June 2017  

Industry News and Notes

Opportunity for Service to the Community - Fire Escape Inspection Program

The City of Cincinnati's ordinance number 329-2016 (enacted on Oct. 19, 2016) requiring periodic inspections of all fire escapes within the City provides an opportunity for the structural engineering community to serve a public good.  The ordinance requires the inspection to be conducted by a professional engineer or registered architect authorized by the State of Ohio.  The required compliance date for this mandatory ordinance is based on each building's construction date.  Complete details regarding the fire escape inspection program can be found within the Cincinnati Building Code Section 1127-05 (link).

For-profit businesses might seek out a structural engineer, so it can be a potential business opportunity.  Note also, though, that nonprofit and charitable organizations might be significantly challenged by the expense of engaging a professional for the inspection.  One local charity, the St. Francis - St. Joseph Catholic Worker House, has a mission to move men out of joblessness and homelessness.  They have reached out to SEAoO and asked if any of our readers or members would be interested in performing the inspection at terms the charity could accommodate.  If you are interested in discussing this inspection with them, please contact Mr. Robert Bertsch at or 513-515-3966.


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SEAoO Building Code Committee

In a May 26th meeting, the Board of Building Standards adopted updates to the Ohio Building, Plumbing, and Mechanical Codes, which will be effective November 1, 2017.

The final adopted rules with summaries can be found at the following links:

 Ohio Building Code (OBC) Rules:

 Ohio Plumbing Code (OPC) Rules:

 Ohio Mechanical Code (OMC) Rules:

Non-residential projects submitted to the building department on or after November 1 shall comply with the rules above. The Residential Code of Ohio (RCC), which regulates 1-, 2-, and 3-family dwellings is not affected by these code updates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Board Office directly at (614) 644-2613 or

Shayne O Manning
SEAoO Building Code Committee
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SEAoO Education Committee

Calling All Students - New Student Breakout Session at the 2017 SEAoO Annual Conference:

New this year: we're pleased to announce that we will be hosting an Open Q&A Student Breakout Session where young/mid-level engineers will field students' questions.  We will also use the conference to kick off our new Resumania event, where students will electronically submit resumes for professionals to review/provide feedback.

All students are invited to attend the 2017 SEAoO Annual Conference on September 7th & 8th in Columbus.  This is a great opportunity to network with fellow students, industry suppliers, and practicing engineers, while learning about technical topics.  SEAoO provides students a low price of $40 for advance registration, which covers printed material, lunch both days, and the Award Dinner on Thursday.  Click here to register.


2017 SEAoO Educational Award Winners:

We were pleased to receive a total of 13 applicants for this year's Educational Awards (up from 4 applicants in 2015, and 9 applicants in 2016).  As the quality of the applications continues to improve, selecting the winners becomes more difficult.  Awards will be presented to the following students at the Annual Conference's Student Awards Dinner (Thursday evening) - hope to see you there:

Grand Prize Winner: Matthew Burton - "Archaeo-Engineering: Learning from and Preserving the Structures of the Ancient World" 

Winner: Joe Kauffman - "Megatall Structures: The Shanghai Tower"

Winner: Malory Gooding - "A Brief Overview of Lateral Force Resisting Systems"

Thank you,
Mindy Barber P.E.
SEAoO Basic Education Committee Chair
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SEAoO Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2017 SEAoO Annual Conference to be held Sept 7th & 8th at the Columbus Airport Marriott.  The discounted hotel room block is also available for reservations, and a preliminary schedule of speakers is on the Annual Conference page.  This page will be updated as more details are finalized.  


Jason Hoover 

Annual Conference Committee Chair
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SEAoO Programs Committee

Summer Holiday

As we enter the summer months, we want to express our gratitude to everyone that participated in our spring professional meetings. Our section leaders work diligently to bring the very best content to our regional meetings, and I personally want to thank everyone for their efforts. Our committee will be taking the next few months to jump start preparations for our fall professional meetings.  Your feedback from our annual survey will be used for planning content, times, and locations. Regional meetings will resume this fall, and we hope to see everyone in September for our Annual Conference.

Our next committee meeting will be during Friday's lunch at the conference. If you are interested in offering feedback or taking a more active role in your local section, please let us know - we are always open to new ideas and new faces!

Thank you,
Antonio D. Verne P.E.
SEAoO Continuing Education Committee Chair
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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Ohio Requires Professional Ethics Education

The laws governing continuing education for engineers and surveyors were recently revised.  Beginning in 2018, the continuing education requirement for engineers and surveyors includes at least two hours on professional ethics for each renewal cycle.

Ohio House Bill No. 236, first introduced in June of 2015, went into effect on April 6, 2017.  Specifically it requires that each person registered as a professional engineer or surveyor complete at least two hours of continuing education related to professional ethics.  These two hours are part of the thirty required to renew a license, not an additional requirement.

Section 4733-35 of the Ohio Administrative Code provides the code of ethics for engineers and surveyors.  It includes provisions related to:

  • Integrity
  • Responsibility to the public
  • Public statements and certifications
  • Conflict of interest
  • Solicitation of employment
  • Improper conduct
  • Other jurisdictions
  • Records


Public polls have shown that the engineering profession is held in high regard - consider how few of the engineering jokes relate to any ethical concern when in comparison to some other professions.  Our ethical practices have very likely contributed greatly to this perception.  Reflection and review on these guiding principles is time well spent.  

SEAoO will endeavor to provide opportunities to complete your ethics education requirements as part of our educational offerings throughout the state.

Your thoughts regarding this topic, and others, are welcome.   If you would like to contribute to this column in part or with a full article, please contact us.  Thank you.

Timothy M. Gilbert, P.E., S.E. SECB
SEAoO Licensure Committee
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Nuts, Bolts & Washers

Professional Diversity

The recent success of both the book and movie Hidden Figures is encouraging for the further development of our profession.  Both the book and movie convey a portion of great and previously unheralded contributions made by African-American women mathematicians and engineers toward NASA’s achievements in aeronautics and space.  

While Hidden Figures shows that some great strides have been made, women are still underrepresented in our profession.  The National Science Foundation reports that only 14.5% of engineers are women, while women are slightly more than 50% of the population. Clearly, there is opportunity for greater representation of women in the engineering ranks.

Like a structure with insufficient redundancy, a profession or group disproportionately represented by one segment of a population or underrepresented by a significant segment, is hindered by the lack of diversity.  SEAoO has been fortunate to have women in leadership roles, both in the past and currently.  We encourage our members to support women's entry into the profession and participation in the organization.  

Summer Reading

In January, I shared my goal of reading 55 books in 2017 (You might disagree, but I include audio books in reading.  They are a great way to make use of time spent commuting or household chores).  As of this writing, I've completed 26.  Here are some of the standouts:  

Non-fiction books
  • No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos, David Einhorn offers compelling perspective on the Bernie Madoff scandal.
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach is not for the squeamish but it does present an interesting examination of our practices surrounding one's passing.
  • On the Edge of Survival by Spike Walker shares the stounding feats undertake by the U.S. Coast Guard to save the crew of a distressed ship off the Alaskan coast
Fiction books
Please share your recommendations or drop a line & I'll share my full list.

Here's to a great summer and fall for the remainder of 2017!

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Past-President


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