SEAMASS News, Events

 & Member Briefs

OCTOBER 2015  

  • Recap: 2015 NCSEA Structural Summit
  • Craig Barnes, PE, SECB Earns 2015 NCSEA Achievement Award
  • YMG Event Recap: Suffolk Construction Millennium Hotel Tour
  • Recap: WoodWorks Northeast Wood Solutions Fair
  • Register Now for Oct 23 Boston Anchoring Conference | FREE Event offers 3 PDHs
  • Members Invited to Submit Program Topics
  • Young Member Spotlight: Robert Kane, EIT
  • Member News 
  • Submit Address Updates to Continue Receiving STRUCTURE Magazine
  • Career Opportunities
EVENT RECAP: 2015 NCSEA Structural Summit

SEAMASS Members at the 2015 NCSEA Structural Summit 
LEFT: Mike Fillion, Craig Barnes, Bassem Almuti, Benjamin Mall, Robert Kane
RIGHT: Bassem Almuti, Ashraf Habibullah (Speaker), Robert Kane, Michael Figueroa, Benjamin Mall

SEAMASS was well represented at the 2015 NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit, held at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV from Sept 30-Oct 3. The event featured planning sessions for state member organizations (MOs), educational sessions specific to structural engineering, the NCSEA Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, social and networking events, and a trade show.

Michael Fillion, PE, SECB, served as our Massachusetts Delegate, with Bassem Almuti, PE, LEED AP BD+C as Alternate Delegate.  

Pre-summit meeting of the Existing Building Committee
NCSEA Committees met on Tuesday, prior to the General Summit. At the Existing Building Committee Meeting, David Bonowitz served as Chair, and Northeast representatives included Michael Fillion, PE, SECB; Peter Griem, PE; and David Odeh, SE. They presented Northeast Code Change proposals including: Anchorage of Nonstructural Masonry Walls; Repair of Snow Damaged Roofs; and Further Evaluation Requirements for Insulated Roofs.

2015 Annual Summit Delegate Collaboration Session
Mike and Bassem also participated in the 2015 Annual Summit Delegate Collaboration Session. This year's meeting format featured a more interactive format, offering participants a choice of 6 roundtable topics, including: Attracting New Membership; Leadership Development within your MO; Maintaining Active Committees; Providing Quality Content for Meetings; Membership Engagement; and Developing a Steady Revenue and Dues Structure.  Delegates participated in topics of interest and value to their member organizations, and NCSEA provided a moderator who took notes at each discussion. A report will soon be available with the compiled notes from those sessions.

Annual Dinner Meeting of the Northeast Coalition
Representatives from each of the Northeast states (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VT) participated in the pre-convention Annual Dinner Meeting of the Northeast Coalition.  SEAMASS thanks Robert Durfee, PE of New Hampshire for his service as 2014-15 Chair, and thanks to Erik Madsen, PE of New York for volunteering as Chair this year.  The Northeast Coalition also proposed plans to create a 4-hour lecture series, featuring members who serve on NCSEA committees.  The plan is for panelists to travel around the Northeast in the Spring of 2016, offering lectures to member organizations and their guests. Details are forthcoming; stay tuned to SEAMASS News.

Keynote Presentation
The Summit's Keynote Speaker was Ashraf Habibullah, President and CEO of Computers & Structures, Inc.  He delivered a thoughtful and entertaining presentation focused on the The Grandeur and Glory of the Structural Engineering Profession. 

SEAMASS YMG Recognized as Top 3-Finalist
The SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) earned recognition as a Top-3 Finalist for the NCSEA Young Members Group of the Year Award. YMG Members Bassem Almuti, Michael Figueroa, Robert Kane, and Benjamin Mall participated in the awards banquet.

Craig Barnes (first panelist on left) co-presents "Working With Multiple Generations"
Presentations and Panels
Craig Barnes, PE, SECB, SEAMASS Past-President and Principal of CBI Consulting Inc., presented an NCSEA session on Business Ownership Transfer, and also served as a featured panelist in the Working with Multiple Generations session moderated by Emily Guglielmo, the 2015 recipient of the Susan M. Frye NCSEA Educator Award.

NCSEA is planning a Winter Leadership Forum in San Diego, CA on March 10-11, 2016.
Craig Barnes, PE, SECB is Named
2015 NCSEA Achievement Award Winner

Craig Barnes was named the 2015 NCSEA Service Award Winner
at this year's Structural Engineering Summit.
LEFT: Craig (front, center) pictured with previous NCSEA Service Award recipients
RIGHT: Craig (seated, center) pictured with his peers at the NCSEA Past Presidents Dinner

Congratulations to Craig E. Barnes, PE, SECB, on his well-deserved honor of earning the 2015 NCSEA Service Award.  The award is presented to " an individual or individuals who have worked for the betterment of NCSEA to a degree that is beyond the norm of volunteerism. It is given to someone who has made a clear and indisputable contribution to the organization and therefore to the profession."

A Distinguished History of Service
Craig Barnes founded CBI Consulting Inc. in 1984 and is licensed in 20 states. Craig helped establish the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) in 1993, was President of NCSEA from 1995-1996, and received the NCSEA Robert Cornforth Award in 2005.  He is a member of STRUCTURE Magazine's Editorial Board, as well as a continuing contributor to the publication.  

Craig is a Past President of the Boston Association of Structural Engineers, as well as the Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts.  He chaired NCSEA's Basic Education Committee for several years, where he was instrumental in creating a highly-recognized list of Basic Education requirements for students in the structural engineering field.  

Craig has provided consulting services for exhibits at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and their affiliates abroad, and he spent two weeks in Port-au-Prince following the catastrophic earthquake in 2010, reviewing and commenting on reports prepared by Haitian consultants to determine if buildings were safe for occupancy.
Learn more about NCSEA Special Awards

RECAP of SEAMASS YMG-Coordinated Events:
Suffolk Construction Millennium Tower Tour,
and September YMG Social Event
On September 22, more than 20 members of the SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) participated in an hour-long presentation by Suffolk Construction on the structural, architectural, and construction highlights of the Millennium Tower project.  Afterward, attendees enjoyed touring areas within the construction site.

Boston's newest luxury residential skyscraper, Millennium Tower will sit as the tallest building in Downtown Crossing.

On September 17, more than 15 members participated in a social event hosted by the SEAMASS YMG at the Revere Hotel Rooftop in downtown Boston.

EVENT RECAP:  WoodWorks Northeast Wood Solutions Fair
Contributed by Tom Vaughan, PE| GSC Engineering, Inc.

The Northeast Wood Solutions Fair was the first event of its kind that I've attended or
Tom Vaughan, PE
GSC Engineering, Inc.
even heard of - and I only learned of it from the August SEAMASS newsletter.

The all-day, free event was held on September 16 at the Hilton Hotel in Danvers. In my experience, free events often tend to focus on specific vendors. This fair, however, was produced by the Wood Products Council, which is largely funded by the Softwood Lumber Board, as well as the U.S. Forest Service and its Canadian equivalent, so the presentations were highly technical and non-commercial.

There were twelve, hour-long technical seminars spread across three tracks, with some repeated to allow for schedule conflicts. I was able to attend five seminars; three of them on the topic of basic structures, two on components and cladding.  Here are my impressions and a brief recap of each one: 
  • Timber Building Systems: Understanding the Options - This was probably the best discussion I have seen regarding the alphabet soup of alternative lumber products (NLT, GLT, CLT, LSL, LVL, etc.) and the tradeoffs between the different types.
  • Advancement in Force Transfer Around Openings for Wood-Framed Shear Walls - This was a highly technical discussion of alternative models for computing the localized forces in shear walls and diaphragms. It also included a comparison with full-size test results, and references to other material. This very complex topic becomes more critical as shear walls become more important.
  • Fire-Retardant Treated Wood: The Basics - This was an informative and frank discussion of treatment methods and effectiveness.
  • Detailing for Wood Shrinkage - This was a practical discussion of detailing options, with extensive coverage of the challenges of mixing brick veneers with wood frame structures, including several examples of what can go wrong.
  • Building Enclosure Details and Assemblies for Wood-Frame Buildings - This presentation focused mostly on waterproof membranes and flashing. I don't know if there are any perfect answers, but at least this provided a lot to consider.
The presentation slides and other materials are available for free download on the website:  
The fair also featured a good selection of vendors - some architectural, some structural, and lumber and hardware suppliers.  

Another advantage of this type of 'show' is that it attracted a relatively small, focused group of quality attendees; all professionals, mostly structural engineers. This resulted in excellent discussions with vendors, and cross-talk with other participants.  

Overall, the day was well-spent, attending instructive and useful presentations, enjoying a great lunch, meeting a variety of vendors, and interacting with fellow like-minded professionals.


REGISTER NOW for this Friday, October 23:
Boston Anchor Conference | Free Event | 3.0 PDHs

This Friday, October 23 from 8:30-Noon. join industry leaders and learn about recent developments in Reinforcing Bar Design and state-of-the-art installation methods at the Boston Anchor Conference, presented by Hilti.

WHERE: New England Carpenter's Center, 750 Dorchester Avenue, S. Boston, MA 
COST: FREE; participants earn 3.0 PDHs; Light lunch provided
Members Invited to Submit Ideas for Program Topics
SEAMASS strives to offer programs on topics that benefit the everyday practicing structural engineer. YOUR input is important and valued. The SEAMASS Programs Committee welcomes all members to contribute suggestions regarding topics they're interested in learning more about, and/or to participate in coordinating a program. 

Please contact David Morand, PE, SECB, SEAMASS Secretary, with your program recommendations.
Robert Kane, EIT  | McNamara Salvia, Inc.
Robert Kane, EIT
McNamara Salvia, Inc. 
Robert Kane, EIT, graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is a Design Engineer at McNamara Salvia, Inc. 

Rob joined the SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) in 2014, and currently serves as YMG Records Keeper.

He recently returned from the 2015 NCSEA Structural Summit, where he and other SEAMASS YMG representatives were recognized as earning a top-three finalist position for the NCSEA Young Member Group of the Year Award. 

Rob has answered the questions below, so we may get to know him better. Thank you, Rob, for your contributions to SEAMASS and the Structural Engineering profession!

Q:  Why did you join SEAMASS?
A:  I joined SEAMASS to help foster the continued growth of our local engineering community. With so many great universities nearby, we've got a really unique opportunity to reach a largely untapped network of soon-to-be structural engineers.

Q: What has been your favorite SEAMASS YMG event this year?
A:  One of the most memorable events we've had was our tour of Millennium Tower. The opportunity to tour active construction sites is always a rewarding experience, especially on a project of that magnitude.

Q:  What are your goals as an engineer?
A: My goal is to transform city skylines with iconic structures. You know that sense of "Boston pride" you get when you look at the Hancock or Prudential building? That's the kind of impact I'd like my projects to have on their communities.

Q:  Please describe a project that you're involved with.
A: Recently, I've been collaborating with a former classmate, Rani Aljondi, on a software startup company. We just launched our first mobile app, "SOS Steel Beam", which is now available for FREE on the Android mobile app store   

Screen shots of SOS Steel Beam App:
SOS Steel Beam allows you to quickly identify steel member sizes during on-site visits using a streamlined search function. With our app, you can say goodbye to the days of carrying bulky, cumbersome design manuals out to the field, or waiting to get back to the office to look up measured dimensions in beam tables.

Q:  How do you spend your free time?
A:  I got hooked on running when I helped organize a company team over the summer for the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge road race. I've competed in a couple races since then, and hope to run my first half marathon in the spring.  

Member News
Craig Barnes, PE, SECB
Mike Fillion, PE, SECB 
Sofia Zamora, EIT
Ellen Kuo, PE, LEED AP

Craig E. Barnes, P.E., SECB, was elected ASCE Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers in August 2015.  His new credential, F.ASCE, recognizes Craig's continued support of ASCE and the Civil Engineering Profession.

SEAMASS Member Contributions to STRUCTURE Magazine:
Craig Barnes, PE., SECB, F.ASCE contributed an article titled Back of the Envelope Engineering, featured in this month's (October 2015) issue of STRUCTURE Magazine, pages 31 & 32. View article

Mike Fillion, PE, SECB and Sofia Zamora, EIT contributed their perspectives in articles titled , Two Generations: Why Young Member Groups (YMG) are Important, featured in the July 2015 issue of STRUCTURE Magazine, pages 62 & 63.  View article

Craig E. Barnes P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE and Sofia Zamora, EIT co-authored an article titled, A Practical Approach to ASR Mitigation in Existing Structures, featured in the June 2015 issue of STRUCTURE, pages 22-24.  View article

Sofia Zamora, EIT, NCSEA Young Member Group Support Committee member, co-organized the first NCSEA Young Members National Trivia Night, held in May 2015. She helped summarize it in the June issue of STRUCTURE, page 62. View article  
Ellen Kuo contributed an article titled Rainbows Only Come After Rain: The Importance of a Young Members Group, featured in the February 2015 issue of STRUCTURE, pages 32-33.  View article

Submit Postal Mailing Address Updates to SEAMASS
to Continue Receiving STRUCTURE Magazine

SEAMASS members are reminded to contact SEAMASS if they wish to update the postal mailing address at which they receive NCSEA's STRUCTURE Magazine. In September, SEAMASS submitted to NCSEA our 2015-16 Roster of new and renewed members, with the addresses that members provided.  NOTE: Since the list was recently submitted, please allow time for NCSEA to process it. To update or clarify your mailing address, contact SEAMASS Treasurer John Thomsen IV, Ph.D, PE, SECB


The Boston office of Cannon Design is looking for an Entry-level Structural Engineer to join our team. We are on the leading edge of integrated sustainable design and the use of virtual environment modeling and building information modeling. If you are a self-motivated, goal-driven engineer interested in the exciting growth fields of science and technology, health care, and education, then we would like to talk with you!  For more information on this opportunity, visit

Gale Associates, Inc. has an opportunity for a Registered Structural Engineer with 3-7 years of experience and a strong resume in the evaluation and renovation of existing structures and facades, foundation design and concrete rehabilitation.  Knowledge of waterproofing and building envelope assemblies is helpful.  Ability to assist with management of projects, computer efficiency and effective presentation/communication skills are essential.  Gale offers an excellent salary and full array of benefits. Send resume & salary requirement to  EOE/AA/Veterans/Disabilities Employer.

SEAMASS News is compiled & published by Michael Fillion, PE, SECB Publications Committee, and Kristie Janes, SEAMASS Marketing Coordinator.

Thank you SEAMASS Corporate Sponsors
Thank you to these SEAMASS Members who have contributed their  
Corporate Sponsorship in support of this member-driven organization: 
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