SEAMASS News Briefs, Member News  
& Event Announcements

September / October 2014 

  • Highlights from the NCSEA 2014 Annual Meeting
  • Good Samaritan Legislation Update
  • Professional Development Event Recap
  • Structural Advisory Committee Update
  • SEAMASS Young Members Group Updates
  • Register Now for October 21 Conference 
  • Save The Dates: NOV. 13, 2014 & JAN. 22, 2015
  • Member Resource: SEAMASS Business Directory 
Highlights from the NCSEA 2014 Annual Meeting
Contributed by Michael Fillion, PE, SECB| Fillion Group, Inc.
SEAMASS was well-represented at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the National Council of Structural Engineering Associations, held in New Orleans in September. 
Michael Fillion, PE, SECB, Sofia Zamora, EIT, Craig Barnes, PE, SECB, and Ellen Kuo PE, LEED AP BD+C represented SEAMASS at the NCSEA 2014 Annual Meeting
Hot Topics at the Business Meeting
The hot topics during the business-meeting portion of the conference included the Structural Engineering Emergency Response Committee, and the conversation was quite lively with participation from Oklahoma, Massachusetts, New Hampshire & Kentucky.   There was also good dialog amongst the states regarding Chapter 17 Special Inspections.

SEAMASS YMG Members Participate in NCSEA Young Member Group Panel
Sofia Zamora and & Ellen Kuo, members of the NCSEA Young Member Group (YMG) Committee, participated in a panel discussion, 'Student to Teacher-Gaining Competency after the University' presented by the NCSEA YMG Support Committee.
Sofia Zamora, EIT and Ellen Kuo, PE, LEED AP BD+C  members of the NCSEA Young Member Group Committee, participated in a panel discussion, Student to Teacher-Gaining Competency after the University presented by the NCSEA YMG Support Committee.

Initiatives of the Northeast Coalition of Structural Engineers
Each year at the Conference, members of the Northeast Coalition of Structural Engineers Association (NECSEA) gather for a business/social dinner meeting.
Members of the Northeast Coalition of Structural Engineers Association
This year, an NECSEA Code Committee was formed with a representative from each of the Northeast states.  Most of the Code Committee members are also members of the NCSEA Code committee.  The committee plans to meet once a year to discuss potential code change proposals that could be presented through NCSEA to the ICC with consensus among the northeast group.

Northeast Code Seminar Tour Being Planned

The Code committee is also working to develop a Northeast Code Seminar Tour, to be presented by some of the nation's leading structural code consultants, such as Ed Huston from Washington State and David Bonowitz from California.  The seminar would cover the IBC, IEBC & ASCE 7-10.  

The Code Seminar will be very beneficial to practicing structural engineers in Massachusetts, as the proposed 9th Edition of the Mass State Building Code is anticipated to be promulgated in the 3rd quarter of 2015.  The 9th Code Edition will be based on the 2015 IBC, IEBC & ASCE 7-10.  The Structural Advisory Committee to the BBRS has begun meeting to review the upcoming 9th Edition.

 Update on Good Samaritan Legislation
for Structural Engineer Emergency Responders
Contributed by Jeffrey W. Struble, PE  |  Struble Engineering
We did it!  Bill S.795 was passed by both the House and the Senate on Beacon Hill on July 31st and signed by Governor Patrick on August 5th. It is now a law of the Commonwealth.  

Apparently our legislators heard our voices and saw fit to enact the bill in its end-of-the session flurry of legislation with little dissent or argument.  Structural engineers and other professionals can now volunteer their services to help assess damage after a catastrophe without fear of being held liable for their good-faith efforts.  We can now organize ourselves into groups that stand ready to deploy to disaster scenes in Massachusetts if called upon by emergency management agencies to maximize our effectiveness.  Many thanks to all the SEAMASS members who contacted their legislators in support of the bill!  

And we will be called upon.  The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is initiating discussions to take advantage of this new law and to organize a system of second responders that can be called up by the State on short notice to aid in the assessment of property and infrastructure damage.  It is hoped that the Massachusetts Engineers and Architects Emergency Response group (MEAER) that SEAMASS and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) have formed will be asked to join in this organization and become a ready resource of trained professionals who can answer that call effectively.  Details of the DPS initiative are evolving, so watch this space in future newsletters for specifics about just how we structural engineers can get involved and volunteer.
 SEAMASS Professional Development Event Recap
On September 11, SEAMASS presented a professional development seminar featuring two topics, A Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering: A Case for Change and International Building Code Essentials for Wood Construction.  

The event was held at the Kostas Research Institute at Northeastern University's Burlington campus.  More than 50 attendees participated, earning 6 CEUs in their choice of NCSEA Diamond-Certified or SEAMASS-issued credits.
Mr. Donald Dusenberry, PE, SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE
Mr. Sam Francis
In his presentation, A Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering: A Case for Change, speaker Donald Dusenberry, PE, SECB, F.SEI, F.ASCE covered topics including: SEI strategic planning, influences on the structural engineering profession (technology, globalization, codes, licensure, education); a vision for the future; and initiatives authorized by the SEI Board of Governors.  Mr. Dusenberry is also the president of SEI and is a Senior Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.

In his presentation, International Building Code Essentials for Wood Construction, speaker Sam Francis comprehensively reviewed several key elements of the Code Conforming Wood Design (CCWD) document, intended as a resource for wood design in accordance with the IBC. He also covered codes regarding occupancies for several types of groups (Assembly through Storage), as well as building size considerations, types of construction, wood use in buildings, firewalls and fire resistance, requirements of the IFC, AWC standard referenced in the IBC, and what to expect in the 2015 IBC. Mr. Francis is the Northeast Regional Manager of Codes and Standards for the American Wood Council.  View Past Events Archive 
Structural Advisory Committee Update
The Structural Advisory Committee (SAC) to the Building Board of Regulations and Standards (BBRS) met in September to discuss and bring forward existing amendments and new material for inclusion in the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code.

Draft Massachusetts amendments will be presented by the SAC to the BBRS in November 2014 for review and public comment and the 9th Edition is expected to be issued in September 2015.

Please email feedback regarding MA amendments to the BBRS in care of Mike Guigli at

SEAMASS Young Members Group Updates
On September 17, the SEAMASS Young Members Group (YMG) hosted a free seminar titled Intro to the 16-hour SE Exam. Presenters included Peder Hals, EIT; Bassem Almuti, EIT; and Scott Rabold, EIT.  It covered the application, registration, and studying process for the SE exam, followed by a discussion of frequently asked questions.  Open to all SEAMASS members and non-members, the event was held at Cannon Design in Boston.

Register Now for Tuesday, October 21 | 8:00 a.m.-Noon:

New England-Boston Decking Conference  

HILTI Decking Hands-On Seminar 

The SEAMASS Young Members Group has organized this professional development event: New England-Boston Decking Conference | HILTI Decking Hands-On Seminar

WHEN: OCTOBER 21, 2014 (Tuesday) |  8:00 a.m. - Noon
WHERE: Local 7 Iron Workers Union Hall, 95 Old Colony Avenue, S. Boston, MA
COST:  Free; Open to all SEAMASS members and non-members (3 PDHs available)
PRESENTER:  Jack Hulburd

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:  Structural engineers, contractors, fabricators, deck manufacturers, inspectors and architects

View SEAMASS Calendar for Full Details & Registration info
SAVE THESE DATES - Upcoming Events
(Details coming soon)
NOVEMBER 13, 2014 (Thursday)
Panel Discussion: Structural Engineers & Risk

JANUARY 22, 2015 (Thursday)
Post-Disaster Assessment Training

Member Resource: SEAMASS Business Directory
SEAMASS is grateful to LeMessurier Consultants for their new Corporate-level sponsorship.

Please patronize all the firms listed in the SEAMASS Corporate Directory, Professional Directory and Business Directory, as their sponsor commitments enable SEAMASS to fund key programs and initiatives in support of members.

Not yet a directory member?  Visit How to Get Listed to learn more, and sign up take advantage of this great opportunity today!

Thank you SEAMASS Corporate Sponsors

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