SE University  



                         July 2019  
WELCOME to Learn, Innovate, Excel! O ur 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

What do you use as your default design strength for masonry? Have you checked with local suppliers to see what is commonly available? Masonry strengths can vary widely, but new findings show the design strengths may be higher than what engineers typically assume.  

In the April 2019 SE University session, Cathleen Jacinto presented Lintels for Masonry Walls. Cathleen reviewed the behavior and load distribution of lintels and masonry walls with openings and discussed practical design and detailing strategies to achieve high performing lintels. Cathleen also explained the advantages of analyzing masonry walls with finite element software, and shared findings on what engineers can safely assume for the design strength of masonry. 

Typically during design, the engineer does not know the exact block strength that will be supplied on site, and to minimize costs we often specify the minimum block strength of 1900 psi, thus giving an f'm of 1500 psi. However, Cathleen shared that these lower strength masonry blocks are not even available from most suppliers, and in most areas of the country, suppliers provide masonry blocks with a minimum block strength of 3750 psi. This allows the engineer to assume an f'm of 2500 psi without any additional costs to the project. Cathleen shared a website that her company, FORSE Consulting, has created to monitor masonry strengths across the country. Click here to access the map and find masonry strengths from suppliers near you. In IBC 2015, which references the MSJC 2013, the masonry strength values have changed as shown in the slide to the right. The new code allows a minimum block strength of 3250 psi to achieve an f'm of 2500 psi...  read the full article on our SE University blog.


Have you encountered a design where you just can't seem to make a stud pack work sensibly without using an over the top amount of studs or having to increase the thickness? When is it appropriate to stick with a cold-formed stud pack, and when should you consider using another option such as an HSS section?  

In the May 2019 SE University session, Roger LaBoube, PhD, PE, from Missouri University of Science and Technology, presented Built-Up Member Design (Cold-Formed Steel). During the session, Roger reviewed the applicable cold-formed steel standards for framing members vs. other cold-formed applications, discussed economical solutions for stud packs, and walked through a design example of a built-up box beam that is not specifically enabled by the current design standards.  

D110 presents a design solution which results in each jamb stud in the stud pack having the same tributary area as a typical stud. However, as Roger pointed out, this can lead to an inefficient design in some cases, as shown to the right.

Roger provided some guidance on whether stud packs or HSS sections might be most appropriate, based on the advice of other practicing engineers...  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 .

Lori Koch PE, American Wood Council
In June 2019, SE University welcomed Lori Koch, PE, from American Wood Council, to present 2018 National Design Specification (NDS) Changes. Lori designated the Richmond SPCA ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. French Fry

Lori shared that she chose this organization because: "They are a great local no kill shelter here in Richmond where I live and they provided me with my slightly chubby but very fluffy and cute boy, French Fry, as seen in this photo."  

John Lawson, PE, SE, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
In July 2019, SE University welcomed John Lawson, PE, SE, from Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, to present Engineering Tilt-Up: Design Provisions Born from Past Experience. John designated The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obsipo County ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. 

John shared that he made this selection because: "I love this local organization as it preserves important open space and natural habitats while developing an educational outreach program called Learning Among the Oaks for elementary school children that fosters leadership and stewardship."

Thank you, Lori and John, for helping structural engineers with your SE University session, and for your designations of Richmond SPCA and The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County as our SEU Speaker Inspires Organizations of the Month!


It's not too early to start thinking about license renewals through December - start earning hours now to avoid the last minute rush (of course, if you find yourself needing last minute hours, we can help with recorded sessions from our SE University Session Archives). 

If additional hours are needed, please contact Lisa Willard to discuss how we can help you.  

States with license renewals before December 1st:

Louisiana (September 30th, Some Engineers)
Pennsylvania (September 30th, All Engineers)
Colorado (October 31st, All Engineers) Michigan (October 31st, Some Engineers)
Illinois PE (November 30th, All Engineers)

States with license renewals for all engineers on December 31st:

Alabama  North Carolina
Alaska Ohio
Maine Washington
Mississippi Wyoming

States with license renewals for  some engineers on December 31st:

Arkansas New Mexico
Iowa North Dakota
Missouri Oregon

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 August 14th , Duane Miller, PE, from The Lincoln Electric Company, will present Introducing Design Guide 21 - Welded Connections, Second Edition   for SE University . 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, August 9th.

Session Description:

The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Design Guide 21, Welded Connections-A Primer for Engineers, was updated as a second edition in 2017. This SE University webinar will be presented by the author of the Design Guide, Duane Miller, PE, and will focus on the new materials that were included in the updated publication. 

The latest edition of the Design Guide has greatly expanded coverage on Special Welding Applications, and Problems and Fixes. The webinar will cover new material that was not in the first edition, including the special applications of welding on embed plates, butter welding, heat shrinking, and welding on members to be hot dipped galvanized. In the Problems and Fixes portion, practical solutions to unexpected situations will be discussed, including repair of cut edges, out-of-tolerance weld joints, repair of mill induced discontinuities, welds made without inspection, and more. 


On August 28st, Betsy Werra, from E.L.Werra Consulting, will present SEU BIM Forum - Revit for Structural Engineers - Part 3 . 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, August 23rd.

Session Description:

This SEU BIM Forum session is the third in a 3-part series that is meant for structural engineers and managers who use Revit Structure for viewing/printing purposes and are not as familiar with modeling in the program. This session will focus on the basics of the visibility displays within Revit Structure. 

During the session, Betsy will focus on a number of items including viewing linked Revit files, explaining the visibility of worksets, phases, families, parameters, view ranges, crop regions, and visibility overrides. A variety of other topics related to the view control bar settings, Revit visibility hierarchy, and printing dialog box settings will also be presented.

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


August 14, 2019

Introducing Design Guide 21 - Welded Connections, Second Edition

Duane Miller, PE
The Lincoln Electric Company

August 28, 2019

SEU BIM Forum: Revit for Structural Engineers - 
Part 3

Betsy Werra
E.L.Werra Consulting

This session will be one hour

September 11, 2019

Changes to Seismic Design of Steel Structures

Jim Malley, SE, PE

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