• January 31, 2013 8:21 AM | Joslyn Daniels (Administrator)

    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 .  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  

  • January 16, 2013 3:40 PM | Joslyn Daniels (Administrator)
    SEAoAL would like to congratulate its nominees for the 54th Annual Engineering Council of Birmingham Awards Banquet.  Our President, Jason Partain, is nominated for Young Engineer of the Year and Cheryl E. May, one of our board members, is nominated for Engineer of the Year. Please see the flyer below for more information on how to go to the banquet.  
    2013 BANQUET FLYER.pdf
  • January 15, 2013 10:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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

  • December 18, 2012 4:10 PM | Joslyn Daniels (Administrator)

    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. 


  • December 13, 2012 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    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

  • October 31, 2012 4:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Wind Design & Structural Steel Design
    Tuesday, December 11, 2012
    Cahaba Pump Station

  • August 13, 2012 10:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 

    Alabama from all actions associated with your effort.  The Attorney General has written a formal opinion on the matter of liability, and anyone interested in volunteering may request a copy of the opinion from ReginaDinger, the Executive Director of the Board. 

    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 or 251-473-8354.  

  • August 09, 2012 12:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 (  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

  • May 22, 2012 9:34 AM | Anonymous



    May 22, 2012

    Contact:   Richard Wallace

                                             504/443-4464, ext. 236



    Transition to New Design Values

    Effective June 1, 2012

    The Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB) has issued Supplement No.9 to the 2002 Standard Grading Rules for Southern Pine Lumber providing new design values effective June 1, 2012. The only design values that will change on June 1 apply to visually graded Southern Pine and Mixed Southern Pine sized 2” to  4” wide and 2” to 4” thick (2x2s through 4x4s) in No.2 and lower grades (No.2, No.3, Stud, Construction, Standard and Utility). This also includes new design values for No.2 Dense and No.2 NonDense Southern Pine. Design values for all other grades and sizes of visually graded Southern Pine remain the same, pending results of testing scheduled for completion later this year.

    The last major change for visually graded dimension lumber occurred in 1991 when design values for Southern Pine and other North American species were published based on In-Grade testing of full-size samples of commercially produced lumber. Since 1994, SPIB has conducted an annual resource monitoring program developed in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory (FPL). SPIB is the first rules-writing agency to publish new design values. Rules-writing agencies responsible for other species are in different stages for evaluating design values.

    Design values for structural lumber undergo a rigorous approval process. SPIB partnered with Timber Products Inspection to sample No.2 2x4 test specimens according to a plan approved by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Board of Review. SPIB and Timber Products conducted destructive tests in bending and tension, plus gathered stiffness and property data, all in accordance with ASTM International standards. Throughout the process, technical review was performed by FPL. The ALSC Board of Review approved the new design values early in 2012 with a recommended effective date of June 1, 2012.

    As June 1 approaches, users should begin using the new design values and revised span tables if they haven’t done so already. The intent of the six-month transition period was to minimize project delays and supply chain disruptions by providing time to begin to use the new design values or switch to other Southern Pine grades or

    sizes meeting performance requirements. Southern Pine users have many available product options including visually graded dimension lumber and an increasing supply of mechanically graded lumber. Many producers and key customer groups have already successfully transitioned to the new design values with minimal disruption to their businesses.

    Building codes reference design values certified by the ALSC Board of Review. The American Wood Council (AWC) publishes these design values in a supplement to the code-referenced National Design Specification® (NDS®) for Wood Construction. Building codes also include span tables and other prescriptive requirements that will need to be amended to reflect the new design values. Visit to download the AWC Addendum to Design Values for Wood Construction, revised prescriptive span tables and other updates to AWC’s standards and design tools. Also visit to obtain easy-to-use span tables for specific grades and sizes of Southern Pine lumber.

    SPIB and Timber Products are currently working to complete the full In-Grade matrix by destructively testing Select Structural 2x4s, No.2 and Select Structural 2x8s, and No.2 and Select Structural 2x10s in bending, tension and compression. Additional design value changes are expected once all the testing is completed later this year. Moving forward, Southern Pine will continue to be monitored with annual destructive testing.

    Southern Pine remains strong, dependable

    Southern Pine’s strength is comparable to other softwood species used in residential and commercial construction. “Southern Pine remains one of the best construction products on the market today,” said Cathy Kaake, senior director of engineered and framing markets for the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA). “Southern Pine lumber provides a great value in a wide variety of applications. From framing a house to building a deck, Southern Pine continues to be a dependable product for any project,” added Cathy.

    Southern Pine forests are some of the most productive and sustainable timberlands in the world, capturing large amounts of carbon from the air and storing it in lumber used every day.

    Southern Pine is grown and manufactured in the U.S. South, further improving local economies, reducing transportation costs and minimizing impacts on the environment.

    SFPA continues to provide answers to common questions, including impacts on real-world applications. One common question is, “Will new design values affect existing homes?” The short answer: “No. The new design values only apply to new construction, not existing construction.” Southern Pine users can find answers to more than 30 questions and other helpful information by visiting

    SFPA does not test lumber or establish design values. SFPA’s primary function is to market lumber products and to help users understand Southern Pine grading rules and design values.


    SFPA is a nonprofit trade association that has represented manufacturers of Southern Pine lumber since 1915. 

    Today, SFPA is the leading source of information about Southern Pine products for

    design-build professionals and consumers.

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