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Past Industry Advisory Council Members

Michelle Kam-Biron, PE, SE, SECB

Director of Education - American Wood Council

Michelle Kam-Biron is a California licensed structural engineer and Director of Education for the American Wood Council (AWC) where she is expanding continuing education resources for architects, engineers, and building officials as well as coordinating the development of university level wood design course.  She earned a BS in Architectural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo and has over 20 years of experience managing and designing a wide range of projects. She is a certified Earthquake Disaster Assessment volunteer, member of the International Code Council.  She serves on the NCSEA Basic Wood Education Committee and Continuing Education Committee as well as the ASCE-SEI Wood Education Committee.  She is current President of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California and is currently a volunteer on the Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo Architectural Engineering Industry Advisory Council.

Robert Newsom

AC Martin

Bob Newsom brings over 40 years of experience and leadership in the architectural profession to AC Martin.  Bob is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and past president of the Los Angeles Chapter.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the Design Build Institute of America, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Southern California Architectural Guild, as well as Technical Advisory Panels for the Urban Land Institute. A registered architect in California, Arizona and Alaska, Bob received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arizona. 

Colin Blaney, SE

Executive Principal - ZFA

Colin brings more than 25 years of experience in structural engineering and design of community colleges, healthcare and correctional facilities throughout California and Washington. Colin is well engaged with the Structural Engineer’s Association of Northern California both within technical committees as well as leadership roles. From 2007-2010 Colin served as Chair of the SEAONC Existing Buildings Committee which is dedicated to both code development and interpretation of design provisions for existing buildings.  Colin has been on the Board of Directors for five years and is currently serving as past president to the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California. Colin also served as a delegate to the SB 588/DSA-CC Code Development Group on behalf of the Structural Engineers Association of California and was named as SEAONC Fellow in 2012.

Mark Sarkisian, PE, SE, LEED AP

Structural and Seismic Engineering Partner - SOM

Sarkisian is the structural and seismic engineering partner in SOM's San Francisco office. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut, where he is a Fellow of the Academy of Distinguished Engineers. He has designed more than 100 major building projects around the world, including: The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the NBC tower in Chicago, the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait.

Luvelyn Benitez, SE

Hope-Amundson Engineering Associate

Luvelyn has been with Hope-Amundson since 2006. Her expertise includes research and development facilities, educational facilities, commercial office buildings, medical office buildings and manufacturing facilities. She is also a busy mom of two kids and enjoys visiting the Central Coast where she grew up.

 

Grace Kang

Senior Principal - Forell/Elsesser Engineers, INc.

Grace began at Forell/Elsesser in 1987 and is a Senior Principal with the firm. Throughout her more than 25-year career, she has focused on improving the quality of our built environment with good design. Her passion for quality design, concern for community wellbeing, and a desire to work closely with her clients results in carefully crafted and efficiently-designed buildings. Grace thrives in working closely with team members to balance project issues and constraints. Her approach to structural engineering focuses on satisfying the needs of the building as a whole, protecting its present and future occupants, and incorporating sustainable principles into project solutions. She is particularly interested in the interaction of a building structure with its other systems, with a focus on seismic sustainability and resiliency. Her project experience includes institutional, educational, healthcare, and multi-family housing structures.

Steve Schiller

President - John A. Martin & Associates of Nevada Inc.

During the last 14 years, since joining John A. Martin & Associates, Steve Schiller, S.E., has played an integral role in the company’s continued success and growth. His leadership skills have recently been recognized with his advancement to president of the company. As a professional structural and civil engineer with 23 years of experience, Schiller has been focused on the design of a variety of buildings, including buildings using steel, masonry, wood, and precast, post tensioned and mild reinforced concrete. The International Association of Iron Workers has recognized Schiller’s work for the advancement of steel construction. The breadth of his experience contributes to the quality of his projects by understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the structural systems available and how they impact the owners, architects, consultants, builders and his team. Schiller’s more prominent engineering successes include some of Las Vegas’ most well-known landmarks, such as the Sunset Station hotel-casino, Bellagio resort, Wynn Las Vegas podium, Phases 1 and 2 of the World Market Center and the Caesars Palace Colosseum. Schiller is a licensed civil and structural engineer in Nevada and California and is also a licensed civil engineer in Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in architectural engineering from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and his Juris Doctorate degree (cum laude) from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Rom Hamburger

Senior Principal and Head of Structural Engineering, Western Region - Simpson Gumpertz and Heger

Ron joined SGH in 2002 with more than thirty years of experience in civil and structural engineering; building design, investigation, and code development; and research. He is an internationally recognized expert in earthquake-resistant design and structural performance evaluation and is widely recognized in the structural engineering community for his leadership in performance-based design.

Kenneth D. O'Dell

Vice PResident & Partner - MHP Structural Engineers

Ken O’Dell is vice president and partner of MHP structural engineers, leading design groups working in a diverse range of projects including commercial office buildings, K-12 schools, higher education, big box retail, and multi-family housing projects. He is the partner in charge of staff resources and provides guidance on the firms corporate marketing efforts and business direction. He received his B.S in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly in 1989. He holds a Structural Engineering license in California and Oregon as well as professional engineering licenses in several other states. He is also an active member in several engineering organizations including SEAOSC, ASCE, AISC and ACI. With years of experience in the structural engineering field and a creative approach to business and design, he provides the firm with invaluable leadership in realizing creative solutions to meet clients' needs.

Maryann T. Phipps

President - Estructure, SE

Maryann Phipps has nearly 30 years of experience evaluating, designing and renovating buildings in California. She assists both public and private clients understand and address the risks associated with earthquake hazards. The mainstay of her practice is structural design related to hospital renovations. Maryann has been responsible for the design of replacement hospitals and medical office buildings, renovations to most acute care departments and seismic restraint of nonstructural components. She is professionally very active in the engineering community and is a Past President and Fellow of the Structural Engineers Association of California.

Paul KovachRick Ransom

President/CEO - Brooks Ransom Associates

Rick Ransom has over 27 years of experience in the structural engineering field. Prior to joining W.M. Brooks, Inc. in 1983, he was Chief Structural Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works for the City of Fresno where he was responsible for the operation of the Structural Plan Check Division and the 65 member Inspection Division. Rick was appointed to Vice President at W.M. Brooks, Inc. in 1985 and the company became Brooks Ransom Associates in 1993 with Rick assuming the role of President in 1996. He currently manages the business, while maintaining close contact with many clients.

While Rick has done extensive design work in all areas of practice within the firm, he has more recently focused on the seismic study of Grandstands, forensic investigation and reporting, expert witness, and analysis and design for retrofit of Historic Structures. Rick is known by his clients to be the engineer-of-choice for specialized projects and difficult structural systems.

Joshua Moody

Nabih Youseff

 

Hayley Soderlund

Senior Project Engineer - E-L Construction

 

 

Rob Gayle

Associate Vice Chancellor - UC. Berkley, AIA

 

Ricardo Arevalo

Simpson Strong Tie

Mr. Arevalo is Vice President of Engineering for Simpson Strong-Tie. Originally hired for support, design and development of the Strong-Wall product line, he soon became involved with the research and improvement of many other lateral products. Prior to joining Simpson Strong-Tie, he was principal of his own engineering firm where he provided services in structural design, evaluations, rehabilitation and litigation consultation. His past experience also includes education as a part time instructor for timber design courses at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is the co-author of several articles on multi-tiedown systems and has made numerous technical presentations to organizations on Code changes & light frame topics. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a registered Structural and Civil Engineer in California.

Mike Botwin

Cal Poly Emeritus Faculty

 

Robert H. Desautels

Principal/CEO - ATi Architects & Engineers, PE, LEED AP

Bob Desautels founded ATI in 1989, and currently serves as its CEO.  Today, ATI is a statewide Architecture, Engineering and Design/Build Construction Company, with offices in Danville, Roseville, Redlands and Costa Mesa.  Focused on high-value delivery methods, the firm

provides turn-key integrated A&E design and construction services in highly complex markets including: education, biotech, manufacturing, defense, emergency response, telecommunications and infrastructure. For six years in a row, ATI was named one of the fastest growing business enterprises in the San Francisco bay area.  ATI has also twice been named to the Zweig-White Hot-100 list of A/E firms in the nation.  Prior to founding ATI, Bob was an engineering consultant to the nuclear power industry.  Bob received his Bachelor’s degree in ARCE from Cal Poly, SLO, in 1981.  He is an Accredited LEED Professional, a Licensed General Building Contractor, and a Licensed Professional Engineer.  As an owner and developer, Bob actively manages Real Estate investment projects in six different Counties.  Active in his community, he is currently serving as the Chairman of the Board for the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, and as President-Elect of the Rotary Club of San Ramon, California.

Jake Feldman

Cal Poly ARCE Emeritus Faculty

 

Jorn Holle

Degenkolb

 

David Lambert

Arup

 

Christopher Manning

Project executive - Overaa Construction

Chris Manning is Project Executive at Overaa Construction, a 102-year-old general contractor based in the East Bay. Chris joined Overaa in 1986 and has over 28 years of experience in the construction industry.  He is an expert in managing large, design build, multi-level projects.  As Project Executive, he oversees various award winning projects including parking structures, historic restorations, educational and industrial facilities.  Chris directs and manages projects for many of Overaa’s longstanding private clients.  Under his direction, UC Berkeley Underhill Parking Facility & Athletic Field – a $35 Million, LEED equivalent, 1,000-space, 380,000sf, 4- level parking facility – received the Award of Excellence in Categories II and V for the 2009

International Parking Awards – the highest honors a parking structure can receive.  Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  He is a member of the Design Build Institute of America.

David Mar, SE

Principal and Lead Designer - Tipping Mar

Since being named principal and lead designer in 2000, David Mar has continued in the firm’s long-standing tradition of well-crafted engineering solutions, while introducing an emphasis on creativity and exploration supported by practical, project-specific research.

David advocates early collaboration with architects and contractors to provide clients with the most cost-effective design solutions possible. Moreover, his focus on high-performance seismic and sustainable design has positioned Tipping Mar at the forefront of the green-building movement. His enthusiasm for innovation has fueled the expansion of his design repertoire from traditional steel, concrete, and wood construction to rammed earth, bamboo, straw bale, timber frame, and structural insulated panels.

David frequently lectures at the engineering departments of the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and the Lean Construction Institute. He has published articles in numerous publications and has received many local and national awards in the areas of new construction, seismic renovation, and sustainable design.

David has practiced structural engineering for more than twenty years, having received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley.

His work and research demonstrate his desire to provide a complete design product that is thoughtfully integrated with the project’s environment, accommodating long-term sustainability, seismic conditions, cost, and interdisciplinary design parameters.

Jonathan McMurty, AIA, LEED AP

Associate and Director of Design - Lionakis

Jonathan is an Associate and Director of Design for Higher Education Projects with the firm Lionakis, located in Sacramento, San Francisco, Orange, Modesto and Reno. He is also serving on the Cal Poly ARCE Advisory Council. Jonathan has over 20 years of experience in the

design, production, and construction administration of educational, commercial, and institutional facilities. His creative design abilities result in innovative, quality solutions that encourage learning and education. Jonathan is a LEED® accredited professional and dedicated to implementing sustainable design solutions. Jonathan received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly in 1988.

Dani Paxson

kpff

 

Steve Pelham, SE, F. SEAOC

President - Barrish Pelham & Associates , INC.

Steve Pelham is president of Barrish Pelham & Associates, Inc. located in Sacramento, California.  Mr. Pelham, who received his B.S. in Architectural Engineering in 1976, does not hesitate to credit Cal Poly as "a great start to his engineering career both personally and professionally. The practice-based education combined with a fantastic alumni network opened many doors." He is a licensed engineer in six states and is certified through the SECB. Mr. Pelham is president-elect of the Structural Engineering Association of California and in the past has served as president for the Applied Technology Council and director for the Field Act Advisory Board.  He is also affiliated with the International Conference of Building Officials, SEAOCC Professional Practice Committee, SEAOCC Existing Buildings Committee and the American Concrete Institute.

Mr. Pelham established an engineering practice in 1981. Mr. Pelham is presently the firm’s Chief Executive Officer and also serves as a Principal in charge of numerous large structural and forensic engineering projects.

Mr. Pelham has been employed as a consulting engineer since 1976. He has acted as a project engineer, project manager, and construction administrator for hundreds of successful projects. As a general practitioner his background includes work in concrete, steel, masonry and timber structures. Projects have ranged from new multi-story structures to the seismic retrofitting of registered historic buildings. In addition to new and modernization construction, Mr. Pelham has extensive experience in investigating the cause and origin of property damage claims and structural failures.

Jonathan McMurty, AIA, LEED AP

Associate and Director of Design - Lionakis

Jonathan is an Associate and Director of Design for Higher Education Projects with the firm Lionakis, located in Sacramento, San Francisco, Orange, Modesto and Reno. He is also serving on the Cal Poly ARCE Advisory Council. Jonathan has over 20 years of experience in the

design, production, and construction administration of educational, commercial, and institutional facilities. His creative design abilities result in innovative, quality solutions that encourage learning and education. Jonathan is a LEED® accredited professional and dedicated to implementing sustainable design solutions. Jonathan received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly in 1988.

Arthur E. Ross, SE, F. SEAOC, F. ASCE

President/CEO - CYS Structural Engineers, INC.

Arthur E. Ross leads a 45-year-old structural engineering firm that provides structural design of new structures, investigation of existing structures, seismic analysis and retrofit, plan checking and peer review to the public and private sector. Art received a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1966 and an M.S. in Civil-Structural Engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1972. He has been very active in professional organizations, taking part on numerous committees, and serving as Board member and President of both the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC). He has been recognized on several occasions for his contributions, including being honored by his peers with the designation of Fellow of the Structural Engineers Association of California and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Art has chaired and served on the Division of the State Architect Advisory Board, is currently an appointed member to the City of Sacramento Fire and Life Safety Board and is a Structural Engineer Member of the SB588 California Community College Alternative Process. He is a licensed structural engineer in California, Nevada and Washington.

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