SEAONC is committed to the advancement of structural engineering. The success of SEAONC stems chiefly from the volunteer efforts of members working on committees. The committee summaries below present various ways members of SEAONC can become engaged to serve the public, share knowledge, and help shape the practice of structural engineering.
To sign up for a committee, you can (1) email the committee chair and let them know you are interested (click on the email below the committee name), (2) contact the SEAONC office, or (3) under Membership (must be logged in), click on "Join Committees". Committees are always looking for interested volunteers, so sign up for a committee today!
Construction Quality Assurance
Disaster Emergency Services
Hensolt SEAONC Legacy
SE3 - Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity
Transportation / Infrastructure
Younger Members Forum
The Business Forum is a venue to share ideas on business issues common to the practice of structural engineering. All SEAONC members may attend the Forum's monthly luncheon meeting which features a speaker or panel discussing business, management, legal, or marketing topics. The Business Forum invites topic and speaker suggestions from all members.
The Bylaws Committee oversees the requirement for membership and dues. In addition, the committee receives and studies proposed amendments to the Bylaws from the Board of Directors, and recommends action.
The Code Committee provides a forum to advocate for improving national consensus standards and model building codes as well as California and local building codes.
The Construction Quality Assurance Committee addresses construction, testing, and inspection issues that arise during the construction phase of a building project including submittal review, construction document implementation, special inspection, and structural observation. The committee also participates in development of code changes related to inspection practices and advancement of inspection procedures and guidelines.
The Continuing Education Committee (CEC) organizes seminars in which ideas and information, such as the latest code developments, design practices, and other relevant topics, are presented to SEAONC members. CEC organizes three key technical seminars and several mini- seminars in the Bay Area throughout the year. The CEC is always open to seminar topic and speaker suggestions from all SEAONC members.
The Disaster Emergency Services (DES) Committee assists local communities in coping with disasters. One of its chief activities is training and managing SEAONC volunteers for the Safety Assessment Program. This program includes damage simulation workshops and providing assistance to the California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) and local building officials after local and distant damaging earthquakes. DES also supports San Francisco’s Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP), which allows pre-designated engineers to inspect buildings in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake.
The Existing Buildings Committee (EBC) works on issues related to the evaluation and retrofit of existing buildings. Together with the SEAOC Existing Buildings Committee, EBC provides reviews and commentaries on guidelines, codes, and standards (such as ASCE 31, FEMA 356, CBC Division VI-R, and the IEBC), and we work with local jurisdictions on policies regarding existing structures.
In 2015, SEAONC received a generous donation from the family of Walter Hensolt. Walter was a dedicated structural engineer for fifty years, where he was a principal at his firm, Chin & Hensolt Engineers. He left his professional legacy in the San Francisco Bay Area with signature projects such as the Transamerica Pyramid building, Candlestick Park, the St. Francis Hotel Tower, One Market Plaza and Marine World-Africa USA.
In honor of Walter’s gift, the Board approved an initiative to create the Hensolt SEAONC Leagcy Project. The goal of the Hensolt SEAONC Legacy Project is to establish an interactive online timeline of the history of structural engineering in Northern California, featuring stories and backgrounds on the engineers, firms, landmarks and events that have shaped structural engineering in the Bay Area.
The Membership committee assists in the membership process by planning and implementing programs to attract new members. It also provides the existing members an outlet for suggestions and feedback to improve the organization.
The Professional Practices Committee addresses professional issues common to the practice of structural engineering. Over the years the committee has addressed such diverse topics as scope of engineering services, contract matters, construction submittals, peer review and professional liability insurance.
The Program Committee organizes the monthly programs for the general membership meetings. The committee is responsible for scheduling guest speakers, running the monthly programs, providing announcements and summaries for the Newsletter, and maintaining a list of past and potential subjects of interest to the general membership. A South Bay Program committee organizes meetings for the South Bay Area.
The Public Outreach Committee promotes public knowledge of structural engineering and provides members with ways to make a positive impact on the community. The committee organizes volunteers for the fall and spring Rebuilding Together events, high school outreach presentations, and other outreach opportunities.
The SE3 (Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity) Committee is a SEAONC-sponsored women’s initiative that became an engagement/retention study of structural engineers. Sponsored by SEAONC in 2015, the committee administered a nationwide study of employee engagement and gender equity, which received responses from over 2,000 practicing structural engineers. The committee’s main objectives are to understand the keys to employee engagement and to establish best practices for firms to adopt to better retain an engaged and diverse workforce. The SE3 committee consists of a diverse group of men and women. We welcome any and all new perspectives from within the SEAONC membership.
The Seismology and Structural Standards Committee is charged with developing and interpreting the Blue Book, responding to proposed changes to the California Building Code (CBC), the International Building Code (IBC), and the NFPA 5000 Building Code, and developing code changes for these earthquake standards. The committee also monitors policies and code interpretations of Northern California building departments. The committee includes the light-frame, steel, ground motions, concrete, foundations, and protective systems subcommittees that strive to incorporate earthquake engineering research into practice.
The Sustainable Design Committee seeks to advocate the role of the structural engineer in the sustainable design process and the importance of incorporating sustainable design principals in practice. The committee stays up- to-date on the latest in the field and supports the judicious implementation of sustainable design in the built environment. The committee holds monthly meetings the last Wednesday of every month.
The Transportation / Infrastructure Committee is involved with issues related to the engineering of infrastructure projects such as bridges, water facilities, dams, rail transportation, marine structures, cranes, and airports.
The Young Members Forum (YMF) provides an avenue for young members to become more actively involved with SEAONC through a number of programs and activities. YMF reaches out to young members through both fun social events and a professional development program, which includes Professional Engineers (PE) Exam preparation, monthly happy hour meet-ups, seasonal socials, and YMF Presents seminars. YMF also reaches out to local universities and high schools by organizing the SEAONC University Student Nights, where aspiring young structural engineers are invited to a SEAONC’s monthly dinner after an eye-opening tour of a Bay Area structural firm.