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News & Events 2009-2010

Re-Connecting in Sydney

Sydney Opera HouseRobert, Jim and Kevin in SydneyFrom June 28th to July 1st, Professors Robert Arens, Jim Doerfler, and Kevin Dong attended the 2nd International ConnectED Conference in Sydney, Australia.  The conference unites teachers and practitioners to discuss and assess design and collaboration issues in academia and the workplace.  This year, Jim and Kevin presented two papers based on their interdisciplinary studios for architects, engineers, and construction majors.  One talk was based on the Integrated Building Envelopes course and the other was based on the award winning Collaborative Design Studio for 4th year ARCE and ARCH students.  Additionally, Robert presented a paper, which was co-authored by Professor Ed Saliklis, based on their work related to emergency shelters / renewable housing.

Eric and Gina Fuller Vist with Estes and Mwangi

Eric and Gina fuller pose for picture with Estes and Mwangi

Eric and Gina Fuller visited with Al Estes and James Mwangi in the ARCE department on June 9th.  Eric is a 1986 graduate of the ARCE program and is currently an Associate Principal at Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers in Sacramento.


Mark And Pam Haselton Visit ARCE Department

Mark and Pam Haselton pose with George Haselin'

Mark and Pam Haselton visited the ARCE department on June 18th while vacationing in California. They took a moment for a photo in front of the new sign commemorating the statue of George Hasslein. Mark and Pam were major donors to that effort. Al Estes provided them with a tour of all laboratory and classroom facilities. Mark has recently created a five year sponsorship for one of the ARCE facilities.


ARCE Class of 2010 Graduates

Arce Grads

Lawson and Nelson pose with graduate

The ARCE Class of 2010 graduated in Mustang Stadium on Saturday June 12th.  The program saw 41 undergraduates and 11 master’s students participate in the Spring commencement ceremony. 

ARCE Major Graduates of Spring 2010 were:

Andy Alexander, Crystal Baez, David Byrne, Princeton Cheng (CM Minor), Dago De La Rosa, Aleeta Dene, Carl Fosholt, Kendra Fuller, Loren Galarza, Kevin Irwin (CM Minor), Solomon Ives, Jamie Jones, Melissa Jurgens, Hayden Knotts, Jonathan Lund, Melissa McKinney, Andrew Oesterreicher, Trevor Opezzo, Kimberly Orth, Erika Peterson (IPD Minor), Jonathan Rivera, Grace Rose, Justin Schwaiger, Emmett Seymour, Ryan Stroud, Ryan Swenson (CM Minor), William Tarasevic, Jeffrey Thompson, Shawn Wade, Nicholas Weeks (CM Minor), Jesse Widmark (EGL Minor), Charis Wu (SE Minor).


Minor Joins ARCE Department

Melissa Minor

Welcome to Melissa Minor who joins the department as the new administrative assistant.  Melissa graduated from Cal Poly in 2006 with a degree in Animal Science.  She has just moved back to the San Luis Obispo area from Los Angeles where she most recently served as an administrative assistant to the Dean in the college of Optometry at Western University of Health Sciences.  We are very glad to welcome her to the department as she replaces Meredith Wesson who moved to San Clemente in March.


Estes, McDaniel Present Papers at ASEE Annual Confernece

Estes at ASEE ExCEED

Al Estes and Cole McDaniel attended and presented papers at the 2010 American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky from June 20 -23.  The ARCE department had four papers presented and included in the conference proceedings. 

Cole McDaniel at ASEE

Paper titles and links to these papers can be found below:


Cole McDaniel, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Graham Archer, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo



Jill Nelson, California Polytechnic State University

Brent Nuttall, California Polytechnic State University

Allen Estes, California Polytechnic State University



Pamalee Brady, California Polytechnic State University

Allen Estes, California Polytechnic State University



Debra Larson, Northern Arizona University

Allen Estes, California Polytechnic State University

Norman Dennis, University of Arkansas

Ronald Welch, University of Texas, Tyler

Carol Considine, Old Dominion University


The Architectural Engineering Division selected the paper by Pamalee Brady and Al Estes for their 2010 best paper award. 

Cobb Named Outstanding Staff Member


Christine Cobb wins Employee of year awardCongratulations to Christine Cobb who was named Outstanding Staff Member for the university for 2010.  This is a highly competitive and prestigious award that this college has not won since 1972.  Christine will receive university wide recognition and a cash prize at the Fall convocation ceremony.  The department held a reception for Christine when the award was announced.  Many of her friends from all across campus, college faculty and staff, and Christine Cobbs cake for Employee of yearmembers of the selection committee were all able to attend.  Christine’s name will be permanently affixed to a plaque in the University Union.  She will be a member of the award selection committee for the next three years.



Nuttall Wins NSPE Engineering Education Award

Brent Nuttall

Congratulations to Brent Nuttall who won the 2010 National Society of Professional Engineers Engineering Education Award. The NSPE offers this award annually to one faculty member in the

nation who most brings professional practice and licensure into the classroom. The faculty member must serve in an ABET accredited engineering program. Brent will formally be presented with the

award at the NSPE awards luncheon in Orlando on July 15th. He will be featured on the NSPE

website and the award comes with a $5000 cash prize. The award is sponsored by the Sustaining Universities Program of the Professional Engineers in Higher Education (PEHE) practice division of NSPE.


Cobb Attends Academic Resource Conference

Christine Cobb attends ARC conferneceOn June 7th Christine Cobb and Kathi Good (the Administrative Coordinators from ARCE and ARCH, respectively) attended the Academic Resources Conference (ARC) which is held once a year at the Chancellor’s office in Long Beach.  Christine and Kathi participated via webinar at the CSU Channel Islands mini-site.  The day consisted of networking with other Administrative Coordinators as well as several speakers which included presentations and discussion on the new Common Financial System (CFS),  budget development, facility utilization, scheduling audits and the layoff process.  There was an opportunity at the end of the seminar to discuss how the different campuses performed essential services under the furlough system.

Society of Women Engineers sponsors "Building and Engineer Day"

The Society of Women Engineers sponsored “Building An Engineer Day” at Cal Poly on May 22nd.  The event was targeted towards 6th 7th and 8th graders as an outreach program to create excitement about the possibility of choosing an engineering career.  The Architectural Engineering Department has traditionally participated in this event under the guidance of Ed Saliklis

 This year Ed guided the children through a fairly rigorous activity of finding forces in a hanging cable.  The cable took a funicular shape due to the applied loads and the children had to simultaneously think about its form and its forces.  The exercise took about 40 minutes and it was supplemented by visually arresting images of structural forms. The event ended with a lively question and answer session.

 Student representatives from SEAOC were on hand to help Ed throughout the day.  Aleeta Dene, Linda Huang, Megan Hanson, Luc D’Abreau, Devin Daniel, Matt Quan, Caelen Ball and Kim Bowen helped mentor the crowd of about 60 enthusiastic children.

Kevin Dong presents at Structures Congress


On May14th and 15th, Kevin Dong hosted a session and presented at the Structures Congress in Orlando Florida.  One talk was titled “SEE Design in the Future” which addressed the disconnect between academia and practice.  Another talk was based on Building Information Modeling in the classroom, “BIM and the Integrated Design Process” where he discussed the department’s use of virtual models and collaborative design in academia.  

On April 9th and 10th, students enrolled in the Collaborative Design Studio toured the Los Angeles area and completed their spring kick-off design review.  The studio, taught by professors Jim Doerfler, Tom Fowler, and Kevin Dong, is comprised of architectural engineering and architecture students.  One of the highlights of the trip is to tour design offices and conduct design reviews with a jury comprised of practicing architects and engineers.  This year, student reviews were held at the Arup- Los Angeles office.

ARCE Class of 2010 Graduates

The ARCE Class of 2010 graduated in Mustang Stadium on Saturday June 12th.  The program saw 41 undergraduates and 11 master’s students participate in the Spring commencement ceremony

Students Enrolled in CDS Tour Los Angeles

CDS students

On April 9th and 10th, students enrolled in the Collaborative Design Studio toured the Los Angeles area and completed their spring kick-off design review.  The studio, taught by professors Jim Doerfler, Tom Fowler, and Kevin Dong, is comprised of architectural engineering and architecture students.  One of the highlights of the trip is to tour design offices and conduct design reviews with a jury comprised of practicing architects and engineers.  This year, student reviews were held at the Arup- Los Angeles office.

Projects Day

On June 4th, 2010 Scholarships were awarded to ARCE students after the ARCE Class of 2010 took a class photo.  Following this, the ARCE department held the annual Senior Project Conference for students to present their senior projects.  The Senior Project Conference is a chance for the students to show off and present their work that they have done to fulfill the university requirement of a senior project.  These projects can be one students think up themselves, part of a student competition or they can be part of a class setting with students from disciplines other than ARCE.  Students are able to convey what they have done for their project as well as discuss shortcomings and opportunities for further study.

Jonas Houston, Andy Alexander, Charis Wu, and Nick Weeks presented their proposals for their Masters Thesis as they finish their undergraduate degrees and continue on at Cal Poly for their Masters Degree.

Overall there were more than 15 presentations of projects which ranged from student competitions, teaching young kids about engineering, and outdoor equipment use.

For a copy of the Senior Projects Day Conference Program, click here.

Mwangi Conducts Building Inspections and Workshops in Haiti

James Mwangi in Haiti

ARCE Professor James Mwangi spent two weeks during Spring 2010 break volunteering in Haiti. For the first three days, James inspected buildings for structural safety following the January 12, 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake through the support of Engineers Without Borders and the Mennonite Central Committee.  When the government of Haiti initiated a rigorous national building evaluation program with help from the United Nations Operations, James itinerary changed from building inspection to education.  He conducted six three-hour workshops in the cities of Port-au-Prince, Kenscoff, Desarmes and Dleudon.  The workshops targeted architects, engineers and contractors.  The theme of the workshops was to educate the building professionals on the right way to construct earthquake resistant confined masonry one and two-story un-engineered family dwellings including the good quality construction materials.  The six workshops were attended by more than 150 professionals. For more information read the article in the Mustang Daily, or to see additional pictures, visit the ARCE facebook page.

Society of Women Engineers Sponsors "Building and Engineer Day"

The Society of Women Engineers sponsored “Building An Engineer Day” at Cal Poly on May 22nd.  The event was targeted towards 6th 7th and 8th graders as an outreach program to create excitement about the possibility of choosing an engineering career.  The Architectural Engineering Department has traditionally participated in this event under the guidance of Ed Saliklis.

This year Ed guided the children through a fairly rigorous activity of finding forces in a hanging cable.  The cable took a funicular shape due to the applied loads and the children had to simultaneously think about its form and its forces.  The exercise took about 40 minutes and it was supplemented by visually arresting images of structural forms. The event ended with a lively question and answer session.

Student representatives from SEAOC were on hand to help Ed throughout the day.  Aleeta Dene, Linda Huang, Megan Hanson, Luc D’Abreau, Devin Daniel, Matt Quan, Caelen Ball and Kim Bowen helped mentor the crowd of about 60 enthusiastic children

Ashraf Habibullah Speaks to SEAOC

Ashraf Habibullah and SEAOC board

There couldn't have been a better way to end the year of weekly lectures for SEAOC than to have Ashraf Habibullah come and speak.  Ashraf gave a lively and decidedly not technical talk, informing students of their role as structural engineers and giving them a unique view on life.  To end it, he brought a student up to the stage and sang a Lady Gaga song, then gave away a slew of generous prizesAshraf Habibullah including a Kindle,  a Sony camera, three iPods, structural engineering books and DVDs as well as T-Shirts and DVDs of his ballet entitled "Earthquake".  We then toured the facilities, showing Ashraf the lab that he sponsored to give him a 'before' picture of his donation and a realization of the enormous impact it would have on students. Additional pictures of Ashraf Habibullah's speech to SEAOC may be viewed on the ARCE facebook page.

Posted 6.2.10

Estes Attends CSI's 35th Anniversary Celebration

CSI party participantsAl Estes attended the Computers and Structures, Inc. (CSI) 35th anniversary celebration held at the San Francisco City Hall on March 13th.  CSI has generously sponsored the Scarab lab and the ARCE students use CSI software, specifically E-TABs  and PERFORM 3D, in their academic courses.  The black tie celebration featured a decadent variety of food and drink, Pakistani folk singers and dancers, a disco, and words of Al Estes and Ashraf Habibullahwelcome from CSI President and CEO Ashraf Habibullah.  The department remains grateful for CSI’s generous support of this program. Additional pictures of the celebration may be viewed on the ARCE facebook page.

ARCE Class of 1962 Holds 48 Year Reunion

Class of 1962 held their 48th year  reunion on campus on April 16-18th.  The reunion was organized by Dick Wong and other attendees included Mickey Vagasy, Leo Borns, Tom Mathew, Joseph Deangelis, Paul Davis, Paul Juilly, Larry Moon, Jerry Zimmer, Robert Huntsberry, Don Urquhart, Morris Skenderian, Kinya Matsuno, and Rondy Dike.  Reunion activities included a Chinese banquet at the Golden China Restaurant where emeritus faculty and department representatives were invited to attend.  Al Estes attended on behalf of the ARCE department.  Because the reunion was held during Open House, it was a great opportunity for the alumni to see displays of student work as well as set up an exhibition of their own in Engineering West.  The reunion class enjoyed a lunch prepared by the ARCE SEAOC student chapter who were cooking ribs as part of the Open House festivities.  The class visited Poly Canyon and the design village competition.  The reunion finished with a dinner at the Madonna Inn and a Sunday morning breakfast.

ARCE Class of 1965 Holds Reunion

ARCE Class of 1965The ARCE Class of 1965 held their 45th reunion in San Luis Obispo on May 14-15th.  Their events organized by Vahe Khachooni included a gathering at the Morro Bay Club, an on-campus lunch at the ARCE patio, and a dinner at the Madonna Inn.   The alumni through chance ended up having lunch with the current ARCE students who were attending the Simpson Strong-Tie Symposium.  It presented a great opportunity for alumni to meet and talk with students.  Additional activities include a golf tournament, a visit to see Paul Neel and a Sunday morning breakfast. Reunion Class of 1965 reunionattendees included  David Cartnal, Richard A. Gutschow, Tadayuki Sekino, Steven S. Paschall, Paul T. Thoryk, Richard A. Simpson, Jeffrey S. Wilson, Neil G. Rains, Paul R. McAllister, Ralph H. Bradshaw, Douglas Lee, Richard L. Foley, Brian Cameron, and Billy Strite.

Watch a video of the reunion here.

ARCE Classes of 1986 - 1988 Hold Reunion

Members of ARCE classes of 86-88

The ARCE classes of 1986 through 1988 held a reunion at the Cuesta Canyon Park on Saturday, May 22nd.Michelle Kam-Biron, 87 (WoodWorks, Technical Dir.) organized the event and the attendees included Peter Chavez, 87, Donna Clandening, 87 (AC Martin Partners, Dir. Of Marketing), Kurt Clandening, 87 (John A Martin Assoc., Principal), Kevin Dong, 86 (ARCE faculty), Members of ARCE classes of 86-88Craig Baltimore, 86 (ARCE faculty), Henry Fairbairn, 86 (SDC Structural Engineering, owner), John Gentry, 88 (Gravity Power, LLC, Dir. Civil Eng.), Bradley Hoogerwerf, 87 (Hoogerwerf Engineering), Morgan Jones, 87 (Doyle-Morgan Structural Engineers), Mary Knowles, 86, Abe Lynn, 86 (ARCE faculty), Brian Nilles, 86 (Vicon), Diana Nishi, 88 (Englekirk & Partners, proj. engineer), Tom Nishi, 88 (Englekirk & Partners, proj. director), Bryan Spain, 87 (CA Code Check, VP), Phil Teyssier, 87 (Atomic Investments Inc., VP), Lori Williamson, 86, Al Estes (ARCE dept head), Jake Feldman (ARCE faculty emeritus)and Dr. Sat Rihal (CPSU faculty emeritus). See additional pictures on the ARCE facebook page.

Simpson Strong Tie Holds Annual Syposium for ARCE, CE, & CM Students

Representatives from Simpson Strong Tie and studentsRepresentatives from Simpson Strong-Tie returned to campus on May 15th for their annual symposium for ARCE, Civil and construction students.  The half-day event started with a series of lectures covering topics from career advice to technical experiments conducted in the student lab.  Students next assembled in the civil engineering laboratory to visit hands-on stations where Simpson Strong Tie Rep Demonstrationthey were able to work with Simpson tools and test their products.  Simpson sponsored both a breakfast and a lunch for the students.  We are grateful to Alan Hansen, Damon Ho, Chris Burnett, Jason Oakley, John Krueger, Tom McClain, Jeff Sturdivant, and Jake Blair for their support of this great event.

ARCE Advisory Board Meets

The ARCE Advisory Board met on campus on May 14th.  This was their seventh meeting since the Board was reconstituted three years ago.  The focus of the meeting was laboratory improvements, advancement, and the by-laws for the board.  Dean Tom Jones visited the board and both Al Hauck and Peter Laursen made separate presentation on the Simpson Strong-Tie Building and the Laboratory Improvements, respectively. This was the final meeting for Dani Paxson (KPFF) and David Mar (Tipping-Mar) who are rotating off the Board after three years of service.  We are happy to welcome Dave McMaster (Hope Engineering), Michelle Kam-Biron (Woodworks), and Paul Kovach (JWE) as new members of the Board.  The meeting agenda can be found here.  The minutes for the previous meeting can be found here.  Grace Kang (Forell and Elsessor) was elected to be the chair-elect of the Board and will take over from Ken O’Dell (MHP) next Spring when he will become the past chair. The department remains grateful for the service provided by our board members.

ARCE Welcomes Erling Smith to Faculty

Erling Smith

The ARCE department is proud to welcome Erling Smith, the university Vice president for strategic planning to the ARCE faculty.  When hired, Erling was initially assigned retreat rights to the department of Civil Engineering.  He found that his interests and talents were more aligned with the ARCE department and requested retreat rights in this department instead.  Erling met with the faculty twice and the faculty voted to extend the retreat rights and welcome him to the department with open arms.

ARCE Conducts Annual Open House

Student builds model at 2010 ARCE Open House

The ARCE Department conducted its annual Open House festivities on 16-17 April along with the rest of the university.  On Friday, April 16th Al Estes participated in the Dean’s welcome to all students in Chumash auditorium, provided an orientation to those parents and new students who will join the ARCE department in the Fall, and provided academic counseling to the new transfer students.  Brent Nuttall led the effort to organize all of the Saturday festivities which included setting up displays in the Berg Gallery, preparing the design labs for visitors, and organizing the student led tours through the experimental labs.  The ARCE students took the visitors through the concrete, high bay, seismic and materials laboratories and crushed concrete cylinders, shook balsa wood structures, destroyed a timber beam and performed a tension test on steel.  Meanwhile, the SEAOC students cooked ribs and sold them to raise funds for their student chapter.  The students also cooked lunch for the ARCE reunion class of 1962 that was visiting that weekend. Addtitional pictures may be seen on the ARCE facebook page.


Estes Attends Annual AEI Council Meetings

Estes and Students at AEI

Al Estes attended the annual meeting of the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Academic Council meeting from April 9-10 in Kansas City. The AEI Academic Council consists of representatives of the 17 accredited ARCE programs in the nation.  The primary topic of the meeting was to discuss and vote on the newly proposed ARCE ABET Program Criteria.  Al chairs the subcommittee that wrote the criteria and the academic council voted to approve it. The meeting was held in conjunction with the AEI annual student conference and competition.  Al used the opportunity to meet with the AEI Board of Governors to discuss future iterations of the Pankow student competition and work being done to promote AEI student chapters and student activities.

Carlip and Rose Represent Cal Poly at AEI

Carlip and Rose at AEI Competition

ARCE students Emily Carlip and Grace Rose represented Cal Poly in the first ever national student competition for architectural engineering students at the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) annual student conference in Kansas City from April 9-10.  They were joined by architecture major Peter Trettl, mechanical engineering major David Denio, as part of the multi-disciplinary team. ARCE professor Jim Guthrie served as the faculty advisor. The 2010 competition theme was the design and construction managemCarlip and Rose at AEI Cometitionent of the engineered aspects of a building project. Specifically, a new medical clinic located to support an underserved community within an existing structure on an urban infill site in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Adding to the challenge, students were required to design the space to function as a tornado shelter and triage center after severe weather events. Teams could enter in integrated, structural, construction, mechanical and electrical design categories, all highlighting the talents of architectural engineering students across the nation. The Cal Poly team placed second in the structural systems category and third in the building integration category and won $800 in prize money as a result.  The competition was sponsored by the Pankow Foundation which provided the students with some reimbursement expenses.  The department thanks the Fluor Corporation and the university Instructional Related Activities (IRA) grant for the remainder of the support needed to attend.

Simpson Strong Tie Sponsors E-Lab

Verco DeckingSimpson Strong-Tie continues to be a great friend and supporter of this department.  Ricardo Arevalo and Alan Hanson (Simpson Sales Manager ) recently announced that the company will sponsor the Simpson Strong-Tie Design Laboratory in what used to be E-lab.  Because so much Simpson Strong-Tie product already exists in that laboratory, it was the obvious choice for Simpson to sponsor.  The company will retain exclusive naming rights on this laboratory for the next five years.  This donation comes in addition to the Simpson Strong-Tie Materials Demonstration Building currently under construction in the college area.  The formal dedication of the Simpson Strong-Tie Design laboratory will take place next spring as part of the annual Simpson Strong-Tie Symposium for students.

Verco Decking Sponsors D-Lab

The Verco Design Laboratory is the new name for what was previously known as D-Lab.  Mark Miller and Jeff Martin (Engineering Manager) announced that Verco Decking will sponsor this laboratory and will obtain sole naming rights for five years.  The support will allow the department to make significant improvements to this laboratory which will benefit the students who take their upper division design courses in this lab.  Verco has increasingly become a great partner with the ARCE program as they have donated decking product to the newly dedicated Stick Structure, provided product manuals as course material, and sent guest speakers to SEAOC student luncheons and course lectures.  A formal dedication ceremony will take place after the door plaque is developed and the initial lab improvements have been made.

Hilti Corporation Sponsors B-Lab

Hilti Tour

The department is proud to announce that the Hilti Corporation is sponsoring the B-lab which will now be known as the Hilti Design laboratory through a generous donation that provides five year naming rights for this facility.  The funds will initially be used to upgrade many of the lab features that have been allowed to deteriorate such as window treatments and repair of drafting tables used by the students.  Hilti product and logo will be displayed throughout the classroom as part of our continuous effort to reinforce to students and visitors that they are in a department that teaches structural engineering.  Hilti has been involved in this department in many ways to include repairing the blade structure in Poly Canyon and donating both product and expertise to the newly completed Stick Structure in Poly Canyon. Marcus Oden (Senior Vice President / General Manager), Lucas Floriani (Director of Technical Services), and Frank Brown (Human Resource Director) visited the ARCE department on March 26th to see the Hilti Design Lab and stayed to have lunch with Al Estes, Dick Zweifel, and Tom Jones.

Milazzo Visits ARCE

Fluor presentation

Mike Milazzo (VP & General Manager for Southern California Operations for the Fluor Corporation) visited the ARCE department on April 29th to present Al Estes and the ARCE department with a check for $10,000 to support scholarships and the ARCE Student Leadership fund.  The presentation was made at the Thursday lunch meeting of the SEAOC student chapter.  Fluor sponsors two annual scholarships for $1250 each.  In addition, their funds support the purchase of ACI Code manuals for every ARCE student taking reinforced concrete.  The remainder has gone to support student activities such as attendance at the annual SEAOC convention, travel to the ASCE workshop for student chapter leaders, and support of entrants into both the AEI national conference and competition and the EERI seismic competition.  Fluor has been making this same annual donation for many years and the department expresses its gratitude for this wonderful support.

Estes Attends Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference

Al Estes attends CE Heads Conference

Al Estes attended the annual Civil Engineering Department Heads Conference in Pittsburgh on May 26-27th.  While the conference theme was sustainability, Al made a presentation on ABET as seen through the eyes of the evaluator on Thursday morning.  The purpose was to share with fellow department heads what an ABET accreditation looks like through the eyes of an evaluator and to offer some hints for success.  A copy of his presentation is located at (link).  In addition, Al and his colleague Ron Welch from the University of Texas at Tyler conducted a mini-ExCEEd workshop on Thursday afternoon to provide department heads with a peek into the one week Excellence in Civil Engineering Education workshop that they send their faculty to.  Al also serves as the Architectural Engineering Institute liaison to the ASCE Department Head Council Executive Committee.  The DHCEC conducted its semi-annual meeting at this conference as well.  Al is completing his third year on this committee and is rotating off.


ARCE Senior Banquet

ARCE Senior Banquet

The ARCE seniors held their annual Senior Banquet at Steamers in Pismo Beach on May 23rd.  We extend our thanks to Grace Rose and Melissa McKinney for organizing this year’s event.  The festivities included the presentation of the annual department gifts to all of the seniors.  Special awards were presented to Erika Peterson for attaining the highest grade point average in the ARCE program and to Grace Rose for winning the department Service Award.  The students continued the tradition of creating gag gifts for the faculty and staff.  This year’s gift theme was personalized rubber stamps reflecting the quirks and personalities of the faculty members. See more pictures of the Senior Banquet on the ARCE facebook page.

Suffolk Construction Donates Big Screen TV

Suffolk Construction Donates TV

The department extends its thanks to Suffolk Construction for its donation of a big screen TV and computer to run continuous slide shows for students and visitors to view in the hallway.  Eric Hebert (Director of Recruiting), Chad Danz (Project Engineer), Devin Mills (Estimator), and Tyler Blodgett (Project Engineer) from Suffolk visited the department on May 11th to see the TV and the plaque acknowledging Suffolk’s gift to the department.  One of the continuous loops will be construction projects from those industry partners who have donated at least $1000 to the department as a way of showing our gratitude and exposing these firms to our students.

Nuttall Speaks as 2010 Structures Congress

Brent Nutall at 2010 Structures Congress

Brent Nuttall recently returned from speaking at the 2010 Structures Congress in Orlando, Florida.  Brent is a member and past chair of the Design Practices Committee of the Structural Engineering Institute.  The committee presented recent findings regarding the ability of practicing engineers to accurately and consistently implement the often complex code loading provisions of ASCE 7.  The presentations identified specific areas of the snow, seismic and wind provisions of ASCE 7 where simplification and clarification are needed.  The presentations also identified ASCE 7 code committees where change in the make up of the committee membership is needed so that practicing design engineers are adequately represented.

Estes and Kristenson Travel To Los Angeles

Al Estes and Linda Kristenson (the CAED Associate Dean for Advancement) traveled to the Los Angeles Area on May 14-15 to meet and visit ARCE alumni.  Al and Linda met with Tom Sabol at the office of Englekirk and Sabol in Los Angeles followed by a visit to the office of KNA in Irvine where they met with ARCE graduates and donors Larry Kaprielian and Josh Randall.  The visit also included ARCE alumni Ken Saddler and Scott Ross in their offices at ESI/FME in Santa Ana. A morning meeting with ARCE alum Mike Chesney (1989) who is a vice president at RBF Consulting, was followed by a visit to Spec service in Fountain Valley to see Bret Green (ARCE 1990).  Finally, Al and Linda had lunch with 1964 ARCE graduates C.K. Allen and Glenn Almquist to finish the trip.

ARCE Advisory Board Meets

Advisory Board Members

Advisory Board Dinner

The ARCE Advisory Board met on campus on May 14th.  This was their seventh meeting since the Board was reconstituted three years ago.  The focus of the meeting was laboratory improvements, advancement, and the by-laws for the board.  Dean Tom Jones visited the board and both Al Hauck and Peter Laursen made separate presentation on the Simpson Strong-Tie Building and Al Estes and Advisory Baorad Memeberthe Laboratory Improvements, respectively. This was the final meeting for Dani Paxson (KPFF) and David Mar (Tipping-Mar) who are rotating off the Board after three years of service.  We are happy to welcome Dave McMaster (Hope Engineering), Michelle Kam-Biron (Woodworks), and Paul Kovach (JWE) as new members of the Board.  The meeting agenda can be found here.  The minutes for the previous meeting can be found here.  Grace Kang (Forell and Elsessor) was elected to be the chair-elect of the Board and will take over from Ken O’Dell (MHP) next Spring when he will become the past chair. The department remains grateful for the service provided by our board members.


Estes Attends ASCE Committe on Educational Activities Meeting

Al Estes at ASCE EdAC in San Francisco

Al Estes attended the semi-annual meeting for the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Educational Activities in San Francisco on  May 1 -2.  The meeting was held at the Bridge Headquarters for the Golden Gate Bridge.  Al serves as the liaison for the Architectural Engineering Institute on the committee and represents the interests and programs of the AEI Academic Council.  He reported on the results of the first AEI national student competition, the newly formed committee on AEI student activities, and the proposed AE ABET program criteria.

Estes and Kristenson Travel To Bay Area

Al Estes Visits Bay Area and ATI Eng.Al Estes and Linda Kristenson (the CAED Associate Dean for Advancement) traveled to the Bay Area on April 23-24 to meet and visit ARCE alumni.  Specifically, he met with Patricia Kutzmann, (ARCE Class of 1978) at Kutzman and Associates in Fremont and then Craig Wilcox (ARCE Class of 1982) at MHW Americas Inc in Walnut Creek.  Al and Linda were hosted for dinner in the home of Brent and Patsy Dickens in San Rafael.  The following day, Al met with Henry Chang in his office at Structus in San Francisco.  Finally, they had a meeting and lunch with Bob Desautels and the other ARCE graduates in his office at ATI Engineering Inc.

Saliklis and Neveu Study Goldsmith

Ed Saliklis and Phyllis Lambert

ARCE Professor Ed Saliklis and Prof. Marc Neveu of Cal Poly’s Architecture Department have embarked on an extensive research project studying the engineering, architectural and pedagogical innovations of Myron Goldsmith.  Myron Goldsmith was a unique figure in the development of tall building design. He successfully blended the roles of architect, engineer and teacher throughout his tenure at Skidmore Owings and Merrill and at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Existing scholarship often implies that IIT student projects influenced the work of SOM in the 1960s. The research conducted by Saliklis and Neveu has clarified the exchange of ideas that occurred under the tutelage of Goldsmith. This required documenting the history and development of his pedagogy through the study of archival material and through personal interviews with Goldsmith’s colleagues.  Saliklis and Neveu received a grant from the prestigious Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal to examine the Goldsmith Archive there.  During his visit to the CCA, Ed Saliklis was fortunate to have lunch with the founder, Ms. Phyllis Lambert.  Madame Lambert is world-renowned for her scholarship and beneficence to the architectural community, and is often referred to as “Joan of Architecture”.



ACI Convention hears Lawson Speak

Lawson at ACI

At ACI’s Spring Convention, John Lawson SE presented a technical session on “Code Changes affecting Concrete Tilt-Up Design”.  A series of technical sessions titled “Extreme Tilt-Up Performance: Design to Construction” was moderated by Edward Sauter (also pictured), Chairman of ACI 551 and Executive Director of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association. For the last 25 years, Lawson has been involved in the design of over 100 million square feet of tilt-up engineering and continues to play a role in the code development and interpretation of this construction type.  While at the Convention, Lawson also attended numerous sessions in education and research.

ARCE Faculty Retreat

2009 faculty retreat

The ARCE faculty conducted their full day annual retreat on September 17th at the Custom House in Avila Beach.  The agenda consisted of a formal program assessment presentation from the department head, a question and answer session with Dean Tom Jones, a progress update on curriculum changes, a discussion of furlough policies, a brainstorming session on budget cuts, the course schedule for the year, prioritization of laboratory equipment and the master’s program.  The part time faculty were invited to join the retreat for lunch and a quick update on the activities for the year.  The day’s session was followed by a faculty dinner at McPhee’s Grill in Avila Beach.

Structural Forum Theme - Skylines: Scraping the Sky

structural forum group photo

This year’s structural forum theme was Skylines: Scraping the Sky. The morning session was filled with fascinating speakers. First was Farzad Naeim of John A. Martin and Associates, who spoke about EERI and earthquake testing. The second speaker, Ron Hamburger of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger spoke on the collapse of the World Trade Towers on 9/11. Leonard Joseph of Thornton Tomasetti, the last afternoon speaker, gave a presentation on the Shanghai Tower and the Chicago Spire. All three of these lectures were extremely informative and interesting. The evening portion of Structural Forum gave students the opportunity to meet, talk, and network with representatives from 21 companies followed by the Forum banquet. The keynote speaker Charlie Thornton, co-founder of Thornton Tomasetti, gave a presentation that will not be forgotten soon on the state of the industry and the career of structural engineering. The post-forum party continued at Novo’s afterward. Special congratulations are extended to Forum Chair Caelen Ball and SEAOC/AEI Student President for another outstanding Structural Forum.

We extend our appreciation to the following companies who were in attendance this year:

KNA Consulting Engineers, Inc.

John A. Martin & Associates, Inc.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Simpson Strong – Tie Co.


Rinne & Peterson Structural Engineers


Forell/Elsesser Engineers, Inc.

Carlton Engineering, Inc.

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.

ZFA Structural Engineers

Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers, Inc.

Thornton Tomasetti

Hilti, Inc

Rutherford & Chekene


MHP Structural Engineers

Ficcadenti & Waggoner, Inc.


Miyamoto International, Inc.

JMN Consulting Engineers PLLC

For more pictures, visit our facebook page.

Estes Attends Meeting of American Society of Civil Engineers

committee on faculty development

Al Estes attended the semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Faculty Development in Phoenix on February 19 - 20. The committee reviewed applications and selected participants for the two summer ExCEEd teaching workshops that will be held in July in Boulder, Colorado and West Point, New York. The agenda also included the editing and distribution of the ExCEEd DVD’s that we prepared to facilitate adjunct faculty training.  Winners of the annual ExCEEd teaching awards were also chosen.

Estes Travels To Texas for ExCEED Project

Estes at ExCEED in Texas

Al Estes travelled to Tyler, Texas from January 4th through 7th to record a series of DVD’s for the ASCE ExCEEd project.  The Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop has been training engineering faculty members for over a decade.  The ASCE Committee on Faculty Development is attempting to use the material from this workshop to help universities provide training to adjunct faculty who will probably never be able to attend the workshop.  The project consists of making studio quality DVD’s of the demonstration classes and seminars from the workshop that trainers could use at their own institution.  Al was taped for a demonstration class and seminars on teaching and learning, board notes, speaking and drama, and questioning.


Estes Honors CAED Dean's List Freshmen

zweifel and navarro

Al Estes attended the quarter Sequoia Hall Honors Banquet on January 27th to honor the CAED freshmen who made the Dean’s List during the Fall academic quarter.  In the photo, Meghan Navarro receives her Dean’s List certificate from Associate Dean Dick Zweifel.


Students and Faculty Attend Tri-County SEAOSC Dinner

Brian and Briankendra, yoni, kevin, ashleySeveral students and faculty attended the annual tri-county SEAOSC dinner in Santa Maria on January 13th.  The dinner was preceded and followed by guest speaker presentations.  Dave Lambert (ARCE class of 2008 and first class of master’s degree graduates) spoke on designing and building a polytechnic school in Same, Tanzania.  Dave currently works for Arup in Los Angeles.  The second speaker was Steve Pryor who spoke on the NCEES Wood Capstone Project: Seven-Story Building Shake Test.  The department thanks Simpson Strong-Tie who sponsored eight ARCE students (Kendra Fuller, Brian Planas, Kevin Towers, Yoni Sadka, Brian Biehl, Michael Spangenthal, Ashley Morales, and Kenneth Singh.  Al Estes and Craig Baltimore represented the faculty.

Al Estes and Emily Carlip Meet with ARCE Freshmen

Al estes and emily caltrip

Al Estes and Emily Carlip met with the ARCE freshmen in Sequoia Hall for a combination of pizza and discussion on February 9th.  The discussion focused on the opportunities within SEAOC/AEI student chapter, internships, international exchanges, student competitions, navigating the curriculum, the budget cuts, and the master’s program.  Because the freshmen do not take any ARCE classes, the dinner meeting was a means to keep the freshmen in touch with the department.  A number of architecture students attended as well.

Brian Planas Awarded Scholarship

don gilbert and brian planas

Brian Planas was awarded a $2000 scholarship from the Structural Engineering Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) at the annual scholarship and job fair banquet in Monterey Park on February 3rd.  Brian’s scholarship was among ten that were awarded from nine different schools.  Only three were in the $2000 amount.  Brian was joined by Ryan Stroud, Chase Kossack and Kevin Chen who attended the job fair. Participating firms included Fluor, SESOL Inc., kpff, Simpson Strong-Tie, Arup, Brandow and Johnston, and KNA Consulting Engineers.  Al Estes attended as the faculty representative.

Al Estes and Tracee deHahn Visit Industry Partners

estes and dehahn at pc associates

Al Estes and Tracee deHahn visited industry partners and ARCE alumni in the Irvine and San Diego areas on February 24 – 26.  They met with Michelle Pettit (ARCE class of 1977) and Steve Chenot (ARCE class of 1976) in their office at PC Associates in Tustin.  The firm does plan reviews and provides construction support services.  While in the Irvine area, they visited Dennis Bashaw (ARCE class of 1981) and Susie Nakaki at their two-person firm The Nakaki Bashaw Group, Inc.  They had lunch with Tim Yeun (ARCE Class of 1970) of Burkett and Wong Engineers in San Diego. Time will be profiled in the next ARCE newsletter.  Perry Schacht (ARCE class of 1983) hosted a visit to Moffatt and Nichol in San Diego where the new ARCE master’s program was the main topic of discussion.  There was a quick visit to our stalwart friends at Hope Engineering in San Diego where Al met with Jim Amundson (ARCE Class of 1982) and Dave McMaster (ARCE class of 1982) who will join the ARCE advisory board this Spring.  The remaining partner Brad Lowe (ARCE Class of 1982) was in SLO speaking to the SEAOC/AEI Chapter. Finally, Al met with Evelyn Carpenter (ARCE class of 1989) who is the President of SOLAS Energy Consulting U.S. Hopefully Evelyn will make to SLO to speak to our SEAOC/AEI chapter the Spring.

For more pictures, visit our facebook page

Emerging Leaders in SEAOC/ACI Student Chapter

ARCE group

Four emerging leaders in the SEAOC / AEI student chapter (Michael Spangenthal, Laura Rice, Brian Biehl, and K.C. Urbani) attended the American Society of Civil Engineers annual Workshop for Student Chapter Leaders in San Diego on 26-27 February.  Al Estes attended in the role as faculty advisory. The purpose of the workshop was to prepare students for leadership positions within ASCE and AEI student engineering chapters.  The workshop was held in conjunction with a meeting of ASCE section and branch leaders and the younger member council which facilitated interaction with the student participants.  The ASCE president (Blaine Leonard),  ASCE president elect (Kathy Caldwell), and ASCE Executive Director (Pat Natale) all addressed the students.  Other sessions and activities included public service, finances and fund raising, membership recruitment, running an effective meeting, and creating an annual report.   There were student attendees from 22 other student chapters in the western region of the U.S. to include Alaska and Hawaii.

For more pictures, visit our facebook page.

Lawson Authors Structure Magazine Article

Image of Lawson built structure

Faculty member John Lawson SE authored the article “A Solution to Seismic Bracing Restrictions- Expanding the Acceptance of New Large HSS Sections” published in this February’s issue of STRUCTURE magazine by the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations.  The article discusses new solutions to the limited availability of structural steel tubing that meet the new seismic compactness requirements. Currently, large chevron-style braced frames, including the four-story frame pictured, are no longer possible unless the diagonal tubes are filled with concrete. The STRUCTURE article advocates expanding the scope of the current ASTM standard applicable to these steel members. The STRUCTURE magazine article can be found here!

Brady Attends 4th Forensic Engineering Congress

Pamalee Brady at Forensic Congress

Pamalee Brady attended the 4th Forensic Engineering Congress held in Washington,D.C. in November 2009.  She served as a session chair and as a panelist discussing the use of forensic case studies in undergraduate and graduate engineering education.  She is currently the chair of the Education Committee of the Technical Council  on Forensic Engineering of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  She has served on the council since 1987.

Professor Brady recently received funding from the National Science Foundation through Cleveland State University to assess the application of forensic case studies in engineering education.  She will conduct the study over the next three years in upper division classes in the Architectural Engineering Department.

Guthrie, Laursen Attend ATC & SEI Conference

From December 9th to December 11th, professors Jim Guthrie and Peter Laursen attended the 2009 ATC & SEI Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures. The conference was held in San Francisco and had many participants from the local structural engineering community. Going towards performance based design appeared to be a major trend at the conference. Under the ATC-58 project, ATC and FEMA are developing next-generation performance-based seismic design guidelines applicable to new and existing buildings. The procedures will combine Building Information Modeling (BIM), Structural Reliability, and Engineering Economics to both improve the reliability of performance-based engineering and its usefulness to Owners and other decision-makers. The procedures are expected to be in widespread practice by the year 2020.

Mwangi and Baltimore Author Masonry Chronicles

Masonry Chronicles Banner

Faculty members James Mwangi and Craig Baltimore authored the Summer-Fall 2009 issue of the Masonry Chronicles published by the Concrete Masonry Association of California and Nevada.  The entire issue is devoted to “Going Green with Concrete Masonry Grout”.  The article reports on testing of grout mixes substituting various proportions of fly ash for Portland cement and testing the specimens in compression to ASTM standards. The Masonry Chronicles can be found at http://www.cmacn.org/masonry-chronicles.htm.  
Download the Summer-Fall 2009 Masonry Chronicles (pdf) issue.

Lawson Judges 2010 California Wood Design Awards

John Lawson as judge at 2010 California Wood Design Awards

In December 2009, John Lawson participated as one of four judges for the 2010 California Wood Design Awards, honoring the use of wood in non-residential construction that demonstrates the material’s strength, durability, beauty, and cost effectiveness.  The awards are sponsored by the Wood Products Council and WoodWorks, and will be presented at the annual Wood Solutions Fair in Long Beach.  The other judges were Cal Poly ARCE alum Michelle Kam-Biron SE as well as two noteworthy architects Marcy Wong and Terrence Wagner AIA, and moderator Bryan Schuyler (California’s WoodWorks Regional Director).

Baltimore Travels to Research Bringing Solar Energy to Urban Areas

Dr. Craig Baltimore recently traveled for his research project in bringing Concentrated Solar Energy to Urban Areas.  His first travels were to Rosendin Electric in San Jose, Ca.  Rosendin is the second largest electrical contractor in the U.S. and  their projects include  the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.  Rosendin is an industry partner with the ARCE Master’s Program and master’s student Peter Balla is assessing their Head Quarters Building in San Jose for the retrofit Concentrated Solar Energy.

In addition to traveling to San Jose, Dr. Baltimore completed travel to Los Angeles where he met with engineers from Buro-Happold, in regards to his research in Concentrated Solar Energy.  He is currently working with Liz Mahlow at Buro-Happold. 

ARCE Advisory Board Holds Semi-Annual Meeting

The ARCE Advisory Board held their semi-annual meeting on the Cal Poly campus on November 13th.  The meeting was preceded by a dinner at Steamers in Pismo Beach.  The topics of discussion included curriculum revisions, the budget crisis, advancement, the new interdisciplinary course, the master’s program, and committee by-laws.  Tom Jones, the CAED Dean, spent an hour with the advisory board discussing key issues and answering their questions.  This was the sixth meeting of the Advisory Board and the next meeting will occur in May 2010.

Download Department Head Welcome Letter (pdf)
Download Meeting Agenda (pdf).

Estes Attends ASCE Semi-Annual Meeting of Educational Activities Committee

Al Estes at EDAC meeting in DenverAl Estes at EDAC Meeting

Al Estes attended the ASCE semi-annual meeting of the Educational Activities (EDAC) Committee in Denver on November 7 - 8th.  Al is the Architectural Engineering Institute liaison member to the committee.  The Architectural Engineering programs are become more active in the EDAC programs, particularly through student activities, curriculum and accreditation and the department head’s council.


Estes Conducts ABET Accreditation Visit

Al Estes on ABET visit ad University of WyomingAl Estes at Universiy of Wyoming on ABET accreditation visit

Al Estes conducted an ABET accreditation visit to the Architectural Engineering program at the University of Wyoming in Laramie from November 1 – 3.  Each accredited program is visited once every six years as part of the accreditation process.  Al has been an evaluator for eight years and has visited both civil and architectural engineering programs.  In addition to performing a service to the profession, these evaluation visits help Cal Poly stay current on the accreditation criteria and allows in depth visits to sister programs.

Estes Attends Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Al Estes at CASECASE Logo

Al Estes attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Development Workshop for Deans from October 18 – 20 in San Francisco.  This conference offers deans and development professionals the help they need to increase their knowledge of the development process and strengthen the partnership between academic and advancement officers.  Workshop topics included Advisory Boards, making the artful ask, campaign fundamentals, corporation and foundation development, ethical issues, managing prospects, and the cycle of development.

Saliklis Travels to Spain

Photo of Ed Saliklis in Spain

Ed and his wife Dr. Ruta Saliklis, are with the world famous structural engineer Mamoru Kawaguchi. The occasion was the opening of a special exhibit displaying many of Kawaguchi’s spectacular projects.

In October, 2009, Ed Saliklis presented a peer-reviewed paper at the 50th Anniversary Symposium of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS). The symposium was held in Valencia, Spain and marked the founding of the IASS that took place in 1959 in Madrid, Spain under the guidance of the legendary engineer, Eduardo Torroja.

Ed presented a paper co-authored by Prof. Robert Arens of Cal Poly’s Dept. of Architecture, entitled "Rapidly Assembled Emergency Shelters Made From ‘Green’ Materials." It described the interdisciplinary project that Ed and Robert have supervised for the past year that has received $64,000 in funding from the Office of Naval Research.

Saliklis Travels to Budapest

Ed Saliklis in Budapest

In October of 2009, Ed Saliklis presented a paper at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Global Colloquium in Budapest, Hungary. The annual global colloquium unites the diverse elements of the international engineering education and corporate world while focusing on issues of interest to the international engineering education community.

The paper that Ed presented was co-authored by Prof. Robert Arens of Cal Poly’s Department of Architecture. It was entitled "Teaching Architects and Engineers: Up and Down the Taxonomy" and it explored the differing ways that architecture and engineering faculty address student learning through the prism of Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain. The presentation was well received by a wide variety of engineering educators.

Lawson Speaks in Oregon

John Lawson speaking at Structural Engineering Association of Oregon

On October 27th, 2009, ARCE faculty member John Lawson SE was an invited speaker by the Structural Engineers Association of Oregon to present current seismic design practices on concrete tilt-up buildings. In addition to presenting current design practices, Mr. Lawson provided insight into upcoming code changes in the upcoming 2009 IBC and the proper interpretation and application of those provisions to actual concrete tilt-up structures. Mr. Lawson is author of several chapters in the 2006 IBC Structural/Seismic Design Manual published by the International Code Council, and his Oregon presentation was adapted from his work on the behavior of tilt-up buildings under seismic loads. The Structural/Seismic Design Manual is in its third edition and is updated for each major building code cycle.


Loma Prieta Earthquake Commemorative Symposium

Jim Guthrie attended the Loma Prieta Earthquake Commemorative Symposium in San Francisco on October 17, 2009, the twentieth anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Speakers included structural engineers, geotechnical and geoscience professional and officials representing local, state and federal agencies.  Topics included technical engineering issues such as code development, performance-based design, liquefaction and ground motion prediction.  Also covered were such topics as the early warning, mitigation, preparation for and recovery from earthquakes and other natural disasters.  One of the speakers was Ken Topping, with the CRP Department at Cal Poly.  The ARCE department and Ken Topping are assisting the State of California with the preparation of their 2010 Harard Mitigation Program, a document that should the response to the next large earthquake. 


ARCE Visits Alumni and Partners

Al Estes visits Simpson Strong Tie

Al Estes and Linda Kristenson visited alumni and industry partners in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas on August 31 and September 1st. In San Diego, Al and Linda met with ARCE grads and firm owners Jim Wiseman and Steve Rohy in the offices of Wiseman and Rohy Structural Engineers. Next was a visit to see ARCE classmates (1979) Michael Gardner and Mike Romanowski at SDSE, formerly Steadman Dyson Structural Engineers. Al and Linda had a wonderful visit with Tim Yuen (ARCE 1970) at the offices of Burkette and Wong. Tim’s life story and journey to Cal Poly are truly unique. The San Diego portion culminated at Hope Engineering and ARCE classmate / partners (all 1982) Jim Amundson, Dave McMaster, and Brad Lowe. Hope has generously agreed to host the Cal Poly ARCE reception to be held in late September in conjunction with the annual SEAOC convention.

Al and Linda met with three firms in the Los Angeles area. As Simpson StrongTie is a huge supporter of this program and a frequent visitor to campus, it was only appropriate to finally visit their office in Brea. Alan Hanson and ARCE grad (1999) / former part time faculty member Damon Ho hosted the visit and gave a wonderful tour of both the facilities and the production area. Al next met with Joshua Johnston and Jim Bluse of Hilti to thank them for their support of the concrete blade structure and stick structure and look for ways to become more involved in the ARCE program. The final visit was to John A. Martin and Associates that included a great tour from Kal Benuska (ARCE 1985) that included a brief meeting with Trailer Martin. It was nice to see some more recent ARCE grads (Mike Brown, Jenny Bachmeier) in the office as well.

To see more pictures from the trip, go to our Facebook Page

Estes Travels to Florida

Al Estes and the Committee on Faculty Develpoment

Al Estes attended the semi-annual meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Faculty Development in Fort Myers, Florida on October 3rd. The committee planned the 2010 ExCEEd Teaching Workshops that will be held at the University of Colorado in Boulder and at the United States Military Academy at West Point in July. The Committee is working on DVDs of teaching seminars that can be provided to engineering programs to help develop adjunct faculty who will not be able to attend ExCEEd workshops. Al serves as the Department Head Council Executive Committee liaison to this committee.

ARCE Reception in San Diego

Alumna Michelle Kam-Biron with students Grace Rose and Brian Planas

Left to Right: Alumna Michelle Kam-Biron with students
Grace Rose and Brian Planas

The ARCE department hosted a reception for alumni and friends of the department on September 25th from 5:00 – 7:00 in the downtown offices of Hope Engineering. The event was held on conjunction with the annual SEAOC convention in San Diego. The department thanks both Hope Engineering and Jerry Lohr for their sponsorship and support of this reception. The J. Lohr winery donated the wine for the celebration. The reception was attended by more than 40 alumni from various years as well as industry partners. Attendees included Michelle Kam-Biron, Jim Amundson, Brad Lowe, Dave McMaster, Mike Romanowski, Ken O’Dell, Frana Alex-Floresca, Juanita Sanchez, Tom Jakaby, Jeff Baker, Luvelyn Lampitoc-Benitez, Damon Ho, Tim Hart, Mark Gilligan, Mike Romanowski, Steve and Liz Pelham, Stan Raap, Cameron Duncan, Marlou Rodriguez, Michael Buck, John Minton, Federico Aldana, and Richard Nagtalon.

Professor Brent Nuttall and alumni Justin Wei and Tanya Worotko Wei

Left to Right: Professor Brent Nuttall and alumni
Justin Wei and Tanya Worotko Wei

It was great to see some very recent graduates attend such as Jenny Bachmeier, Nick Bachmeier, Taka Yokoyama, Liz Kenyon, Keith Cullum, Tanya Wei, Justin Wei, Blake Schatz, Tomas Jimenez, Sarah Wagner, Kyle White, Allison Hellner, and Adam Azofeifa.

The formal program consisted of a welcome from Brad Lowe representing Hope Engineering. Al Estes made a few remarks on the department’s activities and progress over the past year. Ken O’Dell discussed the role of the ARCE Advisory Board and some of the financial needs of the department. Finally, some Cal Poly and ARCE memorabilia were offered as door prizes to those who had provided business cards. The grand prize SLO gift basket was won by Liz Kenyon. It was a wonderful event and the ARCE department looks forward to doing it again next year at the SEAOC convention in Palm Desert.

To see more pictures from the event, go to our Facebook Page.

Guest Lecturer for Faculty

Abrahamson with faculty

Dr. Norm Abrahamson, a Senior Engineering Seismologist in the Geosciences Department at PG&E, gave a three day seminar on "Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis" at Cal Poly for the ARCE faculty and graduate students.  The seminar expanded on the EERI Distinguished Lecture Dr. Abrahamson gave to the SEAOC student chapter this past spring titled "The State of the Practice of Seismic Hazard Analysis: From the Good to the Bad".  The three day seminar, held August 19th, September 2nd, and September 9th, brought ARCE faculty up to date with the state of the art of Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis and will directly benefit the ARCE students through in-class discussions and assignments.

Industry Involvement in Master's Projects

On August 20th 2009, Garen McDonald of the Ross McDonald Company visited Eric Nakamoto and Kevin Dong as the testing phase of Eric’s graduate project begins.  Eric is analyzing and testing library shelving units for dynamic response in accordance with code requirements.

McDonald, Nakamoto during testing oneMcDonald and Nakamoto during testing two


Arup Office

On August 14th 2009, Kevin Dong and Joe Thompson (ARCE graduate student) visited the ARUP-LA office to discuss Joe’s upcoming graduate project.  He will be conducting a parametric study to better understand the pros and cons of using PVC, PTFE, and Tensotherm™ as building materials for fabric structures. He is teaming with Stephen Lewis and others in the Los Angeles office to complete his work.


Faculty Presents Paper

Kevin Dong, Robert Arens, James Doerfler, Tom Leslie

From August 6th to August 8th, professors Kevin Dong (ARCE), James Doerfler (ARCH), and Robert Arens (ARCH) attended and presented papers at the 2009 BTES Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Kevin presented a paper with Tom Leslie from Iowa State University on “Haptic Structures” and a paper with James about their Collaborative Design Studio.

(From left to right:  Kevin Dong, Robert Arens, James Doerfler, Tom Leslie)


Faculty Attend ExCEEd Workshop

Al Estes attends the ExCEED workshop at the US Millitary AcademyEd Saliklis plays Ukelele at the US Millitary Academy

Al Estes, Ed Saliklis, and Peter Laursen attended the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop at the United States Military Academy at West Point from July 22 – 27th. Peter attended as a participant, Ed as an assistant mentor for a participant group and Al presented three seminars and a demonstration class. Ed became famous as he wrote three songs for the workshop and performed them on his ukulele.

Peter Laursen at ExCEED

This is Al’s 19th 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, Ed Saliklis, Abe Lynn, and Peter Laursen have now attended the program and there have been at least five participants from the Civil Engineering Department.

Faculty Attend ExCEED Workshop

Al Estes at ExCEEDAbe Lynn at ExCEED

Al Estes and Abe Lynn attended the ExCEEd Teaching Workshop held at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona from July 12 – 17. Abe attended as a participant and is the fifth member of the ARCE faculty to attend this intense one-week teacher training program. Twenty-four 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. Al participated as a material presenter and group mentor. This was his 18th ExCEEd workshop over the last decade.

This year’s workshop was followed immediately by ExCEEd II, a day and a half graduate level workshop for those who have completed the ExCEEd workshop. This was the first time this ASCE sponsored workshop was conducted and brought 16 participants. Al Estes’ role in the workshop was the conduct of a demonstration class and presenting a seminar on dealing with challenging students.

Alumni Reception at SEAOC Convention

While at the SEAOC Convention, we invite all alumni to join us to renew old friendships, hear the latest news and see what makes Cal Poly ARCE unique.

When: Friday, September 25, 2009
Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where : Hope Engineering, 1301 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Cost: $20 at door

RSVP appreciated, but not required (805) 756-1314

Special Thanks to Event Sponsors:

Hope Engineering (now Coffman Engineers)

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

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