In this issue

Regional Meetings Update

Enjoy your summer break!  We look forward to seeing you this fall when we kick off our 2017-2018 program.

We are still seeking additional participants to speak for 10-15 minutes in a "Lessons Learned" forum (tentatively scheduled for May 2018).  If you're interested in presenting, please send us an email.

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


No sessions are planned for the summer - please enjoy the season!  Next meeting will be in October.

Have a topic that interests you?  We are always open to your input, please drop us a line and look to this newsletter and your email for sessions to begin again in the fall.

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

SEAoO Columbus 

Enjoy your summer break -- we'll see you in the fall.

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

Sessions will resume this fall - enjoy your summer!

If you have suggestions for an interesing topic or speaker, please let us know.

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

Have a great summer!  The Dayton Section is already planning for the fall meetings, so please let us know if you have any suggestions for an interesing topic or speaker.

– Dayton Team Leaders:
Mark Remmetter, P.E., S.E.; Steve Mitchell, E.I.


July 2017  

SEAoO Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2017 SEAoO Annual Conference, and a number of you have signed up already.  Click HERE for registration info.  The Conference will again be held at the Columbus Airport Marriott on Sept 7th & 8th (Thu/Fri), and discounted hotel room reservations are available HERE.  Below is the preliminary schedule, and the Annual Conference page will be updated as more details are finalized.  

Thursday Tentative Schedule (9/7/17):


Registration, Breakfast, & Exhibits


Opening Remarks and Announcements


Dr. Karl Barth, PE; Samples Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering; West Virginia University: "Short Span Steel Bridges:  Press Brake Tub Girders"


Brian Hamill, PE; Chief Engineer, Kinetic Systems Group; Hardesty & Hanover:  "Making Buildings Move"


Break and Exhibits


Jason Thompson; Vice President of Eng'g; National Concrete Masonry Association:  "Direct Design of Masonry Structures per TMS 403"

***student breakout session during this time***




Dr. Max Porter, PE, SE; Professor Emeritus: Iowa State University: "No One Wants to Blow the Whistle:  When Must You?"


Break and Exhibits


Dr. Ernst Kiesling, PE; Texas Tech Univ; Exec Dir of Nat'l Storm Shelter Assoc:  "Storm Shelters: From an Idea to a Mature Industry"


Chuck Larosche, PE; Principal; Wiss, Janney, Elstner & Associates, Inc: "ACI 562-16 - The Concrete Repair Code


Break, Happy Hour


Dinner, Education Awards


Friday Tentative Schedule (9/8/17):


Breakfast & Exhibits


SEAoO Announcements, Committee updates


Jennifer Anna Pazdon, PE; Engineer, Technical Sales; Cast Connex:  "Castings in Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel"


Tom Moore, PE; Pinnacle Engineering, Inc. & Structural Insulated Panel Assoc:  "Structural Insulated Panels: An Engineer’s Perspective"


Break and Exhibits


Lance Osborne, PE; Director of Sales; Structural Technologies, LLC:  "Design of Transfer Elements with Post-Tensioning Technology"


Lunch and Exhibits


Paula Ryan;  Jezerinac Geers & Associates & Society for the Marketing of Professional Services (SMPS):  Business Development Tips for Consulting Engineers


Shayne Manning, PE, SE; Director; THP, Ltd. & Ohio Board of Building Standards:  "2017 OBC Structural Overview















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SEAoO Education Committee

Reminder of Student Breakout Session at the 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.

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

Licensure versus Free Speech

Rarely do engineering board actions lead to editorials by nationally renowned authors.  A recent case in Oregon is an exception.  When the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) served notice that Mats Järlström violated the state laws with respect to engineering, various communities debated, and continue to debate, the appropriate boundaries for engineering licensure and their potential conflicts with freedom of speech.

In 2013, after his spouse received a $150 traffic ticket by mail based on a red light camera, Mr. Järlström decided to investigate.  He reviewed the methods and algorithms to establish timing for the green, yellow and red phases of the traffic signals.  Järlström, an electrical engineer from Sweden now living in Oregon, saw limitations with the existing methods.  He proceeded to calculate possible alternatives for traffic light timing. He wrote a paper to present his suggestions, spoke to local groups and even suggested the change to local government. He thought his engineering background could provide weight to his perspectives.  No entity was obligated to act on his suggestions or calculations.

OSBEELS took notice of Mr. Järlström's actions and, because he is not registered as a PE in Oregon, concluded that he had violated Oregon law in several instances.  The proclaimed violations can be lumped into categories: title or practice.  First, title violations, by describing himself as an engineer, OSBEELS asserts that Järlström violated state law limiting the use of the title.  Second, practice violations, by asserting that the traffic light algorithm should be revised, OSBEELS claims that Järlström engaged in the practice of engineering without a license.

Unlike Ohio, Oregon Law defines the term “engineer” to be synonymous with “professional engineer.”

ORS 672.002(2) - ..."Engineer," "professional engineer" or "registered professional engineer" means an individual who is registered in this state and holds a valid certificate to practice engineering...

This allowed OSBEELS to determine that when Järlström referred to himself as an engineer he was in violation of Oregon law.  

And though Oregon defines the “practice of engineering” similarly to Ohio (ORS 672.005), the interpretations seem to be more strict.  OSBEELS viewed Järlström’s traffic light timing suggestions as practicing engineering.  Since he did not possess a valid license, it determined he violated this provision on multiple occasions.  One OSBEELS member said “by Järlström refuting the professional opinion of the professional engineers who had engineered the original formula and claiming that they were incorrect, he was practicing engineering.”  Among other findings, the final order of OSBEELS stated:

By reviewing, critiquing, and altering an engineered ITE formula, and submitting the critique and calculations for his modified version of the ITE formula to members of the public for consideration...Jarlstrom thereby engaged in the practice of engineering under ORS 672.005(1)(b).

OSBEELS assessed Järlström a $500 civil penalty, which he paid.  Since then he has filed a federal civil rights suit alleging free speech violations.

This case has inspired several news and opinion pieces including one by George F. Will.  Will contends that the actions of OSBEELS amount to government overreach.  He notes the actions of Diane Hartley, whose inquiries as an undergraduate student helped reveal serious design deficiencies in New York’s Citicorp Center, potentially saving thousands of lives.  

Järlström's federal case has yet to be resolved, so the court’s answer to the question regarding to what degree licensure can limit engineering speech will await a judicial resolution, but the debate will likely continue.

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.

For your information, the Ohio regulations governing the practice of engineering can be found HERE.

Thank you.

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

Yes, and We also Need to Consider...

One of the most useful suggestions I’ve heard in recent years is to avoid using “but” in conversation as much as possible.  In my experience, “but” is often used as part of a rebuttal or form of disagreement. How often have you had someone say something like: “Yes, but….”?  That simple 3-letter word shifts the listener to a defensive posture, making it more difficult to find common ground.  Often, “but” can be replaced with “and” while losing none of the intent.  Try it, it leads to less friction in day to day conversation. (I learned this from the Manager Tools podcast series).

Summer Structures

Summertime is vacation time; and as much as we enjoy leaving the office work at home, we seldom leave the engineer there.  How often have you found yourself at some attraction with family looking at its structural details.  I know that I’ve been “caught” looking at roller coaster construction or unusual roof framing on several occasions.  

So why not share?  Just tweet your summer structural pics to @SEAoO with the hash-tag #Structures and we’ll share it with our followers too.  Just because we leave the work behind, doesn’t mean we need to leave our interest in structures there too.  

Enjoy the summer!

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Past-President


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