President’s Message

By John Schwab, P.E. - State President

President: John Schwab, P.E.

President Elect: Lee Walden, P.E.

Secretary: Jon D.Jelinek, P.E.

Treasurer: Stan Agee

Past President: William F. Kelm, P.E.

Executive Director: Liz Stansfeld





6913 Poncha Pass

Austin, TX 78749

512 301 2744


If you do not know where you are going,

how are you going to get there I remind you that

progress, not perfection, is my expectation for

the SEAoT events in 2007. It takes commitment

and perseverance to expand your comfort zone

and make progress. Most people think of

commitment as sacrifice, and perseverance as

difficult. I think of commitment as an investment

and perseverance as the personal integrity to

meet your objectives. Last month, the State

Board struggled to obtain a quorum at its first of

four quarterly board meetings. However, the

meeting was attended by members who are

dedicated and enthused about the year ahead.

The board drafted a three year strategic plan,

changed the by-laws regarding membership

processing (see page 14), decided to transition

the organization and operation of the annual state

conference to the State Board, and focused on

increasing committee work.

The morning session was a professionallyled

brainstorming of ideas and consensus for a

three-year strategic plan. Jon Stigliano of

Strategic Solutions Group helped us compose

five major target areas as follows:

1. Membership

2. Activities

3. Community Impact

4. Financial Health

5. Communication

These five major areas will become

standing committees. The existing active

committees will become subcommittees

assigned as appropriate: Hall of Honor, Awards

and Recognition, Technical and Code,

Information Technology, Structural Engineers

Emergency Response and Professional

Activities and Legislative Liaison. The intent is

to have clear objectives, efficient use of

volunteer efforts and to make progress.

For many years, membership processing

has been slow and ineffective. The board

amended the by-laws to streamline the

application process for the overwhelming

majority of applicants and provide timely

response to new members while preserving the

integrity of the association. The board expects

the membership to continue to grow, especially

as the value of membership increases.

With the growth in membership, the

annual state conference continues to grow in

attendance, content, and activity. Recognizing

that the planning and implementation of the

conference is becoming an undue burden on the

local chapters and members, the conference

committee is considering a transition of control

of the event to the state board which will

subcontract the planning and administration to

professionals. This transition will enable

members to concentrate on committee work and

channel their expertise to continue making

progress in the field of structural engineering.

A vital part of the strategic plan is a

vigorous increase in committee activity. At a

minimum, subcommittee activity is expected to

be composed of conference calls, email

correspondence, and at least one meeting during

the annual conference in October. Committee

meetings in conjunction with the quarterly board

meetings are encouraged.

SEAoT needs leadership. Leadership

includes deciding to participate in a committee,

supervisors encouraging engineers to join and

participate in the organization, and companies

willing to let employees make conference calls

and attend meetings during business hours.

Individuals who volunteer their time gain the

most. Companies that encourage participation

are supporting progress in the structural

engineering field. No one cares about structural

engineering more than our members. Our

increasing membership, coupled with improved

communication, should invite activity that will

lead to SEAoT’s financial health and continue to

help the Association make a positive impact in

our communities.

John Schwab, P.E.

Spring 2007







By Dennis Paul, Legislative Chair

Why is this an issue

During natural disasters or other catastrophic events, the demand

for emergency services often exceeds the capacity of government

agencies. State and local governments rely on the private sector to

assist in responding to the relief and recovery needs of

communities. The expertise and skills of professional engineers are

particularly needed in times of such crises. States and localities

need assurances that professional engineers will assist in providing

essential engineering services.

Professional engineers are willing to voluntarily assist in

emergency situations. However, they face substantial liability

exposure when doing so. Without sufficient immunity from

liability, professional engineers may be hesitant to volunteer.

Some states have responded to this concern, but only after an

emergency situation occurred.Alabama passed a Samaritan Law in

2006, after the bill had languished in the legislature for almost two

year, and only after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Similarly, when

Hurricane Hugo struck South Carolina in 1989, engineers were

made temporary employees of the state so that they could assist in

relief efforts without fear of liability exposure. In Florida, the state

Department of Community Affairs granted engineers “agent of the

state” status in order to afford the volunteer engineers liability

protection when they responded to Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

However, this practice is legally untested and vague, and may still

leave the volunteers exposed to liability.

What can we do to help

Talk about it in your community, with your peers, and call your

State Representative and Senator. Ask them to co-sponsor the

existing bills, (Senate Bill SB177, and House Bill HB 823). If they

will not become a co-sponsor, ask them to support the bill. You can

find your Representative and Senator through this link, . It will provide the contact information

you need to call them. It is important that they hear from us on this

issue. You can also write them a letter, or meet with them in their

office. We have bi-partisan support so far and hope to get the bill

passed this session.

You can track the bills at

BillLookup/ BillNumber.aspx. Just type in the bills’ numbers and

the web site will show you their status. Click on the committee

assigned to the bill (Civil Practices in house and StateAffairs in the

senate) for names of the committee members to contact and

encourage movement of the bill out of committee to a floor vote.

Keep an eye out for future communications from SEAoT on this

important legislation.

Talking Points:

Engineers’ Good Samaritan Laws provide liability protection

to professional engineers while they provide voluntary

engineering services without compensation or the expectation

of compensation during a declared federal, state, or local

emergency caused by a major earthquake, hurricane, tornado,

fire, explosion, collapse, flood, or other catastrophic event.

Page 2

This immunity would apply to licensed professional

engineers who provide engineering services at the request or

with the approval of a federal, state or local public official

acting in an official capacity, including a law enforcement

official, public safety official, or building inspection official.

It does not violate a standard of care that would subject the

engineer to liability for civil damages, including personal

injury, wrongful death, property damage or other loss related

to the engineer’s act, error, or omission in the performance of

the services, unless the act, error or omission constitutes gross

negligence or wanton, willful or intentional misconduct.

Passage of SB 177 and HB 823 would remove some of the

reluctance engineers feel about volunteering and would

enable organizations to form response groups willing to assist

government agencies in emergency situations.

See page 19 of this newsletter for a summary of the legislative

Committee’s current activities.


October 25, 1925 - December 16, 2006

Will Ikerd, North Central Chapter Member

The structural engineering community and SEAoT has lost a true

leader in our profession in the passing of Ike Splawn on December

16, 2006 in Dallas.

Isaac James Splawn was born on October 25, 1925 in Mabank,

Texas to Grover C. and Edith Lacy (Black) Splawn. He served in the

U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated from SMU in 1949

with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Ike had a

distinguished career and made his mark on the metroplex and other

areas of the country as a Structural Engineer, leaving an excellent

legacy of fine engineering. His career spanned 57 years, beginning

with the Corps of Engineers and the architectural firms of Wyatt

Hedrick and Thomas E. Stanley. While with Thomas E. Stanley, he

served as the Chief Engineer of Record on the first 50-story

building built west of the Mississippi in 1960 (First National Bank

building). In 1966 Ike and Sam Munir formed the firm of Splawn-

Munir & Associates which merged with YHI in 1982, forming

Intertech Engineers, Inc. He retired from the company in 1996.

Always an engineer, Ike continued his interest in the profession

throughout his retirement. He was a long-time member of the

American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Concrete

Institute, and was a founding member of the Structural Engineers

Association of Texas.

He played an active part in the community and was a member of

Christ Lutheran Church for 45 years, serving on many of the


Ike is survived by his wife of 57 years Dorothy (Kruse) Splawn,

their two children, Gregory Splawn and Valerie Siverling, son-inlaw

husband Clifford Siverling, two grandchildren, Kathryn and

Alison Siverling and step-grandchildren,Aaron Siverling and Nona






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Page 4










SEAoT Forms New IT Committee

At its October Board meeting, SEAoT approved the creation of a

new committee, the IT Committee. This committee is the result of

considerable work undertaken by SEAoT North Central Texas

Member William Ikerd. Will has served seven years as chair of the

North Central Texas Chapter’s Computer Applications Committee

(CAC), and recently attended meetings of the national AISC

Information Technology Committee and the AISC e-commerce

Committee. He has also been instrumental in the development of the

Structural Software Survey Questionnaire described below.

This committee will focus on the use of technology in structural

engineering. Some of the key topics that the committee will address

will be to provide a non-biased view of analysis and design software

as well as the emerging use of Building Information Modeling

(BIM) in building design. Specific goals of the committee include:

Provide SEAoT members with non-biased IT information

pertaining to analytical and design software targeted to and used

by Structural Engineers

Provide SEAoT members with a unified channel of

communication with software developers marketing to the

profession. This will be accomplished by requesting SEAoT

members to provide a list of requested features and comments

each year. To obtain this information, SEAoT members will be

invited to participate in an annual online Structural Software

Survey Questionnaire. Results of the survey will be shared with

software developers.

Promote greater participation in SEAoT by inviting event

sponsorship from structural engineering software companies.

Give SEAoT members a voice in interacting with the IT

Committees of other related organizations, such as building

owners, architects and contractors.

Please watch your email and regular mail for your copy of the

Structural Software Survey Questionnaire, and please take a

moment to complete it.Your comments are important and valuable.


TV Producer invites submissions from Structural Engineers

KPI TV, a TV production company based in New York, is producing

a TV series called Extreme Buildings, and the producer is looking

for candidate homes that meet this criteria.

The producer is particularly interested in buildings that combine

unconventional locations, with radical engineering, and cuttingedge

design. The program will focus on how these places were

constructed, the construction challenges that the engineers faced

and how challenges were overcome.

The program, which is expected to air this fall, will spend about an

hour discussing the role of key players, including architects,

structural engineers, builders and homeowners, as well as the role

each played in finding ingenious solutions to a sometimes

seemingly limitless number of complex obstacles.

The selected houses do not have to be completed, as the show will

feature homes in all different stages of construction, using 2-D and

3-D computer models to simulate the completed structure. There

will be extensive animation and discussions into the structural

challenges associated with executing the designs. Houses will be

grouped into three classifications:

Concept - Homes that are in the planning or concept stages.

Discussions will focus on the design feasibility and what

measures will need to be taken to execute the plan.

Under Construction - Animation will be used to show what the

final home will look like and how different structural elements

will achieve the design.

Completed Homes - Highly unusual homes and the challenges

involved in executing the construction will be profiled.

Current homes selected for the program include homes built on

extreme slopes, a 360-degree rotating house, a steel home in Texas,

and a home build entirely from shipping containers.

If you have or are working on an extreme building that you think

might be a contender for the show, please contact Joanne Azern at

KPI TV, (212) 643-0620 x102 as soon as possible. Filming is

scheduled to begin in March and only a few additional homes are


Page 5







By William Ikerd, P.E., IT Committee Chair

About the Author:

W.F. Ikerd, P.E., C.W.I., is

Director of INTERTECH Design,

Inc.'s department of Advanced

Building Design (ABD) focused

on BIM in structural

engineering. Mr. Ikerd is

currently on the National BIM

Standards committee and has

also been appointed Chair of

SEAoT’s State IT Committee on

BIM in Structural Engineering.

(see page 5.) He is invited to

speak and author articles on BIM & EDI related topics in various

venues and sits on the advisory board for the University of North

Texas’ Construction Engineering Department where he teaches

one of the first classes in the country to incorporate BIM into their

undergraduate and graduate structural design and construction

curriculum. He may be contacted at

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the “hot new topic”

among architects and engineers. Slatted to fundamentally change

the way that projects are built, BIM is a new generation, modelbased,

database driven technology designed to make information

on every aspect of a building available electronically.

There are sound reasons why structural engineers should take a

sober and measured look at Building Information Modeling

(BIM). These models have intelligent building objects, which

ostensibly facilitate Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with other

BIMs and analysis applications, and could provide great promise

for our profession. However, this modeling method also brings

many new challenges and misconceptions.

In the author’

s opinion, BIM and EDI represent a paradigm shift

for structural engineering unlike anything that the profession has

experienced before. This change is very different from the shift

from board drafting to CAD. New developments in BIM authoring

applications, such as Graphisoft’ s ArchiCAD,

Bentley Systems’

Bentley Structural, and Autodesk’s Revit Structure have started

the process of creating functional parametric modeling

environments for structural engineers. These developments, along

with some of the media hype associated with BIM, reminds one of

an article by AIA Associate Michael Tardif who wrote the

following about the shift to CAD in the architecture profession:

“Since personal computer technology first became widely

available in the early 1980s, followed shortly thereafter by

software applications for the building design and construction

industry, the real capabilities of that technology have rarely kept

pace with the hyperbole that quickly grew around it. At times, the

hype has evolved into a belief system bearing little or no

relationship to the daily reality of design and construction in

architecture, engineering, and construction firms.

Early enthusiasts of computer-aided design (CAD) technology

may recall discussions or claims related to the “multiplier factor,”

in which the value of this or that CAD application was ostensibly

measured by whether using it was two, three, or four times faster

than manual drafting. As the difficulties of harnessing CAD

technology became evident, and the apparent lack of any

multiplier benefit became clear, the “multiplier factor” and many

other claims related to increased productivity and business

process reform were quietly excised from AEC technologists'

vocabulary.” (AIArchitect article, October 27, 2006).

BIM technology in its purest form, will radically transform the

way designs are created, communicated and constructed. It will

increase the ability to control and manipulate data information in

an interoperative format. While it clearly offers advancements to

structural design, these advantages must be tempered with

moderation particularly during these early stages.


Project Management and task integration. The structural BIM

database provides a range of new services, such as cost estimating,

scheduling, and clash detection. However, not everyone see this

“complete integration” as an advantage.

“Leading Edge” of Technology. There is a sense of pride and

possibly a competitive advantage for companies seen to be

embracing the latest technologically.

Better Coordination of Structural Items. Coordination is much

easier than with 2D drawings.

Increased Productivity. It is envisioned that BIM will lead to

fewer man-hours per structural design, which in turn may result in

“lower development costs.” Some argue that this will translate into

fewer billable hours, but since these hours will be performed by

more highly trained professionals, the actual cost per hour may be


Control of project information. The BIM database, when used

correctly and to its full potential by trained professionals, will

become the central source for all structural engineering


continued on page 14



It is hard to sell professionalism if your web site looks

amateurish, out-dated or incomplete.

CALL US for a free, no obligation review of your

current site and recommendations on transforming it

into your most effective marketing tool.





Stansfeld at

512 301 2744

Page 6






AF&PA's American Wood Council (AWC) and the International

Code Council (ICC) have announced the release ofAF&PA’s newlydeveloped

Guides to Wood Construction in High WindAreas.

With a tremendous need in the hurricane-prone Southeast for simple

design tools,AWC has developed a new series of easy-to-use guides

for builders who are constructing one- and two-family dwellings in

high-wind areas of the country. This new series of publications is cobranded

with ICC and targeted at builders.

“These customized guides will be highly effective in improving

construction and safety of homes in hurricane prone regions. When

used in conjunction with the ICC’s hurricane resistant construction

requirements, they provide simplified solutions, increased

consistency, and improved building code compliance” said Wally

Bailey, President of ICC and Director of Development &

Construction with the City of Fort Smith,Arkansas.

Individually-published Guides address design requirements in 90,

100, 110, 120, and 130 mph wind zones, respectively. The Guides

are simplified versions of AF&PA's building-code-recognized

Wood Frame Construction Manual (WFCM) for One- and Two-

Family Dwellings 2001 Edition. Prescriptive solutions presented in

the Guides are compatible with the WFCM 2001 and in compliance

with the ICC family of building codes. For example, use of any of

the Guides will result in design solutions that prescriptively meet the

requirements of the International Residential Code.

These Guides were developed with input from, and in cooperation

with, the National Association of Home Builders, FEMA/URS,

ICC, and the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

To download FREE copies of the Guides, visit theAWC website at To order printed copies, contact ICC at 1-800-ICC-

SAFE (422-7233).

For more information, contact John “Buddy” Showalter, P.E. - or Mark Johnson -


We are interested in receiving letters and articles pertinent to the

profession and of interest to other structural engineers. Please email

articles, letters, upcoming events, announcements and any other

material you would like considered for publication in this

newsletter to

Deadline for the next issue is May 1, 2007.

Page 7







SEAoT’s Contribution through the TCC


By Joe Kallaby, TCC Chair

SEAoT’s Technical Code and Council Committee, chaired by Joe

Kallaby, worked with the NCSEA General Engineering

Subcommittee (GES) of the NCSEA Code Advisory Committee

(CAC) on changes proposed by the TCC and by other members of

the GES. A total of 157 code change proposals were submitted for

the structural sections of the IBC alone. Eleven of these were

submitted by CAC. All of these changes were presented at the

public hearings of the IBC between 9/20 and 10/1, 2006 in

Orlando, Florida.

The ICC hearings were intense. We took positions on 55 Code

Change Proposals (CCP) and we were successful on 42 of them.

Six more were withdrawn by the proponent. We opposed four of

these six, so we felt positive about their withdrawal. The other two,

S6 and S7, were almost the same and dealt with a clarification to

allowable stress adjustments for wood design.

The proponent of S6 withdrew it after S7 passed. S93 was a change

to section 2306 and was withdrawn after S83 passed. S83

removed much of 2305 and 2306 because these provisions are

contained in ANSI/AF&PA NDS Supplement “Special Design

Provisions for Wind and Seismic” (SDPWS), which is currently

adopted by reference.

We changed our position on a couple of issues after meeting with

the proponents and, in most cases, discussion floor modifications

with them or based on testimony at the hearings. This happened on

S4, S8, S10, S20, S50 and S70.

For example, we were opposed to S10 thinking that combining

balconies and decks should be done in ASCE 7. However,

representatives of ASCE 7 spoke in favor of S10, pointing out that

they had wished to make this change last cycle, but did not because

they wanted to stay consistent with IBC. Clearly, someone had to

change first and this time it needed to be IBC.

S20 is another case in point. We were concerned about testing of

garage door glazing in wind borne debris regions, if the garage

door itself was not being tested. We found out from the proponent

that in the test the glazing is tested in the garage door, so our

concern was already being addressed.

On S50, we took no position, but changed that to opposition after

further discussions. The CCP was so poorly written that it implied

that even if the concrete slab was not in contact with the bad soils

(they could just be on the site) it would have to be waterproofed.

S70 was an APA CCP to provide guidelines for using wood

structural panel wall sheathing to resist wind loads. The proponent

modified the proposal to address one of our concerns, supporting

their arguments with spreadsheets to show that they were taking a

very conservative approach (based the table on the wall corner

pressures, etc.). Base on the review, we supported the


Page 8

We were completely successful in defeating S5 and G73, the two

NIST sponsored changes. Connolly and representatives from NIST

spoke passionately on both. We were also successful in the wind

borne debris code change, in spite of intense lobbing by NAHB.

We prevailed in keeping gravel ballast off of roofs in high wind

areas (FS 196), and we gained last cycle with SJI on establishing a

level playing field for trusses and joists (S63) and on our joint

modification to the micropile CCP with the Deep Foundation

Association (S54).

We did not prevail on seven provisions, but none was a significant


The following summarizes the outcome of the ICC hearings.

A full summary of the Results of the ICC Public Hearings is

reprinted on page 10.

S2 was a change to the occupancy category tables to attempt

to define toxic chemical quantities. Two explosives experts

spoke against us. We may be able to write a public comment

on this.

S17 added language from the ASCE 7 commentary about

wind tunnel testing procedures. We thought that this should

be handled in the upcoming wind tunnel testing standard.The

testimony was that that standard would not be out as soon as

we thought, so the ICC Structural Committee agreed to

support S17.

FS 198 added a definition for ballast. We proposed a

modification, which the proponent did not accept. This was a

minor loss, since we prevailed on FS 196.

We thought that FS 202 - plywood underlayment under roof

tiles - was a good idea, but was denied by the ICC Structural


We tried to work with WTCA to get the BSCI and their wood

truss bracing details accepted as a reference document, but

since it is not a consensus standard, the ICC Structural

Committee denied S67.

We were unsuccessful in trying to modify the ledger nailing

in CCPS74.

We tried to support AF&PA on S80 regarding types of

pressure treatment but the proposal was denied.

The TCC chairman is working with the SEAoT President to

encourage each chapter to assign a representative on the TCC. We

also encourage member input on the code development process.

Foundation Services

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Page 9










By Ed Huston, Chairman,

General Engineering Subcommittee of the NCSEA CAC

The public hearings to the 2006 IBC were held between September

20 and October 1, 2006 in Orlando, Florida. The four

subcommittees of NCSEA’s Code Advisory Committee (CAC)

were in close communication and met prior to the public hearings

to finalize their positions on the extensive number of proposed code

changes. There were 157 proposed code changes for the structural

section of the IBC alone! The CAC submitted 11 of those changes

to the IBC. Among these proposed code changes to the IBC were a

set of proposals from the International Code CouncilAd Hoc Committee

on Terrorism Resistant Buildings. This committee’s proposed

code changes were aimed at incorporating into the IBC some

of the 30 recommendations from the National Institute of Standards

and Technology (NIST) World Trade Center Report (Structure

EditorialAugust 2005).

Two of these proposals, S5-06/07 and G73-06/07, were heard by

the ICC Structural Code Committee. G73-06/07 would have

required that exit stair shaft enclosures be designed for 288 psf of

lateral pressure (2 psi). S5-06/07 dealt with disproportionate

collapse, an issue which surfaced previously in the 2006 code

change cycle as S7-03/04 and was defeated. The NCSEA CAC

joined many other organizations in vigorously opposing these two

code change proposals. We did so because our analysis of these

code change proposals indicated that they were fatally flawed

(Structure NCSEA News July 2006). They would have put vague,

contradictory and unenforceable provisions into the IBC, which

would have been impossible for building design teams to

implement and would have imposed serious liability risks for

building design teams on almost all projects. This joint

organizational effort was successful in defeating the two proposals.

We are currently working with the Joint Industry Committee on

Structural Integrity, chaired by Ron Hamburger, to craft a code

change proposal that addresses one or more of the NIST

recommendations and that also results in changes to the IBC that

are clear, consistent and enforceable. As a step in this process, the

NCSEA Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City had an afternoon

working session on this issue. The following paragraphs highlight

the specific activities of the three subcommittees of the NCSEA

CodeAdvisory Committee that worked on the IBC.

Seismic Subcommittee

The Seismic Subcommittee reviewed numerous code change

proposals and took positions that would help clarify the IBC and

align it with the provisions of ASCE 7-05 and the National

Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. These positions were

reached in consultation with interested member organizations, the

Code Resource Support Committee of the Building Seismic Safety

Council (BSSC), and the NCSEAGeneral Engineering and Special

Inspection Quality Assurance Sub-committees. Seisemic

Committee Chair Martin Johnson attended the hearings in Orlando.

Special Inspection – QualityAssurance Subcommittee

The Special Inspection – Quality Assurance Subcommittee met in

Chicago on August 17, 2006. Its main effort in the current code

development cycle was to review nineteen proposed code changes

to IBC Chapter 17 submitted by others. In some cases, there were

multiple code change proposals to the same section of Chapter 17,

submitted by different individuals and in conflict with each other.

The Special Inspection – Quality Assurance Subcommittee acted

as an intermediary between these entities, to bring the best portions

of each proposal to the floor and to help the amended proposals


General Engineering Subcommittee

The General Engineering Subcommittee met in ChicagoAugust 17

- 18, 2006. The subcommittee had previously submitted nine code

changes. In Orlando, we asked that two of these be disapproved,

based on the success of another code change which removed these

particular provisions from the IBC because they had been

incorporated into a standard. We will work with the standards

writing organization to get those changes incorporated into that

standard. One of our code change proposals was defeated, based on

the testimony and concerns of others. We will work with those

individuals to develop a public comment to address their concerns.

Our other six code change proposals will be incorporated into the


In the last code change cycle, the General Engineering

Subcommittee worked with the Steel Joist Institute (SJI) and the

Wood Truss Council of America (WTCA) to incorporate consistent

provisions for these two materials into the IBC. In this cycle,

we worked with these organizations once again, to further improve

those provisions and to protect them from changes that would have

had a negative impact. Our mutual efforts were largely successful

and have resulted in opening dialogues for further improvements to

these provisions in the future. In this code change cycle, we

suggested editorial changes to the section of Chapter 18 dealing

with micropiles. The Deep Foundation Association, which was the

proponent of that section in the last code cycle, took exception to

our code change; however, we were able to work out a mutually

acceptable compromise which was adopted in Orlando. We took

positions on 55 other code change proposals as well. Of these, we

prevailed on 42, six were withdrawn by the proponent, and we were

unsuccessful on seven.

Finally, we took positions in opposition to two code change

proposals that were made by prominent members of one of our

member organizations. In both cases, we did so in accordance with

our rules of operation, which state that we will not make or support

changes to an ICC standard without first letting the standard

writing organization attempt to address the issue. In one case, the

proposal was defeated; but we understand that the standard writing

organization already has a ballot out to address the proponent’s

concern. In the other case, the proposal was modified and


Continued on page 12

Page 10




Page 11








By Joseph Luke, P.E., NCSEA Liaison

The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations

(NCSEA) accomplished much under past-president Vicki

Arbritrio’s leadership. The Association has had a full-time

executive director for the past year, allowing it to provide enhanced

programs for its members. NCSEA’s magazine, STRUCTURES,

has become a premier resource for structural engineers, and the

web site continues to improve and provide timely information

about the organization and it’s Member Organizations (MOs).

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment over the past twelve months

has been the development of a five-year Strategic Plan. The plan

was presented to MO representatives at the NCSEA’s fourteenth

annual conference in Salt Lake City last September.

NCSEA serves to advance the practice of structural engineering

and, as the national voice for practicing structural engineers,

protect the public’s right to safe, sustainable and cost-effective

buildings, bridges and other structures. Its goals, and the strategies

which we have laid out to accomplish each of these goals, are

summarized here and on the NCSEAweb site,

Raise the bar and improve the practice of Structural

Engineering. The NCSEA Continuing Education Committee

will implement the Diamond Review Program and the SEA

Diamond Review process for MO-provided programs, so each

state’s programs can be reviewed and, if approved, presented to

other Member Organizations. The NCSEA Licensing

Committee establish mandatory uniform continuing education

requirements in all states. NCSEA will continue to support

CASE and SEI programs that improve the practice.

Promote and work toward separate licensure and uniform SE

practice acts. NCSEA’s Licensing Committee is working with

NCEES to establish appropriate model laws, exam content,

education and experience requirements. The Licensing

Committee will assist MOs in educating their legislative bodies

about the need for separate licensure in the form of a practice

act not a title act.

Strengthen the Structural Engineering profession on a national

basis through a model SEA Advocacy Committee, which

would improve recognition of Structural Engineers and assist

in educating the public regarding what SEs do. The NCSEA

Advocacy Committee is currently working on a new NCSEA

website, as well as a plan for distributing information from

NCSEA. They have adopted SEAOC’s Media Guidelines.

Improve building codes. NCSEA’s Code Advisory Committee

will move the One Voice initiative forward, as outlined in

NCSEA News in the June issue of STRUCTURE and establish

a coordination committee for standards development

organizations. As part of the One Voice initiative, the CAC

recently established a Joint Committee on Structural Integrity,

to work alongside ICC's Terrorist Resistant Building

Subcommittee to introduce reasonable Progressive Collapse

provisions into the building code.


Continued from page 10

The Code Advisory Committee activity is a major success for

NCSEA. We, as code users, are the ideal organization to bring an

impartial voice to the process; and we have gained a great deal of

respect and cooperation from other organizations for our efforts. If

you notice a provision of the IBC or IRC that you believe needs to

be addressed, or if you are developing a code change proposal and

want us to help you with it, you are encouraged to contact one of the

Subcommittee chairs at


Did you know that you can update your SEAoT contact

information, and check your dues status online through the web

site Forgot your user name and password Don’t worry, just click

on the “Forgot user name ...” and your access information will be

emailed to you.

Email Contact

SEAoT regularly sends out emails to members on matters deemed

of interest to our membership. If you are not receiving these

emails, it may be due to your spam filter settings. If you wish to

receive online communications from SEAoT, please adjust your

settings to accept emails from

Page 12






The SEAoTWeb Site is constantly being updated to serve members’

needs. Some of the most recent refinements include:

Review your profile and dues status online

You can verify that we have received your 2007, or change your

contact information online by logging into the member section of

the web site with your user name and password. If you do not know

your access information, it will be emailed to you as long as we have

a valid email address for you. If this does not work, send an email to

Liz Stansfeld at

Access Newsletters online

You do not have to wait to receive your Chapter newsletter in the

mail.You can download the latest version direct from the right hand

panel of the SEAoT home page. Current chapters publishing regular

newsletters are Austin, Houston/Gulf Coast and North Central


Review Pending New Members

The names of all pending new members are posted to a secure

section of the web site. You can log into this section with your user

name and password. Please review this list regularly, and let your

Chapter Board know if you have any reason why a pending member

should not be admitted into theAssociation.

Pay Dues Online

Paying your dues online is fast, easy and convenient. Call Liz

Stansfeld if you are unsure how to do this. 512 301 2744.


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At the January SEAoT Board meeting in Dallas, important

changes were made to the bylaws designed to simplify and speed

up the SEAoT member application process. The amended State

by-laws can be viewed on the SEAoT web site at All SEAoT members are encouraged to

review them, especially Section 12 ofArticle II as amended.

The amendment affects how new members are accepted into

SEAoT.As in the past, all new applications will be reviewed by the

Chapter Membership chair, and members will have the

opportunity to voice their concerns if they have any reason to

believe that an applicant does not meet the high standards of

professionalism and integrity associated with SEAoT. However,

two important changes have been made:

1. The names of all pending applications are sent to the

designated chapter contact and posted to the web site, but are not

separately circulated to members. Members can view these

applicants’ names by logging into the member section of the

web site.

2. Unless an objection is received within 14 days of the

designated chapter representative receiving the applicant’s

application and his/her name posting to the web site, the

applicant will be accepted into SEAoT.

For the vast majority of cases, this will ensure that new members

are accepted into theAssociation in a fast and timely manner.

We hope that you will encourage your colleagues and associates to

consider joining SEAoT.

2007 State Conference

The El Paso Chapter will host this year’s SEAoT Annual

Conference, which is scheduled for October 25-27 at the El Paso

Marriott. The Annual SEAoT Conference offers excellent

opportunities for Structural Engineers to meet their continued

education requirements and excellent opportunities for

exhibitors to reach a highly targeted audience of professional,

practicing Structural Engineers from across Texas.

Plans for the Conference are underway, and details, including

registration, events and the technical program will be posted to

the web site and published in the SEAoT Newsletter.


Continued from page 6

Better quality design and detailing. More time spent on structural

design and less time spent on drafting will free up professionals to

concentrate on design and design-related challenges.

Educational for young engineers. Some users feel that the BIM

technology will help educate young structural engineers on how

structures are put together.


You’re on your own. Most structural engineers are probably not

yet using the full potential of BIM software. They may be

purchasing BIM software as part of CAD upgrade packages, but

owning BIM software and maximizing its use are two very different


“The Bleeding Edge” of Technology. There are many actual and

hidden costs associated with the technology. These costs include:

Initial cost of the software as well as “add on” structural

analysis packages that ‘talk’to the BIM software.

New or upgraded computer hardware and backup systems with

the power and features to run the software.

Employee training and lost billable hours while employees

learn the new system.

Software is not yet complete. Some software packages do not

include the full complement of structural engineering tools required

to fully implement BIM.

Difficultly hiring trained staff. It may be difficult to find new

employees who are both trained on BIM software and who also

understand structural engineering.

Professional trainers may lack engineering knowledge. The

author has found that the staff at firms that implement BIM may

rapidly exceed the skills of their professional trainers. The latter

may lack the knowledge to speak intelligently about linking the

BIM software to structural analysis applications.

For example, at one training session, the ‘expert, a former drafter,

was trying to teach an engineering audience about the structural

software links to the BIM software. It soon became apparent that the

speaker did not know the difference between a simple and full

moment connection.

Long transition period. There is likely to be a long transition

period within the construction industry - possibly a decade or more

before the full advantages of BIM are realized.

Even with the uncertainties of BIM, firms should pay attention to

this paradigm shift as it emerges. Firms with the financial resources

should do their homework, then make reasonable investments to

keep up with the technology. They must also look to recruit and

retain structural engineers who are able to work well in teams, have

a grounded understanding of structural systems and a knack for

analysis and design software applications.

Editor’s note: Has your company introduced BIM or are you

holding back Either way, we would like to hear from members.

Please share your thoughts and experience with us. Comments

should be sent to the editor, Liz Stansfeld at

Page 14






If your business activities take you across Texas, remember to check

out SEAoT chapter activities in the areas you visit. With six chapters

across the State and over 600 members, SEAoT hosts numerous

presentations and seminars. As a SEAoT member you are welcome

to attend meetings hosted by any of these chapters, regardless of

your chapter affiliation.

Austin - With around 150 members,Austin hosts monthly luncheon

meetings at the MCC Building at the Southwest corner of Braker

Lane and Mopac. Austin Chapter also heads up the SEER

Committee, which is expected to gain momentum pending the

outcome of the proposed Good Samaritan Law. Austin publishes a

monthly newsletter downloadable from the web site.

Corpus Christi - SEAoT’s newest chapter is gaining strength and is

interested in attracting more SE members. If you are an SE

practicing in Corpus, please join.

El Paso - El Paso holds ad hoc meetings throughout the year and will

host this year’s State Conference in October.

Houston/Gulf Coast - This Chapter boasts around 170 members,

and meets on the third Thursday of each month for an evening social,

dinner and presentation at the HESS building, 5430 Westheimer.

The Chapter publishes a newsletter downloadable from the web site.

North Central - SEAoT’s largest chapter and one of the most

active, spearheading several committee initiatives. The Chapter

meets on the fourth Tuesday of most months at CityPlace for an

evening social; dinner and presentation, and publishes a newsletter

which can also be downloaded from the web site

San Antonio - This chapter meets on the third Tuesday of every

month (except December) for a luncheon presentation generally

held at the Barn Door Restaurant, 8400 N. New Braunfels. The

Board holds monthly breakfast meetings, on the Thursday

preceding the luncheon meeting.


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Page 16










April 18-21 - New Orleans

Whether you’re looking for information on the new AISC Steel

Specification or for information on how to increase your bottom line

by incorporating BIM into your practice, you should plan on

attending the 2007 NASCC. The Steel Conference in New Orleans

(April 18-21) is a must-attend event for every structural engineer

who plans on working on a steel building in the near future. Unlike

other conferences that emphasize theoretical advances, the Steel

Conference focuses on practical applications, providing

information that will impact your business today.

This year’s Conference will include a full range of technical sessions

specifically for designers and will cover a wide range of topics,

including “Incorporating BIM and Interoperability into your

Business”, “Joist Evaluation and Modification”, and “A Practical

Introduction to Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Codes.” Please

visit to view the full conference program and

to register online. Of course, continuing education units are offered

for all the programs.

New this year is a series of presentations from seven of the leading

structural engineering educators: Mike Engelhardt, Geoff Kulak,

Stan Rolfe, Greg Deierlein, Ron Ziemian, Tom Murray, and Ted


As important as the educational program are the networking

opportunities. There are many informal activities that will give you

the chance to meet and talk with nearly 3,000 steel professionals

engineers, fabricators, detailers, steel producers, and equipment


This year’s keynote address should prove particularly informative.

Keith Busse from Steel Dynamics, Inc., Tommy Valenta from

Chaparral, and John Ferriola from Nucor will take the stage and

provide an overview of the current trends in steel and addressing

questions from the audience.

The Steel Conference also offers a giant exhibition floor where you

can see equipment from the leading suppliers on display and in


To see the full program and to register online, please visit


November 4-9, 2007 Bangalore, India

The Third Structural Engineers World Congress (SEWC-2007) will

be held November 4-9, 2007 in Bangalore, the capital of the State of

Karnataka in India .

SEWC-2007 will bring together leaders in the world of Structural

Engineering to discuss key issues facing the profession. It will also

give delegates the opportunity to see India’s strengths,

achievements and advances in Civil and Structural Engineering.

SEWC-2007 will feature dual-track sessions of presentations by

international and eminent specialists and professionals from

throughout the world, including speakers from Australia, France,

Germany, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Turkey,

United Kingdom, and the USA.

Additional papers are invited for presentation at the Conference and

for publication in the Conference Proceedings.Authors should send

a one-page abstract that outlines the objectives of the paper, a brief

description of the main topic and a summary of the conclusions.

Both abstracts and full length papers will be reviewed by the

Technical Committee. Prospective authors are advised that they

register as delegates and present their papers. Please see the SEWC

website, ( for details of the format to be

adopted forAbstracts and Full Papers.

Please send abstracts by to email with a copy

to, or by mail to: Chairman, Technical

Committee, No.1/4, APE Trust Building, II Floor, Bull Temple

Road, Bangalore 560 019, India

















(512) 291-0602

(512) 291-9813 FAX


(405) 330-3950

(405) 330-9226 FAX

Page 17







Continued from page 12.

Work to establish structural engineering as a formal degree

program. The NCSEA Education Committee has worked to

establish basic education requirements for an undergraduate

“Certificate in SE” and “Master’s in SE” programs at

universities. NCSEA would like to establish endowments for

these programs.

Establish a Code of Ethics for practicing structural engineers.A

new ad hoc committee will review existing state codes and the

codes of other disciplines, prior to drafting a Code of Ethics for

review and approval by Member Organizations and the NCSEA

Board of Directors.

Establish a national Structural Engineering Emergency

Response (SEER) network to link state SEER groups. Each

state SEA should contact their state office of emergency

management, provide a central contact, and establish legal

liability protection for those responding under SEER. A group

of trained engineers will be established in each state, as well as

an activation procedure. An NCSEA legislative committee will

also be established, to coordinate state activities regarding

Good Samaritan Acts, Certificate of Merit legislation and tort


Develop a nationally applicable policy for the technical role of

the SE in construction Quality Assurance. Working in

conjunction with CASE and their QA Guidelines, which

explain the contractual role of the SE, the NCSEA QA/QC

subcommittee of the CAC will develop a consensus model on

recommended, structural quality assurance, while continuing to

improve and clarify IBC Chapter 17.

NCSEAcurrently has the following active committees:


Website Development

Clients and Prospects

General Public and Media


Students and Educators


Basic Education

Code Advisory

Continuing Education


Structural Engineering Emergency Response (SEER)

It is important that SEAOT becomes more active on a national

stage, with members serving on NCSEA committees. Though we

are one of the largest MOs, with over six hundred members, we are

under represented with only Davy Beicker, Joe Kallaby, and Matt

Carlton serve on committees. Many of the issues struggled with on

a state level are shared by other state associations and can be dealt

with much more effectively on a national level, taking advantage

not only of the strength created by large numbers but also taking

full advantage of the creativity of engineers throughout the country.

If you would like to get more involved with NCSEA, contact Joe

Luke at (512) 445-2090, or email:

Page 18






By Dennis Paul, Legislative Chair

The SEAoT 2007 PALL committee is made up of Dennis Paul

(Houston) Chair, SEAoT President John Schwab (San Antonio),

Vic Winter and Past SEAoT President Bill Kelm (Austin), and

Bradford Russell (Dallas). We would welcome a member from El

Paso and Corpus Christi. If you know of someone who is interested

in this committee’s work, please contact Dennis Paul at Paul

Engineering, Inc. at 281-280-9972 or by e-mail at

The Committee’s recent focus has been to get a Good Samaritan Bill

filed in the legislature (see page 2). Thanks to John Schwab’s hard

work, his senator, Sen. Wentworth, has filed such a bill, SB 177,

which was read and referred to State Affairs on January 29, 2007. A

very similar bill HB 823 was filed in the house on January 24, 2007.

We hope that all of our members will support these bills.

A article on the proposed law appears on page 2 of this newsletter. It

describes the law and how to contact your Senator or Representative.

There are also two issues that SEAoT’s Pall Committee is tracking.

The new rule proposed by the architects to change the law requiring

an architect to be hired on all buildings no matter what size, and new

changes in the Texas windstorm inspection requirements which will

affect engineers in the Gulf Coast region.


March 15, 2007 - Houston Chapter - To be announced.

March 20, 2007 - SanAntonio Chapter - To be announced.

March 27, 2007 - North Central Texas - BIM, Jim Jacobil, P.E.

Walter P. Moore.

April 12, 2007 - State Board meeting in Corpus Christi

April 18-21, 2007 - North American Steel Construction Conference

(see page 17).

April 22-26, 2007

July 24, 2007 - State Board meeting inAustin

- ACI Spring Convention, Atlanta:

October 11-13, 2007 - NCSEA Annual Conference, Philadelphia,

PA. htttp://

October 25, 2007 - State Board meeting in El Paso

October 25-27, 2007 - State Conference, El Paso

For the latest information on upcoming events, visit the SEAoT web

site at and bookmark the events page:

h ttp:// events.cfm. To add an event, send

an email to


SEAoT State MailingAddress

Please be sure to submit membership dues to the SEAoT State

office at 6913 Poncha Pass, Austin, TX 78749. DO NOT mail dues

direct to your chapter or hand them to a board member at a SEAoT

meeting. This will only delay the correct crediting of your account.

Web Browsers are Looking for Structural Engineers

The web site generates calls from people and companies looking for

Structural Engineers for a variety of projects. Their requirements

range from residential inspections to larger scale commercial and

industrial projects. Since SEAoT does not make its membership list

available, these inquirers are referred to the companies whose logos

and links appear on the SEAoT web site. SEAoT Members can

now include their company listing on the web site AT NO

CHARGE. Or for just $250 a year, you can include your logo,

company description and link to your web site. People visit the

SEAoT web site because they want to use an engineer they can trust

- a professional with an Association alliance. With your logo on the

site, these potential customers will be calling you. Since the web

listing is searchable, potential customers can narrow their search to

view only structural engineering companies that offer the specific

services they seek.

2007 Membership Dues

If you have not yet paid your 2007 dues, please do so now. It takes

only a few minutes to pay your dues online.

Dues for 2007 are as follows:

Structural Engineers,Associates andAffiliates: $100.00

Graduate Engineers: $80.00

Student Members: $20.00

Corporate Members: $700.00

If you have a colleague who might be interested in joining SEAoT,

please refer them to the web site where they can submit their

application and payment online: http://www.

Changing Jobs or Emails

Don’t loose touch. Please keep our database current by emailing

contact information changes to Or log into the

web site using your user name and password and update your

profile online. Contact if you have difficulty

logging into the web site’s member section.

SEAoTAdvertising Opportunities

Include SEAoT’s State Publications in your advertising budget.

Including your company information in the State Quarterly

Newsletter and in the annual directory ensures that your company

name and message are seen by professional structural engineers

across Texas. For sponsorship levels, as well as member discounts,

visit the web site. Special discounts apply for SEAoT members and

sponsors running in more than one publication.

Page 19






SEAoT State Corporation Board

President: John Schwab; (830) 624-2225

President-Elec t:

Lee Walden (281) 347-6690

Past President: Bill Kelm (512)-345-5538


Jon Jelinek; (512) 652-2910

Treasurer: Stan Agee; (817) 277-8566

Executive Director: Liz Stansfeld; (512) 301-2744

Chapter Presidents

Austin - Mark Waggoner; (512) 330-1273

Corpus Christi - Lew Shrier; (361) 814-9900

El Paso - Javier Carlin; (915) 833-2100;

Houston/Gulf Coast - Michael Bergeron; (281)


North Central Texas - Kerry Lee; (214) 528-


San Antonio - James Epp; (210) 558-3013

Sub-Committee Chairs

Awards & Recognition - Shawn Franke;

(210) 979-7900;

Hall of Honor Committee -Sam White; (512)


Information Technology - Will Ikerd

(972) 699-8000

Membership - Jon Jelinek; (512) 652-2910

Professional Activities and Legislative

Liaison - Dennis Paul; (281) 280-9972;

SE Emergency Response - Matt Carlton;

(512) 835-0940;

Technical & Code - Joe Kallaby;

(281) 584-9300;

For a complete list of SEAoT Officers, Board

Directors, Committees and Delegates, visit the

web site at:






6913 Poncha Pass

Austin, TX 78749

512 301 2744


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