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Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

  • 1.  Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-13-2020 09:20 PM
    Hello,

    Welcome to the first Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything! Featuring @David Odeh and @Cherylyn Henry. (Review their bios).

    One of the staple events at SEI's Structures Congress is the Meet the Leaders breakfast where students and young professionals get the chance to sit down with leaders in small groups and pick their brains in an informal mentoring session and gain career insights. Since the Congress was canceled this year we decided to bring it Virtual!

    Both leaders have agreed to answer your questions on this thread. We have asked the leaders to keep their answers concise. This thread will be open for questions until 4:00 p.m EST Friday, April 17. The leaders will reply to all questions by Monday, April 20. Please skim the thread before posting to avoid duplicate questions. Please make sure to direct your question to a specific leader or both if you would like them both to respond.  Moderators reserve the right to remove or consolidate duplicate questions.

    Just a reminder – questions must comply with the ASCE Collaborate Code of Conduct.

    See you in the thread!


    ------------------------------
    Brittany Boyce Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Coordinator, SEI Communications & Operations
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------
    ​​


  • 2.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 11:30 AM
    Thank you @Brittany Boyce for starting this thread and giving us this awesome opportunity virtually!

    As a young professional going on 3 years into my career, my question for @David Odeh and @Cherylyn Henry is the following: What is one thing you wish you knew when you were just starting out your career in structural engineering? ​

    I am looking forward to your answers as well as seeing all the other great questions asked throughout this week.

    ------------------------------
    Danielle Schroeder EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Associate Engineer
    Pennoni Associates
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 12:14 PM
    Brittany,

    Thanks for starting this thread! This is one of my favorite events at the Structures Congress. My questions for @David Odeh and @Cherylyn Henry is - With the current situation and with many college senior looking ahead to start their career in Structural Engineering, what advice you have for them in terms of adjusting to the new norm, entering the profession, and preparing to be successful in the first 90 days of work?​​

    ------------------------------
    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 02:15 PM
    Hi @David Odeh @Cherylyn Henry - Would you please share your recommendations on how civil and structural engineers who are currently working for private sectors can help give students work experience ​​while some employers are not able to offer paid positions during this pandemic period?

    Here are some specific areas that might prevent professional engineers from offering time to help on building up students' resumes:
    - Project work from the company is confidential that I am not able to assign project tasks to those who are not employed by my company through HR.
    - Students might not have the structural analysis software even I am willing to create a task that is valuable for them to learn - for example, designing a HSS moment connection after obtaining the analysis results from Staad, RISA, Etabs, SAP2000, etc.
    - If the mentoring experience is unofficial, and when a student state his/her experience on their resumes (for example, summer externship with Silky Wong from Dow, Inc - Civil Department), there is no way for the future employers to verify via HR systems (unless these employers can successfully contact me).
    - Lastly, for civil and structural engineers working for corporations with at least 5,000+ employees worldwide, it is extremely difficult to obtain HR agreement on offering unpaid externship to students as a company wide initiative, what are your thoughts on getting my direct reports' buy-in in order to provide externship experience to students? These managers might want to follow the company rules just to be safe so that they won't be getting into trouble of information security problems.

    I look forward from hearing from you both

    Many thanks in advance.

    Silky

    ------------------------------
    Silky S. K. Wong, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., CEng MICE, LEED AP
    ______________________
    The Dow Chemical Company
    Civil Engineering Department
    Lead Civil/Structural Engineer TES
    Central Engineering – Houston
    HDC Phone : 281-966-2077
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 06:05 PM

    Thanks @Brittany Boyce for organizing the virtual 'Meet the Leaders' event. 

    Hi @David Odeh​ and @Cherylyn Henry,

    The new generation structural engineers, as students, are trained with different and new skill sets at universities compared to engineers graduated 10-15 years ago. What is your envision about adopting new technologies e.g. machine learning and high strength advanced materials e.g. fiber composites in the profession of structural engineering? Do you think today's new materials will be frequently used as other structural materials like steel, concrete, wood or masonry in next 20 years?

    Thank you for mentoring the new generation structural engineers.

    ​​Rudraprasad Bhattacharyya
    PhD student
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Vanderbilt University



    ------------------------------
    Rudraprasad Bhattacharyya CPEng,P.E.,ENV SP,M.ASCE
    Vanderbilt University
    Nashville TN
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-15-2020 04:06 PM

    First at all, thank you @Brittany Boyce very much for taking this opportunity. As a structural engineer and author of several specialized books, I must state that, as you know, the lack of development of pre-determined communication protocols, implementation for these conditions has led to the outbreak of the coronavirus, and unexpectedly, many important activities of groups will be disrupted and cancelled such as structural engineers related and unrelated jobs.

    I ask you, as a supporter of structural engineers, do you have a plan to develop a special protocol for structural engineers in order not to be vulnerable during times of crisis?



    ------------------------------
    Reza Mokarramaydenlou, Ph.D., C.Eng, P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineering and Seismic rehabilitation Consultant
    Mokarramandpartners LLC
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 07:08 AM
    Hello Brittany

    Thank you for focusing on the needs of students and young professionals and bring that into the spotlight among SEI's community. My question for @David Odeh and @Cherylyn Henry​​ is that when would be appropriate for students (especially graduate students) or young professionals to join ASCE's committees? Should they wait until their graduation and gaining some experience as professionals in the field or could be during their studies prior to graduation?

    Yours sincerely,
    Arman

    ------------------------------
    Arman Tatar S.M.ASCE
    SEI Graduate Student Chapter Chair at MTU
    SEI GSC Leadership Council Vice Chair
    Research Assistant
    Houghton MI
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 06:24 PM
    Thanks Brittany for getting this started!

    @David Odeh and @Cherylyn Henry,
    When studying engineering for my undergraduate degree, steel connection design was not part of the curriculum.  When I first started working as an engineer and performing structural designs I struggled with designing steel connections. Do you have any recommended resources or advice on steel connection design?


    ------------------------------
    Doug Cantrell P.E., M.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Durham NC
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 09:54 PM
    Hello leaders!

    I am a young engineer in bridge design who started working last July. I really want to be on the design team for a complex bridge design. After reading articles about such structures in magazines, there's some aspects of the design discussed in the article I do not fully comprehend. Who do you recommend I engage with to discuss these articles to understand them better, e.g. a specific friend you would call?

    Additionally, I want to expand my technical skills to learn more about structural engineering. I recently read how GIS is being used extensively during this pandemic. This may not be a skill directly applicable to our field, but seems interesting to be able to produce maps as a way to analyze data. Could you provide other quirky skills or information you have learned in the years that has opened your eyes to structural engineering or engineering in general? How did you go about learning this material, e.g. watching videos and doing assignments over the course of months? For me, I feel like I want to learn a lot in such a little time (over the next year) which I know is not possible, however, I am looking for advice on how you may have managed learning new material while working full time.

    Looking forward to hearing back!

    Thank you,
    Maria Kozdroy

    ------------------------------
    Maria Kozdroy
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    [email protected]
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/maria-kozdroy
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-18-2020 08:12 AM
    Thank you for all your great questions and for participating in the first Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything. This thread is now closed. Any submitted questions will not be published.

    ------------------------------
    Brittany Boyce Aff.M.ASCE
    Senior Coordinator, SEI Communications & Operations
    [email protected]
    ------------------------------


  • 11.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 06:04 PM
    Welcome Danielle and thanks for getting us started.

    One thing that I wish I knew when I started my career was how important it was to ask questions when I was uncertain about my career path or my work.  I was lucky in my first job to work for a firm with incredible technical training opportunities and many leading structural engineers - but like many I think I became intimidated by my own fear of asking something that might sound like a "dumb question".  I've learned over the years that there is no such thing!

    As an example, I recall struggling with an excel spreadsheet for several hours - it was complex and had been developed by a more senior engineer in my office and I just couldn't make the numbers work.  I assumed that I was missing something and just needed to work harder to figure it out.  Later, I asked that engineer a couple of questions (after wasting most of a day working on it), and we found out that there was a bug in the calculations...if I had just asked early on and had confidence in my work I would have saved alot of time.  Nothing bad happens when you ask questions - sometimes you might be dead wrong in your assumptions, but at least you can learn quickly why that is the case and move on to solve problems more effectively.

    The same goes with your career.  I think it's important to find one or more mentors (I still have them today - and could not do my job as a firm leader without them), and make time to regularly check in with questions about your professional development.  A good mentor will listen, but it's a two-way street - you need to listen and respect advice.  Only you can make the decisions about your career that need to be made, but a good mentor can help you think through and frame your decisions properly.

    Hope this helps!

    DJO


    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 05:30 PM
    Hello Dani,

    Thanks for partaking in the AMA, and thanks for the question, a great one at that! My answer isn't something that I didn't know when I was just starting my career, but rather something on which I wish I had focused more strongly. And that is, being your own advocate. Really communicate with your boss and colleagues about the kind of projects you would like to work on, and what more you would like to learn. Taking the initiative to learn on your own is great, but ensuring that those who have an influence over your work load should know your goals too. In my early years, it felt like the senior engineers in my office saw the younger engineers as a commodity who were cheap labor to crunch numbers. It was an intimidating setting for someone just starting out and I felt apprehensive about sharing my goals. That was quite some time ago, but the sentiment is still applicable, and something you should continue throughout your career. Thanks again for the question!

    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 05:38 PM
    Hello Luis,

    Thanks for the question! My advice to newly minted engineering graduates is the same that I give to my team at work, which is communication. While beginning one's career during a pandemic is far from ideal, communicating with your co-workers on a consistent basis will help ease the transition. If the graduate has little to no office experience, he or she may find that starting work remotely isn't far off from being in school - you have assignments and deadlines, and you still need to submit your work for review. If you have questions during the work day, reach out when you feel that you need help. Don't wait. You'll feel (and will be) more productive when you can collaborate with your co-workers. Everyone has to start somewhere, if your questions will be appreciated.

    If there's a slow down in office work, ask your boss what else you can do to help and be productive. You could get your feet wet in proposal writing and putting together cost estimates, start learning about project specifications, or take webinars that cover topics you perhaps didn't learn in school. Overall, your transition into the profession will be far more successful if you communicate well from the beginning. Thanks again for the question!

    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 09:40 PM
    Hi Luis,
    Thanks for your question and for participating - I also really enjoy this event every year at the Congress and I'm happy we can do it virtually!

    I'll start by saying that all of the things that are important in starting your career during normal times will still be important today.  Making connections with your peers, learning all of the skills you need to master, and developing relationships with a good mentor will be critical.  Without a doubt, it's going to be a challenge in this environment of social distancing and economic uncertainty.

    I'd advise graduating seniors who have an offer in place to engage with their new company early to find out what they can do to prepare for the new work environment.  Many firms have well established remote work systems using laptops and networking software that you'll want to test out as early as possible.  An advantage that younger engineers have is that they are familiar and comfortable with online collaboration and communications - but keep in mind that many more senior engineers are still getting used to the idea of video chats and Zoom meetings for daily work interaction.  Nonetheless, these are the tools engineers are using today to connect and collaborate, and much of the training and skill building you need to do in your first 90 days can be accomplished successfully without being in the office.

    I started my own career during a severe recession in the early 1990s, and found that with patience and a little luck there are still many great opportunities to be successful in structural engineering.  Today's crisis is putting many projects on hold, but remember that new areas of growth are already emerging that could lead us out of the downturn.  Potential stimulus programs for infrastructure are on the table, and there is a growing urgency to build and expand our public health system.  All of this will require young engineers to be flexible in their plans and diligent in exploring potential jobs in different markets.

    Lastly, ASCE has a great site on Collaborate called "Career by Design" (https://collaborate.asce.org/careerbydesign/home) with a host of different resources for young engineers as they navigate this new environment.  Be sure to stay engaged and use these tools - they are more important than ever at this time and ASCE is determined to help out our younger members in launching their careers successfully into our vital profession.

    DJO


    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 07:07 PM
    Hello Silky,

    Thanks for posting the question, and it's great to see that our profession is trying to help students and those new to our profession gain experience, even if companies aren't hiring right now. I've listed my thoughts below on the challenges you mentioned in your post.

    - Project work from the company is confidential that I am not able to assign project tasks to those who are not employed by my company through HR.
    I understand the company perspective and the hesitation with leaving HR out of the solution. The confidential work may also include proprietary information or tools. To overcome this, and if you have the time, put together example problems that are representative of what someone working for your company might see. It could be a boilerplate calculation that would be applicable to any number of projects. Simple pipe supports, framing calculations, and shallow foundation designs come to mind. You could also ask the student or recent graduate to run the numbers in different parts of the country so that he or she becomes more familiar with designing for both wind and seismic loads, and he or she starts to get a feel for what a completed design should look like - something they won't achieve by purely running computer models.

    - Students might not have the structural analysis software even I am willing to create a task that is valuable for them to learn - for example, designing a HSS moment connection after obtaining the analysis results from Staad, RISA, Etabs, SAP2000, etc.
    Most software companies have demo versions free for download, sometimes with a caveat of number of member and node limitations, or with saving restrictions. A student could download a few different programs and start to learn them through the demo versions. This would open more opportunities for design work, and comparing hand calcs with software output.

    - If the mentoring experience is unofficial, and when a student state his/her experience on their resumes (for example, summer externship with Silky Wong from Dow, Inc - Civil Department), there is no way for the future employers to verify via HR systems (unless these employers can successfully contact me).
    A cover letter is a great way for the student to explain the mentoring relationship and could describe in more detail the work experience that you provided. I think cover letters are underutilized, and when well written, can really make an impact. In the last five years, I think I've seen just one cover letter. As for contact information, the student could list you as a reference with your work contact information, if you're comfortable.

    - Lastly, for civil and structural engineers working for corporations with at least 5,000+ employees worldwide, it is extremely difficult to obtain HR agreement on offering unpaid externship to students as a company wide initiative, what are your thoughts on getting my direct reports' buy-in in order to provide externship experience to students? These managers might want to follow the company rules just to be safe so that they won't be getting into trouble of information security problems.
    I think I would take a different approach. To avoid breaking any company rules and policies, what about setting up a mentorship network? It could start small, with a handful of co-workers who like the idea behind your mission. The mentors could also provide real-world industry design examples, direct students to example problems (i.e. the AISC Steel Construction Manual Design Examples), or simply provide an ear for questions. Mentor-mentee relationships don't necessarily have to be rigid and structured, and I'm sure students would appreciate being able to jump into a zoom meeting for a chat with his or her new mentor.

    Thanks again for the questions, and I hope to see you in Reston soon!

    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-14-2020 08:53 PM
    Thank you for this interesting question, it is one that many engineers are thinking about especially given the uncertainty in how the future might unfold for the engineering profession, and for infrastructure in general.  Technological advancement is occurring at speeds that could not be fathomed 20 years ago, and it is bound to impact structural engineering deeply in the coming 20 years.  These technologies might include advanced materials - take for example the advent of cross laminated timber and other engineered wood fiber products that are already revolutionizing the way we construct larger buildings.  Machine learning will also most certainly impact our workflow - design tools already exist to create and optimize structures using algorithms that learn from human engineers and even other machines.  It is incumbent on the rising generation of structural engineers to master the skills needed to navigate these new technologies and harness them to fulfill our mission to society - to protect public health, safety and welfare through the development of sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

    On a related topic, ASCE has a project called the Future World Vision that I encourage everyone to explore (www.futureworldvision.org).  Most engineers design structures that need to perform well into the next 50 years.  But how often do we stop and think about what the world will look like in that time, given the rapid changes we see in technology and other trends?  Climate change, sea level rise, new materials, machine learning/AI, autonomous vehicles and robotics are just a few of the key trends that could come together in different ways to make our world dramatically different from today.  We've imagined five possible "cities of the future" that stretch the boundaries of our imagination and aim to rethink engineering research, education, and practice.  How would the design strategies we use today perform in these scenario worlds?  What things can engineers do today to influence positive outcomes, and avoid the negative ones?

    Disruption can come in many forms - today we are dealing with a pandemic that will certainly influence design in the future, but what other events can you imagine that could dramatically impact structural engineering?  We invite you to think deeply about these ideas and participate in our mission at ASCE and SEI to make the world a safer and better place to live for everyone.

    Thanks for joining the conversation.

    DJO

    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-15-2020 05:40 PM
    Reza,
    Consistent with our ethical code, ASCE has placed the health and safety of our members, staff, and partners as our top priority during this difficult pandemic period.  The Society has compiled information about events, policies and procedures on the following web page:  https://www.asce.org/covid-19/

    As a great example, SEI was able to arrange for a Virtual Structures Congress last week to replace the in-person Congress.  SEI is also working on ways to deliver more content to its members and help structural engineers to manage through this time and plan for future events.

    I encourage you to check back frequently for updates on the situation and future events as they unfold.

    DJO

    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 05:24 PM
    Hello Reza,

    I hope you're staying well during these challenging times. David described the great things that ASCE and SEI are doing to keep its members safe. I will add that many companies have taken similar initiatives in moving as much work online as possible. With the help of technology, design work can still progress, and timely deliverables can still be made. Depending on the project, construction can still proceed. I don't think any profession is invincible during a time of crisis, but we can try to limit our exposure by having policies and procedures in place to help us keep our work going. Thanks again for the question!

    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 01:15 PM
    Hi Arman,

    The answer will depend on how you get involved and what type of committee you'd like to participate in.  There are almost a hundred committees in SEI alone, and they range in scope widely.  Some committees are more technical in nature, others deal with codes and standards, and still others relate to professional activities, local activities, student outreach, and public relations.  Codes and standards committees have more formal structures, by necessity, and welcome new members (generally with specific experience in the area of work) only periodically when code cycles change.  Other committees are constantly looking for new members to participate.  My advice would be to choose something you are passionate about and reach out to the volunteers on the committee to find out how it works and ask if you can listen in on some meetings (likely virtual for the time being).  You can get a sense of whether you can contribute now, or if you might wait a bit until you get some more experience to return...you can always ask to be a corresponding member who doesn't vote but stays in touch with committee activities

    Best of luck!
    DJO

    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-16-2020 05:23 PM
    Hello Arman, and thanks for the question! ASCE has numerous committees that span a variety of interest groups. You're likely most aware of SEI's committees and, as a starting point, I would encourage you to look through the list of these committees to see if any are of particular interest. Reach out to the chair of the committee to find out more about the committee's activities and opportunities to join. Some of the technical committees may require certain experience, though you may have the option of becoming an associate member to learn more about the committee as you grow in your career.

    I would also suggest to any graduate or young professional to apply for SEI's graduate student and young professional scholarship to Structures Congress. This is a different way to get your feet wet in committee involvement. Nearly all of the committee meetings held during Structures Congress are open, and you would be able to take advantage of dozens of committee meetings in one place over the course of a day.

    Another option is to become involved locally. You could attend ASCE branch or section meetings, or YMF meetings. When I was in school, our local YMF invited ASCE student members to attend any or all meetings, and it really helped in their transition into the work place. It's also a chance to network and open new career opportunities. And, SEI has chapters around the country that are always seeking new members.

    Good luck in your graduate studies and I hope to see you at a future Structures Congress!

    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-17-2020 05:57 PM
    Hi David

    Thank you for your reply. I have always wanted to be a part of a ASCE committee, but the fear of being unable to do the tasks assigned to me, kept me from joining to a committee. I think approaching a committee as a volunteer sound good to me.

    Yours sincerely,
    Arman

    ------------------------------
    Arman Tatar S.M.ASCE
    SEI Graduate Student Chapter Chair at MTU
    SEI GSC Leadership Council Vice Chair
    Research Assistant
    Houghton MI
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-17-2020 06:50 PM
    Hi Cherylyn

    Thank you for your reply and sharing the information. I attended to Structures Congress 2019 last year and I participated in dozen of committee meetings. That is where my excitement of joining one coming from. I am also the Chair of SEI Graduate Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University and Vice-Chair of SEI GSC Leadership Council and I am familiar with chapters and their work. The committees have always been a question mark for me though.

    Yours sincerely,
    Arman

    ------------------------------
    Arman Tatar S.M.ASCE
    SEI Graduate Student Chapter Chair at MTU
    SEI GSC Leadership Council Vice Chair
    Research Assistant
    Houghton MI
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-17-2020 03:35 PM
    Hi @Doug Cantrell, thanks for your question.

    Having taught steel and concrete design for almost 20 years at Brown University as part of the adjunct faculty, I know that it's always challenging for undergraduate programs to ​cover more than just the core concepts for specific materials within the short time we have.  Therefore, continuing education programs and real world experience are important for engineers as they advance in their careers to learn these more detailed topics.  Steel connection design in particular is something that engineers spend many years to master!  Here are a few resources that would be great ways to expand your knowledge:

    You get 10 Free PDHs as an ASCE/SEI member, and many of our members are taking advantage of this resource these days.  There are hundreds of great 1-2 hour online courses where you can learn the basics, taught by SEI leaders.  Explore them at mylearning.asce.org

    ASCE also has some great "Guided Online Courses" - more in depth courses on detailed topics.  One of the courses focuses on seismic design and detailing, check out https://www.asce.org/seismic-design-and-detailing-of-steel-and-concrete-buildings/

    AISC, a frequent sponsor and partner for SEI's Structures Congress, has some great continuing education resources for engineers to learn about connection design from industry leaders in our profession.  I'd recommend the "Night School" programs that really dive deep into various aspects of the field...here is a link to one of the courses:  https://www.aisc.org/education/continuingeducation/night-school/night-school-19-Connection-Design-Tips-Tricks-and-Lessons-Learned/

    ------------------------------
    David J. Odeh
    SE, PE, F. SEI, F. ASCE
    Principal, Odeh Engineers, Inc.
    Technical Region Director, ASCE
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Meet the Leaders: Ask Me Anything

    Posted 04-17-2020 05:27 PM
    Hello Maria, and thanks for the questions! It's great that you're taking the initiative to understand complex projects and topics. If there are questions you have after reading journal articles, I would recommend first reaching out to senior engineers in your firm and asking for help in understanding. If it's a topic that is unfamiliar to them, you could consider reaching out to the author of the article if you can find contact information through LinkedIn or the author's company website. Another option would be to reach out to your university professors. They might have some insight as well.

    I have found the best way to learn new and perhaps off-the-wall material is to attend conferences (virtually at the moment) and participate in live webinars. At conferences, you'll find cutting edge research topics alongside traditional design tracks. Local meetings of professional groups can also provide new information. Have a look at SEI's local chapters, for example. Depending on the city, the group may be focused in bridges. Structural engineers work closely with geotechnical engineers and you could attend a Geo Institute chapter meeting, if you have a local chapter.

    Thanks again for the question!



    ------------------------------
    Cherylyn Henry, P.E., F.SEI, M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer | Project Manager
    ZAPATA, Inc.
    Charlotte, NC
    ------------------------------