February | 2019
Newsletter of the
Structural Engineers Association of Washington
Seattle Chapter Leadership

Darrell Staaleson

Vice President
Michael Bramhall

Theodore E. Smith 

Michael Bramhall

Past President
Chun Lau
Douglas Beck
Shalini Prochazka

Directors 2017-2020
Mike Visser
Mark Whiteley

Directors 2018-2021
Jessica Jenness
Kevin M. Solberg

YMF President
Sean Augustino

In the Issue

  1. February Seattle Chapter Meeting
  2. SE Refresher Course
  3. Welcome New SEFW Board Members
  4. Performance of Building Structures using Fluid Viscous Dampers for Seismic Energy Dissipation
  5. YMG Corner
  6. State and Chapter Committee Reports
  7. When Renewing SEAW Dues, Consider SEFW
  8. Employment Oppurtunities
  9. Help Wanted
  10. Membership Postings
  11. Upcoming Events
  12. From the Editor
February Seattle Chapter Meeting
“Global Concrete: ACI International’s New “Excellence in Concrete” Awards Program”
Joint Meeting with Seattle Chapter of ACI

Date : Tuesday, February 26th , 2019
Time : 5:15 - 8:15 PM
Location: Hotel Monaco
1101 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101
Click here for directions.
Registration Fees:
Early Bird Members - $40*
Non-Members, & Guests - $50
Early Bird WMG - $30*
Students - $15

*Early bird rate ends February 22, 2019. YMG rate applies to Engineers under 35 for both members and non-members.

5:15 -6:00 pm Registration/Networking
6:00 -6:30 pm Dinner
6:50 -7:00 pm Welcome/Announcements
7:00 -8:15 pm Program

Benefits and knowledge our members can expect to take away from the presentation:

  • An understanding of the new ACI “Excellence in Concrete” program
  • An understanding of the key structural design and construction features of two award winning projects

Concrete is an increasingly versatile, efficient, and dominant construction material.To identify and honor projects that best exemplify concrete excellence worldwide, and to recognize the design and construction firms who create them, ACI in 2015 conducted their inaugural international awards competition.The “Excellence in Concrete” program has been held annually since and has rapidly become one of the most successful initiatives in recent ACI history.It has also helped increase public awareness of the beauty and versatility of concrete.
Our February program will feature highlights of this exciting new ACI initiative.This will include presentation of the 2018 ACI International EIC video featuring award-winning concrete projects from around the country and the world.Also featured will be two local Washington award-winning projects from the 2016 and 2017 events.The background, key features, and key players will be discussed, as well as interesting engineering and construction aspects of each project.

* See Speaker and more Information below

Senior Principal / CEO,
Cary Kopczynski & Company
Cary serves on the Boards of the Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington, the ACI International Foundation, and the Post-Tensioning Institute. He is a past President of the Seattle Chapter of SEAW and the ACI Washington State Chapter. ACI International honored Cary with the Charles S. Whitney medal in 2015 and the Alfred E. Lindau Award in 2017. He was recently elected Vice President of ACI International and will become its President in 2021.
Montpellier-South of France TGV Station
Montpellier, Herault, France
University of Iowa Visual Arts Building
Iowa City, Iowa
Seattle, Washington
Premier on Pine
Seattle, Washington
Welcome New SEFW Board Members
By Angela Gottula Twining

The Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington is pleased to announce that Peter Somers of Magnusson Klemencic Associates and Craig Stauffer of PCS Structural Solutions joined the SEFW Board of Directors in January. Welcome! Tom Corcoran of Integrus Architecture will continue his second year as Chair, with Nancy Devine of the City of Seattle and Ted Smith of Smith & Huston as Vice Chairs. The Board is rounded out by 9 additional directors, a communications liaison, and an administrator.
SEFW is the 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit associated with SEAW, and it is excited for all that will happen in 2019 to promote the profession of structural engineering! SEFW is looking forward to funding the SEAW Scholarship Program, SEAW Outreach Committee efforts, and another Fall Forum, among many other initiatives. SEFW welcomes ideas and requests for funding from individuals, educational institutions, and any organization that supports SEFW’s mission and goals. Please contact SEFW’s administrator for more information on the “Request for Proposal” process.
SEFW is the foundation for the SEAW! 
Craig Stauffer of PCS Structural Solutions
Peter Somers of Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Performance of Building Structures using Fluid Viscous Dampers for Seismic Energy Dissipation
By Aaron Malatesta, M.S., P.E.

Throughout history earthquakes have crumpled roads, toppled buildings, and at times left cities in despair. They are almost impossible to predict and certainly impossible to prevent. The “Ring of Fire” is a 25,000-mile-long horseshoe-shaped ring that borders the Pacific Ocean and accounts for approximately 90 percent of the world's earthquakes. Unfortunately, many cities lying in the path of the Ring of Fire have suffered greatly. Yet the lessons learned from these seismic events have become invaluable to the development of our seismic design practice for building structures. Over the last fifty years countries like Japan and the United States have studied structural failures and led the progression of our modern building codes to protect our cities and the people that live in them.
As we are conceptualizing and designing new building structures it is imperative that we account for a structure’s seismic performance. Current building codes are prescriptive in nature and are intended to provide a life-safety level of protection for a structure when a design-level seismic event occurs. The structural engineering industry has worked tirelessly to advance our methods for seismic performance assessment of building structures, and with the development of standards like FEMA P-58 – Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings, we now have the methods to communicate better than ever about our designs. 
FEMA P-58 utilizes the concept of performance-based seismic design, a method which can give a realistic and reliable understanding of the risk of life, occupancy, and economic loss that may occur to a building structure as a result of future earthquakes. Story drifts, floor accelerations, and residual drifts are used to characterize the seismic performance of a building during seismic events. It is often difficult using conventional seismic-force-resisting systems to meet performance criteria for both drift levels and floor accelerations. In order to more efficiently protect structures during earthquakes, energy dissipation devices, such as fluid viscous dampers, are often used in supplemental damping systems that reduce dynamic amplification of the primary seismic-force-resisting system during a seismic event. This reduction in dynamic amplification of the primary seismic force resisting system yields lower floor accelerations, foundation demands, and hysteretic damage to the structure. When properly designed, a supplemental damping system that uses fluid viscous dampers will serve to provide a cost-efficient building structure that is protected not only from catastrophic failure, but also costly repairs.

Supplemental Damping System
Fluid viscous dampers are velocity-dependent devices that operate by providing a resisting force only when a dynamic event occurs. They do not add stiffness to a structure, and they do not carry any static load. A fluid viscous damper consists of a piston moving back and forth through a viscous fluid, thereby generating high pressure within the device and a resulting force at each damper end. This piston has custom designed orifices that produce an optimized relationship between the internal device pressure, and thus the resulting force, and the velocity. The greater the velocity, the greater the resisting force that is produced. This relationship is characterized by the following equation and shown in Figure 1:

Damping Force (F) = Damping Constant (C) x Velocity (V) α
α is referred to as the damping exponent. This exponent is typically set to between 0.2 and 2.0 depending on the specific application. 
Figure 1: Increase in Damper Force versus Velocity

In most cases, an exponent having a specified value in the range of 0.3 to 1.0 is appropriate for building applications. Using a lower exponent limits damper force output in a scenario where velocities exceed the design event and the supporting elements to the damping devices can thus be capacity designed. A lower damping exponent also provides more consistent damping force over the range of input velocities up to the specified design velocity, thus dissipating more energy as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Fluid Viscous Damper Hysteresis (Corresponds to a Sinusoidal Velocity Input)

It is this absorbed energy that reduces the dynamic amplification of the primary seismic force resisting system. As the damping system is velocity dependent, maximum stresses in the structure from the damping devices are out-of-phase with the maximum strain energy, which occurs at the structure’s maximum deflection. This out-of-phase relationship between the primary seismic-force-resisting system and the damping system is the core principle of damping used in many engineering disciplines. The efficiency of this type of system can be shown using simple procedures outlined in ASCE 7-16 Chapter 18 – Seismic Design Requirements for Structures with Damping Systems . Although nonlinear response history analysis is required, and recommended, for most engineering projects, the alternative procedures outlined in Chapter 18 provide a means of estimating seismic response as easily as using the Equivalent Lateral Force procedure described in Chapter 12.

Proper Testing and Validation

Design and analysis of structures with fluid viscous dampers requires exact specifications of the force-velocity relationship for each device. For this reason, significant testing is required to validate the design of these devices, and each is required to be tested before installation. Structural engineers can consult with fluid viscous damper manufacturers early in the design process to ensure design specifications are attainable.


The use of fluid viscous dampers to protect building structures from seismic events has been in practice for over 25 years, and thousands of structures across the world now utilize these devices. Whether designing a new structure or retrofitting an existing structure, fluid viscous dampers are a cost-efficient solution to achieve seismic performance objectives. The function of a damping system to reduce dynamic amplification of a primary seismic-force-resisting system is integral to protecting building structures.

Aaron Malatesta, M.S., P.E., is the Western US technical Sales Manager for Taylor Devices. Aaron may be reached at aaronmalatesta@taylordevices.com
YMG Corner
By Catherine Cai

In 2018, SEAW YMG co-hosted several social events in partnership with professionals across the industry. We teamed up with architects, contractors, vendors, and other structural engineers. Our attendees got to network and learn about various products and services, all while enjoying good food and drink! Thank you to Epic Metals, who hosted our first social event of 2019, and to all the young professionals who came out! Look for details on our February social in just a couple weeks!

YMG also hosted student luncheons at both the University of Washington and Seattle University. Graduate and undergraduate students had the opportunity to meet young structural engineers, learn about the firms and agencies in Seattle, and ask all their burning questions. YMG will be hosting student luncheons at UW and SU again this spring, featuring even more structural engineers and firms.

Thanks to all the young professionals and students who helped us kick off the new year! We hope to see you soon at one of our next events!
Catherine Cai
YMG Secretary/Treasurer
Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Structural Engineer
Student luncheon at the University of Washington
Annual Student/Young Member Group Sponsored Meeting Recap
By Lindsey Judge

On January 22nd, SEAW hosted the Annual Student/Young Member Group Sponsored Meeting at the University of Washington. This event is a yearly tradition bringing together students and professionals for an evening of networking, presentations and pasta.

The meeting began with the Firm Showcase, an hour-long networking opportunity in which local firms presented students with information about their companies in a career-fair-style setting. Students milled around the tables, asking questions, sharing resumes, and collecting company swag. Meanwhile, many old colleagues and friends greeted one another and enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect.

Figure 1: Students and professionals mingle at the Firm Showcase

Afterwards, we scooted the tables away from the walls and transitioned the room to eat dinner together. After a few minutes of chatting and eating, the presentations began.

Seniors from Seattle University presented their capstone projects which revolve around an ASCE 41 seismic evaluation of existing buildings. The first team to present is working on their Tier 1 Analysis of Theo’s Chocolate Factory in Fremont. The presentation included an interesting history of the building which now houses the factory. The unreinforced masonry building has been a hanger for trolley cars, a location for the Seattle Disposal Company, and a brewery for Red Hook. The second team to present is analyzing the Ross Powerhouse at the Ross Dam on the Skagit River in Whatcom County. This team provided a thorough background on the seismic concerns in Western Washington and encouraged audience participation to help illustrate the mechanics of a subduction zone. 

Figure 2: Students and professionals using their hands to understand subduction zones

Two students from the University of Washington described their work on the concrete canoe team. The UW Concrete Canoe team has been working hard to design a thin and strong canoe utilizing post-tensioned concrete. The team mystified the engineers in attendance by explaining how light their canoe would be.

Finally, University of Washington graduate students Sarah Wichman and Christopher Pyke presented their research projects. Sarah’s research has focused on cross-laminated timber rocking walls. She presented the discoveries that she, along with Professor Jeff Berman, made testing a full-scale two-story shear wall on a massive shake table in California. Christopher has been researching the design of tsunami-safe structures. He presented the design concept of a tsunami-proof building that would allow residents of a town like Seaside, Oregon to escape to safety on the highest level in the case of a tsunami warning.

The students wowed the professionals with all their presentations. Thank you to everyone who participated in this wonderful evening. 

State and Chapter Committee Reports
Contact the committee chair if you are interested in learning more or getting involved:
  • NCSEA Delegate – Chun Lau
  • Earthquake Engineering Committee – Kai Ki Mow
  • One of the current main focus and an important topic that the committee hopes to address in the upcoming year is the Increased Seismic Load in the newly published ASCE 7-16. 
  • Members interested in EEC can find additional information regarding the meeting on the SEAW website calendar or can contact the committee chair.
  • Outreach Committee - Pete Opsahl
  • To sign up to volunteer or to mentor, visit the SEFW page. 
  • Sustainability Committee – Rachel Vranizan
  • Refresher Committee – Mark Whiteley
  • Public Information Committee – Darrell Staaleson
  • Disaster Preparation/Response Committee – Joyce Lem
  • WABO Liaison Committee – Charlie Griffes
  • The SEAW/WABO Liaison committee is now available for questions from SEAW or WABO members. These questions can be about subjects addressed in the white papers already issued or general questions in the realm of structural engineering practice as it relates to interaction with the various building departments. Comments or questions can be emailed to charlie@ctengineering.com.
  • White Paper 6b - 2017 on Deferred Submittals
  • Wind Engineering Committee – Scott Douglas
  • Technology Taskforce – Morgan Wiese
  • Membership Task Group – Jill Shuttleworth
  • Continuing Education Committee – Adam Ailvers
  • Scholarship Committee – Kevin Solberg 
Employment O pportunities
Are you currently seeking employment as a structural engineer, senior manager, or a senior engineer technician? Check out our job board for current employment opportunities.  Learn More
Help Wanted - Lund Opsahl

Located across the street from T-Mobile Park, Lund Opsahl is a growing structural engineering firm that provides a wide spectrum of services, including planning, design, seismic and damage assessments, upgrades, additions, tenant improvements, and construction support for a variety of new and existing building types in the Pacific Northwest. Our reputation as creative innovators and technical experts is built on responsive service, collaborative teamwork, and lasting relationships. Our firm's size offers early opportunities to work on challenging projects and encourages exciting career growth uncommon at larger firms, especially for the ambitious.
Currently, we are looking for Structural Engineers with minimum of three (3) years experience.

  • Competitive benefits and salaries
  • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance/Health Savings Account
  • Performance-based bonuses
  • Flexible working hours
  • 401(k) with matching contribution
  • Profit Sharing Plan
  • PTO, and holidays
  • Group activities and team events
  • In-House education programs
  • Free parking
(Did we say we're next to T-Mobile Park?!)
Please visit our website, for additional information and job descriptions for each of these positions. Inquires and resumes may be sent to careers@lundopsahl.com.
Help Wanted - Structural Concrete Field Engineer – Seattle, WA
For over 60 years, Simpson Strong-Tie has focused on creating structural products that help people build safer and stronger homes and buildings. Considered a leader in structural systems research, testing and innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie is one of the largest suppliers of structural building products in the world. At Simpson Strong-Tie we value the individual, and the creativity that individuals can bring to the workplace.
Simpson Strong-Tie is seeking a Structural Concrete Field Engineer who will establish and maintain relationships with design professionals, specifiers and major contractors to obtain the specification of Simpson anchoring systems, cold-formed steel commercial connectors and concrete repair, protection and strengthening products. The Field Engineer will be based in the Seattle area and service Washington, Oregon, Montana, Northern Idaho, and Alaska.
5 years structural design experience including reinforced concrete structures. Design experience in concrete retrofit and repair including fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) design is a plus. 1 year computer experience (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, ACAD, various design software).
B.S. degree in Civil/Structural Engineering and Licensed Professional Engineer in Washington State required, Oregon PE preferred
To learn more and apply for this position, please go to www.strongtie.com/careers
Membership Postings
In accordance with SEAW bylaws, membership applications are vetted by the executive director, granted probationary status by the chapter board, and posted for membership comment. Membership is considered accepted 30 days after posting if current year dues are paid and no member objections have been received.   Read More
Upcoming Events
From the Editor
FEB 2019

Equilibrium publication Team:
John Gunn, Editor
Darrell Staaleson, Past Editor
Zohrah Ali
Allison Tran
Blaine Sanchez

 The new website is live! Check it out at http://www.seaw.org

1.        All members are welcome to submit articles to Equilibrium. To help you with your writer's block, here are a few topics: Write “Engineer's Notes from Afield,” summarize an interesting technical design you worked on, write about how you have been successful and increased productivity with an accounting procedure or marketing technique, write about your experiences doing community service, or share some construction site photos and talk about lessons learned.

2.        “A Picture and a Paragraph.” Please use the article submittal form provided and the picture needs a caption along with the names of the people in the photo.

3.        Please submit your articles in Word format using the Article Template. [ Article Template ]

4.        Please send your articles to john.gunn@kpff.com .

The phone number listed at the bottom of the JAN edition was outdated. The current contact
number for SEAW is (877) 460-5880

February Puzzle:
This 19th-century German philosopher’s last name has 5 consonants in a row. What is it?
Bonus: What ideology has he been accused of supporting?
Clue: He has a large mustache.

Look on the SEAW Facebook Page for a picture clue!
The first SEAW member to respond on our SEAW Facebook Page or at the next dinner meeting – with a correct and full answer - will get coffee and a Danish pastry.

January Puzzle:
Name the Friends episode where Ross, Chandler, and Joey play a wacky trivia game.
Bonus: What question do they ask Joey during his audition?
Clue: “Google!”
Picture clue:

The name of the episode is “The One with the Baby Shower”. Ross, Chandler, and Joey are playing “Bamboozled” to practice for Joey’s audition. They ask Joey “In hockey, who is known as “The Great One?” The answer is Wayne Gretzky.

Structural Engineers Association of Washington 
info@seaw.org  | 1- 877- 460 - 5880 |  www.seaw.org