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News: SEAOC News

SEAOC forms Resilience Committee

Monday, January 15, 2018  

By Josh Gebelein, Committee Chair

The newly formed SEAOC Resilience committee is off to a strong start, and there always seems to be something new and exciting to debate and collaborate on.  You may have noticed the recent trendiness of “Resilience”, the task of our committee is to take this important topic and bring it to actionable form for our members.  We presented a working group paper at the SEAOC Convention last Fall that was intended to get the discussion going in earnest.  Many of our members and collaborating groups have been hard at work on important papers and our committee plans to help bring the most useful resources to light for our membership.

Some our current activities include research and development on the following topics:

  • Defining the role of a Structural Engineer in Resilience of buildings and infrastructure.
  • Definition of Resilience.
  • Providing a summary of current design standards, and useful tools for Resilience in design.
  • Debating the impact of Structural vs Nonstructural design on Resilience.
  • Discussing the role of inspection and quality control during construction on Resilience.
  • Discuss the extent to which you can design a building for Resilience without control over adjacent buildings, utility functionality and other external conditions.
  • “Back to Business” or “Building Re-Occupancy Programs” to reduce recovery time.
  • Tools engineers can use for conversations with clients – outreach and communication.
  • Limitations and liability for engineers.

And that’s just to name a few.  We are collaborating with other SEAOC committees such as Professional Practices, Seismology, and others, as well as other out-of-state SEA’s through the NCSEA Resilience subcommittee (also newly formed with David Bonowitz as chair). 

Our core voting delegates are representatives from each SEAOC member organization:

Anna Lang / SEAOSD

Daniel Zepeda / SEAOSC

Jonathan Buckalew / SEAONC

Josh Gebelein / SEAOSC

Ron Mayes / SEAONC

Roy Lobo / SEAOCC

These individuals are tasked with representing our membership, so please reach out to them if you want to hear more, express your opinion, or find out what is going on in detail.  In addition to these voting members we have about two dozen associate members who are actively involved and many more on our mailing list.

We meet regularly via web conference on every other Thursday from Noon to 1pm.  Our immediate upcoming meetings are Jan 25 and Feb 8.  Anyone looking to get involved is welcome to join our meetings, please email me if you are interested!

Being a part of the Resilience Committee is a thought-provoking experience in what is shaping up to be the next generation of engineering design.  Seeing the major disasters happening around us of earthquake, fire and flood should bring home the importance and urgent need for continued improvements, and how we cannot simply build back the same way each time.  I hope you will either join us, or enjoy and use the fruits of our committee’s labors in your work.  Help our industry move forward and make our community a better and safer place.