New NCSEA Survey Promoting Stronger Connections Among Structural Engineers

Structural engineers mostly take rightful pride in their skills and the importance of what they do. In other respects, however, job satisfaction can be uneven within the field, without much opportunity for engineers to address questions of professional engagement, mentorship, compensation or equity. The Structural Engineering, Engagement, and Equity (SE3) survey, sponsored by NCSEA, is an attempt to remedy this shortcoming. In the following post, Annie Kao, a structural engineer with Simpson Strong-Tie, gives an overview of this development. 
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What Did Sandy Teach Us?

Shane Vilasineekul
Guest blogger Shane Vilasineekul, engineering manager

This week’s blog post is authored by Shane Vilasineekul, who is the Simpson Strong-Tie Engineering Manager for our Columbus, Ohio branch covering the Northeastern United States. Shane is our latest blogger for the Structural Engineering Blog. He will be posting occasionally on topics that are relevant to our work. We will continue to post on a regular weekly schedule to the blog. In the future, we hope to expand the voices on the blog to include more Simpson Strong-Tie engineers, along with other industry colleagues and associates. For more information on Shane, see his bio here. Here is Shane’s post:

In the weeks following Hurricane Sandy, I had an opportunity to visit some of the hardest hit communities in the region. At the time, many of New Jersey’s barrier islands were still completely closed off to civilian traffic and all accessible bridges were blocked by military guards. Our local territory manager has great relationships with building departments, so we were able to walk portions of Long Beach Island, NJ with an inspector. The storm surge washed out several sections of the protective sand dunes on the south end of the island in the neighborhood of Holgate and this is where we spent much of the day.

Holgate, NJ
Holgate, NJ
Scoured foundation temporarily shored. Holgate, NJ.
Scoured foundation temporarily shored. Holgate, NJ.

For a structural engineer, there was a lot to observe and many things I could write about here (maybe a future post), but what strikes me the most when looking back is the long- term impact this event will have on the region. The cost of Sandy goes beyond the loss of life and property (72 lives, $50 billion and growing). It would be difficult to estimate a dollar amount that accounts for the displacement of people and disruption to their lives, the hit to local economies that depend heavily on tourism, and the effect on the national economy and taxpayers; but I imagine it would be a staggering sum. So what, if anything, can structural engineers do about it?Continue Reading