I attended the SEAOC Convention in Santa Fe last year, and briefly mentioned it in this blog post. It was the first convention I had attended. I knew the presentations would be top notch based on the topics and knowing many of the speakers, but I had no idea how much Ashraf Habibullah and the other folks at Computers and Structures loved to party! The event they hosted at the Gerald Peters Gallery was beyond anything I expected – amazing food, art, dancing, open bar and even iPad giveaways.I was looking forward to attending the SEAOC Convention in San Diego this year, until I realized I would be in Quebec for ASTM D07 committee meetings that week.
So this week’s post summarizing the SEAOC Convention comes from Tim Stauffer, an R&D Engineer at our headquarters. Since joining Simpson Strong-Tie in 2008, Tim has worked on lateral system products, product development for our wood connectors, and development of products for the cold-formed steel industry where he was lead engineer for development of our line of connectors for curtain-wall construction. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, Tim worked for 15 years as a consulting structural engineer, including eight years where he ran his own practice. His experience includes the design, analysis and investigation of steel, concrete, masonry, and wood-frame buildings. Tim is a licensed professional engineer and structural engineer in the state of California. He received his bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master’s of Science in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley.
What do structural engineering, reconnecting with old friends, Shamu the whale, and a restaurant that serves the biggest calzone around have in common? The 2013 SEAOC Convention, of course! Held September 18-21 in San Diego, the annual convention is a great opportunity to learn about advances in the structural engineering profession, as well as spend time networking and re-connecting. Simpson Strong-Tie has always been a SEAOC supporter, and this year was no exception with a number of us from headquarters attending, as well as engineers and sales folks from our two California branches.
The two-and-a-half days of technical sessions included presentations on sustainability and design for solar installations; advancements in design for wood, concrete, and steel; wind, seismic, and blast analysis and design; tall structures and base isolation; and presentations on a variety of unique design projects. Of particular interest to many of us at Simpson Strong-Tie were presentations on high-rise wood structures, the growing use of cross laminated timber (CLT), the NEES-Soft testing performed at UCSD (including tests of buildings strengthened with our new Strong Frame® special moment frame), and advancements in steel moment frame design. Go here to view the convention program, including a complete list of the technical presentations.
In addition to the top-notch technical sessions, there was plenty of opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and build new relationships. Many of us worked for consulting firms before coming to Simpson Strong-Tie, and the convention was a great opportunity to catch up with former co-workers. The ability to maintain connections with designers is invaluable for us as we develop products to solve real-world challenges to help people build safer, stronger structures. For more about the value of networking and how to get involved with industry organizations, see Annie Kao’s recent blog post.