May 2018

Newsletter of the Seattle Chapter
Structural Engineers Association of Washington

Seattle Chapter Leadership

Chun Lau

Vice President

Darrell Staaleson


Theodore E. Smith

Michael Bramhall

Past President

Cary Kopczynski

Directors 2015-2018

Joyce Lem

Directors 2016-2019
Douglas Beck
Shalini Prochazka

Directors 2017-2020
Mike Visser
Mark Whiteley

YMF President

Marcus Freeman

In This Issue

  1. Seattle Chapter May Meeting
  2. April Dinner Meeting Recap
  3. The Business of Structural Engineering Workshop
  4. NCSEA Survey 
  5. NCSEA Refresh
  6. Southwest Chapter News
  7. Spokane Chapter News
  8. South Central Chapter News
  9. SEFW News
  10. State and Chapter Committee Reports
  11. Disaster Preparation/ Response Committee Report
  12. WABO Liaison Committee Report
  13. Public Information Committee Report
  14. Employment Opportunities
  15. Help Wanted - Lund Opsahl
  16. Membership Postings
  17. Help Wanted - Fast + Epp
  18. Upcoming Events
  19. From the Editor


Seattle Chapter May Dinner Meeting 

Seattle May Chapter Meeting
Topic: The Pacific Northwest Strategy for
Earthquake Early Warning (EEW)
Outreach, Education, and Training

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
5:30 pm to 8:15 pm

Hotel Monaco
1101 Fourth Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98101

EEW systems combine earthquake science with monitoring systems that detect and monitor earthquakes. When an earthquake attains a specified level, an EEW system issues an alert that may allow automated systems and people to take protective action before potentially damaging shaking arrives. In the U.S., EEW pairs the development and implementation of the ShakeAlert system with activities that promote end user awareness, education, and training on life-saving actions. The purpose of this Pacific Northwest Strategy for EEW Outreach, Education, and Training is to define a path forward for state and local government in Oregon and Washington to contribute to the successful development, implementation, and preparedness activities associated with EEW in the U.S.

Benefits and knowledge our members can expect to take away from the presentation:

  • Explain how earthquake early warning could save lives and protect property of families, the community, and clients
  • Explain to younger members the need for training, education and outreach and how they can help.
  Speaker: Maximilian Dixon, MUP, MIPM
Earthquake Program Manager

Washington State Emergency Management Division
Washington Military Department

5:00-6:00   Registration/Networking
6:00-6:40   Dinner
6:45-7:00   Welcome/Announcements
7:00-8:15   Program

Door Prize: Earthquake preparedness kit. 

Registration Fees: 
$45 - Members ($40 early bird)
$50 - Non-members & Guests
$35 - YMG ($30 early bird)
$20 - Students ($15)

Early bird rates end May 15. YMG rate applies to Engineers under 35 for both members and non-members.

April Seattle Chapter Dinner Meeting Recap
By Kenneth Alcazar

Carl Neagoy joined us for last month’s dinner presentation about the Alaskan Way Tunnel Project.  The Alaskan Way Tunnel was excavated with infamous Bertha, the largest boring excavation machine at the time.  Carl was the chief tunnel inspector for this project, with work experience in tunnels all over the world. Read More

The Business of Structural Engineering Workshop

Download the full flyer for more information!

NCSEA Member Login Refresh

Have you noticed those two unassuming words in the upper right-hand corner of the NCSEA’s web site? MEMBER LOGIN. If you are a member of SEAW, then you have an additional tangible benefit – access to NCSEA’s Member Portal, a members-only section of the website – at no extra cost.

If you haven’t logged in in a long time, a lot has changed…in a good way! If you have recently logged in, nothing has changed. If you have never logged in, click on those two words in the corner of the main web page, and use the same e-mail address you used when joining or renewing your SEAW membership and the password NCSEA1234. First-time users will be asked to create a new password – and you are in! Also, you can contact NCSEA if you have a problem with your login. Read More

SEFW’s “Build the Next Story” Continues
By Angela Gottula Twining

SEFW’s “Foundation for the Future: Build the Next Story” is underway! We have a goal to visit all of the SEAW Dinner meetings coming up soon, around the state, and we started by presenting at the Seattle dinner Meeting. Unfortunately, technology was not our friend that night! We were excited to share with you some SEFW stories and announce our newest donation feature, text to donate. We will hopefully try again in May! In the meantime, text “SEFW” to 707070 – and make a tax-deductible gift to SEFW today! 

SEFW was excited to participate in the Seattle Foundation’s #GiveBIG community giving event for the third time. This year the event was Wednesday, May 9. Thank you for those who donated!

In May we will share our stories on our Facebook page and by email. SEFW has accomplished much good work, and with your help, our mission can continue for years to come. All of our efforts are funded by local corporations and individuals like you, those who esteem the structural engineering profession and see value in promoting it.

Again, donating is easy! You can donate:

  • By mailing a check to our SEFW Treasurer (address here)
  • By clicking on one of our many PayPal links
  • By texting SEFW to 707070
  • By credit card using Square at the SEAW events in May and June

Join us to Build the Next Story today!

State and Chapter Committee Reports

Contact the committee chair if you are interested in learning more or getting involved:

  • NCSEA Delegate – Chun Lau
  • Earthquake Engineering Committee – Kai Ki Mow
    The EEC upcoming meeting dates are May 8, 2018. 
    One of the current main focus and an important topic that the committee hopes to address in the upcoming year is the Increased Seismic Load in the newly published ASCE 7-16. 
    Members interested in EEC can find additional information regarding the meeting on the SEAW website calendar or can contact the committee chair.
  • Outreach Committee - Pete Opsahl
    To sign up to volunteer or to mentor, visit the SEFW page
  • Sustainability Committee – Kyle Steuck
  • Refresher Committee – Mark Whiteley
  • Public Information Committee – Darrell Staaleson
  • Disaster Preparation/Response Committee – Joyce Lem
  • WABO Liaison Committee – Charlie Griffes
    The SEAW/WABO Liaison committee is now available for questions from SEAW or WABO members. These questions can be about subjects addressed in the white papers already issued or general questions in the realm of structural engineering practice as it relates to interaction with the various building departments. Comments or questions can be emailed to [email protected].
    White Paper 6b - 2017 on Deferred Submittals
  • Wind Engineering Committee – Scott Douglas
  • Technology Taskforce – Morgan Wiese
  • Membership Task Group – Jill Shuttleworth
  • Continuing Education Committee – Adam Ailvers
  • Scholarship Committee – Kevin Solberg

Public Information Committee Report
By Darrell Staaleson, Chair

I will be stepping down as Chair of the Public Information Committee (P.I.C.) and Equilibrium Editor as of June 2018 in order to focus on my duties as Seattle Chapter President. This is an opportunity for you to step up and make a contribution to our association and the structural engineering profession. I will stay on to help and mentor.  


We need two (2)  more members to support the work. At least one (1) member should be from YMG -One of these needs to take the Chair for Equilibrium. This is an opportunity to refine your writing skills, get to know members of every committee and make an important contribution to SEAW.

I’ll leave you with another picture of TR. TR is known to have read one book a day every day of his adult life.  


Employment Opportunities

Structural Design Engineer-In-Training — BergerABAM

Structural Engineer - BergerABAM

Structural Engineer - Complete Design  

Senior Manager: Civil Structural Design Services - Port of Seattle             

Building Code Inspector Supervisor - City of Tacoma       

Structural EIT - CG Engineering

Structural Project Manager - DCI Engineers        

Senior Engineering Technician - City of Bothell  

Mid-Level Structural Engineer - MLA Engineering, LLC    

Structural Engineer - Tetra Tech

Structural Engineer - PCS Structural Solutions    

Structural Engineer - Integrus Architecture         

Structural Engineer - AJP Engineering

Learn More

Help Wanted - Lund Opsahl

Located across the street from Safeco Field, Lund Opsahl is a growing structural engineering firm that provides a wide spectrum of services, including planning, design, seismic and damage assessments, upgrades, additions, tenant improvements, and construction support for a variety of new and existing building types in the Pacific Northwest. Our reputation as creative innovators and technical experts is built on responsive service, collaborative teamwork, and lasting relationships. Our firm's size offers early opportunities to work on challenging projects and encourages exciting career growth uncommon at larger firms, especially for the ambitious.

Currently, we are looking for:

  • Structural Engineers of all skill levels
  • Full-time Administrator/Receptionist to be our first point of contact for visitors and telephone calls
  • Experienced CAD/BIM Technician


  • Competitive benefits and salaries
  • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance/Health Savings Account
  • Performance-based bonuses
  • Flexible working hours
  • 401(k) with matching contribution
  • Profit Sharing Plan
  • PTO, and holidays
  • Group activities and team events
  • In-House education programs
  • Free parking
  • (Did we say we're next to Safeco Field?!)

Please visit our website, for additional information and job descriptions for each of these positions. Inquires and resumes may be sent to [email protected].

Membership Postings

In accordance with SEAW bylaws, membership applications are vetted by the executive director, granted probationary status by the chapter board, and posted for membership comment. Membership is considered accepted 30 days after posting if current year dues are paid and no member objections have been received. Read more

Upcoming Events

May 17: South Central Chapter Meeting

May 17: Southwest Chapter Meeting

May 22: Seattle Chapter Dinner Meeting 


NCSEA Survey

The NCSEA Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) Committee is currently administering a nationwide survey of structural engineering professionals. This survey is designed to provide valuable information about our profession regarding demographics, compensation, satisfaction, and engagement. It will be one of the largest comprehensive nationwide surveys of structural engineering professionals to date, and NCSEA invites you to contribute to this project by completing the survey below.

This project began in 2015 when SEAONC (Structural Engineers Association of Northern California) funded a committee to study engagement and equity in the structural engineering profession. In 2016, this group administered their first national survey of over 2,100 structural engineering professionals. Findings from this study included insight into why engineers leave the profession, the importance of mentorship, and the existence of a nuanced gender pay gap.

The first survey of its kind was done in 2016. If you are interested, read the full report.

In mid-2017, an SE3 Committee was created at the national level through NCSEA with the primary goal of administering a similar nationwide study of structural engineering professionals every two years. This biennial survey will focus on measuring engagement and equity with the goal of providing data and best practices to help ensure that every structural engineering professional has a positive experience within our profession.

Over the past seven months, SE3 Committee has been developing the 2018 version of this survey, and it is now live! 

Southwest Chapter News

Look for Southwest Chapter News in the future.

Spokane Chapter News

Look for Spokane Chapter News in the future.

South Central Chapter News

Look for South Central Chapter News in the future.

Disaster Preparation/Response Committee

By Joyce Lem 

WAsafe MOU Signed!

We achieved a major milestone in April – SEAW President Chun Lau signed a Memo of Understanding that says the WAsafe program will be supported by the State Military Department (Emergency Management Division aka EMD), the American Institute of Architects Washington Council (AIA-WA), the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO), and SEAW. WAsafe stands for Washington Safety Assessment and Facilities Evaluators – it’s our joint program with WABO and AIA-WA to train, enroll, and dispatch volunteers to assist Building Officials (BOs) with post-disaster safety assessments of buildings. Read More

WABO Liaison Committee

Structural Plan Review Philosophy – A WABO/SEAW White Paper Tune-Up
By Charlie Griffes, Chair
WABO Liaison Committee

The WABO/SEAW Liaison Committee is currently working on an update/revision to the White Paper 1-2006 titled, “Guideline – Structural Plan Review Philosophy”, which was issued in May 2006.  This WP “… is intended to establish a guideline for a uniform approach to structural plan review of CD’s submitted for a building permit”.  

Access the current edition of WP 1-2006 on the SEAW website. Learn More

Help Wanted – Fast + Epp Career Opportunity

Fast + Epp is an internationally recognized structural engineering firm with offices located in North America and Europe. Fluent in all primary structural materials, the Fast + Epp Team has worked on an extensive variety of projects on every scale from single-family homes to large institutional buildings. We have become very adept at combining materials to form architecturally expressive structures, and are known for our timber and timber-hybrid projects.

Established for more than 30 years in Canada, Fast + Epp has expanded to Seattle and its office is growing. We are looking for a driven Engineer with 3 to 6 years of experience, a passion for design, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The successful candidate will act not only as a Project Manager, but will remotely supervise drafting technicians, and may eventually become responsible for general management and business development. This is an exciting opportunity to work in a start-up office and propel your career to new heights.


  • Comprehensive health
  • Retirement savings plan
  • Performance-based bonus
  • Reimbursement for Continued Education, Professional Registrations

Click here to view the full job description

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to [email protected].


From the Editor
By Darrell Staaleson

Equilibrium publication Team:
Darrell Staaleson, Editor
Katie Olleman
Zohrah Ali
Allison Tran - Grammar, spelling, and watching out for you'll-never-believe-how-they-spelled-that!

I will be stepping down as Editor of Equilibrium as of the June Statewide Edition so I can focus on my duties as Seattle Chapter President. I will stay on to help and mentor.


  1. All members are welcome to submit articles to Equilibrium.  To help you with your writer's block, here are a few topics:  Write Engineer's Notes from Afield, summarize an interesting technical design you worked on, write about how you have been successful and increased productivity with an accounting procedure or marketing technique,  write about your experiences in community services, or share some construction site photos and talk about lessons learned.
  2. “A Picture and a Paragraph.” And please use the Article submittal form provided. Please note that when I say, “picture” I mean an actual “picture” and not a blank space where the “picture” should be.  And the picture needs a caption along with the names of the people in the photo.
  3. Please submit your articles in Word format using the Article Template.  [Article Template]


None that I can remember.   

May Puzzle:

In the April Puzzle, Question #8 was a picture of Gandalf on the bridge at Khazad-Dum. What historical person and event did J.R.R. Tolkien use as the archetype for this thread of the story of “The Fellowship of the Ring?”



The first SEAW member to respond on our SEAW Facebook Page or at the next Dinner Meeting – with a correct and full answer - will get coffee and a Danish pastry.

April Puzzle:

Test your geek. Give the correct or at least a marginally respectable interpretation at a Sci-Fi geek response to the following statements and name the movie or book and the character they come from.  So, good luck! And Klaatu baradanicto!

Check out our SEAW Facebook page for clues.

For example, ladies, if some guy says, “Shouldn’t there be a safety light?”  Your correct response should be, “Safety lights are for dudes!” – Holtzmann from Ghostbusters 2017. 


Answer:  I was a little dismayed that no one even attempted this puzzle. I was thinking you all were too busy for just a little bit of fun, which, by the way, is an important ingredient in a recipe for a heart attack. And so I gave this puzzle to one of my clients, a young man in his late 20’s as he and his wife were cooking dinner for us to celebrate the removal of temporary shoring from their living room and the completion of construction of truss repairs. He got question #2 – “You don’t need to see his identification.” Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. And he knew that #5 was from “Hell boy” and that #6 was from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” He also knew that #11 was from the original Star Trek, which was before he was born! But that’s as far as he got. In all fairness I think he was on his 2nd or 3rd beer, his mother in law was over, and he had been taste-testing the champagne. I could spell out the answers for you, but where is the fun in that? 

So, I give you geek 101 Movie requirements. But as Captain Barbossa said in the Pirates of the Caribbean, “They’re more like guidelines. Arrrgh.”

  1. “Young Frankenstein” – do not watch the colorized version. Or at least do not tell me that you did, because we could no longer be friends.
  2. “Star Wars IV – A New Hope.” (1977)
  3. “The Fifth Element.”
  4. “The Avengers.” – Just in case you were ignorant, Captain America is the best Avenger.
  5. “Hellboy.”
  6. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
  7. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
  8. “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
  9. “Soylent Green.”
  10. “Stargate SG-1 Season 3 Episode #16. – Voted by all geekdom as the absolute best and favorite episode of the entire series. 
  11. “Star Trek – Mirror Mirror, Star Date: 4428.9.” 


 Structural Engineers Association of Washington
www.seaw.org | 206-209-5283 |  [email protected]