June 2018  

SEAoO Education Committee

Calling All Students - Attend the 2018 SEAoO Annual Conference:

All students are invited to attend the 2018 SEAoO Annual Conference on September 6th & 7th in Columbus.  This is a great opportunity to learn details of the structural engineering profession from practicing engineers and experts in the field.  In keeping with our commitment to education, SEAoO provides students a low price of $40 for advance registration, which covers printed material, lunch both days and the Award Dinner on Thursday. For an up-to-date lineup of presenters and to register, click here.

Students, please take this brief survey to help us cater to your conference needs: CLICK HERE FOR BRIEF STUDENT SURVEY


2018 SEAoO Educational Awards Announcement:

We were pleased to receive a total of 9 applicants for this year's Educational Awards.  Awards will be presented to the following students at the Annual Conference's Student Awards Dinner on Thursday, September 6th -- hope to see you there!

Grand Prize Winner: Trent Phillips - "An Overview of Cross-Laminated Timber"

Winner: Tong Ngann - "Fire-Resistent Design: Prescriptive Approach vs. Performance-Based Design"

Winner: Karlie Clark - "Structural Steel Castings"

Thank you,
Bernie Kooi, PE, SE, LEED AP
SEAoO Basic Education Committee Chair
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SEAoO News

Last chance to take the SE3 Survey

To date Ohio has a fairly low participation rate in the NCSEA Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) survey of structural engineering professionals.  The survey is closing soon and isn't too late to participate. 

This survey measures engagement and equity with the goal of providing best practices to help improve our industry and ensure that every structural engineering professional has a positive experience within our profession. 

The link to the survey is

If you have already completed the survey, please share it with your contacts who have left the profession – we are looking for more responses from this demographic and need your help!

SEAoO discussed this survey in more detail in the April newsletter

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SEAoO Annual Conference

Registration is now open

As announced last month, registration is open for SEAoO's very popular Annual Conference.  It will again be held at the Columbus Airport Marriott on Sep 6 & 7 (Thu/Fri), and we've finalized most speakers already.   

The latest information can be found on this page, which will be updated frequently:  Annual Conference page

The discounted hotel room block ($141/nt) is also available for reservations:  Book your group rate for Structural Engineers Assn.

Jason Hoover
SEAoO Annual Conference Committee Chair
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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Sunsetting Licensure

At its best, professional licensure protects the public from significant problems arising from the problem of asymmetric information in the marketplace.  Said another way, licensure can help ensure that a doctor providing cancer treatment has met specific qualification requirements, as it is unlikely many patients will possess sufficient medical expertise to rationally select a provider in the absence of such a licensing environment.

Like many other systems, licensure also has the potential for negative effects, one of which is an artificial restriction on providers leading to increased costs to consumers.  It can also create impediments to interstate trade. Concerns such as this led our previous presidential administration to release a report on the benefits and effects of occupational licensing: “Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers.”  

The concern of potential negative impacts from licensure provisions also seems to be a significant factor in the Ohio Legislature Senate Bill 255 - Reform Occupational Licensing. In its current form, the bill would subject all Ohio licensure provisions to a 5-year renewal cycle (aka sunset provisions).  Meaning that every 5 years each licensing board would be required to provide justification for continuing its licensure provisions along with a report comparing the current methods with alternative, less restrictive options.  Renewal of a licensing system would require passage of legislature reauthorizing it for the next renewal cycle.

Were this bill to become law, not only would implementing SE licensure (SEAoO Position Statement) become more difficult, engineering licensure in general would face a continual challenge to demonstrate its value to society.  If this bill fails to become law, the fact that sunsetting licensure gained sufficient support to become a bill shows our profession could benefit from a more effective communication of the value of engineering licensure.  

Please share your thoughts regarding this topic and the questions raised.  We also welcome your input on any other topic related to engineering licensure.   Please contact us if you would like to contribute to this column.

Thank you.

Timothy M. Gilbert, P.E., S.E., SECB
SEAoO Licensure Committee


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Nuts, Bolts & Washers

All content in this section of the newsletter reflects statements and opinons of the author and do not necessarily reflect any opinions sanctioned by the SEAoO Board of Directors. 

Greek to Me

On occasion we must use Greek letters in our writing such as pi (π), sigma (σ) or phi (φ).  A great feature of most Windows based computer systems is that these symbols can be inserted with simple keystrokes rather than using special symbol libraries or separate programs.  This “Useful Shortcuts” page provides the codes for several common Greek letters and includes links to even more letters and symbols:

A Thought on Leadership

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

Structural Expectations

The tragic collapse of the FIU bridge in March justifiably has many seeking answers for how such a failure could come to pass.  Juxtapose this with a recent wall collapse in Columbus which, fortunately, did not lead to injuries.  

In one case the public appears to have very reasonable expectations that construction projects should proceed without injury or loss of life.  In the other, there seems to be a general acceptance of failure as inevitable under some circumstances.  The wall collapse did not appear to inspire investigation into the construction or design; blaming the wind seemed to exonerate other potential causes.  But note, National Weather Service records indicate the peak gusts in the region to be 43 miles per hour, well below design level wind speeds.

Is this an indication of how the public expects structures to perform?  I doubt that such an approach would be forthcoming if there were any injuries, but that is mere speculation.  It does seem that we have an opportunity to better convey what level of performance the public should expect from the built environment.

Thanks again

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Secretary


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