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News & Events 2008-2009

Estes Conducts Teaching Workshop

Estes Teaching WorkshopEstes with Workshop Colleagues

Al Estes team with Ron Welch, a colleague from the University of Texas at Tyler, conducted a one-day Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) teaching workshop at Portland State University on June 24th. The workshop was part of the three day Transportation Engineering Education Conference sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Council of University Transportation Centers. The workshop consisted of a demonstration class and six seminars on teaching and learning, lesson objectives, questioning, organizing a class, learning styles and classroom assessment.

Caption (photo on left): Al presents a seminar on Teaching and Learning

Caption (photo on right): Al Estes, Ron Welch, Ping Wei (Director of ASCE Educational Activities), Robert Bertini (Conference Chair, Portland State), and Mike Kyte (Conference Chair, University of Idaho)

ARCE Represented at ASEE Conference

McDaniel at ASEE ConferenceSaliklis at ASEE Conference

The ARCE department had an unprecedented nine papers presented at the American Society for Engineering Education annual conference in Austin, Texas from June 14-17th. Ed Saliklis, Ansgar Neuenhofer, Cole McDaniel, Kevin Dong, Craig Baltimore and Al Estes all made presentations at various sessions over the three days. Copies of the papers presented can be found at:

Baltimore, Craig; Mwangi, James; Nuttall, Brent (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

Dong, Kevin (California Polytechnic State University)

Estes, Allen; Baltimore, Craig (California Polytechnic State University)

McDaniel, Cole; Archer, Graham (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

Mwangi, James; Baltimore, Craig; (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

Mwangi, James; Baltimore, Craig; Nuttall, Brent (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

Neuenhofer, Ansgar (California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo)

Nuttall, Brent; Mwangi, James; Baltimore, Craig (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)

Saliklis, Edmond (California Polytechnic State University)

The annual conference consisted of several plenary sessions, committee meetings, an industry exhibition and three days of educational/technical sessions where papers from almost 3000 authors were presented. With nine papers and six presenters, this is the largest ARCE presence ever at a major national conference.

Dong at ASEE ConferenceBaltimore at ASEE Conference

ARCE, CM and ARCH Work Together

Class presentation

The ARCE, CM and ARCH students in the CM431 Integrated Project Delivery course gave their final project briefings on June 8 and 9 in the XL Conference Room in the new Construction Management Building. Next Fall, this course will morph into a five unit, project based, interdisciplinary studio laboratory course. Teams of students from these three disciplines work together in teams of five or six to design a building for a real client. The project this quarter was renovating Crandall Gymnasium into a multi-disciplinary design studio for the college. Crandall Gym is currently condemned due to seismic deficiencies. The students presented ten different and innovative design solutions as to how this can be done. Al Estes served as the client for the project. Various project briefings were attended by Mike McCall (Vice President Advancement), CAED Dean Tom Jones, Bob Kitamura (Director of Facilities), Erling Smith (Vice President for Strategic Planning) and department heads Al Hauck and Henri deHahn.

Students with model of building

Congratulations ARCE Grads!

Grads during ceremonyGrads during ceremony

The CAED’s Commencement ceremonies were held Saturday June 13 at 9:30 am in Alex G. Spanos Stadium. CAED alumnus Rob Rossi received an honorary doctor of humane letters and provided the keynote address. Following the event, the CAED hosted their very own commencement activities in the Cal Poly Recreation Center. This year marked the graduation of the second class of students with Master of Science in Architecture with a Specialization in Architectural Engineering.

Candidates for Graduation

Master's Graduates

Master's Brunch

Students and ParentsAttendees at table

The second class of Master’s students held a champagne brunch at the Cliffs in Shell Beach on June 7th to celebrate their successful completion of the program. Al Estes presented a gift award to Dan Lazarini for attaining the highest grade point average in the Master degree program this year. The students presented a framed photograph of this year’s master’s program students to be displayed in the department area.

Photograph of Master's Students

Everyone seated at table

Guest Speaker

Jan Dougalas and David Wollin

Jan Dougalas from kpff visited campus on June 5th as a guest lecturer for Abe Lynn’s Advanced Reinforced Concrete elective course. Jan joined the students and faculty for the traditional end of quarter party after the class. Jan was able to meet and speak with David Wollin who was the recipient of this year’s kpff $1500 scholarship.


Senior Project Conference

Student PresentationStudents with Al Estes

The ARCE program held its second annual Senior Projects conference on June 4th. All ARCE classes were cancelled for the afternoon to maximize student availability to attend the presentation of senior projects. The conference program can be accessed at: link. Student projects this year ranged from a new stick structure in the Cal Poly canyon and a winning entry in the national timber bridge competition to experimental connections with bamboo and continuation of the Tanzania Polytechnic design project. The department provided pizza and ran multiple sessions using four labs on the first floor.

Senior Project Conference Program

Student PresentationStudent Presentation with models

ARCE Magazine: Spring 2009

Newsletter cover

Check out the department's full 1st annual magazine/newsletter!  Senior projects, student profiles, interdisciplinary studios, faculty research, new and retiring faculty, SEAOC updates are just a few of this year’s features. You will also read about our second industry partner profile and our quest to improve industry and alumni outreach. To view electronically, select the link below.

ARCE Spring 2009 Newsletter

ARCE Faculty and Students Recognized with Awards

 Students at ceremony

The College of Architecture and Environmental Design hosted its annual scholarship awards ceremony on May 31st in the Chumash Auditorium on campus. ARCE students won 22 separate scholarships and awards. In addition, faculty member Peter Laursen won the Paul and Verla Neal fellowship and Kevin Dong won the Wesley Ward Jan Dougalas and David Wollin

Teaching Award. The program and total list of awards and awardees are listed in the program (link). Carolyn Barelli and her daughter Maria were present to personally present the first award of the $1000 Emanuel Barelli scholarship to Brian Planas. Similarly, Art Ross from CYS arrived to personally present the initial award of the Eugene Cole scholarship to Alex L. Barnes, Katie E. Blaesser, Chase W. Helgenberger, Justin J. Porter and Blake A. Roskelley for their senior project – the new Stick Structure in Poly Canyon. The Eugene Cole scholarship goes directly to support and defray the costs of a student senior project. The department wishes to also thank KNA; kpff; Fluor Corporation; Englekirk and Sabol; Forell and Elsesser; Fratessa, Forbes and Wong; John A. Martin and Associates; RRM Design Group; Simpson, Gumpertz and Heger; and Simpson Strong-Tie for their generous and continuous support of our scholarship program.

ARCE Recipient List

Ceremony Program

Scholarship Web site

Brian Planas with Carolyn Barelli

Estes Attends Department Head Conference

Al Estes attended the annual Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference in Portland, Oregon from 27-28 May. Al made a presentation to the main conference on the Ten Year Legacy of the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop. He attended the semi-annual meeting of the ASCE Department Head Council Executive Committee of which he is the Architectural Engineering Institute liaison. Al also helped plan and conduct a pre-workshop training workshop for new department heads.

Estes at Conference

Simpson Strong-Tie Workshop

student participating in demonstrations

On May 16, 2009, Simpson Strong-Tie hosted their 14th Annual Workshop for a record number 65 ARCE, CM and CE students and faculty. Presentations began at 7:30 AM in a lecture room on campus and were led by Chris Burnett, P.E and Alan Hanson. Following a walk down to the Civil Engineering testing yard, Jason Oakley, P.E. led a presentation on Anchor Demonstrations and Alan Hanson, John Krueger and Tom McClain, P.E followed up with Connector Demonstrations. The symposium ended with a BBQ lunch sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie, which was prepared by our very own members of SEAOC.

simpson strong-tie

Many thanks to Simpson Strong-Tie for their continuous generous support!

Fluor Corporation Supports ARCE Program

Estes and Mike MilazzoFluor Corporation representatives


The Fluor Corporation continues to show their generous support for the Cal Poly ARCE program. They have consistently been donating $10,000 a year to support two scholarships and the Student Development Leadership Fund which provides many benefits to students that State funding cannot support. Mike Milazzo (Vice President and General Manager) and Richard Lent (Project Controls Director) for the Fluor Southern California Operations were on campus on May 15th to present checks to both the ARCE and CM programs. Dean Tom Jones accepted the check on behalf of the college at the joint luncheon of the ARCE and CM Industry Advisory Boards.

Advisory Board

Architecture and Construction Mangaement Advisory Boards

The ARCE Advisory Board held its Spring 2009 meeting on campus on May 15th. The agenda for the meeting can be found at: link. In attendance were Ken O’Dell, David Mar, Bob DeSautels, Joshua Moody, Kurt Clandening, Jake Feldman, Jorn Halle, Jonathon McMurtry and Chris Manning. The board welcomed Steve Pelham (Barrish-Pelham) and David Lambert (Arup) to their first meeting as new members. The major topics of discussion were the proposed changes to the curriculum and new initiatives for advancement. The meeting included a joint session and lunch with the Construction Management Advisory Board. The topic of discussion was maximizing opportunities with the new ARCE/CM 415 upper division, project-based, interdisciplinary course. The meeting ended with an industry round table discussion with the graduating seniors on how to survive the economic hard times. The panel was composed of Bob DeSautels, Steve Pelham, Joshua Moody, Chris Burnett, and Ken O’Dell. The college hosted a reception for the impending graduates immediately afterwards.

Advisory Board Schedule

Tom Jones and Advisory Board membersIndustry Round Table with students

Ken O'Dell, Joshua Moddy, Steve Pelhem and Alan Hanson at reception

Top (Above Text): Combined CM and ARCE Advisory Boards.

Top: Combined discussion with Dean Tom Jones.

Middle: Roundtable discussion with students.

Bottom (L-R): Ken O'Dell, Joshua Moody, Steve Pelhem and Alan Hanson.


Grad Students Get Advise on Communication

Jim Baldovin of Conceptual Design and Planning Company and Paul Reichard of eda - design professionals participated in a round table discussion with the ARCE graduate students on the topic of “real world” communication. As part of the Research Methods and Communication course, the students have the opportunity to speak with professionals from industry, increasing the student’s exposure to the breath of the building industry.  Jim Baldovin (landscape architecture) and Paul Reichard (civil engineering) were able to add their insight on the job world and answer some of the student’s questions.  Here are just a few examples of questions that Jim and Paul were able to help with: 

  • What is the most important business relationship?
  • Any horror stories?
  • Are cell phones really a problem in a meeting or any other situation? 
  • Have you notice a difference in attitude with cell phones over the years?
  • What characteristics set an interview apart from the pack?
  • How much is BIM being used?  Autocad?  Hand drafting?   Hand sketching/
  • How important is it to incorporate the latest-and-greatest technology?
  • When do you make a decision and commit to incorporating technology?
  • What is the most important business relationship?

Graduates with Baldovin and ReichardtGraduates with Reichard and Baldovin

Class of 2009 Senior Banquet

The graduating seniors held their Senior Banquet at the Madonna Inn on May 9th. The banquet has become a tradition where the seniors celebrate their completion of the program and present gag gifts to the faculty. The students also presented a framed caricature of the faculty to the department head to be displayed in the department area (link). Al Estes presented award gifts to Yvonne Tsui for attaining the highest grade point average in the program this year and to Lucas Hogan for winning this year’s service award. The department provided every senior with a commemorative gift (miniature architect scale) to remind them of their time in the ARCE program. Faculty member, Ed Saliklis, wrote and sang his latest parody of the ARCE program, “It’s Been a Hard Four Years” to the tune of the corresponding Beatles hit. The seniors finished with a musical slide show which captured remembrances of the past four years.

Students at senior banquet

SEAOC-Week 6

Norm Abrahamson

Norm Abrahamson came to speak to SEAOC today about Probabilistic Seismic Hazard analysis.  Mr. Abrahamson was very knowledgeable of his work and brought a different side of the industry to our members.  Many students and faculty attended the lecture in hopes of learning about a field we do not have the luxury of learning here at Cal Poly and had a wonderful time listening to a highly technical yet educating lecture.

Estes Travels to L. A.

Estes, Kristenson and Howe

Al Estes and Linda Kristenson (assistant dean for advancement) visited the Los Angeles area on May 6-8th to visit alumni and industry partners. Their first stop was to visit 1986 ARCE graduate Karl Howe at his firm C.W. Howe Partners, Inc.


Estes and Barelli

Carolyn Barelli hosted Al and Linda in her home and shared stories of her late spouse Emanuele Barelli, a 1970 graduate of the ARCE program. Carolyn recently established the Emanuele Barelli scholarship in his honor.


Estes and Kristenson at Arup

Bruce Danziger, Dave Lambert and Amie Nulman hosted a visit of Arup and explained how Arup is becoming more involved in the support of master’s student projects.


At kpff

Kpff hosted a lunch in their conference room and Al solicited input from a number of ARCE graduates at kpff (Dani Paxson, 1992; Tony Nixon (2002); Michael Grossman, 2004; Michael Doremus, 2003; Claudia Imhof, 2000) gathered around the table.


At Fluor Corporation

Mike Milazzo arranged a visit to the Fluor Corporation where Al and Linda met with Curtis Yokoyama (1996), Michael Bankes, Stacy Dillow, and Akshay Marfatia. The ARCE program remains grateful to the Fluor Corporation for their annual $10,000 support of the Student Leadership Fund.


With Allen, Samiian, Foley and Nelson

Finally, C. K. and Laurel Allen (ARCE class of 1964) hosted a night at the horse races with fellow ARCE classmates Ab Samiian (1965) and Dick Foley (1965). Larry Kaprielian (1979) and Dave Nelson from KNA attended as well. Al remains committed to visiting alumni, industry partners, and friends of the program at every opportunity.

Baltimore attends Annual Meeting

Craig Baltimore attended the Masonry Society Annual Meeting in Alexandria, VA on May 6th and 7th. His involvement is active participation the Technical Activities Committee; the Standards Development Committee and the Sustainability Committee.  The focus of the Standards Development Committee was the final preparation of a masonry design guide for high wind areas. 


Faculty Attend Structures Congress

SEI Logo

Architectural Engineering was well represented at the Structures Congress in Austin, Texas. Professor Kevin Dong presented his paper “How to SEE Design in the Future” comparing the current state of undergraduate structural engineering education, assessing how best to teach design in an undergraduate curriculum and looking forward to the future of structural engineering education. The presentation prompted a lively discussion of the issues.

In addition, two faculty members chaired technical committee activities as part of the Structures Congress. Professor Pamalee Brady is serving as chair of the Education Committee of the Technical Council on Forensic Engineering. Professor Brent Nuttall is serving as chair of the Design Practices Committee of the Business and Professional Activities Division.

SEAOC-Week 5


This week SEAOC welcomed Michelle Kam-Biron of Wood Works to come talk to the students about common framing errors.  With another great show of members, Ms. Biron had a wonderful presentation that was either a great preview for timber or an awesome review for the older students.  Ms. Biron also graciously donated folders from woodworks with valuable information on timber deign and construction.

SEAOC-Week 4

Today SEAOC welcomed Art Ross to discuss the finer points of running a Structural Engineering business with the students.  We had a nice turn out of students and were able to learn about the relationships that come with working in the field and how to deal with various situations.  In addition, Mr. Ross had good advice about the job during harsh economic times.

Art Ross

Open House

Students with Bar-be-que

The ARCE department conducted its annual Open House festivities on April 17 – 18 to provide an orientation for those students who will join the program in the Fall. The events included a department head briefing to prospective students and parents, guided tours by students, numerous displays, and SEAOC prepared BBQ ribs.

Visitors in labs

Visitors in labs

Alumni Visit Department

Stewart and Imhof

Joe Stewart (ARCE 2000) and Claudia Imhof (ARCE 2000) from kpff in Los Angeles visited Sat Rihal’s ARCE 316 Large Scale Structures course on April 13th. ARCE 316 is the final course in the five course structures sequence taken by architecture and construction management students. Joe and Claudia gave a presentation on pedestrian bridges.


Grad Students Get Special Guest Lecture

HamburgerPresentation Slide

Ron Hamburger, Senior Principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger in San Francisco, and a leader in the development of Performance-based Design of buildings, visited with the ARCE graduate students on Monday, April 13th.  Ron gave a presentation titled, “Performance-based Design of Tall Buildings: A Use of Alternative Means and Methods”.  The presentation included an overview of how the current building codes have developed and the pros and cons of Performance –based Design including examples of buildings designed to a given performance level.

Al Attends ASCE Education Activities Committee Meeting

Al attended the Spring 2009 meeting of the ASCE Educational Activities Committee (EdAc) in Reston, Virginia on April 5-6. Al is the Architectural Engineering Institute liaison to this committee. EdAc is attempting to include the nation’s architectural engineering programs in more of the society’s educational activities. The main focus of discussion was a national competition for ARCE programs and the creation of a committee to support ARCE student activities.

Estes with ASCE Education Committee

SEAOC- Week 1 & 2

SEAOC started off Spring quarter this year by electing the new board members for the 2009-2010 school year.  Nominations took place on April 2 during week 1 and our members elected the new board members the following week. SEAOC would like to welcome Brian Planas as the new President and Michael Spangenthal as the new Vice-President.

CSU Academic Resources Conference

Cobb and othe department administrative coordinators

Christine Cobb, the ARCE administrative coordinator, attended the Academic Resources Conference in Long Beach from April 1 – 3 along with four other CAED department administrative coordinators. The conference was held at the Pacific Palms in Industry Hills and included sessions on the budget, enrollment planning, hospitality guidelines, research grants, campus audits, promotion and tenure, and commencement. The conference was a great training opportunity for the campus administrative staff and provided a chance for staff from the various CSU campuses to exchange ideas.

SEAOC Spring Break Trip: Boston!

Group picture in Boston

The 2009 SEAOC Spring break trip was a fun filled week to Boston, MA. Ten students along with two ARCE advisors attended the trip. While the locals of Boston thought the idea of a group of California kids back East for spring break was crazy, everyone survived the chilling weather and had a great time. During the week, the group got to experience a wide variety of activities. Walking the freedom trail, Quincy Market, touring old churches and the Boston Public library, and the famous Duck Tours were some of the historically educational activities for the week. Along with history also came entertainment. The SEAOC group got to see the Boston Celtics beat the LA Clippers and tour America’s Oldest ball field- Fenway Park.  The group also visited the Fine Arts Museum and saw a Broadway performance of Dirty Dancing.

In the midst of all of the tourist attractions of Boston, the group also got a taste of engineering in the city. The SEAOC group visited the Boston office of Wiss Janey & Elstner Students at Fenway Parkwhere they learned about the retrofit and repairs of delicate and historical structures. Later on, the Arup office hosted the group and shared about the firm and its engineering role in the city of Boston as well as globally.

Despite the food poisoning and missing Identification back in LAX, the trip overall was great. Thanks again to our sponsors: Wiss Janey & Elstner, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Simpson Strong Tie, Degenkolb, Miyomoto, and Hope Engineering. Thanks for making this trip possible.


Faculty Update

Shelter DesignShelter Design

Congratulations to Ed Saliklis on his latest grant award! Ed is the Principal Investigator of a project entitled “ "Rapid Assembly Disaster Response Shelters Made from Recycled Plastic Materials," Ed received a grant of $64,301 from the Office of Naval Research to supervise this multi-disciplinary project. His co-principal investigator on this project is Prof. Robert Arens of the Department of Architecture. The project involves ARCE students, Architecture students and Materials Engineering students. Ed and Robert will present their preliminary research findings at the International Association of Shell Structures 50th International Conference in Valencia, Spain this fall.

Estes as Guest Speaker


On March 11th, Al Estes was the guest speaker at the Cal Poly Student Civil Engineering Chapter monthly meeting. Al’s presentation discussed the importance of Student Chapters, the ARCE curriculum, the future of Civil Engineering education, and opportunities for collaboration between the two departments. The ARCE department offers congratulations to the Cal Poly Civil Engineering ASCE Student Chapter who was just announced as the 2009 Ridgeway Award winner for the best ASCE student chapter in the nation.


Estes with Civil Engineering students

Faculty Travel

Estes with ASCE Committee on Faculty Development

Al Estes attended the semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Faculty Development in Norfolk, Virginia on March 7-8. The committee selected attendees for the summer ExCEEd teaching workshops, selected the ExCEEd teaching award winners and worked out the details for the first ExCEEd II (graduate level workshop) to be held in Flagstaff in July.

Estes in committee meeting

ARCE Alumni

Estes, Knowles and Sat Rihal

Edward Knowles from the ARCE class of 1976 visited the department. He attended Sat Rihal’s class and came by the administrative office. He currently works at Walters and Wolf Precast in Fremont.

SEAOC- Week 6

Moore with students

This week Carole Moore from Career Services came to talk to the students about resume building and etiquette when networking.  Along with examples she explained what should and should not be done on a resume as well as the proper clothes that should be worn while job searching.  Referencing her experiences with interviews, Carole proposed possible questions that can be faced during the interview process. 


Cal Poly Joint ARCE/CE team wins first place in National Competition

Edward Lopez, Joe Thompson and Alan Tonissen

An interdisciplinary team of Architectural and Civil Engineering students has won First Place in the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s (EERI) 2009 Undergraduate Seismic Design Competition.  The competition was among teams representing 19 universities throughout the nation and was held at EERI’s 2009 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The purpose of the competition was to engage students in the practical design of buildings for earthquakes. The competition consisted of designing and building a balsa wood structure that would be tested under the historical earthquakes of El Centro, Northridge and Kobe. The rules stated that the building must be built at 1:72 scale, have a story height of 2" and be no more than 5' tall. Many more limitations were given in the rules in order to force consistency between the teams and still allow room for structural and architectural innovation. The Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo team consisted of: Alan Tonissen, Eduardo Lopez and Joseph Thompson of Architectural Engineering;Model and Neda Saeedy, Robert Thompson, Jeff Stallman, Keith Robertson, Steven Wolfe and Renee Morales of Civil Engineering.  This year’s competition was sponsored by EERI, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, through the US Department of Homeland Security), Computers & Structures Inc., Degenkolb, the Pacific Engineering Research Center (PEER), Digitexx Data Systems Inc., Quanser, and Kinemetrics.  For more information regarding the competition, go to:  https://slc.eeri.org/.


Figure 1.  Pictured above at the 2009 EERI Seismic Design Competition with their competition entry are (from left to right) Architectural Engineering students: Eduardo Lopez, Joe Thompson and Alan Tonissen.

Figure 2.  The Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo entry.


Estes Honored as Guest Speaker

Estes with Black and Sargent

Al Estes was the guest speaker at the Cal Poly Army ROTC dining out on February 6th at the Officer’s Club on Camp San Luis. The evening was filled with Army traditions such as the grog ceremony, the rounds of toasts, the table set for fallen comrades, and rules of etiquette enforced by Mr. Vice. Al spoke to the ROTC cadets about examining their life as their Army commitment ends, managing their own career, and staying in touch with the society they serve. The other honored guest for the evening was Lieutenant General Scott Black who is the Judge Advocate General of the United States Army. The evening’s host was Lieutenant Colonel Gary Sargent who is the Cal Poly Professor of Military Science.

SEAOC- Week 5


This week John Smith of Colons and Smith spoke to the SEAOC members about what to expect upon graduation.   He expressed the importance of being candid about our career goals and encouraged us not settle for anything less.  With a comparison of benefits of large verses small engineering firm we can make a more informed decision about where we want to work.  His lecture offered the students valuable information about the level of knowledge expected by prospective employers when we obtain our first job after graduation.


Smith with students

SEAOC Student President Wins Award!


On February 4th ARCE student Lucas Hogan and ARCE professor Cole McDaniel attended the SEAOSC job fair and Annual Student Awards night honoring outstanding engineering students. Lucas and Cole enjoyed the opportunity to meet with practicing engineers from Southern California during the job fair. During the awards ceremony Lucas received a $1500 scholarship recognizing his scholastic achievements and service to the Cal Poly SEAOC student chapter.


ARCE 453/ARCE 460: Collaborative Design Studio

Touring Taliesan West with student guide

For the 5th year in a row, Architectural engineering students are participating in an interdisciplinary design studio.  In February, twenty-four Architectural Engineering and Architecture students traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to conduct site analysis, visit architecture and engineering offices, and explore significant structures in the area.

Pictured touring Taliesan west with student guide.


ARCE Alumni Visit

Abe Lynn, Jeff Thompson and wife with Al Estes

Jeff Thompson, an ARCE alum from the class of 2001, visited the department with his wife in February. He is currently living in Illinois and works for Matrix Architects and Engineers in Chicago.


Hilti Helps Repair Alumni Senior Project

Hilti in Cal Poly CanyonHilti Representatives in front of the Blade

Hilti Inc. and Wallock & Maggio, Inc. combined forces to perform a critical repair on the new prestressed concrete blade structure in Cal Poly canyon. The 20-foot "flower" replaced the deteriorating original, "A Sculptural Study in Prestressed Concrete," built by CAED students Steve Gilmore, Mark Haselton, Ken Minor and the late Dan McMann in 1963 as one of the first experimental structures at Cal Poly. Students Susan Smilanich, Jon Voorhies, Ben Green, Mike McDonnell, and Robert Pacheco won an Award of Excellence at the 2006 Post Tensioning Institute Awards for their design of a replacement concrete blade structure. We recently noticed that the new blade structure had developed some serious cracks in the top blade members near the stem of the structure.

The department contacted Hilti, Inc. and asked for their assistance in repairing the historic structure. Peter Zahm, Josh Johnson, and Lucas Floriani of Hilti coordinated with Chris Wallock of Wallock and Maggio to investigate and conduct the repair. Josh Johnson explains the method used for the repair:

“The primary repair was done using the Hilti Crack Injection System. This system consists of a surface-sealing epoxy compound that was spread over the length of the crack on the exterior. We then attached a port to the surface of the structure, which was connected to a dispenser gun. (You can see the ports and the gun clearly in the "During" photos.)This allowed us to inject a clear crack sealant into the interior of the crack to fill all of the voids. Because we were concerned about the final appearance, we also used a 4-1/2" angle grinder to remove the surface sealing epoxy after the crack sealant had cured internally. We also finished the ends of the blades to make them more aesthetically pleasing. We used some cementitious grout and and the angle grinder to create a more "finished" appearance. The Crack Injection System, angle grinder, and Cementitious Grout are all Hilti products. ”

The repair was turned into a lesson for students as the 48 students enrolled in the ARCE 452 Concrete Design and Constructability Laboratory visited the site during their scheduled class period. The three groups of sixteen students accompanied by faculty members Brent Nuttall, Kevin Dong, and Peter Laursen observed the repair and received an on-site presentation on the available repair methods. The task was complicated by one of the few rainy days in San Luis Obispo where a tarp had to be erected over the blade structure to keep it dry. The ARCE department extends its appreciation to both Hilti and Wallock and Maggio for their generous donation of time and talent to restore this important structure.

Hilti showing students how to fix the crack in the concreteHilti showing students how to fix the crack in the concrete

Student named Outstanding Woman in Engineering

Lisa Aukeman

Lisa Aukeman was named as one of five Outstanding Women in Engineering by the Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers. Lisa was the only engineer outside the College of Engineering to receive this award. These women have earned great success and achievements in the areas of academia, extra-curricular involvement, philanthropy, and sports. Their accomplishments have been recognized by faculty and staff who’ve nominated them for this prestigious award. Lisa received the award at the Evening with Industry banquet held on January 29th at the Embassy Suites. In addition, Ansgar Neuenhofer was one of the nominees for professors who recognize the difficulty for female engineering students, working in a male dominated field. He was cited for showing tremendous support for our female students and a genuine concern for their success.

Students Attend ASCE Workshop

Group photo of the Cal Poly ARCE and CE attendees at the workshop along with past-president of ASCE David MongenQuestion and answer session with ASCE president-elect Blaine Leonard, ASCE president Wayne Klotz, and ASCE Executive Director Pat Natal


Four of the younger SEAOC/AEI Student Officers: Grace Rose, Yoni Sadka, Caelen Ball, and Kevin Towers attended the American Society of Civil Engineers Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders in San Francisco on January 23-24. The workshop is designed to provide training for future leaders in both the ASCE and Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) student chapters. The workshop included sessions on fund raising, membership recruitment, effective meetings, preparing an annual report and the keys to a successful chapter. There were also social events, a mystery event, and a question and answer session with the president, president-elect, and executive director of ASCE. The conference had over 200 students attending from the 52 schools that comprise ASCE regions 8 and 9. The students were accompanied by SEAOC/AEI faculty advisor Abe Lynn and department head Al Estes who was attending in his role as AEI Academic Council member. Four students (Jazz Gilbert, Stefanie Gill, Spencer Redd, Yunling Chow) and faculty advisor Gregg Fiegel from the Cal Poly Civil Engineering program attended as well representing their ASCE student chapter.

Pictured from left to right is Phil Williams, Todd Lukesh (ARCH '05), and Craig Baltimore.

Pictured from left to right is Phil Williams, Todd Lukesh (ARCH '05), and Craig Baltimore.

Faculty Involved in International Collaborative Research

Pictured from left to right is Alistair, Dmytro, Brent, Peter and Cole Claire Clark, Alistair and Peter

Peter Laursen, Cole McDaniel and Brent Nuttall met with PhD students Alistair Russell and Dmytro Dizhur from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Laursen and McDaniel are involved in collaborative work on retrofit of un-reinforced masonry in New Zealand and the US. Alistair and Dmytro was on a two week fact finding mission in California involving meetings in SLO with Tim Girvin (Chief Building Official) and Claire Clark (Economic Development Manager) of the City of San luis Obispo, engineers Robert Vessley and Kurt Horner (Taylor&Syfan), and architect Craig R. Smith, and meetings in the Bay Area with Jim Guthrie (Forell-Elsesser) and Marko Schotanus (Rutherford-Chekene). The collaboration is a result of a visit by Jason Ingham (University of Auckland) earlier this summer.

Peter, Bob Vessley and Alistair Dmytro, Alistair and Jim Guthrie

ARCE Hits the Road and Visits with Alumni


On September 3 – 4th, Al Estes and Linda Kristenson traveled to Los Angeles to visit several prominent structural design firms and meet with ARCE alumni.  They were hosted by MHP Structural Engineers in Long Beach by three of the firm’s Principals: Ken O’Dell (ARCE 1989 and co-chair of the ARCE Advisory Board), Jesse Karns (ARCE 1992), and Rick Beall (ARCE 1984).  Al also met with the younger ARCE grads at MHP to gather their input on the program’s undergraduate curriculum.  They included Matt Wexler (2005), Kyle White (2007), Nick Bachmeier (2007), Emily Morris (2008), James Kramer (1999), Dan Fox (2006), Jen Haitt (2006), Kathy Rantowich (2003) and Eric Berkes (2004). 

Al and Linda met separately with two alumni who own their own firms and are involved with everything from structural design and real estate development to construction oversight and property management. Greg Taber (ARCE 1982, below left) owns Taber Company in Riverside and Kevin DuMont (ARCE 1989 or 1991 depending on how you count, below right) owns DuMont Engineering in Rancho Santa Margarita.  Both told stories of a non-traditional career path following their time in the ARCE program that led to success in their own businesses and a lot of interesting work.

Estes and TaberKevin DuMont, Linda and AlAt KNA

Larry Kaprielian (ARCE 1979), David Nelson, and Josh Randall (ARCE 1994), the three Principals at KNA Consulting Engineers, Inc. in Irvine, (pictured below) shared their thoughts on the masters program, internships, outreach, and the challenges of implemented Building Information Management (BIM). 


Finally, C.K. Allen (ARCE 1964) and his wife Laurel hosted a wonderful dinner in Newport Beach.  They invited fellow ARCE alums Glenn Almquist (1972), Ab Samiian (1965), Richard Foley (1965) and his wife Sue.  The trip was a great opportunity to reconnect with a variety of ARCE graduates spanning four decades.

Starting The Year Out Right

ARCE Office

The ARCE department starts the new academic year with some new facilities. With the movement of the Construction Management Department to their new building, the ARCE program gained some much needed additional space. The ARCE program gained possession of the Scarab computer lab and a classroom that had previously been shared with Construction Management. The program gained two new design labs on the 2nd floor of Engineering West. One will be used as the graduate program lab and the other will be an additional undergraduate lab. All full time faculty now have single offices in Engineering West and more office space is available for part-time faculty. Using $142,000 allocated for the construction effort, the department has purchased new furniture for every faculty office and the expanded administration area. New tables and chairs have been purchased for A lab and the newly acquired labs are being converted to smart rooms.


Grad Students and Professor Dong help paint the new Grad Lab. Meeting with BKM. Christine and Carrie have been instrumental in acquiring the new furniture.

ARCE Students place 2nd in the 2008 PCI Big Beam Contest

A team of Cal Poly ARCE students consisting of William Toy, Jeremy Mosst and Leon Taing participated in the PCI 2008 Big Beam Contest as part of their senior project.  James Mwangi was the faculty advisor.  The team was placed in 2nd place in zone one and awarded $750 and other prices.  54 Universities in seven zones participated in the national competition.

Testing BeamStudents testing beam

The Big Beam Contest was organized by PCI’s Student Education Committee (Pat Hynes, Chair) and sponsored by Sika Corporation.  The objective was for teams of students to design, fabricate and test a precast, prestressed 18 feet long concrete beam with the help of local precast concrete producer members.  Prizes were awarded for the most efficient design, highest load capacity, best report, and other categories. 

ARCE students teamed up with PCI producer, Mid-State Precast, L.P., Corcoran, California who donated materials, fabrication bay and transportation of the beam as required for the competition.


For more information on the competition, see the 2008 Big Beam Brochure.


Hilti Visits ARCE

Kevin Dong and Al Estes met with Peter Zahm and Cheryl Carlson from Hilti on August 18th to examine the concrete blade structure in Cal Poly canyon.  The 2004 senior project is experiencing cracks in the upper blades.  With Hilti’s support and cooperation, we hope to repair the concrete blade structure and allow ARCE students to observe the latest technology in concrete crack repair.

Peter Sahm, Kevin Dong and Cheryl CarlsonPeter Zahm

Professors and Master's Student Visit San Francisco

Kevin Dong and Cole McDaniel and Master’s student Matt Williams

On August 14th, ARCE Professors Kevin Dong and Cole McDaniel and Master’s student Matt Williams traveled to San Francisco to meet with Degenkolb Engineers’ Chairman and CEO, Chris Poland, and Project Engineer, Robert Pekelnicky, to discuss collaboration on Matt’s Master’s Project.  Partnering with Degenkolb Engineers is an exciting opportunity to mold Matt’s Master’s research into a project that will directly benefit the structural engineering profession.   

McDaniel Presents in Tahoe


On August 4th -5th, ARCE Professor Cole McDaniel participated in the Dr. M. J. Nigel Priestley Symposium at Lake Tahoe.  Cole gave a presentation at the symposium to practicing engineers and professors describing his current research titled “The Accuracy of Building Modeling and the Implications”.  The presentation generated many questions and comments, highlighting the importance of the topic for both academia and the structural engineering industry.


Estes Co-Authors Chapter in Assessment in the Disciplines

Assessment in Engineering Programs Cover

Al Estes along with his colleagues Ron Welch and Steve Ressler authored Chapter 7 “Structured and Systematic Assessment: A Successful and Sustainable Civil Engineering Example” in the just published Assessment in Engineering Programs: Evolving Best Practices. This third volume of the Assessment in the Disciplines, co-sponsored by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), provides guidance to faculty and administrators charged with assessing engineering programs. Chapter authors are engineering educators and higher education researchers building on the ABET Engineering Criteria (ABET, 2007). The volume combines national perspectives, program-level assessment plans, and practical advice for engineering faculty who are challenged to measure learning and skill development in the classroom.


One of Our Own Receives National Award

Contact: Ray Ladd
805-756-7432; rladd@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Senior Project Receives National Award

SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Post-Tensioning Institute presented its 2008 Award of Excellence to Cal Poly alumnus Tylor Middlestadt for his study of post-tensioned concrete. The study was conducted as a senior project in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly.

Middlestadt’s project demonstrated that concrete reinforced with post-tensioning will withstand loads beyond anticipated failure load and meet original design requirements even when the concrete only reaches half its intended design strength. The study also showed that post-tensioned reinforced concrete will retain its structural integrity and nearly maintain its shape.

For the study, Middlestadt conducted a concrete pour that simulated a realistic construction issue. Poured concrete was allowed to cure, but the final product only developed half the projected design strength due to the use of faulty concrete mix. The addition of post-tensioning allowed the concrete to perform beyond design specifications.

Measuring five inches thick, 24 inches wide and 16 feet long, the slab was able to withstand nearly 5,000 pounds of force at mid-span with deflection of nearly 3 inches. When unloaded, the slab nearly rebounded to its original shape, maintaining a permanent deflection of a scant half-inch, demonstrating the elasticity of post-tensioning. "Think of concrete bending like a bow and arrow - it was pretty amazing," said Middlestadt.

Assistant Professor James Mwangi and Associate Professor C. Nicholas Watry, both of Cal Poly’s Architectural Engineering Department, served as project advisors.

Middlestadt is a 2007 architectural engineering graduate. In addition to his outstanding scholastic achievements, he served as Cal Poly’s Associated Students, Inc. student body president for the ’05-’06 school year and ASI vice president in ’04-’05. He now works in Los Angeles for Suffolk Construction, a general contractor based in Boston, MA.

Al Estes and Ed Saliklis visit West Point, attend ExCEEd

Estes and Saliklis

Al Estes and Ed Saliklis attended the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop at the United States Military Academy at West Point from July 22 – 28th.  Ed attended as a participant while Al presented four seminars and a demonstration class.  During this one-week intense faculty development experience, the 24 participants from around the nation attend thirteen seminars and three demonstration classes. Each participant teaches three sample classes and receives extensive assessment from team mentors, assistant mentors and fellow participants.  This is Al’s 17th ExCEEd workshop in the past ten years.  Cal Poly is one of the leading institutions to support this workshop. In the ARCE department, Cole McDaniel, Pamalee Brady, and Ed Saliklis have now attended the program and there have been at least four participants from the Civil Engineering Department.

Saliklis at ExCEEdSaliklis at ExCEEdExCEED Team Group Photo

Ed Saliklis visits New Jersey and New York

Saliklis with Prof. David Billington

On July 21st 2008, Ed Saliklis worked with Prof. David Billington in the Maillart Archives of Princeton University.  They are currently collaborating on a paper documenting the life and works of Milo Ketchum.  They plan on publishing their research in the ASCE Journal of Architectural Engineering.

On July 22nd, Ed Saliklis worked with archivist Janet Parks in Columbia University’s renowned Avery Library.  Ms. Parks has been assisting Ed in his research on the great thin shell designer Rafael Guastavino. The following images show Ed with Ms. Parks as well as a Guastavino spiral staircase on Columbia University’s campus.


Saliklis with Janet ParksGuastavino Stairs

Alumni In Africa

David Lambert ('08) and Lucy Redmond ('08) are leading four CAED students on a reconnaissance trip this summer in Kenya and Tanzania for a proposed Polytechnic College. Allison Crump (LARC), Erik Wright (CM), Jullie Reynolds (ARCH), and Max Brandt (CM), helped David in the design phase for his Master’s Project and hope to see the project come to ruition. This summers trip will help build the foundation for construction of the college next summer.

David’s Master's Project tasked him in leading an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate students representing all five majors within the college of Architecture and Environmental Design in the design and construction of the SAME (sah-may) Polytechnic University in the United Republic of Tanzania in East Africa. The institution will provide vocational training to a maximum of 500 students and will serve as a model for improved construction methods in a region that does not in force building codes and safety regulations. The design will implement features that are financially and environmentally sustainable, reducing operational costs and any adverse impact on the local environment. The project will offer many Cal Poly students the oportunity to work in a collaborative design environment, preparing them to become leaders in their respective industries. All of the current students involved, while not directly receiving course credit for the trip; have incorporated the design phase of the project as part of a course last Spring.

To date, the project has raised $27,000 to fund this summers reconnaissance trip as well as team of four students next year to supervise construction.

See the ARCE Spring 2008 Newsletter for more information.

High School Students Experience ARCE

High school students making a bridge

Local high school students expressed a great deal of interest in Architectural Engineering following two courses taught by Associate Professor Pamalee Brady at the Engineering Days Camp.  The event, coordinated by Cal Poly’s Women’s and Multicultural Engineering Program at Cal Poly, was held from July 14 – 18, 2008.  Professor Brady introduced the students to the unique structural behavior of different bridge types.  Descriptions of beam and truss bridge types preceded the students designing their own truss bridges using the West Point Bridge Designer computer program.  The students then had to present the very own bridge designs to their peers.  The students also learned about arch and suspension bridges and built their own rope bridge! 

These sessions were two of several held where a diverse group of students could attend indifferent fields of engineering.  Additional workshops included the college admissions process, SAT preparation, guest speakers and visits to local engineering companies. 

Students on rope bridgeStudents around table

Al Estes attends ExCEEd at the University of Arkansas

Al Estes attended the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville from July 13 – 18th.  Al taught two seminars and a demonstration class as well as serving as a senior mentor for one of the faculty teams.  The ExCEEd workshop is celebrating its tenth year of existence.  This is Al’s 16th ExCEEd workshop over the last decade.  He is leading the effort to write and publish a journal article that will chronicle the impact that this faculty development initiative has had on the quality of teaching in engineering programs.  The workshop has produced over 450 graduates from 221 different colleges and universities.

Al Estes at ExCEEdExCEEd Group

Mark Haselton Visits ARCE

Mark Haselton visited the ARCE program on July 10th.  Mark is a 1963 ARCE graduate and was honored as a distinguished alumnus in November.  Mark had lunch with Al Estes and Carrie South.  He illegally parked his Ruf modified Porsche across from Dexter Lawn but nobody seemed to care.  Al, Mark and Kevin Dong took a drive to Cal Poly Canyon to investigate the cracking of the Concrete Blade structure and discuss how it might get repaired.

Mark Haselton and Carrie South



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