SEAMASS News Briefs

and Event Alerts 


 DECEMBER 2016   

  • President's Greeting & Updates
  • SEAMASS at the 2016 NCSEA Conference
  • Upcoming Events - Save the Dates
  • Career Opportunities
President's Greeting & Updates
Happy Holidays! It's time for the gift of a newsletter to bring you up to date on our organization's activities over the past few months, and to preview what's ahead in the New Year.  

The current business climate has been very positive for structural engineers!   As an indicator of how busy everyone seems to be, please note that in this issue we include career opportunities submitted by SEAMASS member firms.

Our 2016-17 Programming is Going Strong

We started off strong on September 20th, with a very interesting program on structural forensics presented by Lisa Davey, P.E. and Leonard Morse-Fortier, PE, Ph.D. (from Thornton Tomasetti and Simpson, Gumpertz and Heger, respectively) held at the Kostas Research Institute (KRI) in Burlington.  More than 50 attendees heard instructive case studies and recommendations on how forensic investigations are done and what to look for when undertaking one as an investigating structural engineer.  

Our October 26th seminar at KRI dug into the coming changes in the Massachusetts State Building Code - Ninth Edition (MSBC) with regard to its adoption of updated national standards for wind design (via ASCE 7-10) and for design in flood zones (via ASCE 24-14).  The wind topic was presented by Ricky McLain, PE, SE from WoodWorks, and the flood changes were presented by John Bologna, PE and Sean Riley, PE of Coastal Engineering Company, Inc. Participants experienced a lively morning of discussion and Q & A, and many eyes were opened regarding what to expect when the new Code goes into effect.

More Programs to Come - Mark Your Calendar
Your Board of Directors has embarked on an ambitious program of organizing and presenting professional education seminars for our members and other design professionals going forward, which is shaping up to include five or six half-day seminars. Later in this issue, we discuss what's currently in development.  Please save the dates, as more information is coming soon.  

SEAMASS to Once Again Recognize a Graduate Student in 2017
At our 2016 Annual Meeting, SEAMASS awarded a nominal scholarship to Graduate Student Angelina Joy of Northeastern University, and this year we are in a position to continue this worthy practice.  A scholarship subcommittee has been formed within the SEAMASS Board to develop criteria for scholarship candidacy and a methodology for solicitation for candidates from area universities.  When the scholarship award is made at the next annual meeting, the recipient will be invited to present a brief presentation of their research to attendees.

SEAMASS Board Recommends Lisa Davey to State BBRS
The SEAMASS Board is making a formal recommendation to the State Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) to appoint our Director Lisa Davey to fill the Structural Engineer position on that Board.  That position had previously been held by a civil engineer even though the statute creating the Board specifically requires a structural engineer.  We feel that Lisa is well-qualified to represent our profession and would fill a noticeable gap that has existed on the Board for much too long.

Please Share Your Feedback
Your SEAMASS Board is striving to fulfill your expectations by developing and preparing timely professional topics for your continuing education, and by advocating on your behalf on regulatory changes and proposals.  Please continue to provide your feedback, to let us know your ideas and suggestions for improvements, or for new directions you feel that SEAMASS should be taking. SEAMASS is your organization, after all.  

Thank you for your continued participation and support of SEAMASS,  
and I hope you enjoy a safe and joyous holiday season.
Warm Regards,

SEAMASS at the 2016 NCSEA Summit
Young Members offered presentations, earned scholarships

Some of the SEAMASS members who attended the 2016 NCSEA Summit, from left:  
Ben Mall, Robert Kane, Bassem Almuti, Kyle Karschner, Brian Post

SEAMASS was well-represented at the 2016 NCSEA Summit, from September 14-16 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL.   
SEAMASS Member participants included: 
Craig Barnes, PE - CBI Consulting, Inc. (SEAMASS Past President)
Michael Fillion, PE, SECB - Fillion Group, Inc. (SEAMASS Past President)
Bassem Almuti, PE, LEED AP BD+C - Cannon Design (SEAMASS Secretary)
SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) Members included: 
Robert Kane, EIT - McNamara Salvia Structural Engineers (YMG Chair)
Ben Mall, PE, LEED GA - McNamara Salvia Structural Engineers (YMG Event Coordinator)
Brian Post, EIT - Thornton Tomasetti (YMG Record Keeper)
Kyle Karschner, PE - Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (YMG Finance Coordinator)
Tony Ayala, PE - McNamara Salvia Structural Engineers

Two Members Earned Scholarships  
Ben Mall, PE, LEED GA and Brian Post, EIT each earned NCSEA Young Member Scholarships by submitting award-winning entries into the NCSEA scholarship competition.  The opportunity is open to any current member of an NCSEA Member Organization under the age of 36.  Applicants must compose an essay or video answering one of three questions, as well as write a brief essay upon attending the yearly Summit. Scholarships include Summit registration and a travel stipend.

In their winning scholarship contest submissions, Ben and Brian each addressed this question: Discuss the challenges facing young structural engineers today, and how does your involvement within your SEA member organization and/or NCSEA contribute to address these challenges?

View Brian Post's Winning Essay
View Ben Mall's Winning Video 


Robert Kane, EIT
" Preventing Structures from 'Steeling' Time".

Presentation Overview: Structural engineers operate in an industry dedicated to problem solving and efficiency. They constantly seek new tools and technology to help them refine their craft and meet the ever-changing demands of architects and owners alike. By merging traditional principles with their beloved smartphones, Millennial engineers are finding new ways to reinvent the industry. Mobile applications like SOS Steel Beam are streamlining site visits, reducing construction waste, and paving the way for improved productivity across the industry. You wouldn't go on site without the proper tools, so isn't it time you checked whether you're bringing the right apps along, too?"    
View the App, SOS Steel Beam

Save the Dates - More Information Coming Soon

The following seminars are currently being developed - Please SAVE THE DATES and stay tuned to SEAMASS for more information:

January 25 or 26, 2017:  A half-day program on the topic of Structural Design Requirements for Unreinforced Masonry (URM) is being pursued for a mid-January presentation at the KSI.  The preponderance of pre-seismic design structures in the New England area almost guarantees that practicing engineers will encounter URM in the course of their work.  Half of the program is being designed to allow these engineers the chance to "brush up" on just what can (and can't) be done with it in renovations.  The other half is expected to focus on Code-appropriate attachments and useful hardware that can be employed in the detailing of URM construction/reinforcement.  Keep a lookout for notices about this very interesting seminar in your Inboxes.

February 16th, 2017:  Maria Garlock from Princeton University will present the 2016 AISC T.R. Higgins Lecture for us at the Kostas Research Institute.  The topic will be,
What Every Structural Engineer Should Know About Designing for Fire Protection with Steel and Other Materials.  She will be followed by David Barber, Principal at the Washington DC office of (Ove) Arup who will continue the theme of fire protection by focusing on timber and wood construction and how we can design those structures for enhanced safety in a fire situation.  This is a "hot" topic these days (sorry for the pun) and we expect a lot of interest in such a seminar.

Further into Spring 2017, we are investigating the possibility of hosting:
  • A cold-formed metal framing presentation
  • A group tour of a prefabricated wood structures fabrication plant (a repeat of a very popular program offered several years ago), and
  • A follow up to the Mock Trial (Liability) program that we sponsored last year in the form of a Mock Mediation with the same practicing attorneys and judge.
Other programs have been brainstormed and will likely find their way onto the 2017-2018 event schedule. The Board would particularly like to take advantage of our proximity to several universities with cutting-edge research programs in structural engineering and develop a recurring program of mini-programs that would constitute half-day seminars that explore what the future holds for our profession.  

NEW:  Project Spotlight Opportunity
The Board of Directors is discussing the possibility of offering a seminar spotlighting a mix of large and small construction projects designed by structural engineers employed by a firm that has at least one SEAMASS member.  Projects would be solicited for presentation, may be sited anywhere in the world, and should have something relatively unique about them, such as any unusual structural, construction, or architectural features, or out of the box structural design and detailing solutions.  As a guide, a detailed list of topics to be covered would be sent to individual firms.  Solicitation of firms by SEAMASS may commence very soon, so if your firm has a project to spotlight please start thinking of submitting it for consideration and making a short presentation to your peers. Allotted times would run from 20 to 90 minutes, depending on project size and scope.

Finally, regarding the future - we are checking regularly with the State authorities about the expected adoption date of the Ninth Edition of the MSBC and we hope to organize an overview presentation of the changes therein that will affect structural engineering practice going forward once that date is set.

Please contact a Board Member if you wish to Sponsor an event!

Thank you, 
Gale Associates, Inc. is seeking Structural Engineers with expertise in the evaluation and renovation of existing structures and facades, foundation design and concrete rehabilitation.  Qualified candidates will have a minimum B.S. Civil or Structural, S.E. Registration and 4 to 12 years' experience.   Knowledge of concrete, masonry restoration, waterproofing and building envelope assemblies is desirable.  Ability to manage projects, presentation/communication skills, and computer proficiency are essential.  Gale offers an excellent salary and full array of benefits to include first-day BCBS health insurance, Delta Dental, and fully-paid life/disability insurance, as well as a 401(k) Plan, a Flex Spending Account (FSA), dependent care assistance, several annual paid holidays, 3 weeks' vacation accrual, sick time, tuition reimbursement and the opportunity for professional growth and career advancement.  Send resume & salary requirements to   EOE/AA/Veterans/Disabled Employer.

C. A. Pretzer Associates, Inc., in Cranston, RI is seeking a full-time structural engineer with a minimum of 5 years in design of building structures, with a minimum Bachelor's Degree in Civil/Structural Engineering.  Minimum Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, with a Professional Engineering License preferred.  The engineer would design structures for new buildings, building additions, and renovations, and would direct the production of construction drawings and provide construction phase shop drawing review and site visits.  Job requirements include structural design of building components in steel, concrete, timber, and masonry; develop construction documents, including drawings and specifications for new building structures and repairs, and modifications of building structures. The ideal candidate needs strong communication skills and will prepare technical reports.  Must be proficient in computer analysis software, including SAP and RAM; REVIT a plus.  Working with clients in the public and private sectors, meeting deadlines, and team environment skills are essential.  Please send resume to  All employment inquiries will kept confidential.

Thank you SEAMASS Corporate Sponsors
Thank you to these SEAMASS Members who have contributed their  
Corporate Sponsorship in support of this member-driven organization: 
Click logos to view websites