Cal Poly ARCE News
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Al Estes attends the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Studies (FIS) 2019 Award Gala Dinner
June 1, 2019
Al Estes attended the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Studies (FIS) 2019 Award Gala Dinner at the Edna Valley Winery on June 1st. The George Hasslein Medal was awarded to Lawrence Simons. The medal had not been awarded for six years. The two most recent awardees were Dick Zweifel and Emmanuel Barrelli. The FIS is dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary activities for students in the CAED.
ARCE Advisory Board Meeting
May 17, 2019
The ARCE Advisory Board met on May 17th on campus for the twenty-fifth consecutive meeting since we reconstituted this group in 2007. There was no overarching theme to this board meeting but rather a potpourri of topics including the CAED/ARCE campaign plan, interdisciplinary activities, computer software, lab renovation, an ARCE-developed GE course, and an industry sabbatical.
The Board visited the high-bay lab to see a research effort being conducted by two master’s students (Jerry Leong and Rory De Sevilla and three faculty members (Anahid Behrouzi, Peter Laursen, Michael Deigert). ARCE students Jenna Williams and Ryan Millward presented the results from the EERI Seismic Design Competition held in Vancouver. We were visited by Dean Christine Theodoropoulos and Senior Director of Advancement Jessica Otten. ARCE faculty member James Mwangi presented the details of his sabbatical as the inaugural Build Change/Simpson StrongTie Fellow. Interdisciplinary collaboration continues to be a priority so we explored how we are responding to a generous grant from LPA and how we are participating with the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Studies. The Board is very proud to welcome Margaux Burkholder, Steve Pelham, Matt Melcher, Randy Collins, and Liz Mahlow to the ARCE Board. We also bid thanks and farewell to Michael Cochran, Michelle Jones, Bryan Seamer, Donna Clandening, and Shawna Peterson who are completing their tours on this Board. We thank them all for being part of this august body and for their generous donation of time and talent.
ARCE Student Elyssa Adams wins SEAONC Scholarship
may 7, 2019
ARCE student Elyssa Adams and Department Head Al Estes travelled to San Francisco on May 7th to attend the Structural Engineering Association of Northern California (SEAONC) annual Scholarship and Projects Awards Dinner at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Elyssa won a $5000 SEAONC scholarship as a result of her extraordinarily high grade point average and her leadership in various humanitarian activities.
The scholarship in intended to provide support to outstanding and high-achieving university students pursuing a career in structural engineering. Eligible universities included Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Architectural Engineering; Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Civil Engineering; San Francisco State University; San Jose State University; Santa Clara University; Stanford University; and University of California at Berkeley. The scholarships were presented by Tim Hart (SEAONC President), Taryn Williams (SEAONC Past President), and Ashraf Habibullah (CSI Founder and President). Ashraf generously donated the money for the seven scholarships that were awarded.
Rachel Chandler Speaks at the Structural Engineering Institute Congress
April 24-27, 2019
Rachel G. Chandler, a current graduate student in the ARCE department traveled to Orlando, Florida from April 24-27thto present her work on practical detailing in 8” special CMU shear walls at the Structural Engineering Institute Congress. Her presentation was based off of research done with professor Craig Baltimore and consisted of building partial CMU walls and investigating detailing techniques such as “a twist” to the horizontal reinforcement. Her presentation was very popular and she was able to share this knowledge with other engineers from around the world. She will present her research and paper again at the 13th North American Masonry Conference in June.
ARCE Associate Professor Jill Nelson Presents at Structures Congress 2019
April 26, 2019
On April 26, 2019 Jill Nelson, SE, LEED AP, and Associate Professor in the ARCE Department presented at Structures Congress 2019. Nelson, working with Mika Marsh, ARCE Masters graduate of 2017, developed and executed a workshop titled “Creating Structural Resiliency”. The workshop format, new to Structures Congress, allowed all participants to engage and discuss concepts for integrating structural resiliency into their daily practice. Using a facilitated process, participants defined resiliency, brainstormed ideas on developing resiliency based design objectives and reported their findings back to the entire group.
Open House 2019
April 11-13, 2019
From April 11-13, the ARCE department welcomed many future students and their families to Cal Poly’s annual Open House weekend.
Families got to explore the labs and see student work, giving them a sneak peek on the type of projects they will be conquering here as an ARCE student. During the tour of the department led by senior ARCEs, they were able to watch real ARCE students in action, testing projects and materials.
They visited the concrete lab, where ARCE students tested the strength of concrete under compression. Next was the shake table where students who participated in the EERI seismic design competition demonstrated the way buildings shake during an earthquake. Something unique about the ARCE program is the emphasis on seismic design, and students are trained to make sure that buildings are engineered for earthquake safety. They visited the high-bay lab, where they watched a wooden box get crushed to failure. All these labs provide an insight on the Cal Poly learn by doing experience.
Cal Poly SEAOC sold delicious BBQ and ARCE merchandise. Thank you to everyone who volunteered, helped set up the labs, and gave tours. We loved introducing new students to the new community they will soon be a part of!
To see more photos click here!
ARCE Students attend the Annual AEI Conference
April 4-6, 2019
ARCE students Nick Slavin, Douglas MacArthur, Robert Garland, and Stewart attended the annual Architectural Engineering Institute annual student conference from April 4 – 6 in Tysons, Virginia. They participated in the Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders in preparation to assume leadership roles in the ARCE SEAOC/AEI student club. They also attended technical sessions and social events and met student representatives from the nation’s other accredited ARCE programs. ARCE student Mark Wright attended as the outgoing National Student Vice President of the AEI. Department Head Al Estes was there to participate in the AEI Academic Council Annual meeting and a joint meeting with the AEI Board of Governors. Al also helped host an ABET Forum on the upcoming changes to Criteria 3 and 5 of the accreditation standards.
SEAOC Spring Break Trip to Chicago
March 24-31, 2019
During Spring Break, SEAOC student chapter travelled to Chicago with 24 students to visit structural engineering firms and see the sights. They visited SOM, Thornton Tomasetti, Arup, and WJE, and received tours offering a behind the scenes look into each of their work environments. They also got to hear first hand presentations about some of these firms’ recent or ongoing projects.
In addition to the company visits, they also explored all the popular sites that Chicago has to offer, such as the Hancock Center, Navy Pier, Millennium Park (home of the famous Bean) and going to the observation deck at the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower.
EERI Seismic Design Competition Team Travels Abroad to Compete in Vancouver, Canada
March 4-8, 2019
The 2019 EERI Seismic Design Competition was the first time in the competition’s sixteen years where it has taken place outside of the United States! The Cal Poly EERI Seismic Design Competition (SDC) Team was very excited to travel to Vancouver, Canada to participate in the international competition hosted in conjunction with the EERI Annual Meeting. Fifteen students accompanied by Anahid Behrouzi, EERI SDC’s faculty advisor, departed Monday, March 4th for the week-long competition.
The competition celebrated a months of hard work of 38 teams from universities representing the United States, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Turkey, and Romania. The Cal Poly team received a 9th place overall score which includes the performance of the team’s 5-foot tall balsa-wood model subjected to two earthquake ground motions; the accuracy of their computer simulation predictions compared to measured results; as well as technical communication via a written proposal, poster, and oral presentation. Specifically, the poster – prepared by Tomlinn Cox, Julia De Hart, and Jenna Williams (team captain) – received a 1st place ranking, and the architectural concept received a 3rd place ranking.
During the week, ARCE students participated in other events hosted by EERI including a structural engineering walking tour of the Vancouver downtown area. Additionally, third-year ARCE student Allie Decker was responsible for organizing a visit to the Fast + Epp office. There students met with structural engineers who discussed several timber projects in the Vancouver vicinity including the acclaimed Brock Commons House on the University of British Columbia campus, considered the tallest timber structure in the world at the time of its completion.
In addition to supporting students at the competition, ARCE assistant professor Anahid Behrouzi presented a poster during the evening session on Thursday, March 7th titled “Improving Ductility of Reinforced Concrete Walls with FRP Sheets & Splay Anchors”. Dr. Behrouzi was awarded a registration grant from EERI and FEMA to present on behalf of the Cal Poly research team comprised of students Jerry Luong, Rory de Sevilla, and Luke Ostrom on work that was co-advised by professor Peter Laursen.
Students in attendance: Nick Coburn, Tomlinn Cox, Julia De Hart, Allie Decker, Riley Denis, Michael Goldenberg, Sophia Ha, Ryan Millward, Tony Nguyen, Maja Sagaser, Jay Skaff, Nick Slavin, Ryan Thornton, Autumn Wagner, and Jenna Williams (team captain).
For more information about the Cal Poly EERI SDC Team click here.
29th Annual Structural Forum
February 9, 2019
The 29th annual Structural Forum took place on February 9th, 2019. Structural Forum Chair, Jenna Williams, and the members of the Structural Forum Committee worked extremely hard to organize this incredible event. This year’s theme, From the Ground Up, was chosen to speak to the multitude of career paths that Architectural Engineering can enable students to take. The event is divided into the morning and evening portions. This year at the morning portion guest speaker Amber Freund spoke about her professional path and how she got involved in the technology and software industry, and ultimately the CEO of Risa. Sinead Mac Namara, Professor at Syracuse University, gave a speech about the importance of connecting structural engineering and architecture. Kit Miyamoto of Miyamoto International spoke on his personal experience and how be established his own engineering firm and became involved in humanitarian work.
In the evening portion, students mingled and engaged with industry professionals during the resume free career fair at the Madonna Inn. After the career fair students and industry professionals alike gathered for a delicious three course meal to celebrate the evening and the future of the profession. During dinner, Evan Reis, the Executive Director of the US Resiliency Council and Keynote Speaker, gave speech about resiliency in structural engineering and its importance for the future. Following the evening portion of Structural Forum, attendees were invited to continue the events of the night in a more informal setting at an after party in downtown San Luis Obispo.
Structural Forum is the most common way current ARCE students land their internships and jobs, because it allows them to get to know professionals based on their interaction, not just their resume. Structural Forum in one of the excellent resources Cal Poly ARCE students have to expand their networks, make connections that will benefit their future, and inspire their drive and passion for the structural engineering profession.
To learn more about Structural Forum follow this link!
To view more photos of the event click here!
Fall 2018 Graduation and Order of the Engineer
December 15 2018
On December 15th, 2018, 18 students were inducted into the Order of the Engineer. The Order of the Engineer was initiated in the United States to foster a spirit of pride and responsibility in the engineering profession, to bridge the gap between training and experience, and to present to the public a visible symbol identifying the engineer. Since the first ceremony in 1970, small ceremonies have been held across the United States at which graduate and registered engineers are invited to accept the obligation of the Engineer and a stainless steel ring. The order fosters a unity of purpose and the honoring of one’s lifelong pledge: to uphold the standards and dignity of the engineering profession and to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.
For more information about the Order of the Engineer click here.
2018 AEI CANstruction Winners
Following months of canned food fundraising for those in need, Cal Poly SEAOC once again took home the award for the AEI CANstruction competition with an outstanding 370 cans in their "CANoe" structure.
Ben Sykes attends the 2018 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo
November 13-16, 2018
Fourth year ARCE student, Ben Sykes, attended the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Chicago along with his ASC (Associated Schools of Construction) Sustainability team in the middle of November. In exchange for volunteering to help divert trash at the conference, he received the opportunity to sit in on many educational sessions led by various industry professionals. The topics ranged from net-zero energy projects to the advancement of material performance in buildings. These presentations shed some light on potential solutions that may be implemented by Ben & his team when they compete in the annual ASC competition in February. This sponsored trip was made possible thanks to the ARCE Parent’s Learn By Doing Fund.
SEAOC Fall Trip to Portland
November 7-10, 2018
The Cal Poly SEAOC student chapter traveled to Portland, Oregon for their fall trip. While there they visited the offices of PCS Structural, Mackenzie, Nishkian Dean, and KPFF. While visiting KPFF, they also went on a site visit to a project being constructed in downtown Portland. On top of visiting firms and connecting with industry professionals, the group had fun mini golfing and exploring the city.
Click here to view photos from their trip!
October 31, 2018
This year there were a lot of ARCE faculty, staff, and students that dressed up for Halloween. SEAOC also hosted the annual pumpkin carving contest in the ARCE courtyard. It was a great break from midterms!
Below Professor John Lawson (left) is pictured with a student and a group of students create their best jack-o'-lantern (right).
Mustang Family Weekend Barbecue
October 27, 2018
On October 27th, the ARCE department hosted its 10th annual Mustang Family Weekend Barbecue. While exploring Cal Poly’s beautiful campus during the usual university event Mustang Family Weekend, students and their families were welcomed to a tri-tip sandwich lunch, provided and cooked by Cal Poly’s student chapter of SEAOC (Structural Engineers Association of California). Students and their families enjoyed their meal while interacting with ARCE faculty and staff, getting their photos taken at the family photo booth, and meeting other supporters. After lunch, they attended a presentation hosted by department head Al Estes, providing an inside look on the state of the department. Parents got to learn about the unique student experience, impressive statistics, and the many opportunities that the ARCE department has to offer. Big topics this year related to internships, SESH trips, and the summer program for study abroad in Lithuania, all great experiences that lead to a successful career after attending Cal Poly.
ARCE Associate Professor Jill Nelson and ARCE Grad Mika Marsh Speak at ASCE 2018 Convention
October 15, 2018
On October 15, 2018 Jill Nelson PE, SE, Cal Poly Associate Professor and Mika Marsh EIT (ARCE 2017 masters graduate) spoke at the ASCE 2018 Convention in Denver Colorado. The session, part of the Natural & Manmade Disaster Topics area, was titled “Resiliency in the Built Environment”. Using the definition of resiliency as the ability of an organization to recover its necessary functions in a timely manner after a potentially damaging natural hazard event, the presenters focused on a community's need to reoccupy structures in a timely manner after a disaster. Currently the consideration of time to reoccupy is not directly addressed in design standards or building code requirements. Starting with an individual hazard such as an earthquakes and the sea level rise, the presenters discussed considerations for improving building performance with time as a parameter. This was followed with a discussion on the need to address the realistic probability of cascading hazards such as fire followed by mudslides. Using an interactive format the presenters concluded the presentation by asking what designers, engineers and planners can do now to integrate resilient based design objectives into the their current practice.
Anahid Behrouzi attends the 2018 American Concrete Institute Convention
Recently, ARCE assistant professor Anahid Behrouzi attended the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Fall 2018 Convention in Las Vegas, NV. Behrouzi was awarded a registration grant to the convention for her winning submission to the ACI Young Professional Essay Contest. As a past two-time ACI fellowship recipient and current ACI Scholarship Council member, Behrouzi presented to the ACI Foundation on the impact of the student fellowships. She also attended committee meetings for ACI 133 (Disaster Reconnaissance), ACI 374 (Seismic Provisions), ACI Scholarship Council, 88 (Student & Young Professional Activities Committee), and S805 (Concrete Collegiate Council) among others. Aside from these activities, Behrouzi had the opportunity to catch up with her longtime industry mentor Ron Klemencic, Chairman & CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), as well as meet with ACI Past-President Anne Ellis to begin planning an upcoming “Innovation in Concrete Construction” webinar on new technologies and approaches to learn from post-hazard structural reconnaissance efforts.
Al Estes attends CAED Dean's Leadership Council and visits Sacramento firms
September 19-21, 2018
Department Head Al Estes visited Sacramento from September 19 –21 to attend the CAED Dean’s Leadership Council and visit industry firms. The DLC meeting was planned by Dean Christine Theodoropoulos and Director of Development Jessica Otten and was hosted by the Architecture firm Nacht and Lewis. The CAED hosted a reception for alumni and friends in the Sacramento area at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel on Thursday evening. The theme was Community Resilience and the panelists were Phil Serna, Chet Widom, Tim Denham and Tori Hertz. The reception was attended by ARCE grads Steve Pelham, Nick Petrarca, Laura Rice, Art Ross, and Bill Rader.
On Wednesday, Al met with Kit Miyamoto, Jay Reiser and Diana Erwin at the office of Miyamoto International to discuss the recent student trip to Nepal and the future of this partnership. Because Miyamoto was hosting a meeting of company leadership from off-site offices, Al was also able to meet with Jeff Crozier from the L.A. office and ARCE grad Veronica Chauvel from the Reno office. Al also saw ARCE grads Casey Lubawy and Caleb Dunne. Al also visited Lionakis and met with ARCE grads Matt Melcher who will be joining the ARCE Advisory Board this Spring and Kerry Volker. Also present in the office were ARCE grads Danielle Smith, Lucas Jolly, Kaylee Efstathiu, Bill Anders, Jon McCall, and Kendall Johnson. On Thursday morning, Al visited Art Ross at CYS Structural Engineers and presented the office with the 2013 and 2014 ARC’Y awards for the best video at the respective ARCE scholarship award ceremonies. Al visited Buehler and Buehler on Thursday afternoon and saw ARCE grads Soli Sorabji, Brian Weins, Larry Summerfield, Bill Rader, Jeret Buerger, Jason Horwedel, Nick Petrarca, and Scott Hooker.
On Friday afternoon, Christine Theodoropoulos, Jessica Otten, Margot McDonald and Al Estes visited Clark Pacific for a tour of the pre-cast concrete facility and to conduct a gift agreement signing ceremony for the ARCE Clark Pacific Design Laboratory that will replace the current Haselton Design Lab. Don Clark (President of Business Development) and Kristofer Kumfert (Chief Human Resources Officer) signed on behalf of Clark Pacific. The lab sponsorship is a commitment of $50,000 for the five year sponsorship.
SEAOC Convention 2018
September 12-14 2018
Every year, board members from Cal Poly's SEAOC student chapter attend the annual SEAOC Convention. Cal Poly ARCE students are consistently one of the only students to attend this event. This year it took place from September 12-14 in Palm Desert, California. The students had an opportunity to network with a variety of structural engineering professionals, and attended informative technical sessions where they learned new knowledge and skills that they could apply to Cal Poly’s chapter of SEAOC. During the event, our ARCE students volunteered to help the Convention Committee direct traffic, collect tickets, and orchestrate the logistics of the various dinners and events.
Week of Welcome Barbecue
As part of Week of Welcome Activities, the incoming freshmen came to the ARCE department for an introduction to the ARCE program. They received their first ARCE t-shirt, and enjoyed a barbecue lunch while making new friends with their peers. They received an informatory presentation by the department head where they they got to learn about their incoming class. They heard statistics on their peers from test scores to location. This time set aside during WOW is a great way for ARCE students to start building a community and making lifelong connections to others in the program, as this sets them up for success not just at Cal Poly, but beyond as well. We had a great time welcoming these incoming freshman to their next 4 years as an ARCE student at Cal Poly and know that they will succeed!
ARCE Alumni, Alexi Kouromenos, presents at the 2018 World Conference on Timber Engineering
Alexi Kouromenos, a structural designer in the Bay Area and graduate of the Bachelors and Masters (2017) Architectural Engineering program, presented his findings on the Lateral Strength and Ductile Behavior of a Mortise-Tenon Connected Timber Frame at the 2018 World Conference on Timber Engineering in Seoul, South Korea in August 2018. This conference occurs biannually and is a platform to share the latest innovations in timber engineering. The Thesis, advised by James Mwangi, Jill Nelson and Cole McDaniel, explored the seismic resilience of traditional heavy timber framing and aimed to demonstrate that timber frames can reliably resist more than one earthquake, while complying with US codes. Presenting this paper at the international conference was made possible by support from the ARCE department and the Parent’s Learn By Doing fund.
Lithuania Study Abroad 2018
September 1-15, 2018
This summer a group of students traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania to study abroad at Vilniaus Gedimino Technikos Universitetas. While abroad they immersed themselves in a new culture, all the while making forward strides in their ARCE education. During the five week long program the students took 3 courses: ARCE 371-Structural Systems Laboratory, ARCE 302-Structural Analysis, and ARCE 352-Structural Computing Analysis. While fitting in these three ARCE courses (traditionally taken in a 10 week long quarter) into 5 weeks was intense, the students were able to get ahead in their degree progress, work alongside Lithuanian students, and got to explore the unique country. Traveling with the group were Cal Poly Professors, Ed Saliklis and Pamalee Brady.
While an unconventional location to study abroad, the Lithuania program gave students the opportunity to discover a countries unique and rich history. During the weekends students had the opportunity to explore other parts of Lithuania and even travel to Riga, Latvia. During a planned group trip to Druskininkai the group had a chance to make Sakotis, a traditional Lithuanian dessert, go zip-lining through the trees and over rivers, and explore the nice town. In Riga the students biked around the city, explored the marketplace, and relaxed at the pool.
The Lithuanian students showed the Cal Poly group around the city. Together they ventured around the city to some favorite local spots. Their trip was filled with unique food, rich history, Baltic amber, and eye opening adventures.
Cal Poly SESH travels to Nepal
September 1-15, 2018
At the beginning of September, a group of 15 students and professor Peter Laursen embarked on a two week journey to Kathmandu Nepal led by trip leaders Jenna Williams & Elyssa Adams. While there, they had the opportunity to work on a couple humanitarian projects with Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief with the end goal of a seismic rehabilitation of these structures that were greatly affected in the 2015 earthquake. Click below to read more!
Al Estes' Bay Area Visit
August 27-28, 2018
Department Head Al Estes visited several industry firms in the Bay Area from August 27-28. Al had lunch with Stacy Bartoletti (CEO and Chairman) and Jim Malley (Senior Principal) of Degenkolb Engineers. They discussed master’s degree programs and the state of the industry. Most importantly, Degenkolb agreed to sponsor the ARCE graduate laboratory for another five years.
Al also visited Forell-Elsesser Engineers where he met with President and CEO Simin Naaseh as well as Carolynn Smith, ARCE alum Allen Nudel, Russell Berkowitz, and Lindsey Maclise. They discussed various ways for the firm to stay engaged with the ARCE department.
Al also visited the Oakland office of Degenkolb where he was escorted by ARCE emeritus faculty member Abe Lynn. Al visited briefly with ARCE graduates Alex Barnes, Dave Martin, Elena Good, James Liu, Melissa Vickery and ARCE student Sydney Gallion who is currently on an internship with the firm.
Finally, Al visited Hassett Engineering where he met with Chief Financial Officer Leslie Hassett and ARCE graduates Jorien Baza, Satiya Taeidi, and Julio Mendoza. Current ARCE student Elvira Sabanovich was there on a summer internship.
Point Sur Lighthouse Ultra-Low Forced Vibration Testing
August 20-21, 2018
The Point Sur Light Station Lighthouse, located on the Big Sur Coast of California, is an unreinforced masonry building constructed in 1889. For nearly a century the lighthouse illuminated the rugged coast line with a first order Fresnel Lens. In 1978 the Fresnel Lens was replaced with a modern aero beacon, and transported to the Maritime Museum of Monterey. Recently the Central Coast Light Keepers received approval from the United States Coast Guard to repatriate the original Fresnel lens to the lighthouse.
ARCE Professors Graham Archer, Peter Laursen and Cole McDaniel were invited by the Central Coast Light Keepers and Shoreline Engineering to conduct Ultra-Low Forced Vibration Testing on the lighthouse. The testing was requested to provide an independent assessment of the dynamic response of the building. The natural frequencies and mode shapes of the lighthouse were experimentally determined; these key parameters will help calibrate the computational model used in the assessment of the lighthouse seismic vulnerability as well as retrofit options.
Dr. Craig Baltimore attends 10IMC
July 9-11, 2018
Dr. Craig Baltimore recently attended the 10th International Masonry Conference (10IMC) in Milan, Italy, (at the Politecnico di Milano) where he presented a paper on his continuing research in Sustainable Self-Consolidating Grout. The 10IMC is held every four years, provides an opportunity to exchange information on the advancement of new research in the field of masonry structures, dealing mainly with the design of new masonry structures, assessment of historical buildings, retrofitting and rehabilitation techniques.
In addition to presenting his paper, Baltimore had the opportunity to catch up with ARCE alumni Shannon Abeling (2015) who also presented a paper. Abeling is working on her Ph.D. in probability and risk estimation of masonry structures during seismic events at the University of Auckland.
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