In this issue

Regional Meetings Update

April 5: Combined SEAoO/ACI presentation on the new ACI 318-14 code. Additional details to come - Click here to register!

Interested in presenting in a "Lessons Learned" forum?  Have a topic that interests you? Please send us an email.

– Cincinnati Team Leaders:
Mindy Barber, P.E.
Phil Niekamp, E.I.
Abby Lehmenkuler, E.I.

Mar 14:  No formal SEAoO meeting this month, but the Cleveland Technical Societies Council ( is hosting a Pi Day celebration at the Independence Library on 3/14/17.  More info can be found HERE.

We are planning some promising events for the upcoming months, with details yet to be finalized.  Please keep an eye on your email and the SEAoO home page for updates.

Have a topic that interests you?  We are always open to your input, please drop us a line. 

– Cleveland Team Leaders:
Mark A. Churpek, P.E.; Tim Gilbert, P.E., S.E.;  Jason Hoover, P.E., S.E.

SEAoO Columbus 

Mar 23: "Lessons learned from the design of a mile long industrial plant for a Japanese Client" presented by Rob Hooper of SMBH. To register for this event, click here

– Columbus Team Leaders:
Dale Schiefer; Matt Inkrott, P.E.

The Toledo region is currently planning meetings for this spring.  If you have suggestions for an interesing topic or speaker, please let us know.

– Toledo Team Leader:
Dennis Birkemeier, P.E.

Mar 21:  This is the reschedule of our Dec. meeting with Tony Johnson of CRSI that was postponed:  "Building Value and Efficiency With Concrete".   Registration opens at 5:30 PM with presentation starting at 6:00 PM, hosted at LJB’s office in Miamisburg, OH.

– Dayton Team Leaders:

Mark Remmetter, P.E., S.E.; Steve Mitchell, E.I.


March 2017  

SEAoO Education Committee

Scholarship Opportunities:

With the support of our professional members, SEAoO is excited to increase this year's Education Awards from $3,000 to $7,000!!! Each year, SEAoO presents awards to deserving undergraduate civil/architectural engineering students who are interested in a structural engineering career and attending an ABET university in Ohio. The application, suggested paper format, and previous award winning papers are posted on the Basic Education Committee webpage, under About Us/Committees/Basic Education Committee (Click Here).

Please encourage all students, interns, and co-ops to apply. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our committee.

Student Chapters Seeking Site Visits:

With warmer weather on the way, our student chapters are hoping to plan a few site visits.  As a reminder, we have student chapters at:

  • University of Cincinnati
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Toledo
  • Ohio University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Dayton

If you're interested in giving a site tour to one of our student chapters, please contact us.

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

Planning continues for the 2017 SEAoO Annual Conference to be held Sept 7th & 8th at the Columbus Airport Marriott.  The discounted hotel room block has been opened for reservations.  Check out the Annual Conference page for this and other updates.  

If you have ideas for speakers or local site tours, please send me an email at

Jason Hoover
Annual Conference Committee Chair
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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Obstacle to Advancement

As this committee advocates for structural licensure, it is worth noting that professional licensure for engineers is a relatively recent provision when viewed from the perspective of our nation’s and state’s legal history.  In The Enigma of Engineering's Industrial Exemption to Licensure: The Exception that Swallowed A Profession, Paul M. Spinden of Liberty University provides an excellent and well-annotated history of engineering licensure.  

Along with providing a thorough historical background, Prof. Swindon makes a strong argument that in its current state, engineering licensure faces serious impediments to achieving the objective of public welfare.  From the article’s title, it is clear that Prof. Spinden views the licensure exception commonly called the “industrial exemption” as an obstacle to our profession’s aspirations.  In Ohio, Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4733 Section 18 includes this provision:

...does not require registration for the purpose of practicing professional engineering, or professional surveying by an individual, firm, or corporation on property owned or leased by that individual, firm, or corporation unless the same involves the public welfare or the safeguarding of life, health, or property, or for the performance of engineering or surveying which relates solely to the design or fabrication of manufactured products.

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), among other organizations, has sought to rescind these exemptions, but currently there appears to be little political will to make the change in licensure provisions.  In this instance, the underlying goals of NSPE and the Structural Licensure Committee align: to better protect the public.

Your thoughts regarding the topic are welcome, whether you support SE licensure or whether you are an opponent.  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

How to Alienate Clients and Customers #17 - Ignore Inquiries

Sometimes developing the best answer to a question takes an appreciable amount of time.  But if there is no contact with the customer/client until the answer is ready, all they are left with is silence.  This can easily lead to the belief that the inquiry is of no significance to you.  One way to mitigate this is to respond to the question as soon as possible with two items.  First, provide acknowledgement that you received the question and, second, a brief note about how it being addressed.  This can be done by email, phone, or even text.  You can always follow up with the complete response when it is ready.

How to Alienate Clients and Customers #5 - Send Rude Emails

There is never an excuse to disparage, insult or demean a client or customer, even if it is only intended as an internal joke.  You can never be sure that the message will not find its way to the client/customer.  Even if the person is behaving boorish, keep your messages professional; it will serve you better in the long run.

Recovering from a Misstep

Being human, we all make mistakes.  Often, it's how we address the error, much more than the error itself, that forms our reputation.  One important aspect of addressing an error, or even the perception of an error, is an apology.  Delivered well, without offering excuses or rationale, and with a sense of contrition, apologies can signal maturity and responsibility.  And by offering a suggested path forward, you can signal your willingness to rebuild what was damaged.  

I understand that this can be a difficult approach.  It can require us to suppress our initial impulses.  I, too, have failed to implement it effectively at times.  But this should not stop us from continuing to strive to build better relationships.  

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Past-President


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