Continuing Education for the Practical Structural Engineer:
Surfside, Millenium Tower, & Hyatt Walkway Failure Causes & Prevention:
Everything You Want To Know

FEB 23, MAR 2 & 9, 2023 | 11 a.m. - Noon (ET)

FEB 23: Champlain Towers South, AKA Surfside Condominiums Collapse
MAR 2: Repair of San Francisco's Leaning (Millennium) Tower
MAR 9: Kansas City Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse: Reflections after 40 Years

3.0 SEAMASS PDHs or 3.0 NCSEA Diamond-Certified PDHs
Can't make the LIVE presentations? Register to receive the webinar recordings.
Only "live" attendees receive PDH credits.
Weekly Topics & Overviews:
Champlain Towers South, AKA Surfside Condominiums
Collapse Investigation
Presenter: Matthew Fadden, Ph.D, PE
Associate Principal | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.
In the early morning of June 24, 2021, the eastern half of the 12-story Champlain Towers South Condominium collapsed, killing 98 residents of the 40-year-old building in Surfside, Florida.

WJE was retained by attorneys representing the condominium association to determine the cause of the collapse and provide litigation support. WJE’s scope included a review of design and construction records, videos, and photographs taken before, during, and after the collapse; site inspections at the Champlain Towers South collapse site and NIST primary evidence facility; testing of construction materials and subsurface conditions (in coordination with the involved parties); review of relevant codes and standards; and structural analyses.

Our investigation found that the flat plate slab supporting the pool deck above an underground garage was underdesigned, with significant structural distress apparent before the collapse. WJE determined that the collapse was initiated by punching shear failures in the pool deck slab. Six to ten minutes later, columns at the south face of the L-shaped building, damaged by the pool deck collapse, failed and the eastern half of the building collapsed. The western half of the building survived but was subsequently demolished. This presentation details WJE’s investigation and findings, including our collapse theory.
Repair of San Francisco's Leaning (Millennium) Tower
Presenter: Ronald O. Hamburger, PE, SE, M-IStructE
Senior Principal | Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger
Constructed in 2005-2009, the 58 story Millennium Tower, located at the corner of Fremont and Mission Streets in San Francisco, has settled more than 17 inches and tilted nearly 30 inches to the northwest. Litigation initiated in 2016 with homeowners seeking damages from the original development team and other parties. 

Under negotiated agreement the building is now undergoing a $100 million foundation upgrade to arrest building settlement and allow for gradual recovery of tilt. The upgrade involves installation of 18 new piles, extending to bedrock, around the building’s perimeter. Construction, which was not without issues, is now nearing completion. 

Mr. Hamburger will describe the building, the cause of its settlement, the upgrade and construction difficulties, and lessons learned.
Collapse of the Walkways in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel: Reflections after 40 Years
Presenter: Gary Klein, PE
Executive VP & Senior Principal | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
The collapse of the walkways in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel remains the deadliest structural collapse in US history if the 9/11 terrorist attack is excluded. After providing the relevant background, this presentation describes the site investigation and structural testing that determined the collapse occurred for two reasons: 1) the design of the hanger rod-to-box beam connection was severely deficient, and 2) the hanger rod arrangement was changed such that the connection forces acting at the fourth level were doubled. 

Presenter Gary Klein, PE led the investigation on behalf of the hotel owner. This presentation includes reflections on the investigation and events surrounding the collapse. The outcome of legal actions is described, and lessons learned are summarized.
WHEN: Thursdays, Feb 23, Mar 2 & 9, 2023 | 11:00 a.m. - Noon (ET)
WHERE: Online via Zoom Webinar; Registrants will receive access link prior to events
SEAMASS-Certified PDHs:
$25 per webinar (1.0 PDH) OR $60 for ALL 3 Webinars (3.0 PDHs)
NCSEA Diamond-Certified PDHs:
$30 per webinar (1.0 PDH) OR $75 for ALL 3 Webinars (3.0 PDHs)
Click above to register for the full series OR individual events
Can't make the LIVE presentation? Register to receive the webinar recordings.
Only "live" attendees receive PDH credits.
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Matthew Fadden, PE, LEED AP
Associate Principal | Wiss, Janney & Elstner, Inc.

Matthew joined WJE in 2018 and is an Associate Principal in the firm's South Florida Office. He earned his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2007), and MS and Ph.D from the University of Michigan (2008, 2013).

Before joining WJE, Dr. Fadden was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering at the University of Kansas.
His primary areas of expertise include evaluating, analyzing, and designing steel and reinforced concrete structures. In addition, his project experience includes failure investigations, structural repair and retrofit, high-fidelity finite element modeling, and full-scale experimental testing. Dr. Fadden is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction Committee on Specifications Task Committee 4 – Member Design.
Ronald O. Hamburger, PE, SE, M-IStructE
Consulting Principal | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger 

Ron has nearly 50 years of structural engineering design, education, construction and failure investigation experience. He is a past President of the Structural Engineers Associations of Northern California, and California, as well as the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations and is a past chair of the Structural Engineering Certification Board. For more than 30 years, he has been active in leading the development of structural engineering design guides and building code requirements. In 2015 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of this work.
Gary J. Klein, PE
Exec. VP & Sr. Principal | Wiss, Janney, Elstner Assoc.

Gary is a Senior Principal and Executive Vice President of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) in Northbrook Illinois. For nearly 40 years, Mr. Klein has studied and delivered solutions for buildings and bridges suffering from deterioration, distress or failure. He has investigated numerous structural collapses including the 1981 collapse of the sky walks in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel, the 1996 collapse of the KB Bridge in the Republic of Palau, and the 2018 collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian Bridge. 
Mr. Klein received his BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has authored more than 40 papers related to his structural investigation practice and research work, and has received numerous awards. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “for investigations of national and international infrastructure and conveying knowledge from these investigations to the profession.”
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