Structural Connections: Summer, 2007
NCSEA Member Organizations
This quarter’s Commentary was submitted by:
David Harvey, Director, DSE, and British Columbia SEA Delegate to NCSEA.
IStructE Presidential Year - Interim Report
Last year, I was elected President of IStructE for the 2006/7 Session, which started last September. As the first Canadian to hold the post, it was indeed an honor to be elected. The Institution is based in London, England. The session kicked off with my address. I described my vision for IStructE and a number of my favorite bridge projects.
Following this, I embarked on a series of visits to the domestic branches. I found the local members to be most genuinely welcoming. What particularly impressed me was the enormous variety in the work carried out by structural engineers, and their strong commitment to their profession.
Many of the projects that I visited were refurbishments, some of them of historic structures which required a strong focus on preservation. One of the historic structures was the Anderton Boat Lift between the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The most breathtaking building I visited was the new terminal building at Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow Airport. This project is an enormous infrastructure project involving 16 major projects and over 60 contractors. It is currently the largest construction project in Europe.
Another transportation project was the newly opened Docklands Light Rail (DLR) Extension for which, five years ago, I had carried out a consulting assignment.
I also saw the Port Tunnel in Dublin, designed to provide a direct connection between the M1 Motorway and the Tamar Bridge, in Plymouth, Devon.
Other events that took place included a meeting with the Singapore Division (joint with IES) committee members, the IStructE Members' Dinner, and a lecture on Engineering for Extreme Conditions that I gave to students at the National University of Singapore.
I will be making further visits to the domestic branches. There is also an upcoming visit to India, which produces considerably more engineering graduates than any other country, and where IStructE will be focusing its efforts in the coming years.
The Structural Engineers Association of Metropolitan Washington (SEA-MW) held its first annual awards gala in Washington, DC on Saturday, February 24, 2007. The Association recognized Excellence in Structural Engineering by awarding competing firms with ten Outstanding Project Awards and Merit Awards, and one structural engineer with the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Paul Hobelmann of Weidlinger Associates, Inc., and Chairman of SEA-MW, highlighted the greatness and value of the structural engineering profession to society as he welcomed more than 120 structural engineers and their spouses to the gala.
The 2006 Awards Committee was chaired by Sam Rihani of BEI Structural Engineers, Inc. who spoke of the special effort exerted by his committee to produce a class act to be enjoyed by each of the attendees. Mr. Rihani stated that “we were hoping to attract at least 10 project entries and 100 people to the event, and we are very pleased that we have exceeded both of these figures. The interest in the gala has been great, and the project entries were outstanding.”
Rihani also stated that the committee decided to select judges from a location outside the
Washington, DC area, to avoid any conflicts of interest during the judging process. The Judging Committee was comprised of five highly distinguished individuals. These were W. Gene Corley, lead structural investigator into the September 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers and President-Elect of the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES); David Hoffman, former Executive Vice President of Morse Diesel International which was instrumental in the construction of the Sears tower in Chicago; Jamshid Mohammadi, Chair of the Civil and Architectural Engineering Department at Illinois Institute of Technology; Michael Tylk, Principal at Tylk Gustafson Reckers Wilson Andrews, former President of NCSEA; and John Zils, Associate Partner at Skidmore Owings & Merrill, LLP and Senior Structural Engineer for the 110-story Sears Tower, the King Abdul Aziz International airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. All five judges are from the Chicago area.
The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Jim Cagley, immediate past president of the American Concrete Institute and past president of NCSEA, for his significant contributions to the structural engineering profession.
Outstanding Project Awards were presented in five categories, to BEI Structural Engineers in the New Buildings Under $10M category for the Sullivan Place Clubhouse in Alexandria, VA; Meyer Consulting Engineers in the New Buildings Between $10M and $25M category for the St. James Roman Catholic Church in Charles Town, WV; Weidlinger Associates in the New Buildings Over $25M category for the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, VA; KCE Structural Engineers in the Structural Renovation Over $1M category for the Capital Gallery project in Washington, DC; and Delon Hampton & Associates in the Transportation/Bridge Structures category for the Freddie Mac Walkway Bridge in McLean, VA.
Article contributed by Sam A. Rihani, PE, F.ASCE, SECB, Principal, BEI Structural Engineers.