SE University  



                    September 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

Have you encountered fit-up problems in the field for fillet welded connections? What has been your solution? AWS D1.1 requires that the engineer approve any alternative acceptance criteria for production welds, but the Code only provides general stipulations applicable to most situations. Finding an acceptable alternative for fit-up issues often plagues engineers, however in the Second Edition of Design Guide 21: Welded Connections, Chapter 15.4.2 offers solutions for out-of-tolerance weld joints. 

Out-of-Tolerance Fillet Weld Joints
In the August 2019 SE University session, Duane Miller, PE, from The Lincoln Electric Company, presented Introducing Design Guide 21: Welded Connections (Second Edition). Duane covered some unique requirements for special welding applications, suggested potential solutions to frequently encountered problems associated with welded construction, and reviewed the approach used in AWS D1.1 to address unusual situations and the role of the EOR.  

Duane addressed how out of tolerance fillet weld joints might be handled according to Design Guide 21. Watch this short 4 minute video to hear Duane discuss buttering and changing the fillet weld to a CJP groove weld as two solutions for out-of-tolerance fillet weld joints...  read the full article on our SE University blog.

When does a shear wall turn into a wall pier? Have you struggled in the past to decide whether the short wall segments that surround a loading dock opening qualify as a wall pier or a column frame element in your tilt-up wall design? Each type of wall element demands different detailing requirements, and more than one element can be found in the same wall panel. 

In the July 2019 SE University session, John Lawson, PE, SE, from Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo, presented Engineering Tilt-Up: Design Provisions Born from Past Experience. John reviewed how past failures have influenced current design practices and explained the implementation of current slender wall provisions and how to classify wall elements. He also covered wall anchorage forces and how they get transferred into the diaphragm and potential issues with both steel and wood deck roofs. 

John helped clarify how to classify wall elements in tilt-up wall construction. Using the following flow chart, walls can be classified based on their length and thickness...  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 .

Duane Miller, PE
The Lincoln Electric Company
In August 2019, Duane Miller, PE, from the Lincoln Electric Company, presented Introducing Design Guide 21: Welded Connections (Second Edition). Duane previously nominated The City Mission in Cleveland ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month when he spoke for SE University in 2017, and he has chosen to do the same in 2019. 

Duane shared why he chose The City Mission: "An icon in the welding world, Mr. Omer W. Blodgett passed away in January 2017 at the age of 99. In his honor, his family has requested donations be made to the Cleveland City Mission, an organization that has for over a century provided help and hope to Cleveland's hurting and homeless; in his honor, I'd like this SEU donation to be made. Mr. Blodgett's was a longtime supporter of not only the Cleveland City Mission, but of similar organizations in other major cities throughout the US. To me, Mr. Blodgett was my mentor. In an unselfish way, he wanted me to "take over his work" and he showed me how to do so. I'll never replace him-no one will-but he taught me how to continue to do what he did. He was an exceptional engineer, a tremendous teacher and an consistent Christian, leaving a legacy and an example for all of us to model."  

James O. Malley, SE, Degenkolb Engineers
In September 2019, SE University welcomed James O. Malley, SE, from Degenkolb Engineers, to present Changes to the Seismic Design of Steel Structures. Jim designated the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Endowment Campaign Fund ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. 

Jim shared: "I selected this fund because EERI's LFE program made a very significant impact on my career and those of many others by providing earthquake professionals from all disciplines with the opportunity to work together at the site of major earthquakes and share those experiences with the entire earthquake community. The EERI LFE program has made important and lasting contributions to improved understanding of the impacts created by earthquakes and has directly led to many significant advances in seismic design. The LFE endowment fund will guarantee that these contributions will continue for decades to come."

Thank you, Duane and Jim, for helping structural engineers with your SE University session, and for your designations of The City Mission - Cleveland and the EERI Learning from Earthquakes (LFE) Endowment Campaign Fund as our SEU Speaker Inspires Organizations of the Month!


Start earning hours now to avoid the last minute rush as the year draws to a close. 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:

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 October 9th , Bruce Brothersen, PE, SE, from Nucor, and Walter Worthley, PE, SE, from Valley Joist, will present Retrofitting of Existing Buildings with Steel Joists    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, October 4th.

Session Description:

Evaluation and modification of joists may be required for many reasons: building renovations, field deviations, additional loads, and more. SJI's Technical Digest No. 12 "Evaluation and Modification of Open Web Steel Joists and Joist Girders" addresses how to evaluate existing joists and Joist Girders for changes to the original loads and then how to modify the joists and Joist Girders to adequately carry the required loading. 

This SE University session will review information from the technical digest, with examples of joists needing to be retrofitted. The discussion will then move to methods and examples evaluating existing open web steel joists and Joist Girders for revised loading conditions. Finally, common options will be presented for modifying these joists and Joist Girders.


On October 23rd, Betsy Werra, from E.L.Werra Consulting, will present SEU BIM Forum:Tips & Tricks in Revit Structure - What's New in Revit 2020 . 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, October 18th.

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


October 9, 2019

Retrofitting of Existing Buildings with Steel Joists

Bruce Brothersen, PE, SE
Walter Worthley, PE, SE
Valley Joist

October 23, 2019

SEU BIM Forum: Tips & Tricks in Revit Structure: What's New in Revit 2020

Betsy Werra
E.L.Werra Consulting

This session will be one hour

November 20, 2019

Wind Loads on Non-Building Structures

Emily Guglielmo, SE

This session will be one week later than usual.

December 11, 2019

Developing Effective Communication Skills for Structural Engineers

Anthony Fasano, PE
Engineering Management Institute

This session will be one hour

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