SEAMASS News Briefs, Member News  
& Event Announcements

JUNE 2014 

  • President's Greeting  
  • SEAMASS Annual Meeting & Presentations Recap
  • Action Requested: Good Samaritan Legislation  
  • Welcome 2014-2014 SEAMASS Board of Directors 
  • SEAMASS Young Members Group Updates
  • Observations from the Steel Design Conference 
  • Scholarship Opportunity: NCSEA Annual Meeting
  • Contribute Your Article to STRUCTURE Magazine
  • Upcoming Event: Sept. 11, 2014  
President's Greeting
I'm honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve this growing organization of professional structural engineers as my role changes from Treasurer to President.  Our industry environment is full of exciting and challenging technological changes such as BIM, new design software, and increasing fabricator production and delivery methods, as well as increasing code complexity and liability risks. That's why our continued membership in SEAMASS and NCSEA plays a vital role in helping us keep up with all that our industry has to offer.

This year, my key goals and initiatives for SEAMASS include: continuing to produce or sponsor informative, timely educational programs; providing ongoing support for our vibrant young members; and continuously improving our outreach and communications. On the administrative side, we will address our non-profit status and create central storage for permanent SEAMASS records.

Thank you for your commitment and participation as a SEAMASS member or sponsor.  It's now time to renew your membership dues and sponsor dues, and I thank you for acting on it promptly. Also note that we have reduced the fee to $350 for our Business Sponsorship Package, and we hope to see all firms take advantage of this opportunity to broaden their exposure.

I look forward to seeing you at the next SEAMASS program on September 11.  In the meantime, please contact me with your questions, concerns or ideas to enhance SEAMASS!
Best regards,
SEAMASS 2014 Annual Meeting & Presentations Recap
SEAMASS members and their guests took advantage of the opportunity to connect, socialize and celebrate engineering at the SEAMASS 2014 Annual Dinner on May 7.  Outgoing President Michael Fillion PE, SECB shared a recap of the 2013-2014 accomplishments, such as the production of several successful SEAMASS seminars, and the development of a sponsored Business Directory section on the SEAMASS website.  Mr. Fillion also recognized the his fellow 2013-2014 Board members and the thriving SEAMASS Young Members Group, and he bid farewell to those ending their terms.
Attendees enjoy presentations at the 2014 Annual Meeting
Speakers Matthias Ruth & Julie Wormser
Officers of SEAMASS Young Members Group at Annual Meeting
The event also featured two dynamic presentations with the theme of Climate Change Preparedness, titled: Preparing for the Rising Tide by Julie Wormser, Executive Director of the Boston Harbor Association, and The Effects of Climate Change by Matthias Ruth, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University.

View Past Events Archive
Update on Good Samaritan Legislation
for Structural Engineer Emergency Responders
Contributed by Jeffrey W. Struble, PE | Struble Engineering, LLC

From the State House, there is promising news on the progress of Bill No. S.795, the "Good  Samaritan" bill that would provide liability protection for engineers, architects and other building professionals when they volunteer their services to help emergency management agencies after a disaster.  SEAMASS has been active in advocating for this bill's passage in order to allow the organization of a state-wide emergency responder group of structural engineers and other disciplines that would stand ready to help assess damage over a wide-spread area in the event that a catastrophe overwhelms the assessment capabilities of local authorities.   READ FULL STORY

Here's How YOU Can Help Promote this Important Legislation:
Make your voice heard! Write or e-mail your State Representative today and urge them to bring Bill S.795 to the floor soon for consideration, so they can vote favorably for its passage.  Click here
to find your legislator's contact information via the 'Find a Legislator' button.  

It's important to impress upon our legislators the fact that professionals like you cannot realistically volunteer your time and expertise when it is most needed during a large-scale emergency if the threat of unrestricted liability claims resulting from such service comes with it.  Point out that
Massachusetts lags behind 28 other states in passing such a Good Samaritan law, and is one of the states most likely to experience a large-scale catastrophe due to its geography and population density.  We will be certainly be needed when the call for help goes out after the next big event but we can't answer that call if doing so puts our livelihood at risk due to the lack of Good Samaritan protection.

URGENT UPDATE: We have learned that the next immediate hurdle for Bill S.795 is to make it out of the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading to the floor of the House where it must be recommended to the Senate for their consideration, a procedure known as "engrossment".  There is a time limit on this event - the end of July - due to the cessation of business for this session of the Legislature.  After that, it runs the risk of starting over in the House along with all the other bills awaiting engrossment that were not considered in this go-around (there are literally hundreds of these).

SEAMASS members should e-mail the Chair of the House Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, Rep. Theodore Speliotis at and Cc the Speaker of the House Rep. Robert DeLeo at as soon as possible to urge that this particular bill (SB.795) be recommended to the House membership for a vote on engrossment to the Senate as soon as possible.  Once this hurdle is cleared, with the help of its Senate sponsor, Sen. Karen Spilka, it stands a good chance of making its way through the Senate this session and on to the Governor's desk for signature into law.  Timing is everything so please e-mail Chairman Speliotis and Speaker DeLeo today!

Welcome 2014-2015 SEAMASS Board of Directors
At the 2014 SEAMASS Annual Meeting, incoming president Michael Berry, PE, SECB (right) presented outgoing president Michael Fillion, PE, SECB with a commemorative plaque in honor of his dedication and service to SEAMASS.
Introducing the 2014-2015 
SEAMASS Board of Directors:

Michael J. Berry, PE.,SECB|Consulting Structural Engineer, Inc.
Vice President: 
Jeffrey Struble P.E. | Struble Engineering, LLC
John H. Thomsen IV, Ph.D, P.E., SECB | SGH
David A. Morand P.E., SECB | Gale Associates, Inc.
Past President: 
Michael Fillion P.E., SECB | Fillion Group

David Grandpre, PE, SECB | C. A. Pretzer Associates, Inc.
John Isbell, PE | Cannon Design
Wayne R. Lawson, PE, SECB |CBI Consulting Inc.
William Lovallo, PE | LeMessurier Consultants
Peter Quigley, PE | Weidlinger Associates, Inc.
Brett Wilkinson, PE | Symmes, Maini & McKee Associates, Inc. 
SEAMASS Young Members Group
Event Recap and 2014-2015 Officers
The SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) hosted an after-hours social event on June 5 in the lounge at Avenue One restaurant in Boston.  Event organizers were pleased that despite an overcast sky and intermittent rain, several young engineers stopped by after work to mingle and network among their peers.

Announcing the SEAMASS YMG Officers for 2014-2015:
Co-Chair: Peder Hals | Wiss Janney Elstner Associates
Co-Chair: Bassem Almuti, Co-Chair | Cannon Design
Records Keeper: Juste Gatari | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Digital Media: Nikki Balvins | Wiss Janney Elstner Associates
Finance:  Vitaliy Saykin | Ph.D. Candidate, Northeastern University

Observations from the SFNE Steel Design Conference
Contributed by Thomas Vaughan, PE | GSC Engineering Inc.
Tom Vaughan, PE
SEAMASS was a sponsor of the Annual SFNE Steel Design Conference at Worcester Polytech, held this year on June 5.  I attended and found a broad selection of interesting technical design talks.

Larry Muir presented a discussion of the Uniform Force Method (UFM). His 2008 paper, "Designing Compact Gussets with the Uniform Force Method" presented a modification to the UFM that allows more flexibility in choosing gusset proportions. That paper won the 2014 T.R. Higgins award.

He cautioned that the Lower Bound Theorem requires 'adequate' ductility so forces can redistribute themselves.  Adding a couple more bolts "just in case" or increasing plate thickness may not make a connection stronger if it becomes too stiff.

Later I asked him about a definitive 'first paper' on the derivation of the UFM. I have been trying to find one, but every paper refers me someplace else. The UFM is a bit like a "rumor", it seems to have just appeared.  It seems there isn't a definitive original derivation published. From what Larry told me, apparently William Thornton sketched out the concept, I believe during an airplane flight, but it was never formally published.  A 1990 ASCE/AISC task group recommended it as one of three methods to consider. Although the recommendations of the committee are published, details of the methods aren't published. The how, if not the why, has been in the Steel Construction Manual for years. So while not detracting in any way from his creative inspiration, the UFM did somewhat 'appear' in the literature - it satisfies equilibrium and the yield criteria are not exceeded so the Lower Bound Theorem (LBT) says it is safe. READ FULL ARTICLE

Scholarship Opportunity for Young Engineers to Attend
the NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit
September 17-20 in New Orleans, LA
 Submission Deadline: JULY 11
NCSEA is currently accepting scholarship applications from young engineers who wish to attend the 2014 NCSEA Conference, September 17-20 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans. Eligible applicants are young engineers under 36 years of age and a current registered member of an NCSEA Member Organization (such as SEAMASS). This year, two levels of scholarships are offered:

Level One is open to all new scholarship applicants. This scholarship covers registration to the Summit, as well as a $500 stipend that may be used toward transportation and hotel costs.
Level Two is open to those who have previously been awarded an NCSEA Young Member Scholarship. The scholarship covers registration.

Applicants may submit a written or video submission, and compose an essay on one of three topics. 
The application deadline is July 11, 2014. 

Click here for full details and the application form. 
Click here for details about the NCSEA National Conference
Contribute Your Article to STRUCTURE Magazine

STRUCTURE Magazine is the national publication of the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations (NCSEA). SEAMASS member Craig Barnes, PE, SECB who is also a member of the STRUCTURE Editorial Board, reminds all members to take advantage of an excellent opportunity to have your article published in STRUCTURE.

Click here for STRUCTURE Author Resources, Editorial Calendar, and Article Submission Guidelines.

As always, SEAMASS News also welcomes member-contributed articles.  Topics can range from case studies to project profiles, legislative issues, event recaps and more.  Submit your article to SEAMASS President Mike Berry for consideration. 

About STRUCTURE Magazine:
STRUCTURE magazine is the premier resource for practicing structural engineers.  The mission of the STRUCTURE Editorial Board is to engage, enlighten, and empower structural engineers by publishing interesting, informative, and inspirational content in that is professionally relevant, technically reliable, and intellectually refreshing. 

The Editorial Board's Objectives: 1) Disseminate useful tips, tools, and techniques that will help structural engineers increase the quality, productivity, and profitability of their work, 2) Introduce new and innovative concepts in structural engineering through project descriptions, case studies, lessons learned, and other approaches, 3) Promote structural engineering as a true profession, not merely a technical avocation, and highlight how it is unique from the other design disciplines.
UPCOMING EVENT September 11, 2014:
A Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering:
A Case for Change

Please plan now to attend or sponsor our next
professional development seminar:

A Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering:
A Case for Change
Presented by:
Donald Dusenberry, P.E., SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE, SEI President
Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

WHEN:  September 11, 2014
WHERE:  Kostas Research Institure at Northeastern University's Burlington Campus
COST:  Members: $110 | Students: $35

  • SEI Strategic Planning
  • Influences On Our Profession
    • Technology
    • Globalization
    • Codes
    • Licensure
    • Education
  • Vision For The Future
  • Bridging The Gap
  • Initiatives Authorized by SEI Board of Governors

View the SEAMASS Events Calendar for details and to REGISTER to Attend or Sponsor this event 

Thank you SEAMASS Corporate Sponsors
Thank you to the following SEAMASS Members who have contributed  
their Corporate Sponsorship in support of this member-driven organization: