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SEAOC Talk - December 2017
December 2017
Vol. 6, Issue 10

A Message from SEAOC President Janah Risha
Janah RishaAs the year draws to a close, it is only fitting that we look at SEAOC’s achievements throughout 2017.  Your association, thanks to its steadfast volunteers and dedicated staff, has been quite prolific.  Here are the highlights of what proved to be a great year for SEAOC and the structural engineering profession.

January and February
SEAOC offered a well-received series of seven webinars on its 2015 IBC Structural Seismic Design Manuals.  

The SEAOC Board approves a Long Range Plan through 2019 that focuses on building membership value and expanding public and legislative advocacy for the profession.

The Resilient Structural Design Committee is convened for the first time (first as a subcommittee and later repositioned as standing committee) to address and make recommendations on topics related to resilience and the appropriate role of the structural engineer.  
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Call for Papers - 2018 SEAOC Convention
SEAOC 2018 Convention LogoThe Structural Engineers Association of California issues this Call for Papers to be presented at the 2018 Annual Convention to be held at the JW Marriott Spa and Resort in Palm Desert, California, September 12-15, 2018. 

The main theme of "Innovation & Resilience: Strengthening the Past, Building the Future" has been tentatively chosen for the Technical Program. The emphasis is on resiliency and structural design of low to high-rise buildings and other structures for both new building design as well as retrofit of existing buildings for natural hazards. Subject area would include:


  • Building codes
  • Cities and Politics (city ordinances, future codes/legislation, etc.)
  • Healthcare
  • Business and Economic Impacts
  • Legal
  • Use of Innovation for better resilience (base isolation, dampers, BRB's, etc.)


Papers presented at the SEAOC Convention will be published in the 2018 SEAOC PROCEEDINGS. All speakers presenting papers at the convention are expected to use commercially available computer presentation software.

Interested parties should submit brief abstracts (300 words or fewer) of their papers on or before March 16, 2018 via the Call for Abstracts form by clicking below.

Submit An Abstract


SEAOC & CALBO Partner for Building Official Training

SEAOC is partnering with the California Building Officials to present a six-hour course about seismic retrofit programs. The course, An Introduction to Understanding and Developing a Soft-Story and Existing-Building Retrofit Ordinance for Your Jurisdiction, is offered as part of CALBO's annual Education Week at three venues around the state. The first two presentations were in San Ramon in September and Ontario in October. A third is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Anaheim. For more information, see

The jointly developed course presents practical lessons from past and current retrofit programs. Building official attendees, many from small jurisdictions, are motivated by the progress they've seen in larger cities nearby. Some have already been directed to develop programs for their own communities and are looking for guidance and best practices. The course covers the purpose and history of seismic retrofit in California, understanding retrofit in the context of community resilience, obstacles and opportunities in policy development and program implementation, issues in selecting retrofit criteria, and how to customize a "soft story" ordinance. SEAOC's two presenters are David Bonowitz, S.E. and Daniel Zepeda, S.E., both with experience leading SEAOC's Existing Buildings Committee and consulting to cities. They are teamed with Ron Takiguchi, P.E., CALBO's Past-President and the lead building official for Burbank (formerly with Santa Monica).

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SEAOC at the NCSEA Summit

By Emily Guglielmo, SEAONC Board Secretary


On Oct. 11-14 NCSEA hosted its Annual Summit in Washington DC.  SEAOC was well represented with 50 Californians in attendance, including SEAOC President: Janah Risha; NCSEA Incoming President: Bill Warren; NCSEA Director: Emily Guglielmo; SEAOC Delegates to NCSEA: Ryan Kersting, Michelle Kam-Biron, and Norm Scheel; SEAOC Structural Standards Committee Chair: Kevin Moore.
Highlights of the Summit included…

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Summary of the Updates to ASCE/SEI 41-17

By Garrett Hagen, SE & Daniel Zepeda, S.E.
SEAOSC Existing Buildings Committee Co-Chairs


ASCE/SEI 41 is the standard for seismic retrofit and evaluation of existing buildings, required for all federal buildings, as well as several recently passed California ordinances. There have been several important updates to the standard in the upcoming ASCE/SEI 41-17.  The updates will have significant impacts on the evaluation and retrofit approach for a variety of existing buildings.

Significant revisions were included for the standard's Basic Performance Objectives, seismic hazard used in Tier 1 and Tier 2, treatment of force-controlled components, nonlinear analysis provisions, non-structural performance levels, demands on out-of-plane wall forces, modeling parameters and acceptance criteria of steel and concrete columns, and anchor testing. 

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SEAOSC Strengthening Our Cities Summit 2017 is a Success

By Bob Lyons, SEAOSC President


This past November 7th and 8th, SEAOSC presented the Seventh Annual Strengthening Our Cities Summit. The Summit theme this year was the Value of Resilient Building Designs. Resilient Buildings are a key component of a resilient community. We, as a community, want and need resilient communities to protect against the collapse of our regional economy following a major earthquake. The ability of a community to recover quickly, allow residents to continue living in their houses and businesses to continue conducting business locally, is a community effort and at the heart of this effort are buildings that we can occupy after an earthquake. 

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Getting to Know Your SEAOC Leaders

Mark Gilligan, SE
SEAOC Professional Practices Committee

Why are you active in SEAOC?
SEAOC fills a number of rolls including providing professional contacts, helping me to understand the field of structural engineering, facilitating my technical education, and making it possible to participate in standards development.

What is one interesting thing no one knows about you?
I possess an Extra Class Amateur Radio License and no I do not know morse code.

SEAOC Wind Design for Solar Arrays PV2-2017

The SEAOC Wind Committee and SEAOC Solar Photovoltaic Systems Sub-Committee are pleased to announce the publication of their report PV2-2017 “Wind Design for Solar Arrays.” The 2017 edition is an update to the Committee’s 2012 report on this topic, which formed the basis for new design provisions in ASCE 7-16. PV2-2017 references the ASCE 7-16 provisions, incorporates knowledge from research since 2012, and provides background and recommendations beyond those in ASCE 7-16.

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SEAOSC Safer Cities Recon - Mexico City EQ - Trip Summary

Safer Cities Reconnaissance Team in front of "Piramide del Sol" in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Left-to-Right: Ken O’Dell, Daniel Zepeda, Raul Jimenez, Marty Hudson, Dion Marriott and Russell McLellan.

October 15, 2017 was the SEAOSC Safer Cities Reconnaissance Team’s (SCRT) last day in Mexico City.  There is no doubt the city is still reeling from the September 19 earthquake that killed hundreds and left thousands homeless. After almost a month, affected areas are still trying to re-define a normal life.  Like Mexico City, Southern California has seismically vulnerable structures and high seismicity. On a mission to increase the resiliency of Southern California cities, our team went to Mexico with three objectives: observe structural performance, collect data for earthquake response training, and assess the resiliency of the community. Below is a summary of the team’s findings:

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Upcoming Events

Jan. 10 - SEAOSC LA Dinner Meeting - Walt Disney Imagineering


Jan. 16 - SEAOSD Member Luncheon


Jan. 18 - SEAONC 2017 Business Forum Project Management Series

Feb. 2 - SEAOSC Winter Education Program


Feb. 7 - SEAOSC Annual Job Fair & Student Scholarships Awards Night


March 7 - SEAOSC LA Dinner Event - March 2018


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Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)
921 11th St, Ste. 1100 • Sacramento, CA  95814
p (916) 447-1198 • f (916) 444-1501 •