Department Resources

Current News & Events

Estes Visits Rodon Group and K'nex

Posted 5.20.13

Al Estes visited both the Rodon Group and K’nex Headquarters in Hatfield, PA on May 17th.  He toured both facilities and met with President and CEO Michael Araten and Marketing Director Barbara Rentschler.  K’nex recently donated $10,000 of K’nex pieces to the ARCE department.  The purpose of the meeting was to thank the K’nex Corporation for their generosity and discuss applications of K’nex product in college-level engineering education.


ARCE Advisory Board Meets

Posted 5.20.13

The ARCE Advisory Board met on 3-4 May on campus. This meeting was unique since President Armstrong invited all of the advisory boards to campus for a series of events to include an address by Timothy White, the new CSU Chancellor and participation in the first annual Green and Gold Dinner.  Because so many other advisory boards were on campus at the same time, we took maximum advantage of collaborative joint meetings.  The college hosted a joint breakfast with the Dean’s Leadership Council, the ARCE advisory board and the CM advisory board. Dean Christine Theodoropoulos presented her thoughts on the state of the college.  We conducted a joint session with the Civil Engineering advisory board to discuss opportunities for collaboration between the two programs.  The meeting started with Paul Kovach making a presentation to the SEAOC student chapter on Hurricane Sandy

During the Spring meeting, we include both the outgoing and incoming members of the Advisory Board.  We are very happy to welcome Bob Newsome (HNTB Architecture), Mark Sarkisian (SOM), and Colin Blaney (ZFA) to the ARCE Advisory Board.  The five new members are rounded out with Michelle Kam Biron (American 

Wood Council) and Luvelyn Benitez (Hope Amundsen) volunteering to serve a second tour 

on the board.  We welcome and thank thank for joining us. We pass on our sincere gratitude to Grace Kang, Joshua Moody, and Paul Kovach who will be rotating off our esteemed board after 

completing their three year 



Interdisciplinary Team Takes First Place

Posted 8.23.13

Cal Poly’s interdisciplinary team of architecture, construction management, landscape architecture and ARCE students took first place and won $1,000 in the Structural Engineering Institute’s Student Structural Design Competition. ARCE student Victor Ramos, architecture student Helene Deprez – an exchange student from Paris – and construction management major Tyler Edwards travelled to Pittsburgh in May with ARCE faculty advisor Brent Nuttall for the finals. The three finalist teams gave presentations at the SEI Structures Congress in Pittsburgh from May 2-4. The Cal Poly team submitted the Engineering Hangar Project, a 52,000-square-foot, state-of-the art mechanical fabrication shop.


Experimental Research leads Lawson/Yarber presentation at Structures Congress

Posted 5.20.13

Assistant Professor John Lawson and graduate student Caroline Yarber (MS ARCH ’12) wrapped up their full-scale experimental research on timber diaphragm stiffness, resulting in their published paper Collective Chord Behavior in Large Flexible Diaphragms and presented at the 2013 Structures Congress in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania from May 2-4. With assistance from Simpson Strong-Tie, Beven-Herron Roof Structures, and a $11,000 Grant from Cal Poly, Lawson and Yarber were able to prove there is significant accidental stiffness in timber panelized roofs to affect their seismic behavior. Subsequently, Lawson has secured a $24,000 grant from the National Institute of Building Sciences to further his research in flexible diaphragm behavior and develop potential building code revisions.

SEAOC Student Chapter Travels To Seattle

Posted 5.20.13

Fifteen SEAOC students Daniel Burkhartsmeyer, Caleb Dunne, CJ Horn, Andrew Jimenez, Alexi Kouromenos, Lauren Litwiler, Tom Liu, Ethan Meier, Chandler Morehardt, Robert Norton, NicoleO’Hearne, Willy Rosenblatt, Robyn Schmidt, Andrew Stephens and Sang Yoon, with their faculty advisor, John Lawson, toured Seattle’s premiere engineering offices, construction sites, and iconic structures for a week during Spring Break from March 25-29th.

Besides the usual sites of Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Bainbridge Island and various coffeehouses, the group toured the Seattle offices of Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), DCI Engineers and KPFF, as well as PCS Structural Solutions in Tacoma. These firms were very gracious providing not only office tours and presentations of their notable work in progress, but also special access to some of the City’s most exciting buildings and construction sites. MKA’s Emily Carlip (ARCE ’11) provided a tour of the 76-story tall Columbia Center as well as the new Seattle Public Library with its spiral stack floors and exterior structural diagrid system. Danya Mohr (ARCE ’01), Devin Daniel (ARCE ’11) and other MKA engineers joined the Cal Poly students at a sponsored happy hour nearby. At DCI Engineers, students met Gaelyn Krauser (ARCE ’09) and Patrick Heye (ARCE ’12) and toured a very interesting 7-story post-tensioned concrete office building under construction. KPFF’s Matt Reeve (ARCE ’05), Katie Blaesser (ARCE ’09) and Melissa McKinney (ARCE ’10) provided insight into life after Cal Poly and guided a tour of a multistory private school expansion under construction containing a theater, gymnasium and roof top sports field. A special trip to Tacoma was rewarded with an architectural and structural tour of PCS’s Pacific Plaza office building (LEED Platinum) which is a rehabilitated parking garage as part of the downtown revitalization and Alex Legé (ARCE ’07) illustrated the benefits of smaller engineering offices.

Some of the most interesting moments of this Spring Break trip were the Nucor Steel Mill tour where students witnessed the production of reinforcing steel bars from recycled scrap through the electric arc furnace to the finished product; the Seattle Underground Tour where the first floor of buildings from the 1890s were buried, abandoned, and now rediscovered; and the tour of Boeing’s jumbo jet assembly building in Everett which is the largest building by volume in the world. Besides admiring the massive steel truss structure, students witnessed up close wide-body planes being built from beginning to end.


Estes and Burnett Visit Bay Area

Posted 3.29.13

Al Estes and Allie Burnett visited the Bay Area on March 22-23 to visit alumni and industry partners.  The visit started with Steve Abernethy (ARCE 1989) who is the President and CEO of SquareTrade, a firm that provides extended warranty service for consumer electronics and appliances.  Al and Allie had lunch with Josh Marrow (ARCE 1998) who is currently a Technical Director for Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.  The next visit was with Dick Dreyer (ARCH 1974) who is a Principal and Senior Vice President at Holmes Culley Structural Engineers.  Al met with Mark Moore, Sean Westbrook (ARCE 2005), and Angie Sommer (ARCE 2005) in the San Francisco office of ZFA Structural Engineers. Both Holmes Culley and ZFA regularly attend Structural Forum and hire numerous ARCE graduates.  The final visit on March 22nd was with Leonard SooHoo (ARCE 1964) who is a Senior Project Manager for Yerba Buena Engineering and Construction following a distinguished career with the Corps of Engineers.  The next day, Al and Allie met with Consuelo Crosby (ARCE 1985) who founded Edifice Complex.  The visit ended at San Francisco Airport with a tour of the Terminal 2 reconstruction by Geoff Neumayr (ARCE 84).  Geoff is the Associate Deputy Director Project Management at the airport and is the currently chair of the ARCE Advisory Board


Cobb and Good Attend Academic Resources Challenge

Posted 3.29.13

Christine Cobb from ARCE and Kathi Good from ARCH attended the Academic Resources Conference (ARC) in San Diego, CA on March 24-March 27.  This conference is specifically for Administrative Support personnel from all the CSU campuses and addressed such issues as Tracking Expenditures – Best Practices from SLO, Leadership and How to Mentor Employees, Retirement: Planning, Pensions, and Life after CSU, Cloud Technology and the CSU.  In addition there were several keynote speakers that spoke about The Journey of Leadership Success: Seven Steps to Capture Opportunity in Changing Times,  The Students of Todayand the Students of Tomorrow, and  The University and Technology.   In addition to all of the classes offered there was a lot of time given to network with each other and share information and build new friendships. 


Four SEAOC/AEI Students Attend Workshop

Posted 3.29.13

On January 25-26th, four ARCE students with their faculty advisor John Lawson attended the ASCE Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders in Sacramento, California. This two-day workshop provides our prospective SEAOC/AEI student officers with the tools and insights necessary to run a successful club in conjunction with benefitting from the ties to a professional engineering organization.  While at the workshop, Junior ARCE students Gina Kope, Caleb Dunne and Taka Tamiya, with Sophomore Nicole O’Hearne, networked with other university students as well as practicing civil engineers from across the western United States. Also, the group took a quick visit to the State Capitol.


Brocade Challenge

Posted 3.29.13

We offer our congratulations to ARCE students Chandler Morehardt, Kevin Miller, and Andy Vallejo.  They are in this year’s Brocade challenge as members of three different interdisciplinary design teams.  The preliminary project presentations took place on Tuesday March 6th as four representative from Brocade visited campus.  The three finalists will travel to San Jose on March 7th to make their presentations at Brocade Headquarters.  There will be $12000 in prize money to be allocated among the three winning teams. 

The Brocade challenge is in its third year. This year’s project is to design a new data center building for Brocade’s Broomfield, CO campus that is efficient, scalable, and cost effective. The teams are charges to plan and design a new building to support Brocade R&D and product testing rack labs. The space should use innovative ideas to lower both initial construction costs and operations costs, while being highly efficient, best in class Power Utilization Effectiveness (PUE).   This is  a cross functional project needing expertise from business majors, construction management majors, architectural majors and the following engineering disciplines: Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Architectural and Environmental.  Brocade is based out of San Jose, California and has over 100 different locations all over the world.

The multidisciplinary nature of roof drainage design and its contribution to catastrophic roof collapse was the subject of Assistant Professor John Lawson’s presentation to the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California at their Orange County Dinner meeting on January 15th. Association President Joe LaBrie (pictured with Lawson) was very excited to host what turned out to be a standing-room-only event, with many of the attendees being local Cal Poly ARCE Alumni. The ARCE Department wishes to thank Larry Kaprielian (ARCE ’79) of KNA for funding Lawson’s travel expenses.


Estes Attends American Society of Civil Engineers Department Head Coordinating Council


Al Estes And Jeff ThomsponDepartment Head Al Estes visited Denver from 26-29 December to attend the American Society of Civil Engineers Department Head Coordinating Council semi-annual meeting.  As a constituent committee of educational activities, the DHCC represents the collective department heads for  civil and architectural engineering programs.  A major task was the planning of the annual CE department heads conference in the Spring.  Al also visited recent ARCE graduate Jeff Thompson (ARCE 2010) who currently works as an engineer at Rocky Mountain Prestress in Denver.

Lawson Presents at SEAOSC Dinner

Posted 1.18.13

The multidisciplinary nature of roof drainage design and its contribution to catastrophic roof collapse was the subject of Assistant Professor John Lawson’s presentation to the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California at their Orange County Dinner meeting on January 15th. Association President Joe LaBrie (pictured with Lawson) was very excited to host what turned out to be a standing-room-only event, with many of the attendees being local Cal Poly ARCE Alumni. The ARCE Department wishes to thank Larry Kaprielian (ARCE ’79) of KNA for funding Lawson’s travel expenses.


No Vibration/No Admixture Grout

Posted 1.14.13

Eric Bateman, ARCE masters student, is in the final days towards completion of his Master’s research in the High Bay Lab.  Under the supervision of Dr. James Mwangi, Eric’s is investigating on the use of high replacement of Portland cement in grout with fly ash and/or ground and granulated blast furnace slag for use as a self consolidating grout in high lift applications.  With help from industry partners, Eric erected four 8” wide, 4 feet long and 12’-8” tall concrete masonry walls in running bond.  Each grout column in the walls used a different grout admixture.  Test samples were obtained from each grout column and compressive strengths determined.  Visual observations recorded the consolidation of the grout around steel reinforcement and mortar fins over the wall height.  Steel reinforcement pull tests were used to determine the bond between the self consolidating grout admixtures and the steel reinforcement.  The materials and professional labor for the research were donated by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada (CMACN), Masonry Institute of America (MIA), Pacific Coast Building Products, Basalite Concrete Products, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local Union No. 4 and Coastal Demo Inc.


Cal Poly Winter Graduation

Posted 12.11.12

Cal Poly winter graduation was held on December 8th and the ARCE department had ten graduates received diplomas.  The December ARCE class of 2012 consisted of Alton DeHaan, Alyssa Gutierrez, Brent Katsuyama, Thomas Kelley, Courtney Nicholas, Tanya Rodriguez, Emiel Schaap, James Sipes, Zac Sweeting, and Kyle Welsh.  Al Estes and Pamalee Brady represented the ARCE faculty.  Congratulations to our new graduates.


Estes Visits Brooks-Ransom Associates

Posted 12.11.12

Al Estes visited the structural engineering firm Brooks-Ransom Associates in Fresno on December 6th.  The visit was hosted by President/CEO Rick Ransom who is also a member of the ARCE Advisory Board.  Al met around the table with Eric Bain (ARCE 2011), Klare Yavasile, Scott Carter, Mark Bozzo, Mike Roberston (ARCE 2008 ), Dioseline Garcia (ARCE 2003) and Dwight Drew (ARCE 1977) to discuss the Brooks-Ransom intern program and high school outreach.  They also discussed the curriculum, master’s program, and state of the industry.


Stacey White Presents LEED Workshop

Posted 12.11.12

On December 4th, Stacey White presented a workshop on the LEED for Schools rating system to this year's AEI national design competition participants. She covered the delivery of a project design in compliance with the sustainability goals of the competition for a site in Reading, PA in April 2013. All 15 students that attended met with their current design teams and were able to complete the first iteration of the LEED checklist with the support of Stacey, a local San Luis Obispo, LEED accredited professional and Architect with Mode Associates.  The ARCE Parents Learn by Doing Fund was used to provide Stacey’s workshop fee.


Plaque of Departmental History Unveiled

Posted 12.11.12

The ARCE department unveiled a new faculty plaque as part of its end-of-quarter faculty meeting.  The plaque lists the names and dates of service for all tenure and tenure-track faculty who have ever taught in the department during its 66 year history.  Emeritus faculty members John Edmisten, Jake Feldman andSat Rihal attended and assisted Department Head Al Estes with the unveiling.  The department also inaugurated a plaque listing all ARCE department heads.  Both plaques will be prominently displayed in the department area. Posted 12.11.12


Estes Attends Inaugural Meeting

Posted 12.11.12

Al Estes attended the inaugural meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineering Committee on Education in Las Vegas on December 1st.  The committee replaces the Educational Activities Committee as part of the ASCE restructuring initiative and oversees accreditation, faculty development, and K-12 outreach.  Al is the Architectural Engineering Institute liaison to the committee.



Posted 11.27.12

The SEAOC Student Chapter took a field trip to San Francisco on November 11th - 13th. They visited the offices of Holmes Culley, and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) with Professor Graham Archer. They met a recent ARCE Alum Jonas 

Houston at Holmes Culley office along with other Cal Poly Alumni. Both structural engineering firms showed presentations for the SEAOC Student Chapter and explained their past projects. SOM also arranged a tour for the students at Crystal Cathedral of Oakland with thier architect and engineer.





Posted 11.26.12

Sat Rihal and Jake Feldman have been collaborating on a research project in the high-bay lab. The objective of this project is to explore the applications of the ancient art of origami for developing a temporary deployable disaster shelter for areas affected by disasters such as earthquakes. Sat is the project director of this pilot project is funded by Office of Research & Graduate Programs at Cal Poly. He is being assisted by research assistants: Kara Moore (Graduate student in Architecture, UCLA), Arlin Krigel and Parvathy Nair (Undergraduate Students in Architecture, Cal Poly), and David Guadagnini (Graduate Student, IT Department, Cal Poly).  They are now in the process of building the projects at full scale in the Simpson StrongTie Materials Demonstration building.




ARCH Students

Posted 11.26.12

The 260+ first-year architecture and architectural engineering students displayed their first quarter work on Monday,November 19th in the Berg Gallery.  Their design work for Hartford Pier at Avila Beach was on display from 9 am to 4 pm. In the photos, ARCE students Mia Shepard and Hugo Molina stand in front of their work.




Advisory Board

Posted 11.26.12

The ARCE Advisory Board met on campus for their semi-annual meeting on November 16th.  The Board met for dinner at Rosa’s Italian restaurant the evening prior and conducted the meeting in the new CAED KTGY gallery. The discussion focused on the biggest issues facing the department this quarter which are the budget, the mandate to reduce units in the undergraduate program, the future of the master’s program, and the potential conversion to the semester system.  Faculty members Brent Nuttall (Chair of ARCE Curriculum Committee)  and Cole McDaniel (ARCE Master’s Coordinator) joined the meeting for a portion of this discussion.  Associate Dean Dick Zweifel and Advancement Director Allie Burnett joined the meeting to discuss the budget and the upcoming capital campaign.  The Advisory Board Schedule of events may be viewed here. Cal Poly Provost Kathleen Enz Finken met with the advisory board in the late afternoon.  Board attendees included Michelle Kam Biron, Grace Kang, Geoff Neumeyer, Paul Kovach, Joshua Moody, Mike Botwin, Ken O’Dell, Steve Schiller, Rob Gayle, Ricardo Aravelo, Maryann Phipps, Rick Ransom, and Luvelyn Benitez





Posted 11.26.12

The SEAOC Student Chapter hosted their annual Thanksgiving feast on November 15th.  Students cooked seven turkeys in different locations and brought them all together for the celebratory lunch.  Faculty members carved and students enjoyed a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry dressing, and several types of pies.





Posted 11.26.12

The ARCE department celebrated Halloween onOctober 31st in their usual manner with instructors in costume. The student SEAOC chapter hosted their annual pumpkin carving contest.


Parents Weekend

parents weekend assemblyparents weekend with sign

The ARCE department celebrated Parent’s Weekend on 12 -13 October with two events intended to welcome parents and get them more involved in the program.  On Friday evening, ARCE faculty member Ed Saliklis presented a lecture on Myron Goldsmith and the development of braced tubular frames.  He started the lecture with his band Professor S and the Stress singing his #1 hit song “I’ve Got the ARCE Blues”.  This live concert performance can be found on youtube at: .  On Saturday morning, the department hosted a lunch reception for the parents where approximately 120 people attended.  The CAED Christine Theodoropoulos provided a welcome and the SEAOC student chapter prepared a tri-tip sandwich lunch.  The students made presentations on both the SEAOC student chapter activities and on their recent trip to Haiti.  We played video of Florian and Lori Barth introducing the ARCE Parent Learn by Doing fund ( ) and ARCE parents Ken and Jeanne Stone explained to the audience about the importance of contributing to the program.  Finally Department Head Al Estes made a presentation and took questions from the audience.  You may view a video recap of the weekend here.


Thank you ARCE parents for your support of this program.

Parents weekend


Jack Berridge Named CAED Honored Alum

Berridge at football gameBerridge honored alumniBerridge at football gameHonored Alum PhotoJack Berridge, ARCE class of 1959, was named the 2012 honored alumnus for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.  In addition to attending the dedication of the ARCE Berridge Manufacturing laboratory, Jack and his family were honored at the Homecoming Alumni Banquet.  The Honored Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed upon Cal Poly alumni by the University’s Alumni Association. The award was established more than 30 years ago by the Association to provide recognition for outstanding graduates and former students of Cal Poly.  Jack Berridge is the founder of Berridge Manufacturing, a major producer of wall and roofing products, and has been a loyal and generous contributor to the ARCE program.  The Berridge family was invited to the President’s box for the Cal Poly football game on October 20th and Jack was recognized for his accomplishments on the football field at halftime.

Berridge Lab Dedication

Berridge Lab DedicationBerridge cake cuttingBerridge check dedicationJack Barridge and Predisent Armstrong


Jack Berridge and his family traveled to San Luis Obispo from San Antonio to attend the dedication of the Berridge Manufacturing Laboratory onOctober 19th.  President Armstrong and CAED Dean Christine Theodoropoulos attended the ceremony and offered word of thanks to the Berridge family.  The five year naming right involves a $50,000 gift to the department and is the first sponsorship of an experimental laboratory.  In addition, Mr. Berridge provided the materials and labor to decorate the interior walls of the lab.  Jack Berridge is a 1959 graduate of the ARCE program and is the founder of Berridge Manufacturing, a major producer of wall and roofing products.  We also thank Cal Poly facilities who partnered with ARCE to complete a great deal of backlog maintenance to prepare the lab for dedication.  The dedication ceremony featured a ribbon cutting, plaque unveiling and cake cutting followed by a lunch for the students and guests in attendance.

David Martin

David Martin at lunchDavid MartinDavid Martin (ARCE 2010) visited the department on October 18th to make a presentation to the SEAOC student chapter on entering the work force after graduation and the importance of professional organizations.  After graduating from the ARCE program with the highest honors, David got his master’s degree from Berkeley and currently works for Degenkolb in their Oakland office.

Class of 1982 Reunion

ARCE Class of '82, thenARCE Class of '82, nowClass of 82 outingThe ARCE class of 1982 held their 30 year reunion at Cal Poly on October 6th.  The class had a great time in SLO with events that included kayaking on Satmorning in Morro Bay, a picnic in Poly Canyon and a tour of the ARCE facilities from faculty member John Lawson.  Emeritus faculty member Sat Rihal gave a presentation on his origami emergency shelter research.  The group finished up with a nice banquet at the Creekside Inn where the attendees included Terry Baldwin, Gina Benedetti-Petnic, Greg Dias, Robyn Dorius, Joyce ( Davies) Fuss, Keith Herbert, Tony Jebian, Ed Jestes, Damon Letz, Glenn Loucks, Brad Lowe, Dave McMaster, Laima ( Basulius) Reeder, Greg Taber, Karen Vogt-Wilcox, and Craig Wilcox. Emeritus faculty members Sat Rihal, Mike Botwin, and John Edmisten joined the class for dinner.

Barth video

Barths at lunch with StaffBarths preparing for video

Florian and Lori Barth, parents of an ARCE student, have generously created the ARCE Parents Learn by Doing Fund.  They have committed $50,000 to the effort and have agreed to supply the gift in increments of $10,000 as the money is matched by other parents and friends of the department.  The Barths travelled to Cal Poly onSeptember 27th to prepare a video that describes this fund and encourages others to give.  The video can be found at:


Freshman Class Group PhotoFreshman OrientationFreshman BBQStudents Eating Lunch at WOW BBQStudents Eating at WOW BBQThe ARCE department welcomed its new class of 96 freshmen students on September 13th with a BBQ hosted by the SEAOC student chapter.  This is the largest ARCE freshman class in a decade. The freshman welcome started with a college orientation in Chumash auditorium followed by a welcome presentation by Department Head Al Estes in the department area.  The department took a group photo that hangs in the hallway and joined the freshmen in the courtyard for lunch.  The department also hosted a pizza orientation for the six transfer students who are joining the department this year onSeptember 18th in A-lab.

Faculty Retreat

ARCE 2012 Faculy PhotoDinner after the ARCE RetreatThe faculty conducted their annual retreat on September 10-11th in two locations.  The first part of the retreat was held onMonday in A-lab and featured lunch, the annual department head program assessment, comments from the Dean, and a discussion of the master’s program.  The day finished with a discussion about being proactive in a time of great uncertainty.  The faculty held their annual retreat dinner at Ciopinot restaurant in SLO.  The retreat resumed the next morning at the Spirit of San Luis restaurant where the discussion focused on the possible conversion from quarters to the semester system.  The retreat schedule can be found by following this link.

Provosts Award

Al Estes with Provost, President, DeaAl Estes with President Armstrong

ARCE Department Head Al Estes was named the 2012 winner of the Provost’s Leadership Award for Partnership in Philanthropy and was recognized at the annual convocation by President Armstrong on September 10th. The award was created to recognize a current or former faculty member’s superior achievement in fundraising.  The awardee must demonstrate an ability to garner external support, leverage such support to advance the mission of Cal Poly and work collaboratively with the University’s fundraising staff.  The award was initiated in the 2005-06 academic year.  Al was lauded for transforming a department that had never pursued advancement opportunities into one where fundraising, marketing, alumni relations, and industry partnerships are integral to operations. His efforts in soliciting industry sponsorships and support from current parents were of particular note. Al has raised almost half a million dollars through industry sponsorships, which renovate outdated laboratories into vibrant spaces with new equipment and provide support for student projects.  Al was also recognized, along with other awardees, during the half time festivities on the field during the Cal Poly football game against Idaho State on November 10th.

ETW Pomona

Estes leads groupStudents in Class at Pamona

Al Estes (ARCE Department Head), Norm Dennis (University of Arkansas), and Jim O’Brien (American Society of Civil Engineers) conducted a two-day mini-ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) workshop for faculty members at Cal Poly Pomona on September 6-7 on the Pomona campus.  The workshop consisted of two demonstration classes and a series of seminars on topics ranging from learning objectives and questioning to learning styles and non-verbal communication.  The 24 participants were Cal Poly Pomona faculty members in the various engineering and agriculture disciplines.

TMS's Standards Development Committe updates 2012 Revision

BaltimoreTMSThe Masonry Society’s Standards Development Committee (Craig Baltimore is Chair), recently completed the 2012 revision and update of the minimum requirements for rating masonry walls for a sound transmission class (STC).  The last version was 2007.   The 2012 revision included the addition of an outdoor-indoor transmission class (OITC) based on field or laboratory testing or based on a calculation procedure. Also added for 2012 was the effect of adding drywall and sound absorbing material (sound insulation) on the STC rating of concrete masonry walls. Additional topics covered include reference standards, definitions and notations, materials, construction, and quality assurance.


Estes visits ASCE Educational Activities Weekend in St. Louis

ABET visit 1Al Estes attended the American Society of Civil Engineers Educational Activities Weekend on October 6, 2012 in St. Louis.  Al is a member of the ASCE Department Head Coordinating Council which falls under the ASCE Committee on Education.  The meeting focused on the restructuring of ASCE Committees and on planning the annual department heads conference in Las Vegas in May.  On the same trip, Al Estes conducted an ABET accreditation visit for the civil engineering program at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville from October 7-9.  Al has conducted eleven accreditation visits for architectural and civil engineering programs since 2001.

ABET visit 2


Professors Archer, Laursen, McDaniel travel to Portugal for WCEE

ARCE Professors Graham Archer, Peter Laursen and Cole McDaniel attended the 15th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering in Lisbon, Portugal from September 24-28th.  Peter Laursen presented two papers focused on his current research on compressed earth blocks (see link to papers).  Graham Archer and Cole McDaniel presented three papers related to their research on ultra-low forced vibration testing of buildings (see link to papers).  The conference provided a unique opportunity to discuss advances in earthquake engineering with thousands of faculty and engineers from around the world.

Prof. Laursen's papers:

Profs. Archer and McDaniel's papers:

WCEE 2012 -1WCEE 2012-2


Estes discusses with the industry firms regarding semester system conversion

barrish pelham visit

Art Ross Lunch

Miyamoto visit

Al Estes visited three structural design industry firms in Sacramento on September 28th.  Steve Pelham hosted a meeting at the office of Barrish Pelham where Al sought input from ARCE alums Joshua Pilorin, Tim Lindsey, and Matt Mlaker on the conversion to the semester system, the potential reduction of units in the undergraduate program and the future of the master’s program.  Art Ross (CYS) took Al to lunch and discussed many issues facing the ARCE Advisory Board and the Dean’s Leadership Council.  Finally, Al visited the office of Miyamoto and discussed the needs of the Seismic Lab with firm Principal Bob Glasgow.


2012 SEAOC Convention in Santa Fe, NM

seaoc convention in santa fe -1

seaoc convention in santa fe -2

seaoc convention in santa fe -3

seaoc convention in santa fe -4

Three faculty members (Jim Guthrie, John Lawson and James Mwangi) along with four ARCE students (Alex Daddow, Andrew Jimenez, Beth Schlacks and Lauren Litwiler) attended the annual Structural Engineer Association of California (SEAOC) Convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on September 12-15th. All three faculty presented papers at the Convention: James Mwangi presented a paper on the Haiti rebuilding effort; John Lawson presented a paper on roof drainage issues affecting engineers; and Jim Guthrie presented a paper on the CALVIVA project which assesses California State buildings. All four students are officers in the SEAOC student chapter and were accompanied by SEAOC faculty advisor John Lawson.  The students attended technical sessions, social events, and the ARCE reception. The department thanks Bill and Melissa Warren (SESOL) and Larry Kaprielian (KNA) for their financial gifts that allowed the students to attend. Our thanks as well to CSI and Ashraf Habibullah for allowing the students to attend his gala reception.


Saliklis travels to Lithuania, Poland

Saliklis having coffee in LituaniaSaliklis leads discussionSaliklis Teaches the PeopleEd Saliklis traveled to Vilnius Lithuania where he gave two lectures at the Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU).  His lectures described his research on the history of the development of tall building design.  Then he conducted a workshop for the Architectural Engineering students and faculty where he introduced them to Graphical Statics.  Following the workshop, Ed had a series of meetings with the Provost of the University and the Vice President for International Affairs.  These meetings set in motion a possible Study Abroad experience for Cal Poly's ARCE students, and possibly for VGTU's students to come here.

Then Ed traveled to Poznan Poland where he presented a paper and led a roundtable discussion.  The conference was the Third International Conference on the Image.  There, Ed presented the research that he and Prof. Robert Arens of Cal Poly's Architecture Dept. have been conducting on rapidly assembled emergency shelters.

Lawson assists in assessing the seismic vulnerability in Memphis

Lawson at Memphis

Faculty member John Lawson flew to Memphis, Tennessee, on September 20th to discuss ongoing research on the cost-benefit comparison of seismic codes to selected parts of the U.S. Lawson is a part of the Technical Committee for the Applied Technology Council’s ATC-89 project along with Structural Engineers from Degenkolb, Buehler & Buehler, and James Harris & Assoc. Current status presentations were made to Jack Hayes, Director of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) as well as local Memphis design professionals and contractors. ATC-89 is funded by NEHRP to compare the financial costs to the benefits of implementing state-of-the-art seismic codes in the Mississippi River Valley.


The SESH students traveled to Haiti from August 3rd – 11th to complete an engineering service project to benefit the community of Leogane. SESH is the Structural Engineering Students for Haiti group that was formed last year by ARCE students who were looking to aid in the reconstruction of Haiti after their 7.0 earthquake in 2010.  The project was to install a memorial bell over the well at St. Rose De Lima Church.  The SESH group is not affiliated with Cal Poly but was created by ARCE students. ARCE students included Alex Daddow, Andrew Jimenez, Robyn Schmidt, Caleb Dunne, Robert Norton, Yong Kim, Andrew Stephens, Jarred Parker. Architecture student Hannah Pauling travelled as well along with Stephanie Rea Arazibal (SESH Alum and ARCE Alum).  Ken O’Dell, a principal at MHP in Long Beach and a member of the ARCE advisory board accompanied the students as well.  The trip was supported by Haiti Engineering, a non-governmental organization.  SESH would like to give a special thanks to Jeff Crosier of Miyamoto International, for his large contribution, and Alan Hanson of Simpson StrongTie, for contributing materials for the project along with a financial contribution.

Mulligan from Buehler and Buehler visits ARCE Department


Scott Mulligan (ARCE 2003) visited the ARCE department on August 7th with his wife Hilary and their two children, Evelyn and Jack.  He is currently working for Buehler and Buehler in Sacramento.

Estes and Burnett visits Bay Area

Estes Bay Visit 1Estes visits Bay

Al Estes and CAED Director of Development Allie Burnett travelled to the Bay Area on August 1 – 3rd to visit industry partners and alumni. They had breakfast with Nancy Hamilton (ARCE 1981) and her husband Bob Edwards (ARCH 1981) in Lafayette. Nancy has recently become a senior vice president and Director of Engineering Services with HOK in Chicago. They visited the new office of Structus Inc. in San Francisco and met with owner Henry Chang (ARCE 1974).

Estes visits BayEstes visits BayEstes visits Bay


His partner Donald Chappell (ARCE 1964) was on vacation.  Al and Allie visited with Jim Ostrom (CM 1985) Vice President – Construction at Forest City Development.  Jim is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council and the visit entailed a briefing on the 5M projects and a tour of the San Francisco Tech Shop.  Robert Levinson (ARCE 1972) was visited next; he is currently a structural engineer and regional accessibility officer at the General Services Administration.  The final visit of the trip was to Jerry Lohr and a tour of the San Jose J. Lohr winery facilities.  Jerry is a structural engineer by education and a friend of the ARCE program.

Lawson provides assists at West Point teaching workshop

lawson at West Point

Assistant Professor John Lawson attended as an Assistant Mentor at the weeklong ExCEEd workshop at the West Point Military Academy in New York from July 22nd to July 28th. Twenty-four Civil and Architectural Engineering professors from around the nation attended this intense workshop to become better educators and role models in and outside the classroom. Lawson, a 2010 ExCEEd Fellow, was invited back this year as an assistant mentor. Lawson is shown here flanked by Jim O’Brien, ASCE’s Managing Director of Professional and Educational Activities (on left), and Greg DiLoreto, ASCE’s President-Elect (on right). ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) provides two workshops annually and is funded by ASCE.

Estes and Burnett visit industry partners in Orange County

CK and Laurel

Al Estes and CAED Director of Development Allie Burnett visit the Orange County on July 24 -26th to visit industry partners and alumni.  They had dinner with C.K. and Laurel Allen (ARCE 1964) at the Tivoli restaurant followed by the annual Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.  Al and Allie visited the Santa Ana office of Miyamoto and met with Principal Jeff Crozier and Senior Project Engineering Josh Reynolds (ARCE 2006).  At the Irvine office of kpff, Al and Allie met with Bill Thorpe, Principal; Nick Murphy (ARCE 2004) and Alan Tonissen (ARCE 2009).  Finally, Bill and Melissa Warren (ARCE 1978) hosted a dinner at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.  They were joined by Brad and Katherine Mielke (ARCE 1978) and Larry and Denise Kaprielian (ARCE 1979).


Miyamoto in Santa AnaKPFF in Irvine

Dinner with Warrens

Reunion of ARCE 2002 Class on Poly Days Weekend

Al Estes briefly attended a ten-year mini-reunion for the ARCE class of 2002 at SLO Brew on July 20th.  Liberty Lewis (ARCE 2002) and Stephanie  Hionis (ARCE 2002) came to Cal Poly to attend the Poly Days alumni weekend.  Jason Horwedel (ARCE 2002) currently working for Buehler and Buehler in Sacramento and Garrett Mills (ARCE 2002) working for Taylor and Syfan in Pasadena came to Cal Poly to attend the festivities as well. Class of 2002 Reunion at SLO BrewClass of 2002 Reunion at SLO Brew

Archer and McDaniel present their research at NSF CMMI Conference and NEES Meeting in Boston

ARCE faculty Graham Archer and Cole McDaniel presented their NSF-NEESR research (CMMI-1135037) in Boston, MA at the NSF CMMI Engineering Research and Innovation Conference and NEES Annual Meeting from July 9 -12th. The co-PI's discussed the results of applying the ultra-low forced vibration testing (UL-FVT) procedure to a full-scale five-story structure built on the NEES UC San Diego Outdoor Shake Table.Archer and McDaniel at Boston

ARCE Senior Project on SLO Tribune


The San Luis Obispo Tribune featured an article on the world’s largest portable telescope on July 11th.  The telescope base was constructed by Cal Poly architectural engineering students Laura Rice, Mounir El-Koussa and Mike Vickery as a senior project. The article can be found on this link.

Rice, Vickery, and El-Koussa