SE University  



                September, 2012  
WELCOME to Learn, Innovate, Excel!  Our goal with this newsletter is to provide useful information and tips that will help you save time, be more productive, and also reduce risk. This information complements our SE University program, by introducing you to tips on a wide variety of topics affecting structural engineers.

In addition to our newsletter, we are happy to announce the launching of our new website,, where we will be providing additional valuable information.
If you have any tips you would like to share as part of a future Learn, Innovate, Excel newsletter, please email Lisa Willard or Brian Quinn

Have you ever noticed how some engineers can come up with a member size in their heads without needing to plug something into a computer?


One seminar at previous Steel Conferences (NASCC) presented many helpful rules of thumb for steel design. Structural Affiliates International gave this session, and has even made cards with the rules of thumb available for download on their website.  


A sample of the information presented in this session includes (time mark in presentation):


Approximate area and moment of inertia of steel sections based on section weight (9:50)

Approximate beam weight based on the maximum moment in the beam (15:20) more  



Our most recent technology/software column in Structural Engineer magazine focuses on how virtual meetings can be used to improve collaboration among members of the design team.


Included in this article are an overview of the technology used to conduct virtual meetings, the role that virtual meetings can play in bringing together members of the design team, and how using virtual meetings can help engineers lower their travel costs, while allowing them to serve a wider geographic area. 


Full Article from Structural Engineer Magazine 


As we approach the end of the year, there are many states whose license renewal dates are also drawing near.

Illinois Structural Engineers must renew their licenses by November 30th.
The list below shows those states where all engineers must renew their licenses by December 31st:
Alabama                    North Carolina*
Mississippi                 Washington
The following list includes those states with a December 31st renewal date, but some engineers' licenses expire in odd years, and so will not renew until the end of 2013:
Arkansas                    Nebraska
Iowa                           New Mexico
Missouri                     North Dakota
If you have any questions about the renewal date of a state in which you are licensed, please contact Lisa Willard at (805) 482-8436 or by email
Tired of trying to track down constant revisions in PDH requirements for each state? In an effort to help structural engineers keep up with all the states' continuing education requirements and renewal dates, we will be adding a section to our website that will provide this information.  We will notify you when this becomes available. 

* North Carolina approves providers for continuing education, and SE University has gone through the process to become an approved provider.
OCTOBER 10, 2012

Our next SE University session will be held on October 10, when we look forward to having Ross Turner, PE, SE, from Meyer Borgman Johnson, talk to our group about using Wood in Mixed Use projects.


When developers approach a residential and mixed use project, their objective is to economically provide the maximum number of units on a site. The design team is tasked with providing as many stories as possible, while also providing buildings that fill the site from property line to property line.  Often, wood framed construction is an economical system for these projects. 


This SE University session will provide case studies detailing how Meyer Borgman Johnson in Minneapolis, Minnesota was able to use wood framing, along with permanent sheet piling, in order to accomplish these objectives.


Engineers attending this session will learn about the differences between traditional multistory wood design and five story wood design, and review some of the engineering challenges that accompany this building type, as well as how to resolve those challenges. Engineers will also learn more about the types of projects that may benefit from permanent sheet piling foundations. 


Handout and registration emails will be sent to registered companies on Friday, October 5, 2012.


To learn more about subscribing to SE University, please contact Lisa Willard at (805) 482-8436, or by email.


Thank you for reading our Learn, Innovate, Excel Newsletter - we hope you found this information useful. If there are any questions we can answer, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or email. 

Additionally, if you would be willing to help other structural engineers by sharing tips that you have, please email your tip to [email protected]. If we choose your tip to publish, you will have your choice of a $50 Amazon gift card or a $50 donation sent to the Structural Engineering Association of your choice. 

Your SE University Team

Brian Quinn, P.E.

[email protected] 

Lisa Willard, P.E.

[email protected] 


Linda Benson

[email protected] 

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Coming Soon to SE University


October 10, 2012

Case Study for Wood Design: Five Story Mixed-Use over Two Story Below-Grade Parking


Ross Turner, PE, SE 
Meyer Borgman Johnson



October 24, 2012

SEU BIM Forum: Increasing your Efficiency with Revit Structure


Betsy Werra, EIT

Revit Structure Specialist



November 14, 2012

How to Read and Understand a Geotechnical Report


Bill Kwasny, PE

American Engineering Testing, Inc.




For updated session descriptions and schedules, visit the SCHEDULE page.