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Cal Poly ARCE News

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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.

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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.

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Al Estes attends ASCE Conference

May 29 - June 1, 2018

Department Head Al Estes attended the annual ASCE Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference in Philadelphia from May 29 – Jun 1.  Following the conference, Al attended the semi-annual meeting of the Department Head Coordinating Council and a second joint meeting with the Committee on Education.  Al made presentations on “20 Years of the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop” and on the “New ABET criteria 3 and 5” before an audience of almost 100 CE department heads. ASCE President-elect Robin Kemper presented the Walter LeFevre award to Al Estes on behalf of the Cal Poly ARCE program at a lunchtime ceremony at the conference.

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2018 Senior Banquet

May 19, 2018

The annual ARCE Senior Banquet was held on May 19th at the Ventana Grill.  Over 60 ARCE graduating seniors were in attendance along with ARCE faculty and staff Al Estes, Erika Clements, Ed Saliklis, Pamalee Brady, and Jill Nelson.  The ARCE academic scholar award was presented to Sydney Gallion.  The ARCE service award went to both Cory Ihnotic and Tia DeHarrport.  The department presented senior gifts to each students.  The students awarded “most likely” awards to their classmates.  The senior banquet represents the students final evening together before they graduate and go their separate ways….a night to celebrate completing the rigorous ARCE program with those who did it with them.

Click here for more pictures from the event!

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Spring Advisory Board Meeting

May 11, 2018

The ARCE Advisory Board met on May 11th for its 23rd consecutive semi-annual meeting since it was reconstituted in 2007.  The traditional Thursday night dinner was held at Guisepppe’s Cucina Rustica in San Luis Obispo.  The meeting agenda included discussions on interdisciplinary collaboration, the future of the master’s program, and diversity on campus.  The CAED Dean Christine Theodoropoulos met with the Board to present various issues affecting the college.  ARCE students Sydney Gallion and Aiden Bernhardt demonstrated their damped wooden braces in the Seismic Lab which are part of their senior project.  Faculty members Jill Nelson, Cole McDaniel and Anahid Behrouzi presented different topics to the Board.  Master’s students Chris Martinez, Leah Holleran and Ryan Lefevre, along with alumnus Margaux Burkholder, provided a student perspective on the Master’s program.  The department thanked and presented farewell gifts to outgoing members Dirk Bondy, Conseulo Crosby, Bill Rader, Sarah Storelli, and Jim Pappas.  The board welcomed Ron LaPlante, Evan Reis, Steve Patton, Elisa Suarez, and Marc Guberman as new members starting their three year term.

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Weed Project Wins Service Award

May 10, 2018

The Department offers our congratulations to faculty member Dennis Bashaw (ARCE), Maggie Kirk (ARCH), and Greg Starzyk (CM) who were selected for the Service Learning – Faculty Team award at the 32nd annual Cal Poly Community Service Awards on May 10th on the patio of the Alumni House.  President Armstrong presented the award to the faculty team who created an interdisciplinary studio in the Fall 2017 quarter that focused on rebuilding the community of Weed, California which was devastated by fire in September 2014.

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Al Estes Heads North & Sydney Gallion Receives SEAONC Scholarship

April 30-may 1,2018

Department Head Al Estes travelled to the Bay Area on April 30 – May 1 to visit Computers and Structures Inc. (CSI) and attend the SEAONC Scholarship ceremony.  On the way, Al stopped by Stanford University and visited 2017 ARCE graduate Kate Cuddington who is currently getting her Master’s degree.  Kate was working with Renata Fruchter as part of her innovative Computer Integrated Architecture/Engineering/Construction Global Teamwork course.  ARCE students Michael Blanchard and Erica Croft provided CSI President and Founder Ashraf Habibullah with a presentation on their recent Structural Engineering Students for Humanity (SESH) trip to Nepal.  The purpose of the visit was to thank Ashraf for his generous donation to this project.  ARCE students Jenna Williams and Elyssa Adams attended as well, since they are leading the SESH trip to Nepal this summer.  ARCE student Sydney Gallion was awarded a $5000 SEAONC scholarship which was formally presented at the 2018 Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards Ceremony held in downtown San Francisco.  Her parents were able to attend the ceremony as well.

Click here to see more!

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Simpson Strong-tie Symposium and Lab Rededication

april 28, 2018

The Architectural Engineering department hosted representatives of Simpson Strong-Tie at the annual Simpson Symposium.  The event is an opportunity for students to learn about the company and its wide range of products.  The day consisted of a morning presentation, giving students a chance to network with the Simpson Strong-Tie representatives and learn more about the company.  The afternoon offered the chance to attend demonstrations in which students could get their hands dirty trying out different products.  They were able to try filling anchor bolt holes with epoxy, assemble a structure using outdoor framing ties, and test out the easy to use nail gun.  Following the Symposium, the ARCE department celebrated the rededication of the Simpson Strong-Tie Lab.  At the dedication, Department Head Al Estes gave a few words on how involved Simpson Strong-Tie has been in the ARCE program, and how  beloved the lab is by the department.  Simpson Strong-Tie COO Ricardo Arevalo also spoke at the dedication about how pleased the company is with its partnership with the ARCE program.  Following Al’s and Ricardo’s remarks, the ARCE community marked its longtime relationship with Alan Hanson, the retiring Outreach Coordinator.  A respected friend of the department, Alan has been collaborating with Cal Poly ARCE for years, and has always been a pleasure to work with.  While Alan will be missed, the department wishes him a happy retirement  and is excited to work with Angel Leon, the new Outreach Coordinator, in the years to come.

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Open House Weekend

APRIL 21, 2018

On Saturday April 21st, we welcomed prospective students and parents to Cal Poly at Open House Weekend.  On display in the ARCE labs were student-built models and information on the various courses taken throughout the ARCE curriculum.  Student volunteers led tours through the ARCE facilities, including the testing labs and concrete yard.  Students also performed various demonstrations including concrete compression tests, timber box beam tests, and seismic tests on the shake table.  The demonstrations gave prospective students a glimpse into the basis behind the ARCE courses and their significance in the field.  The SEAOC student chapter also set up its booth as part of the club showcase.  They grilled up some tasty bratwursts, sold merchandise, played games, and showed everyone a little taste of the ARCE culture.  

To see more photos of the event click here!

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Design Village 2018

APRIL 20-23, 2018

On Friday April 20th,first year ARCE students hiked up to Poly Canyon, towing, pushing, and rolling their Design Village structures with them. Design Village is an annual competition where students design and construct a shelter to camp out in over the weekend in the Canyon.  This year many studios collaborated to create fewer yet larger scale projects.  This allowed them to focus more on the detail and constructability of the projects.  The structures remained out in Poly Canyon until students deconstructed and carried them back Sunday.  

Click here to see more photos of student projects!

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SEAOC Board Members Attend 2018 AEI Conference

APRIL 4-6, 2018

This spring, the ARCE Department sent five undergraduate students to Omaha, Nebraska for the 2018 Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Forum. Logan Peck, Samantha Solow, Tiffany Wang, Jenna Williams, and Mark Wright attended the Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders with peers from ARCE Programs across the nation. At the workshop, they received leadership training from Nigel McPherson Jr., Senior Performance Consultant at HDR in Omaha. Additionally, the students attended technical tours, keynote speaker sessions, and networking events.

At the forum, ARCE 3rd year Mark Wright was elected as the AEI National Student Organization’s Vice President. Throughout the year, he will be working with other elected officers to represent student chapters across the nation to the professional AEI organization.

At the welcome reception, these five SEAOC Board members accepted an award for winning the 2017 AEI CANstruction Competition. Members of the club conducted a canned food drive and used the collections to create a structure made entirely of cans. SEAOC competed against other AEI chapters with their submission, “PeCAN Pie.” Afterward, the cans were donated to local nonprofit Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo.

Click here to view a few photos from their trip!

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SEAOC Spring Break Trip in New York

March  25-31, 2018

22 Cal Poly ARCE undergraduate students and a faculty advisor, Graham Archer, traveled to New York City over spring break in order to learn more about opportunities in structural engineering, bond with classmates, and explore a new, exciting city. Throughout the week they visited four engineering firms, BuroHappold, Thornton Tomasetti, Silman, and SuperStructures.  Each of the firms offered a something unique, and students had the chance to learn from very experienced engineers. We were also able to travel to two projects that the engineers worked on, and learned in detail about the struggles they went through in order to complete the projects.Once the office and site visits were done, students were allowed to explore New York City as they liked. From visiting Central Park to attending Broadway shows, everyone was able to find activities that interested them.

Click here to check out more photos from their trip!

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Al Estes' Bay Visit

March 26-27, 2018

Department Head Al Estes used the first two days of Spring break to visit firms in the Bay Area.  On March 26th, he visited People’s Associates Structural Engineers in their interim Santa Clara office.  He met with owner Don Peoples, Bill Wells (ARCE 2006), and newly hired Nick Reindel (ARCE 2016). 

After a quick meeting with Tonya Nilsson (ARCE 1991), Al also visited the San Carlos office of ZFA where he met with Steve Patton (ARCE 2004) who will be joining the ARCE Advisory Board this spring.  He also saw Joey Williams (ARCE 2008), Petra Patton (ARCE 2004), Dan Morosan (ARCE 2013), Derek Sereno (ARCE 2013), and Matt Frantz (ARCE 2005).

On March 27th, Al started the day with a visit to HOK in San Francisco where he met with Jared Parker (ARCE 2015) to discuss working as a structural engineer in an architecture firm and the degree to which the ARCE program prepares graduates to do that.  Al visited the S.F. office of SGH to personally present the 2017 ARC’Y award to the firm in honor of the scholarship video they created for the scholarship luncheon. Craig Allender accepted the award. 

The final visit was to Holmes Structures where Al met with Zander Sivyer, Principal and CEO of the firm that has hired many ARCE grads over the past few years.  Holmes Structures will be the industry sponsor for the next edition of the ARCE magazine.


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CSI Party "007"

February 10, 2018

 Ashraf Habibullah, the founder of Computers and Structures, Inc., hosted his annual black-tie party at the City Hall in San Francisco. This year’s gala was themed “007” and took place on February 10th, 2018.

The current SEAOC board joined several ARCE grads, Department Head Al Estes, and Administrative Coordinator Erika Clements for a night filled with food, dancing and entertainment! Mr. Habibullah gave a welcome speech and then let the guests loose to enjoy the night dancing to live music, eating delicious desserts, and celebrating being involved in an amazing industry. 

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Structural Forum 2018

February 3, 2018

 The Cal Poly SEAOC chapter and the ARCE department held the 28th annual Structural Forum on February 3rd, 2018.  This year’s theme, “Embracing Opportunity,” was felt throughout the day, as students connected and gained insight from industry professionals. 

The morning session featured guest speakers Mike Korolyk, Richard Dreyer, and Hayley Dickson with Theresa Curtis.  This year’s keynote speaker was Elizabeth Hausler, founder and CEO of Build Change.

The Structural forum committee, led by Structural Forum Chair Sophia Abshire, along with the SEAOC board, was responsible for planning and executing the amazing event.

Click here to view photos of the event!

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Mexico City Reconnaissance 

October 27-November 3, 2017

On October 28th fourth-year undergraduate ARCE student Rachel Chandler traveled to Mexico City to perform earthquake reconnaissance work.  While abroad she examined damaged structures after the 7.1 earthquake that hit Central Mexico on September 19th.  Assistant professor Anahid Behrouzi in conjunction with Purdue professor, Santiago Pujol, collaborated in a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID grant.  Their objective was to study reinforced concrete building damage resulting from the destructive earthquake. 

 Rachel visited numerous sites and expanded her insight on post-earthquake damage.  She saw different types of structural failures first hand and gained insight on how they could be restored, retrofitted, and prevented. 

During her journey she also was able to experience the culture and see the social impact the earthquake had on the community.

Click here to view Rachel Chandler's full blog!

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SidePlate Lab Dedication

October 26, 2017

Ringing in the new academic year, SidePlate Systems and the ARCE department hosted a dedication ceremony to formally dedicate the SidePlate Lab. The dedication ceremony commenced in the SidePlate lab with a few words from ARCE department head, Al Estes, CAED Dean, Christine Theodoropolous, SidePlate Western Regional Business Manager and Cal Poly ARCE Alum, Ryan Smith and SidePlate President & CEO, Henry Gallart.  Gallart then signed the $50,000 donation check and presented it to the ARCE department. In addition, Pam Prince, William Tarasevic and Brett Hart from SidePlate attended the ceremony. To end the dedication ceremony, Christine Theodoropolous, Al Estes and Henry Gallart cut the red ribbon officially dedicating the new SidePlate Lab.

Following the dedication ceremony, the ARCE department & SidePlate staff sponsored a campus-catered lunch. Al Estes and Henry Gallart cut the SidePlate cake and everyone enjoyed a lunch with some of the industry partners, faculty and current students.

Click here to view pictures from the event!

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Mustang Family Weekend 2017

October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 21st the ARCE department held its 9th annual Mustang Family Weekend Barbecue.  The event overlapped with the University’s greater Mustang Family Weekend events, so not only did parents get to see how amazing Cal Poly is, but they also got an inside peek into the ARCE department.  With the help of the student SEAOC (Structural Engineers Association of California) chapter at Cal Poly, we grilled up some classic central coast tri-tip for our ARCE family barbeque.  After enjoying lunch, taking pictures at the photo booth, and meeting other supporters, department head Al Estes gave an informational presentation about the department.  Parents got to hear about the department’s latest activities and unique opportunities, learn about the student experience and the classes ARCEs are taking, as well as statistics and information about why Cal Poly ARCE is an amazing place to be a student.  Some things that were highlighted in the discussion were the Lithuania study abroad program, SESH (Structural Engineering Students for Humanity) and the club’s recent trip to Nepal, and Structural forum.  All of which enable students to experience amazing opportunities that set them up to be successful in their future careers.  It is always a fun time showcasing to parents and family members what we are all about!

Click here to view pictures from the event!

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Building An Engineer (BAE) Day

October 21, 2017

On October 21, 2017, Society of Women Engineers hosted their annual event of Building an Engineer (BAE) Day.  Building an Engineer Day is an outreach event for middle school students from the region to come to Cal Poly's campus and participate in hands-on activities hosted by various engineering clubs.  ARCE Student Chapter of the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) was excited to host an hour long activity in the ARCE labs to various groups of young students throughout the day.

This year, SEAOC service chair, Ana Lopez, set up the wonderful event and led each lesson.  In the lessons, students learned a brief definition of structural engineering, were assigned teams and then cut loose to design and build a bridge out of K’Nex.  When time expired, it was time to test.  Each bridge was loaded brick by brick until failure.  The goal for the students was set at a two brick load; however, some were able to hold as many as four!  Thank you Ana for this successful event and also to our student volunteers Kimberly Dung, Ben Sykes, Serena Reeves, and Antonio Baldazo. 

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ARCE-Computer Science Team Presents at ACI Convention

October 14-18, 2017

On October 14-18, 2017, assistant professor Anahid Behrouzi attended the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Convention in Anaheim, CA. Dr. Behrouzi was joined by assistant professor of computer science Maria Pantoja and undergraduate ARCE student Jack Bergquist. In the ACI 133 Reconnaissance Committee and the “Research in Progress” session, the team presented on-going research work related to automated detection and classification of structural damage in post-earthquake images of reinforced concrete buildings. 

Continue reading ›

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Kevin Dong in Tanzania

august 15, 2017-September 8, 2017

This summer ARCE Professor Kevin Dong—alongside 3 Cal Poly students, alumni, and members of nonprofit— traveled to Same, Tanzania to begin construction on a project 8 years in the works.  Cal Poly is working alongside the LA Arup office to design the Same Polytechnic College for the nonprofit Mbesese Initiative for Sustainable Development (MISD).  The goal is to help reduce poverty and improve quality of life through creating this technical college.  Tanzanian school systems are very different from those in the United States and often there just isn’t enough opportunity and resources for people to pursue higher education. This college will provide many with the opportunity and cause to stay in school.  Over the last several years, the project has been in the design process, getting technical feedback as well as logistically getting everything squared away in Tanzania.  Although the project has been underway since 2008, this summer was the first trip on which they’ve been able to do actual construction work.  In Tanzania they built and erected monuments distinguishing the construction/college zone.  While in Tanzania the students went on cultural trips into the villages, worked alongside locals, learned about the educational system in Tanzania, and even bartered for construction materials.  Kevin hopes to return in summer 2018 and throughout the remainder of the project. 

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2017 Lithuania Study Abroad 

June 26, 2017 - July 28, 2017

This summer from June 26th to July 28th a group of ARCE students traveled to Vilnius, Lithuania to study abroad.  They resided and studied at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU). While abroad they took three course over the 5 week long program, Structural Analysis, Structural Computing Analysis, and Introduction to Engineering Surveying.  Professor Graham Archer accompanied the students on the trip and taught Structural Computing and Structural Computing Analysis.  Working alongside Lithuanian students from the university, they we able to gain insight on Lithuanian culture, customs, and history.

The program is designed to fit the course material in the 5 week period as well as give students time to go on trips and adventures around Lithuania. As a group, they went on 2 weekend excursions to the coastal town of Klaipėda and the lush city of Druskininkai. Many of the students were even able to make a weekend trip to Riga, Latvia. Although the school work was challenging they still found enough time to explore the country and forge memories that’ll last a lifetime.  Studying abroad is an amazing opportunity that we highly encourage students to pursue.  These experiences help expand students’ horizons, become more well-rounded individuals, and prepare them for their future careers.

Check out pictures from the trip here!

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Simpson Strong-Tie Fellowship for Engineering Excellence 

july 1, 2017

This summer Architectural Engineering professor, James Mwangi, was offered and has accepted a one year fellowship position with Simpson Strong-Tie and partnered with a non-profit organization, Build Change.  Together, they will dedicate their work to disaster-resistant building in developing countries. Congratulations to professor Mwangi!

Click here to read more

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Anahid Behrouzi Attends CASCE Teaching Workshop at Princeton University

June 15, 2017 - June 16, 2017

On June 15-16, 2017, assistant professor Anahid Behrouzi joined eleven other invited faculty members from around the United States and Central America at Princeton University for the CASCE Teaching Workshop. The two-day session titled “Advancing the Dissemination of the Creative Art of Structural/ Civil Engineering (CASCE)” is part of a multi-institutional National Science Foundation project to enhance courses by including discussions and activities related to ‘structural art’ - great structural/civil engineers and their works. Expanding on a tradition established by Princeton professor Dr. David Billington, the workshop exposed attendees to methods of bringing inspiring structural engineering projects as well as educational and entertaining hands-on demonstrations into the classroom. While at Princeton, Dr. Behrouzi also spent time in the Billington archives housed in the Civil & Environmental Engineering department. She plans to start integrating ideas from the CASCE workshop into her courses in 2017-18.

CASCE Organizers:  Maria Garlock, Sanjay Arwade, Cris Moen, Evelyn Laffey, Aatish Bhatia, Kathy Galvin (not pictured)

CASCE Faculty Attendees:  Anahid Behrouzi, Andrea Surovek, Andrew Wittaker, Benjamin Olshin, Bryan Katz, Chris Letchford,  Dan Linzell, Esteban Villalobos-Vega, Gordon Wam, Joel Lanning, Lauren Stewart, Sinead Macnamara

CASCE Graduate Student Attendees:  Annie Levine, Fiona O’Donnell, Max Coar (not pictured), Veronica Boyce

More details about CASCE can be found at: http://casce.princeton.edu/.

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2017 Order of the Engineer Ceremony

June 17,2017

The ARCE Spring 2017 Order of the Engineer Ceremony took place on June 17th in the beloved ARCE courtyard. The department was thrilled to honor the largest graduating class in ARCE history. Following the department ceremony, graduates were invited to Spanos Stadium to participate in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design Commencement Ceremony. All of the graduating ARCE student’s names were read and they were awarded their diplomas at this event.

This year was the second annual Order of the Engineer Ceremony and proved be even better than the first! Once again, the event was sponsored by Barrish Pelham. As part of the Order of the Engineer ceremony, a stainless steel ring was placed on the drawing hand of each of our graduating students, symbolizing their entrance into the structural engineering profession and their dedication to the profession. As part of the intimate department level graduation, each student crafted a 140 word tweet that was read as they walked across the stage to receive their ring. Al Estes greeted each graduate, awarded them their certificate, and most importantly placed the ring on each of the graduate’s fingers. Alongside Al, Ed Saliklis served as the Master of Ceremonies. A special thanks to our ARCE staff Erika Clements, Adriana Sousa, and Michael Salmon for another successful year of the ceremony.

A complete video of the event can be found here.

Also, check out all the photos here!

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2017 Scholarship Luncheon & Senior Projects Day

June 8,2017

The day kicked off with the annual ARCE scholarship luncheon which took place in the KTGY gallery on campus on Thursday, June 8th and awarded over $95,000 in student scholarships. Department Head Al Estes acted as emcee for the event and CAED Dean Christine Theodoropoulos presented the college-level scholarships. Several of the generous scholarship donors attended to personally present the scholarships on behalf of their firms and scholarship foundations including Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Luc D'Abreau representing the D’Abreau Foundation, Alan Hanson and Darwin Waite of Simpson Strong-Tie, and representatives from ICC to present the Fred H. Schott and Forell/Elsesser Scholarships. The others sent videos that played as their scholarships were awarded. This year’s ARCY Award winner for creating the most creative scholarship award video was Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH).

Continue reading ›

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Senior Banquet 2017

May 20, 2017

The ARCE department held the annual Senior Banquet at the Old Port Inn restaurant in Avila Beach on Saturday May 20th, 2017. We thank ARCE students Hannah Rogers, Stewart Hooks and Jack Robinson for leading this effort this year. The evening represents a chance for the seniors to enjoy each other’s company one last time before their education at Cal Poly concludes and they go their separate ways. After a dinner overlooking the beach, Department Head Al Estes made some remarks and provided each senior with a parting gift, an engraved engineering scale, to remember the department.  

The department academic award was presented to Amy Poehlitz for having the highest grade point average in the graduating class, and the CAED as a whole. The service award was presented to Kate Cuddington for her substantial contributions to the department and the CAED over her four years at Cal Poly. The student program consisted of some humorous student awards, superlatives, and gifts to the faculty members present. To conclude the festivities, a slideshow was played of each graduating seniors favorite middle school photo.

Click here to view photos from the banquet!

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ARCE Advisory Board Meeting

May 5, 2017

The ARCE Advisory Board met on May 5th as part of the Green and Gold Weekend.  This was the twenty-first consecutive meeting of the ARCE Advisory Board since the group was reconstituted in 2007.

A major theme to this board meeting was vision, mission, and strategic planning.  The CAED is completing its strategic plan and key members of that effort briefed the board on its status and asked for some input. Meanwhile the department has completed its vision statement and has been working on its core values and reviewing the existing mission and wanted the opinion of the board.  Finally it is time to review our ABET program objectives (those things our graduates should be able to do three to five years after graduation) and the industry is a critical constituent in that process.  In addition, Dean Christine Theodoropoulos and Assistant Dean for Outreach Lorna Malcolm visited the meeting to discuss CAED activities. Finally, ARCE students Kate Cuddington and Lindsey Kuster provided an update on department marketing activities.

We are very proud to welcome Chris Haight, Steve Abernethy, Jen Hiatt, and Michael Parolini to the ARCE Board.  It is time to bid thanks and farewell to Paul Kovach, Jan Dougalas, Geoff Neumayr, and Trailer Martin who are completing their tours on this Board…. Paul is actually completing a second three-year tour.  In addition, Abe Lynn will be joining the board as the Emeritus faculty member who is replacing John Edmisten as he rotates off.

Click here to view photos from the May 5th meeting!

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Olivia Pepe-Phelps and Kate Cuddington Receive ICC Fred H Schott Scholarships

May 4, 2017

On May 4, Kate Cuddington and Olivia Pepe-Phelps were awarded two of the ICC's Fred H Schott Scholarships. Cuddington and Pepe-Phelps attended the ICC meeting in the KTGY Gallery on Cal Poly's campus to receive the scholarships, each receiving $1,500. In addition, both students were sponsored ICC memberships for the next year. 

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Kate Cuddington Receives SEAONC Scholarship

May 2, 2017

Kate Cuddington was chosen as one of three recipients of the SEAONC Scholarship for 2017. On May 2, Kate Cuddington attended the SEAONC Dinner Meeting at the City Club in San Francisco to receive her award of $5,000. In addition, Al Estes and Diana Moss, Cuddington's mother, attended the event as her guests.

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Al Estes Visits Bay Area Alumni & Friends

May 1, 2017 - MAy 2, 2017

Al Estes visited the Bay Area on May 1 – 2nd to visit alumni and friends and to attend the SEAONC Scholarship dinner.  Al met with Florian and Lori Barth at their home in Los Gatos to thank them for their support and provide an update on the Parents Learn By Doing fund.  He visited the office of Microdesk in San Francisco to meet with Adam Wells, Director Professional Services, to discuss student partnerships on the latest industry software.  Finally, Al meet with Dick Dreyer, a Principal at Holmes Structures in San Francisco.  Holmes has hired a number of ARCE grads and Al visited with new hires Georgine Mooney (ARCE 2014), Gina Kope (ARCE 2014), and Mary Kretschmar (ARCE 2014).  He also saw Adam Azofeifa (ARCE 2008), Jonas Houston (ARCE 2011), and Erik Kneer (ARCE 2001).

Click here to view photos from Al's Trip

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Anahid Behrouzi Presents Research at Structural Congress 2017

Apr 6, 2017 - Apr 8, 2017

Faculty member Anahid Behrouzi attended and presented a paper at the ASCE-SEI Structures Congress 2017 hosted in Denver, Colorado from April 6-8. Anahid Behrouzi presented “Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Flexural Concrete Wall Design Details” (Anahid Behrouzi, Travis Welt, Dawn Lehman, Laura Lowes, Jim LaFave, and Dan Kuchma) in a session on the earthquake response of reinforced concrete buildings.

The published paper is available by clicking here


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Open House 2017

APR 6, 2017 - APR 8, 2017

On April 6-8, the ARCE Department conducted its annual Open House celebration, where newly accepted and prospective students visited the Cal Poly campus. 

Click here to view photos!

Continue reading ›

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SEAOC Spring Break Trip to London

MAR 26, 2017 - APR 2, 2017

This year, SEAOC took off on another international adventure for Spring Break. Alex Remiticado, SEAOC’s Vice President was responsible for the planning and execution of this year’s trip to London, England. 24 students accompanied by John Lawson, SEAOC’s faculty advisor, departed on Sunday, March 26th for a week in London.

During the trip, our ARCE students visited four structural engineering firms in the London Area: Foster + Partners, BuroHappold, Price & Myers and AKTII. The employees from Foster + Partners gave a presentation about the Millenium Bridge and conducted a tour of their “Resource Materials Laboratory.” One of Foster + Parter’s new hires also talked to the students about what it’s like to be a new employee at Foster + Partners. At AKTII, the students attended a presentation about the firm’s work on the King’s Cross pavilion and went on a walking tour around the area.

At BuroHappold, the students received a tour of the office and received information about BuroHappold as a company and their work environment. At Price & Myers, one of the partners gave the students a tour of his home, a unique corten steel and glass home designed by the engineers at Price & Myers. In addition, a presentation was given about the “Slip Stream” sculpture that was erected inside of the Heathrow Terminal #2. Price & Myers also gave the students a tour of the new tower addition to Westminster Abbey.

In addition to the professional development aspect of the trip, there were also several fun activities that were sponsored by the SEAOC student chapter including a Rocket boat tour on the Thames River, a private cabin on the London eye, tickets to climb the Orbit Tower in Olympic stadium, attendance to the observation deck of the Shard and a one hour visit to the London Sky Garden.

Click here to view more photos! 

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CSI Party 2017 - Back To The Future

MAR 25, 2017

In tradition with his annual black-tie event, Ashraf Habibullah, the founder of Computers and Structures, Inc. hosted "Back to the Future" at the  City Hall in San Francisco. This year’s gala took place on March 25th, 2017. The current SEAOC board joined several ARCE grads, Al Estes and Erika Clements for a night filled with food, dancing and entertainment! The night kicked off with the champagne reception at 5 pm, followed by dinner at 6 pm. An electric violinist and several body painted interpretive dancers entertained guests as people strolled and posed.  Ashraf gave a welcome speech around 8 pm and the dance floor opened shortly thereafter. There were two rooms on opposing sides of City Hall, both housing live bands, food and dessert.

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ARCE Alumni & Friends Reception

MAR 24, 2017

For the 7th year in a row, the ARCE department hosted an ARCE Alumni & Friends Reception in San Francisco the night before the annual CSI Party. This year, the event was held at Schroeder's Restaurant on Front Street. The event began at 6 PM with hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Several ARCE alumni working in the Bay Area made an appearance to mix and mingle with other friends of the ARCE department. 

Click here to view photos!

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Al Estes Visits ConXTech Plant

MAR 23, 2017 - Mar 24, 2017

On March 23-24, Department Head Al Estes visited the ConXtech plant in Hayward and observed the creation of mass-customizable, modular, prefabricated structural steel building systems.  Saul Hernandez, Vice President for Industrial, provided an initial brief and a walk-through on the plant floor.  Al took the tour with much of the senior leadership of SSOE, an architecture-engineering firm headquartered in Toledo, Ohio but with offices in 20 different countries.  Al also visited the office of Walter P. Moore in San Francisco where he met with Principal Bill Andrews, Senior Associate Laura Whitehurst, and Associate Princeton Cheng (ARCE 2010) to discuss future interaction with the ARCE program.

Click here to view photos from the ConXTech Visit!

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EERI Seismic Design Competition Team Competes in Portland, Oregon

Mar 6, 2017

This year, the Cal Poly EERI Seismic Design Competition (SDC) Team traveled to Portland, Oregon to participate in the international competition hosted in conjunction with the EERI Annual Meeting. 12 students accompanied by Anahid Behrouzi, EERI SDC's faculty co-advisor, departed Monday, March 6th for the week-long competition.

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Structural Forum 2017 - "Framing the Future"

FEB 11, 2017

SEAOC and the ARCE department held the 27th annual Structural Forum on Saturday, February 11th. The theme this year was “Framing the Future.” SEAOC board and the Structural Forum committee was responsible for the planning and execution of Structural Forum 2017, Kate Cuddington, the 2016-2017 Structural Forum Chair, led their efforts.

Click here to see photos of the event!

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Degenkolb Lab Dedication

FEB 11, 2017

As part of the 2017 Structural Forum festivities, Degenkolb Engineers and the ARCE department hosted a dedication ceremony to formally dedicate the Degenkolb Graduate Lab. The dedication ceremony commenced in the Degenkolb lab with a few words from ARCE department head, Al Estes and Degenkolb CEO, Stacy Bartoletti. Stacy Bartoletti then signed the $50,000 donation check and presented it to the ARCE department. In addition, Gordy Wray and Taka Tamiya from Degenkolb attended the ceremony. To end the dedication ceremony, Mr. Bartoletti, Al Estes and Lorna Malcolm cut the red ribbon for the Degenkolb Graduate lab.

Following the dedication ceremony, the ARCE department & Degenkolb Engineers sponsored a campus-catered lunch. Al Estes and Stacy Bartoletti cut the Degenkolb cake and everyone enjoyed a lunch with some of the industry partners, faculty and current students.

Click here to see photos of the event!

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Al Estes Visits Bay Area Industry Partners

FEB 6, 2017 - Feb 7, 2017

ARCE Department Head Al Estes and CAED Assistant Dean of Development and External Relations Lorna Malcolm travelled to the Bay Area to visit friends, alumni and industry partners on February 6 – 7th.  They had lunch with Steve Abernethy (ARCE 1989) who agreed to join the ARCE Advisory Board this Spring.  This was followed by a meeting with David Strandberg and Joyce Feng, principals at Strandberg Engineering.  A number of recent ARCE graduates were on hand to include Jen Ton (ARCE 2012), Josh Batham (ARCE 2010), Reece Relatores (ARCE 2010), Diane Lee (ARCE 2016), Meghan Navarro (ARCE 2013), and Rae Arizabal (ARCE 2011).  The final visit was to ARUP where ARCE grads Shawna Peterson (ARCE 2014) and Kevin Chen (ARCE 2011) provided a tour of the office.  We were joined in discussion by Principal John Worley and Associate Principals Jason Krolicki and Rob Smith.

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Amy Poehlitz & Carla Simental Awarded SEAOSC Scholarships 

FEB 1, 2017

ARCE students Amy Poehlitz, Carla Simental, and Keslyn Huntington along with department head Al Estes attended the annual Structural Engineering Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) Scholarship Dinner and Job Fair in Los Angeles on February 1st.  Companies in attendance included ARUP, Fluor, Hilti, Miyamoto, Vulcan Materials, Simpson Strong-Tie, STB Structural Engineers, Stuctural Focus, Buehler and Buehler, Degenkolb, Englekirk, FJ Engineering, JCE Structural Engineering, KNA Consulting Engineers, LPA Inc., MiTek Builder Products, and Nishkian Chamberlain.  The guest speaker was Computers and Structures, Inc. founder Ashraf Habibullah.  Carla Simental was awarded a $1500 scholarship and Amy Poehlitz won the $2000 David and Margaret Narver Memorial Scholarship, which was the largest one awarded this year.  Keslyn Huntington came away with two AISC steel manuals which she won as a door prize in the raffle.

More photos of the event!

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James Mwangi Gives Presentation at SEAOSC Tri-Counties Meeting

JAn 31, 2016

On January 31st, ARCE professor Dr. James Mwangi presented at the SEAOSC Tri-Counties Dinner Meeting at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria, CA. Dr. Mwangi’s presentation was titled “Reconstruction after the Nepal Earthquake: Cal Poly Architectural Engineering Students are Engineering for Humanity.” Dr. James Mwangi related the history of the Structural Engineering Students for Humanity (SESH) group at Cal Poly, which began with their work in Haiti in 2010. He then focused on the latest SESH trip in September 2016 to Kathmandu, Nepal. Department Head Al Estes was also in attendance and, in conjunction with the ARCE Parents Learn by Doing fund, sponsored the attendance of 9 ARCE students as well. These students included: Kate Cuddington, Lindsey Kuster, Alex Remiticado, Tyler Pizarro, Sonny Moraga, Samantha Solow, Sophia Abshire, Simon Ng, Rebecca Winning and Ryan Llamas. In addition, ARCE faculty members, Michael Parolini, Kelsey Parolini and Jessica Meadows were also in attendance.

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Kate Cuddington Awarded SWE Outstanding Woman in Engineering & Technology Award

JAN 26, 2016

On January 26th, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student chapter at Cal Poly hosted their annual Evening with Industry (EWI) at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in Avila Beach, CA. The event began at 5 PM with an hour and a half networking session and appetizers. The dinner portion of the event commenced at 6:30 PM, where students selected a table from several industry partners. Following a keynote address, scholarship awards were presented. Jiaming Liu, a 3rd year ARCE student, was the recipient of the Trane Scholarship. Every year, 15 graduating seniors are nominated for the Outstanding Women in Engineering and Technology award and 5 students are recognized during the dinner portion of the event. This year, Kate Cuddington, a 4th Year ARCE student, was one of the five recipients of the Outstanding Women in Engineering and Technology award.

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John Lawson & Peter Laursen Present Research in at 16th World Conference on Earthquakes in Chile 

JAN 9, 2017 - JAN 13, 2017

Department Head Al Estes attended the American Council on Engineering (ACE) Leadership Academy for Department Chairs in San Diego on January 11-12. Workshop topics included Leadership in an Institutional Governance Structure, Diversity and Leadership Framing, Conflict Management, Budget and Financial Management, and Advancing the Academic Quality and Mission of the Institution. In addition, Al visited with ARCE graduate Roger Anatablin (ARCE 1981) on the way down. He had lunch with Jim Amundson (ARCE 1982) of Hope-Amundson Engineering. Finally, he met with Ron LaPlante, the Supervising Structural Engineer in Division of the State Architect office.

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Al Estes Attends American Council on Engineering Leadership Academy for Department Chairs

JAN 11, 2017 - JAN 12, 2017

Department Head Al Estes attended the American Council on Engineering (ACE) Leadership Academy for Department Chairs in San Diego on January 11-12. Workshop topics included Leadership in an Institutional Governance Structure, Diversity and Leadership Framing, Conflict Management, Budget and Financial Management, and Advancing the Academic Quality and Mission of the Institution. In addition, Al visited with ARCE graduate Roger Anatablin (ARCE 1981) on the way down. He had lunch with Jim Amundson (ARCE 1982) of Hope-Amundson Engineering. Finally, he met with Ron LaPlante, the Supervising Structural Engineer in Division of the State Architect office.

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ARCE Advisory Board Meeting

DEC 2, 2016

The ARCE Advisory Board conducted its fall meeting on December 2rd on the Cal Poly campus. The meeting was preceded by a dinner at Café Roma. The board meeting agenda included a meeting with the Provost, the ARCE annual program assessment, the visioning process results, ARCE outcomes/objectives, and a presentation on the CAED labs and shops feasibility study.  Faculty member Cole McDaniel provided an update on the new Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering. ARCE student Kate Cuddington presented last summer’s SESH trip to Nepal. CM Department Head Al Hauck share the CM model for an advisory board and provided an update on the proposed Construction Engineering degree. Assistant Dean for Advancement Lorna Malcolm also visited the board to discuss advancement opportunities.

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Al Estes Conducts ABET Accreditation Visit in Ecuador

NOV 20, 2016 - NOV 22, 2016

Department Head Al Estes visited Guayaquil, Ecuador from 20-22 November to conduct an ABET accreditation visit for the civil engineering program at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL).  Al reviewed a self-study, conducted interviews, visited classes, and toured laboratory facilities as part of this visit.  In addition, he got to meet with the student leaders in the only American Society of Civil Engineering student chapter in Ecuador.  This was Al’s 14th accreditation visit as an ABET evaluator and his second international visit.

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Al Estes Attends ASCE Committee Weekend

Oct 21, 2016 - Oct 22, 2016

Al Estes attended the annual American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committees Weekend in Denver on October 21-22nd .  Al is the Architectural Engineering Institute representative on the ASCE Department Head Coordinating Council (DHCC) and serves as the DHCC liaison to the ASCE Committee on Faculty Development (CFD).  The DHCC plans the annual civil engineering department heads conference and the CFD plans the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshops. Newly-elected ASCE President Kristina Swallow was present at this meeting to receive the annual ExCEEd Leadership award.

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SEAOC Convention 2016 in Maui

Oct 12, 2016 - Oct 15, 2016

In accordance with our annual tradition, the ARCE department sent the 4 students holding the top 4 SEAOC board positions to the annual SEAOC Convention. Aaron Cook (SEAOC President), Alex Remiticado (Vice President), Kate Cuddington (Structural Forum Chair) and Sonny Moraga (Treasurer) were chosen to attend. They were also accompanied by department head, Al Estes, and Natalie Gibbons, soon to be ARCE alumni. This year, the convention was held at the Hyatt Regency in Maui, Hawaii.  

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Ed Saliklis Presents Research at IASS

sept 26, 2016 - sept 30, 2016

Ed Saliklis presented his research on the Airy Stress Function and Graphic Statics at the International Association of Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) Annual International Symposium.  It was held at the University of Tokyo, Japan from September 26 through September 30, 2016. 

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ARCE Now Offers a Master's of Science in Architectural Engineering

sept 22, 2016

The ARCE Department is proud to announce that we officially offer a Master's of Science in Structural Engineering! 

Click here to check out the webpage! 

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ARCE Welcomes Class of 2020

Sept 19, 2016

The ARCE department welcomed a new freshman class of 85 students on September 19th  as part of the Week of Welcome (WOW) activities.  After a college level introduction in Chumash Auditorium, the new freshmen walked to the department where they all received ARCE t-shirts and participated in the annual freshman group photo.  Al Estes provided a department briefing on the ARCE program and was assisted by the student officers from the SEAOC student chapter.  The upperclass students cooked a BBQ lunch for the new freshmen.

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Annual ARCE Faculty Retreat

Sept 17, 2016

The ARCE Faculty conducted their annual retreat on September 17th at the Inn at Morro Bay.  The entire retreat was devoted to developing a vision for the ARCE department.  This is the culmination of a year-long effort to determine where the ARCE department should be in the next 5 to 10 years.  Ann Banning of Bright Operations LLC was employed as a consultant to assist with this effort.  In the past year, the faculty have developed sub-committees to investigate the curriculum, industry trends, other similar programs, and the experiences of alumni.  The Vision that was unanimously supported by the faculty is to:  “Empower people through a balance between of theory and practice to thrive professionally and to collaboratively engineer tomorrow’s built environment.”  Each word was carefully deliberated.  This will begin an effort to use this vision to develop core values, a strategic plan, and a series of goals and objectives.
The retreat also included the annual faculty photo, lunch where the part-time faculty were invited to join, and the annual retreat dinner which was held this year at Windows on the Water.  

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Al Estes Visits Structural Engineering Firms in Southern California

Aug 29, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016

Al Estes visited two industry firms in Santa Barbara and three in Los Angeles on August 29 – 31st.  Al met with Jens Amlie and Sage Shingle at Van Sande Structural Consultants in Santa Barbara.  While there, Al also visited Jeff Haight (ARCE 1988) and John Spiess who are principals in Ehlen, Spiess and Haight Structural Engineers.  In Irvine, Al met with ARCE Advisory Board member Bryan Seamer, along with architects Lindsey Engels and Oswaldo Tapia at the LPA office to discuss a proposal for interdisciplinary collaboration.  The next visit was to SidePlate Systems Inc. to see company president Henry Gallart and western region business manager Ryan Smith (ARCE 2005).  He also met with ARCE grads Daisy Chee (ARCE 2011), Billy Tarasevic (ARCE 2010), and Kevin Pitzer (2014).  Finally, Al joined MHP principal and Dean’s Leadership Council member Ken O’Dell (ARCE 1989) for dinner in Long Beach.

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SESH Trip to Nepal

Aug 31, 2016 - sep 13, 2016

The Structural Engineering Students for Humanity (SESH) group at Cal Poly, established 5 years ago by Christina Chillin was created to give students an opportunity to work on socially impactive humanitarian projects with an emphasis in structural engineering in third world countries. For the past several years, SESH has traveled to Haiti to work with various NGO’s and structural engineering non-profit organizations. This year, the SESH trip was to Kathmandu, Nepal, an area that suffered huge devastation after the April 2014 earthquake.  

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Learn By Doing Fund

Aug 29, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016

Following the success of the Architectural Engineering (ARCE) Department’s first phase of the Parents Learn by Doing Fund, the department has embarked on a second iteration of this
valuable fund.

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ARCE in Lithuania

Jun 27, 2016 - JUN 29, 2016

This summer, ARCE held the fifth iteration of the Lithuania Study Abroad Program in conjunction with Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VGTU) in Vilnius, Lithuania. 32 rising 4th year ARCE students flew to Lithuania for the 5-week program. The American students were joined by 8 Lithuanian students throughout the course of the 5-week program. While in Vilnius, the students took three classes, taught by Professor Graham Archer: Structural Analysis (ARCE 302), Structural Computing Analysis (ARCE 352) & Introduction to Engineering Surveying (BRAE 237). It was an incredible experience for the ARCE students because they had the opportunity to study with and learn from Lithuanian students that they still keep in touch with today! During their program, the students were housed in the dorms of VGTU. As a part of the study abroad trip, there were also two planned weekend excursions to Palanga and Druskininkai to learn more about the culture of Lithuania! On the way, they stopped at the Hill of Crosses and the Hill of Witches, two famous cultural sites in Lithuania. Because of Lithuania’s centrality in Europe, many of the students capitalized on the chance to travel and appreciate engineering and architecture throughout Europe after the program as well.

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ARCE Students Intern in New Zealand

June 20, 2016 - Aug 12, 2016

For the third year in a row, the ARCE department sent three students to Auckland, New Zealand for an 8 weeks long grad-level research internship program. ARCE students, Kiersten Bakke (Junior), Ryan Lefebvre (Junior) and Katie Eberle (Senior), were selected for this year’s program at the University of Auckland in Auckland, New Zealand. The program focuses on masonry, geotechnical engineering and concrete. During the 8-week course, Bakke helped graduate students test the residual capacity of concrete beams at different ground motions, Eberle researched unreinforced masonry and Lefebvre carried out snap back tests of pile foundations.

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