Engineers Week 2013
SEAoAL would like to encourage you to celebrate and help us promote the positive contributions engineers make to society every day by participating in Engineers Week. On the week of February 17-23, engineers will be presenting to students all over the country regarding how engineers make dreams a reality. NCSEA has developed a power point presentation that can be given at schools. The PowerPoint file can be used as a template that can be customized to an appropriate age group. The presentation is designed to promote Structural Engineering to students and help expand knowledge of our profession. For more information about Engineers Week, visit the National Engineers Week Foundation website at www.eweek.org . To obtain a copy of this free PowerPoint presentation template so you can promote engineering at a school near you, please contact the Executive Director of SEAoAL, Rhea Williams, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On January 10th, the YMG hosted a lunch and learn on “Modern Concrete Technology.” Philip Brandt, Secretary of ACI 360 and Vice-President with Euclid Chemical Company, gave the presentation to 33 attendees. Mr. Brant discussed concrete mix design, vapor barriers, control joints, floor flatness and other items pertinent to today’s concrete construction. Attendees were also treated to a lunch from Zoe’s Kitchen. Attendance at the lunch and learn included members of the Alabama Chapter of ACI who were invited to attend the meeting. To learn more about the SEAoAL YMG, contact Jeremy Deal at email@example.com.
SEAoAL Young Member Group
On November 8th, the YMG hosted a lunch and learn at Terracon on “Personal Safety for Jobsite Visits.” Willie Simpson, a Safety Consultant with UA Safe State, gave a very interactive presentation to a group of 18 attendees. Attendees were also treated to fajitas from Superior Grill thanks to Rebecca Bradford with Beck First Aid and Safety. Beck First Aid and Safety is a local Birmingham business that not only sales equipment but also holds training for first aid, CPR, etc. We would like to thank them and UA Safe State for sponsoring our meeting.
Southern Forest Products Association has issued a news release regarding the status of design values for Southern Pine. Click here for more information: December 13, 2012 SFPA News Release
During my short tenure on the Board, I have observed that the addition of a practicing structural engineer to the Board is good for our profession and good for the Board itself. A significant number of the issues that arise are directly or indirectly related to the practice of structural engineering. Bidding, plan stamping, offering services under a fictitious name without a certificate of authorization, practicing engineering without a license, and incompetence are just a few of the areas that are the basis for complaints.
While I will certainly try to help make sure that we find and stop unlawful practices, five engineers and two surveyors cannot evaluate every case and make a fair judgment without a little help. There is not adequate expertise on the Board to address the technical issues that form the basis of complaints. This is where I think that SEAoAL can make a difference. The Board needs volunteers to act as technical advisors for structural based complaints.
Volunteers will be asked to perform a technical assessment of a complaint and provide the Board with an opinion as to its validity. Engineers volunteering to perform this service should be licensed, experienced and comfortable providing testimony at a hearing before the Board. Your identity will not be revealed unless the person who is the subject of the complaint requests a hearing and you are asked to testify. As a volunteer, you are protected by the State of
There are a number of reasons not to volunteer, e.g., too busy, opposed to working for free, uncomfortable with challenging another engineer’s work, and uncomfortable with testifying. All of these reasons are valid. However, the only way to stop incompetent and unethical practice is to act when it’s exposed. If the competent engineers don’t help, who does that leave? My suggestion is for each firm to offer one volunteer for a limited number of hours. When a case is offered, determine if you can help based upon the complexity and the time it could take. If the Board had six volunteers offering 16 hours per year, that would probably satisfy the need for most years. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-473-8354.
The State of Alabama recently passed a law that will require any new building containing dormitory or classroom space for a public 2-year or 4-year college or university to include an ICC-500 compliant storm shelter. A similar law was passed by the State in 2010 that applies to K-12 schools. While there are many examples of tornado shelters capable of serving typical one to two story K-12 schools, structural engineers in Alabama will be among the first to design tornado shelters for the multi-story buildings that are typical on college campuses.
We are organizing a committee through SEAoAL to discuss and address some of the challenges of incorporating an ICC-500 shelter into a multi-story university building. If you would like to serve on the committee, please contact Patrick Lyons (email@example.com). We also welcome any questions or comments you would like the committee to consider.
You can find more information at the State Building Commissions' Website http://bc.alabama.gov/bc-bulletins.htm
Copyright 2018: Structural Engineers Association of Alabama
Structural Engineers Association of Alabama is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 660584, Birmingham, AL 35266