This article originally appeared in SEAW Equilibrium.
2016 is the last year of my term serving on the Board of Directors of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington. It has been a very rewarding time to serve on the Board. During my term, I have been involved in the ASCE/Structural Engineer Institute (SEI) Leadership as the SEAW sub-liaison. The experience has been tremendous to see the other organizations throughout the country.
At the SEI Leadership conference, I met our peers from other areas nationwide. SEAW is not a SEI Chapter, instead we are a Technical Group of SEI. This is because SEAW, like most of the West Coast building structure engineering associations, is closely tied to the National Council of Structural Engineer Association (NCSEA). This has been one of the topics in SEI leadership conference because the two associations are running parallel. Both have the common objective to enhance the structural engineering profession. Similar with NCSEA, SEI is also very focused on promoting SE licensure in all jurisdictions for a common certification.
SEI’s Vision for the Future is its long term strategy to ensure a vibrant and dynamic future for the structural engineering profession. The Vision and objectives are described in their website http://www.asce.org/structural-engineering/structural-engineering-institute.
There is no right or wrong in what we have been doing. But, what I can see is simply a disparity of focus. In SEAW, the majority of the professionals are focusing on building design. While in ASCE/SEI, the majority of the professionals are focusing on structures other than building design, e.g. bridges and offshore structure design. In our chapter as you already know, SEAW has combined events with ASCE. Last year, we held a golf tournament. We also hold a combined dinner program annually, which this year was in March with the topic “What Seismic Steel Design Is All About” by Chi-Ming Uang.
On another aspect, I have not been able to meet my goal to get involved in collaboration with local universities in preparing and empowering our future structural engineers to ensure the future of our craft. At one point I talked with Dr. Katie Kuder of Seattle University, but, I never get into the collaboration part. It is still my long term goal as a structural engineer, and I see it as very important for our profession. Especially at the time where we are facingmore challenging structures and a more and more computerized system, design, analysis, and drafting. We need a professional that will be able to accommodate these demands.
Finally, I would like to say I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization. As always, I’d like to invite SEAW young members to actively participate in our organization. This will be very rewarding in supporting the organization to achieve its vision and objectives, and for your own personal development in structural engineering field.
-Ignasius Seilie, Principal-Partner Integrated Design Engineers