In this issue

Regional Meetings Update

March meeting - keep an eye out for additional details.

Interested in helping to plan future meetings, have a topic that interests you, or willing to present at an upcoming meeting?  Please send us an email.

Cincinnati Team Leaders:
Mindy Barber, P.E.; Phil Niekamp, E.I.; Abby Lehmenkuler, E.I.
[email protected]


Feb 21:  1) Structural Analysis Modeling and 2) Drone Technology.  More info HERE.

We could use some assistance with Cleveland planning.  Please drop us a line if you can help out.  Thanks!

– Cleveland Team Leaders:
Dave Ferencik, P.E.; Tim Gilbert, P.E., S.E.;  Jason Hoover, P.E., S.E. 
[email protected]

SEAoO Columbus 

Planning continues, please let us know if you have any suggestions.

– Columbus Team Leaders:
Dale Schiefer; Matt Inkrott, P.E.
[email protected]

Planning continues, please let us know if you have any suggestions.

– Toledo Team Leader:
Dennis Birkemeier, P.E.  
[email protected]

We're always open to suggestions for interesting topics or speakers, please let us know.

– Dayton Team Leaders:
Mark Remmetter, P.E., S.E.; Steve Mitchell, E.I., Peter Giesel 
[email protected]


February 2019  

SEAoO Membership Committee

Membership renewal for all levels is still open.  Haven't renewed yet? Do it today - continue to support your profession and enjoy the benefits of membership. SEAoO dues are some of the lowest of all SEAs and have not increased for several years.  So, if you haven't done so already, please renew as soon as possible.

Did you become a PE since your last renewal?  If so, you can qualify to be a Professional Member with full voting rights.  Email us at [email protected] to change your member category.

Also, as a reminder, SEAoO has established an Associate Member level that applies to those who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in a field related to structural engineering and are within 4 years of graduation. The first calendar year of Associate Membership is free.

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Industry News and Notes

RISA-3D Training in Columbus on March 12-13

RISA will present this training that "focuses on using RISA-3D to effectively build models that produce useful results.  By working through real world examples, we highlight some of RISA-3D's most helpful features that save time and increase productivity."

Courses include Basic and Advanced Structural Modeling, and class size is limited to 20 seats.

Cost: $1,200 per attendee, includes breakfast and lunch both days

More info here:  RISA course description and info

International Concrete Symposium at University of Akron in May

This is a 2-day symposium at the University of Akron's National Center for Education and Research on Corrosion and Material Performance (NCERCAMP). 

"This impressive two-day symposium brings together leading material scientists, industry experts, owner groups, and trade organizations to share, in a highly interactive environment, exciting advances in the field of concrete and internal curing while also fostering an important dialog."

Details are still being finalized, but please check the website for more info:

Wood design course at Virginia Tech in May

Dr. Frank Woeste (who has spoken at SEAoO Conferences in the past) will lead a 2-day wood design course in May at the Virginia Tech campus.  "This course is designed for individuals who are involved in the design, construction, and inspection of wood buildings.  The primary focus and objective of this course are a mastery of wood design basics and understanding of the many factors routinely used and required by the 2018 National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction."

More info on their website here: 

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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Licensure Under Continuing Review

In the closing days of his term, governor John Kasich signed Ohio Senate Bill 255 - Reform Occupational Licensing (PDF) and it is now law.  This now means that all state occupational licensing boards, from those covering accountants to engineers to pharmacy interns are subject to a 6 year review cycle.

Every 6 years each board expires and new legislation is required to continue the board activities.  The review cycle schedule has yet to be established, but once it is set, each board is required to submit the following:

  • The board's primary purpose, goals and objectives;
  • The board's past and anticipated workload, staff required, and total number of staff;
  • The board's past and anticipated budgets and its sources of funding;
  • The number of members and their compensation


Each board also has a “burden of demonstrating to the standing committee a public need for its continued existence” to a standing legislative committee.  The committee will evaluate the board’s role on 27 different variables, including the following paraphrased items:

  • How other states address the occupation
  • Degree unlicensed individuals are allowed to practice elements of the occupation
  • Degree of public participation in rule-making
  • Whether the methods of regulation are the least restrictive option in agreement with state objectives
  • The degree of restriction placed on competition by the licensure method

Further any legislation to reinstate a previously existing board or create a new board must address the board effect of the following:

  • Employment opportunities within the occupation
  • Consumer choices and costs
  • Market competition
  • Cost to government
  • Comparison of the proposed regulatory method with:
    • Other states
    • Ohio policy to enact the least restrictive method
The law also provides an occupational regulatory hierarchy from least to most restrictive:
  1. Market competition
  2. Third-party or consumer-created ratings and reviews
  3. Private certification
  4. Private civil consumer sales legal action
  5. Regulation of the process of providing the specific goods or services to consumers
  6. Inspection
  7. Bonding or insurance
  8. Registration
  9. Government certification
  10. Specialty occupational license for medical reimbursement
  11. Occupational license

Each of these methods is defined by the law.

The current method of licensing Ohio engineers would be considered the most restrictive regulatory method under the new law.  When the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors is due for potential reconsideration, proponents of engineering licensure would serve their cause by providing evidence in support of licensure to their state representative and state senator.  Do you plan to take action?

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. 

Training the Robots

Internet sites use a variety of methods to increase chances that the site is interacting with a person rather than a software “bot.”  One such method is CAPTCHA, which stands for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart.”

Originally, the system required users to decipher distorted letters. But creators of authentication methods quickly learned that the mental efforts exerted by people seeking access to websites could be used to solve a variety of problems.  One such system helped digitize old texts that could not be adequately scanned with optical character recognition systems.  But newer image based algorithms have become more typical.  Maybe in order to access a website, you’ve been presented with challenges such as that in the image below.  

One might wonder what problem is solved by selecting the traffic lights (or whatever feature is in question).  The answer is software systems for self driving vehicles. Solving these puzzles not only provides you with access to a website but it also helps to train automated driving software.  Regardless of whether you ever own a self driving vehicle or not, it’s very likely you have contributed in some small degree to how it will function.

Thank you

Tim Gilbert

SEAoO Secretary

[email protected]

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