~ Student
Ivy Liang ~ Student
Joycelyn Ng ~ Student
Scott Sprouse ~ Student
Jonathan Chang ~ Student
Victoria Trexel ~ Student
Wai Kong ~ Student
Garrett Taylor ~ Student
Kian Murray ~ Student
Aaron Gonzalez ~ Student
Nikolette Mazzuola ~ Student
Pascal Conte ~ Student
Eden Romero-Zavala ~ Student
Michaela Wood ~ Student
Madelyn Chan-Yoeun ~ Student
Ahmed Drebi ~ Associate
Erica Croft ~ Student
Luis Medina ~ Student
"In order to continue serving the local community and ensure patients’ safety, it was imperative Sharp Mary Birch Hospital replace its main electrical distribution feeders. Enter Ram Jack Pacific, called in to stabilize a backup generator for the project. Read how Ram Jack, working alongside AARK Engineering, Inc. used helical piles and heavy-duty cabling to completely alleviate hospital downtime."
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The SE3 Committee - First Event May 7th, 5pm - 7pm
The SE3 Committee Announcement
The SE3 Project was established in 2015 with the mission of improving engagement and equity in the structural engineering profession. Sponsored by SEAONC, the team completed a national survey of over 2,100 structural engineers and found that more than half of them have considered leaving the profession at some point in their career. The main reasons cited are:
- Work-Life Balance
- Less Stress
- Higher Pay
In response to these results, SEAOSD has created a new committee, "The SE3 Committee", which stands for Structural Engineering, Engagement and Equity, with the mission of addressing these issues to improve employee engagement and the career satisfaction of structural engineers. We will be creating surveys, providing resources and holding events to support these goals.
FIRST SE3 EVENT:
SAVE THE DATE! – MAY 7th, 5pm – 7pm
“How to Prepare for an Interview, Negotiate Salary and Ask for a Raise”
Event Description: Our first event will address the topic of "Higher Pay" for engineers by providing guidance on how to prepare for an interview, negotiate salary and ask for a raise. Our speaker for the event will be Scotty Lombardi from Hunter Industries. Scotty has nearly two decades of Human Resources’ leadership experience within the retail, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. He is the Senior Manager of Global Talent Management at Hunter Industries and provides strategy and direction to the functions of Talent Acquisition, Contingent Workforce Management, Learning and Development, Organizational Engagement, and Employee Relations & Performance Management.
If you are interested in contributing to any of these efforts, please email Luvelyn Benitez at [email protected] or John Murphy at [email protected]. The SE3 Committee welcomes any and all perspectives from within the SEAOSD membership.
For more info, visit www.se3project.org
Luvelyn Benitez & John Murphy
SE3 Committee Co-Chairs
2019 SE3 Symposium Announcement
The SE3 committee is hosting a symposium on Friday, May 10 in San Francisco, California to present key findings from the 2018 survey of over 3,000 respondents on career satisfaction and retention in structural engineering.
The program will feature discussions on the following topics:
- enhancing and reinforcing workplace culture
- career development
- alignment of values
- cultivating a diverse & inclusive environment
- value of a structural engineer
For more info on the program and speakers, check out the website:
“Share your passion for Structural Engineering with budding college students! Sign up to be a mentor for a day and introduce your mentee to the world of structural engineering. Take part in an opportunity to show the next generation of structural engineers the different aspects of this industry and what it entails. Truss us. It’ll be fun!”
September 5, 2018
Dear Potential Sponsor/Donor:
The Structural Engineers Association of San Diego (SEAOSD) incorporated as a non-profit corporation on October 2, 1967, and has been serving San Diego Structural Engineers and the community ever since. Our mission is to advance the structural engineering profession through the improvement of the quality of design and construction; to assist the public in obtaining professional structural engineering services; to promote natural hazard mitigation; to provide continuing education and encourage research; to provide Structural Engineers with the most current information and tools to improve their practice; and to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession.
On behalf of SEAOSD, I would like to formally invite you to participate in our advertising and sponsorship program. Attached is our updated Advertising Policy that outlines a wide variety of options to choose from to fit your specific needs. Given our association comprises over 300 members, this is an excellent opportunity to promote and reach out to the local engineering profession. This includes job forum postings, displaying your business card in our Professional Directory, adding your company logo to our website, sponsoring one of our monthly member meetings, or participating in our annual golf tournament each spring. There are also several sponsorship packages you may want to consider that offer discounted rates with a packaged deal.
I would like to emphasize that as a non-profit organization, your continued support is vital for our association to uphold our mission and advance the structural engineering profession. This includes the ongoing work of our local and state committees ranging from structural standards development, sustainable design, public relations, advising local government, and business forum activities. SEAOSD has also been heavily involved with student organizations, including job shadowing programs, awarding student scholarships, as well as hosting an annual “Student Night” that provides a unique opportunity for local college students to meet design professionals and learn more about the structural engineering profession.
If you would like to take advantage and benefit from these opportunities while also helping to strengthen our association, please contact our Executive Director, Heather Caya, at (619) 733-2734 or [email protected]. Please note that the Annual Sponsorship Program extends during SEAOSD’s fiscal year from July 1 to June 30, and a 10% discount is available for all sponsorship payments received by September 30, 2018.
Thank you again in advance for your support of our association.
Steven Crook, S.E.
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS ASSOCIATION OF SAN DIEGO
Non-Profit Organization 501(c)(6)
Tax ID #23-7016819