SE University  



                       May 2018  
WELCOME to Learn, Innovate, Excel!  Our goal with this newsletter is to provide useful information and tips that will help you save time, be more productive, and also reduce risk. This information complements our SE University program, by introducing you to tips on a wide variety of topics affecting structural engineers.
If you have any tips you would like to share as part of a future Learn, Innovate, Excel newsletter, please email Lisa Willard or Brian Quinn

Structural software has become a daily necessity for structural engineers; however, it can be to an engineer's detriment if the fundamental concepts of structural engineering are not well understood. Having a good understanding of how structures behave can prevent devastating errors that might be overlooked in a software program. Using classical design methods, engineers can estimate the preliminary member sizes and compare the expected deflections with those of more sophisticated analysis software.  

In the March 2018 session for SE University, David Odeh, SE, PE, SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE, from Odeh Engineers, Inc., gave a presentation on Classical Design Methods. David reviewed the principles of conservation of energy and virtual work, and then outlined the portal frame method and the cantilever method as approximate ways to check more complex designs. 

David emphasized the need for engineers to understand the fundamentals of mechanics and the behavior of structures, rather than rely so heavily on software to generate our designs. Thus, it is always a good idea to review concepts such as the portal frame method and cantilever method, since many engineers do not make it a habit to use these more classical design methods daily. The portal frame and cantilever methods can give an engineer a good approximation for preliminary member sizes and drift calculations ...    read the full article on our SE University blog.


How often do you consider your ethical obligations as a structural engineer? What does it even mean to be an ethical engineer? Some might think merely abiding by the laws that apply to everyone else within your jurisdiction is considered ethical, but professional engineers have a duty beyond simply following those laws.  

In the April 2018 SE University session, Matthew R. Rechtien, PE, Esq., Senior Assistant City Engineer for the City of Ann Arbor, gave a talk on Engineering Law and Ethics Case Studies. Matt's presentation helped delineate mandatory versus voluntary rules, and how these guidelines help bolster the status of the engineering profession. As the profession is regulated in all 50 states, engineers have responsibilities and privileges, and are required to uphold certain ethical rules or face possible discipline by the governing and other authorities. 

Since laws vary by state, Matt focused mainly on the fundamental principles and canons set forth by ASCE, which he believes are the gold standard and reasonably representative of state laws regulating the profession. Matt also reviewed several case studies with some surprising results based on various ethical dilemmas. These case studies can sometimes initiate thoughtful consideration and create awareness on how to avoid unethical business practices within the profession. You can access additional case studies by visiting and you can click here to print your own copy of ASCE's principles and canons. Also, ASCE offers an Ethics Hotline where engineers can get further guidance... read the full article on our SE University blog.

SE University began the  SEU Speaker Inspires  program in 2015 as a way to "pay it forward," enabling our speakers to designate a charity/organization of their choice for SE University to make a donation to help improve our world. To learn more about the organizations that SE University speakers have chosen, please read our  SEU Speaker Inspires Blog Posts .

Matthew Rechtien, PE, Esq., Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Ann Arbor
In April 2018, SE University welcomed back Matthew Rechtien, PE, Esq., Senior Assistant City Attorney with the City of Ann Arbor, to present Engineering Law and Ethics Case Studies. In 2017, he designated the David and Maxine Fowler Endowed Excellence Fund at the University of Texas at Austin( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month, and he has chosen to do the same in 2018.  

Matthew previously shared why he chose the David and Maxine Fowler Endowed Excellence Fund: "Dr. Fowler, with the support of his wife, Maxine, has been a mentor, advocate, and friend for twenty years. As a professor at the University of Texas for half a century, he has touched the lives of literally hundreds of other engineering students, engineers and others in a similar way. Dr. Fowler is a gentleman and scholar in every sense of those words. I am humbled to be able to contribute, in any way (but especially by, as he did, teaching my fellow engineers), to his legacy, including the David and Maxine Fowler Endowed Excellence Fund."

Robert Kuserk, PE APA - The Engineered Wood Association
In May 2018, SE University welcomed Robert Kuserk, PE, with APA - The Engineered Wood Association, to present Frame for Success - Best Practices for Wood Buildings. He has chosen the Wildlands Conservancy ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. 

Robert shared that he "chose this organization in association with Teacher Appreciation Week this week to remember my brother, Dr. Frank Kuserk, who passed away last fall. Frank was a professor of Environmental Science at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and was very active in this organization. This organization's mission is to protect and restore critical natural areas and waterways in the Lehigh Valley, and educate the community to create a legacy of a healthy, sustainable environment for future generations. This organization also aligns with my interest in the Scouting programs in that it helps to create and preserve lands connecting to nature that the scouts can use, and supports sustainability which is also a hallmark of the wood industry."

Thank you, Matthew and Robert, for helping structural engineers with your SE University sessions, and for your designations of the David and Maxine Fowler Endowed Excellence Fund and Wildlands Conservancy  as  SEU Speaker Inspires  Organizations!


Summer is here! You may have license renewals coming up, and as always, you can use the upcoming SE University sessions to help you meet your continuing education requirements. If additional hours are needed, please contact Lisa Willard to discuss how we can help you. 

The following states have license renewals by June 30 :

Oregon (Last Names S-Z)
Kentucky (Last Names L-Z) Rhode Island*
Massachusetts* South Carolina
Minnesota West Virginia

The following states have license renewals on July 31st:


The following states have license renewals on September 30th:

District of Columbia* (August 31st)
Louisiana (September 30th - some engineers)

*These states do not have continuing education requirements.

In addition to the states listed above, there are other states that may require renewal based on your initial date of licensure or other rules for that state. Please check your license information to confirm your renewal dates.   
For more information about license renewal, please visit our Continuing Education Requirements by State page, where you can click on states in which you are licensed to see the license renewal date, as well as the continuing education requirements for that state. If you would like a complete summary of all 50 states, a PDF file is available for download below the map. This option can also be selected if you are viewing the page from a mobile device.
We hope that you find this information beneficial. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Willard.



On June 13, we will be welcoming Keith Cullum, PE, to SE University to present Steel Deck Diaphragm Attachment. This session will be held from 12:30 - 2:00 pm EDT.

Handouts and registration emails for this session will be sent to SE University companies on Friday, June 8th.


On July 11, we will be welcoming Dave Adams, SE with BWE, to SE University to present  Project Quality and Inspection Requirements . This session will be held from 12:30 - 1:30 pm EDT.

Handouts and registration emails for this session will be sent to SE University companies on Friday, July 6th.

To learn more about subscribing to SE University, please contact either Lisa Willard at (805) 482-8436 ( or Brian Quinn at (616) 546-9420 (

Thank you for reading our Learn, Innovate, Excel Newsletter - we hope you found this information useful. If there are any questions we can answer, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email. 

Additionally, if you would be willing to help other structural engineers by sharing tips that you have, please email your tip to If we choose your tip to publish, you will have your choice of a $50 Amazon gift card or a $50 donation sent to the Structural Engineering Association of your choice. 

Your SE University Team

Brian Quinn, P.E. 

Lisa Willard, P.E. 

Jenny Schultz, P.E.

Cathleen Jacinto, S.E., P.E.

Linda Benson 

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Coming Soon to SE University


June 13, 2018

Steel Deck Diaphragm Attachment

Keith Cullum, PE
Simpson StrongTie

July 11, 2018

Project Quality and Inspection Requirements

Dave Adams, SE

This session will be one hour.

August 8, 2018

Behavior and Design of Anchors in Concrete

Don Meinheit, PhD, PE, SE
Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates, Inc.

September 12, 2018

Anchors: Design Examples and Procurement / Installation / Inspection

Don Meinheit, PhD, PE, SE
Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates, Inc.

October 10, 2018

Writing Workshop

Janel Miller
University of Wisconsin - Madison

October 24, 2018

SEU BIM Forum: Tips & Tricks in Revit Structure (Topic TBD)

Betsy Werra
E.L.Werra Consulting

This session will be one hour.

November 14, 2018

Updates to ASCE7-16 Wind

Don Scott, SE
PCS Structural Solutions

December 12, 2018

Updates to ASCE7-16 Seismic

John Hooper, SE
Magnusson Klemencic Associates

For updated session descriptions and schedules, visit the SCHEDULE page.