Mehran Pourzanjani,SE

SEAOSC is 90!

Congratulations! February marks the 90th Anniversary of SEAOSC!

The association was formed at a meeting at the University Club in Los Angeles on February 20, 1929. The founding members were a group of 12 structural engineering consultants; two of whom were also architects and one was a professor at the California Institute of Technology. You can read more about the history of SEAOSC on our website. As I was scrolling through the names of the 89 Presidents that have served since the inception of SEAOSC, I could not help but to reflect on our history and rich heritage. Many of the presidents, board members, and members of SEAOSC are well known today for their contributions to the science of earthquake engineering. SEAOSC is the only structural engineering association in the world that can showcase such a long history and rich heritage as we are oldest structural engineering association in the world.

Event Recap: SEAOSC 2019 Safer Cities Technical Summit – January 19, 2019
On Jan. 19 th , SEAOSC held the 2019 Safer Cities Technical Summit in Long Beach. The program was inspired by the 25 th anniversary of the Northridge Earthquake. Two tracks were featured; one which was for new Cal OES Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Volunteers and one which was a technical track. The event was a huge success and we thank all of our members, sponsors, and speakers for joining. Overall, approximately 125 of us attended the Summit.
Approximately 40 individuals attended the SAP training. These new volunteers will soon be receiving their official badges from Cal OES and will join our roster of members available to Cal OES for deployment after the next major earthquake. On behalf of SEAOSC, our DES Committee, and Cal OES, thank you to this new class of SAP volunteers. We thank you for being willing and able to support our communities.
The technical track featured a great series of presentations and discussions. Matt Barnard kicked off the morning where he shared some take-aways from the Oct. Policy Breakfast. He then followed that presentation with an update about what is happening with ordinances and legislation within our region and in the State.
The next session of the technical track was about the wild fires. Dr. Glassman shared his experiences as a FEMA U&R team member who responded to Paradise. The real-life examples brought home how our engineering expertise can help our first responders and the communities we all serve. Janah Risha then shared the news that the SEAOSC Ad Hoc Fire Committee has been created to develop tools and guidelines for the structural engineering community for fire related damage. Yolanda Bundy then wrapped up the session with an emotional telling of the challenges faced by the City of Ventura after the devastating Thomas Fire. 
After all of the discussion about fire, the program pivoted to focus more directly on lessons learned from the Northridge Earthquake and what is being done today. Ashi Dhalwala and Peter Maranian, on behalf of the Steel Committee, shared the steel related lessons that were learned while also highlighting work that remains to be done. Daniel Zepeda and Garrett Mills followed Ashi and Peter with a discussion about soft story retrofits and asking some tough questions whether what is being done by some is what was really intended by the ordinance. Daniel then followed this presentation by one that focused on the code limits for the extent of alteration permitted before a full evaluation or retrofit of an existing building is needed. The inconsistency in the survey results he shared was very revealing about how interpretation of the code is not always a simple thing.
Our lunch keynote was a highlight of the event. Ken O’Dell shared with everyone a clip of the Quake Heroes documentary. This professionally produced video highlights real life stories of those who were impacted by the Northridge Earthquake. The clip demonstrates the value of the structural engineering community in the post-earthquake response and the preparation for the next big one. Mel Green and David Cocke then joined Ken on the stage to share their stories from the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake.
We concluded our technical track with a working session to start wrapping our collective minds around what is our definition of functional recovery. Wayne Chang moderated some very insightful discussion. Once the tough conversations had concluded, everyone retired to the open bar for some well-earned beverages.
SEAOSC cannot provide events such as the 2019 Safer Cities Summit without the generous support of our sponsors. Taylor Devices and Simpson Strong-Tie supported us as our Gold Sponsors. Our Bronze Sponsor was MiTek. Sika, Structural Technologies, Mehrain Naeim International, and California Code Check were exhibitor sponsors.
If you have questions or feedback about the event, we want to hear from you. Feel free to send emails with your thoughts to Matt Barnard at mbarnard@degenkolb.com .

See all Photos Here
Name: Margaux Burkholder, SE     
Job title: Project Director
Company:   Englekirk Structural Engineers
Member since: 2 010      
Email: margaux.burkholder@englekirk.com  

Favorite Movie: Classic: Inception   Current: A Star Is Born

Proudest Accomplishment: Probably the day I passed my S.E.!

Childhood Ambition: As a kid I always loved the water, I’ve been a swimmer and water polo player my whole life, so I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. Clearly I’ve strayed from that passion but there is still no feeling better than being in the water for me!

First Job: My first ‘real’ job was as an intern for Forell Elsesser up in the bay area. I have been at Englekirk since graduating from Cal Poly, SLO in 2010.

Current SEAOSC Role: Active member and on the Women in SE committee

Why Join SEAOSC?: SEAOSC is a great association that brings together our fellow engineers with the purpose of improving our profession and our communities. As a group, we are capable of making changes at the legislative level that help write our codes and the ordinances our cities follow to help create a safer, more resilient community. It’s an exciting group to be a part of.
Name: Kim Caravalho, PE, SE  
Job title: Vice President
Company:   Brandow & Johnston
Member since: 2 010      
Email: kcaravalho@bjsce.com   
Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption

Proudest Accomplishment: To be a leader at one of the oldest structural engineering companies in Southern California  

Childhood Ambition: To become an astronaut

First Job: Babysitting. My first industry related job was a summer internship for a contractor doing quantity take-offs.

Current SEAOSC Role: Member of the Women in Structural Engineering Committee (WiSE)  

Why Join SEAOSC?: To connect with fellow engineers and keep up with current practices in structural engineering. Being a member of the WiSE committee also gives me the opportunity to help mentor young women engineers.
SEAOSC Women in Structural Engineering Committee

In July 2015, I became the first woman President of SEAOSC and it was an honor to follow the footsteps of all the previous Presidents  who held this office. Among other things, it was important to me to make sure that the SEAOSC Board listened and understood the needs of the membership. From my various conversations with SEAOSC members, in particular women, a common theme rose to the top which was that there was a definite need for the women members to have a platform where they can come together to discuss very important issues and challenges that women face in the industry as well as a vehicle that will enable women to support and empower each other. Following the lead of SEAONC women who formed their own group, totally separate from SEAONC, the idea of creating a Women in Structural Engineering Committee was born. There actually was some resistance to the idea of forming a committee just for women. Mind you, this was before the Me Too Movement came to the forefront and before the first Women’s March  was implemented…before the powerful movement of women working together to create transformative social change on so many issues that have plaqued and oppressed women for many years. However, after much debate, and with the help of Lorena Arce, Annie Kao, Victoria Wigle, and Kirsten Zeydel the SEAOSC Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE) Committee was born.  

From inception, I was surprised by the outpouring of interest by young and senior women engineers as well as the overwhelming amount support from firms such as Degenkolb, Gannett Fleming, Inc., John A. Martin and Associates , KPFF, Make It Right, Nishkian Chamberlain, Walter P. Moore who hosted or offered to host a meeting or event and CSI for generously hosting our very successful (Figure 1)  STAND OUT from the Crowd - Symposium  . We’ve had various workshops on soft skills that included topics such as soft skills presenting, networking and mentoring, to help develop and empower not only women but men. We’ve also connected with leaders of the AIA LA Women in Architecture Committee and have had them involved with SEAOSC events.

Figure 1.  SEAOSC – WiSE STAND OUT from the Crowd  @ John A. Martin & Associates

We kicked off the 2018-19 SEAOSC year with a (Figure 2) meeting in November to discuss and practice networking skills as well as plan for this year’s events.  Given the positive feedback that we received from last year’s STAND OUT from the Crowd Symposium, we are in the process of planning to expand the event to a full-day. The initial concept includes hands on soft skills training, a panel discussion, longer round table mentor session and more. We are excited that CSI has once again, already committed to sponsoring this year’s event!
Figure 2. November SEAOOSC Women in SE meeting @ Gannett Fleming, Inc.

More recently, Annie Kao, Tori Wigle and I have been involved with the National Association of Women in Construction Los Angeles  (NAWIC) WIC Week Steering Committee which also includes Women in Construction Operations  (WiOps),  Association of Women in Architecture + Design (AWA+D), Women Construction Owners & Executives  (WCOE), Associated General Contractors  (AGC) and National Association of Minority Contractors, Southern California  (NAMC SC). Although we have so far only participated in the steering committee teleconferences it’s great to hear all the other women on the call who are leaders representing their various associations in addition to being able to contribute in developing their signature event- WIC Week.
What is really exciting and inspiring about this committee is that it consists of women in the industry with different backgrounds, different experiences, and various ages who are coming together to learn new skills, share their experiences and to support and empower each other. How cool is that?!!!! If you are interested in learning more about the committee or if you would like to participate in the committee, please contact me at MKamBiron@awc.org or (805) 498-4864. We’d love to have you join us!
Michelle Kam-Biron, SE, SECB
Past-President SEAOSC
Chair - Women in Structural Engineering
In Memorium: Ted Christensen

Past SEAOSC President and Board Member, Ted Christensen, passed away peacefully on January 4 at the age of 95. Ted was born in Canada, near Toronto, on November 17, 1923. His family of five boys moved to a farm near Howell, Michigan in 1927. Shortly after graduation from high school, Ted joined the U.S. Air Force and was a gunner in the Eighth Air Force in World War II. After three years in the service, he moved to California and attended the University of California at Berkeley. In 1951, he graduated as a civil engineer.
Ted became a licensed structural engineer and was a member of the firm Wheeler and Gray Consulting Engineers for over 45 years. In 1977-8, he was president of the SEAOSC. Ted tackled a number of difficult and unusual projects and was active in the design of schools. His long term service to the profession and to his firm summarizes his professional service and competence as a structural engineer.

Ted and his wife Betty moved from the Pasadena area to Laguna Woods Village in 2006. His loving wife passed away in 2013. Ted is survived by his stepdaughter Stephanie, brother Charley, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army of Southern California, salvationarmy-socal.org , 562-264-3672.