Several months ago, the International Masonry Institute (IMI) initiated a search for several structural engineering candidates to attend an Advanced Masonry Design Workshop at the John J. Flynn BAC/IMI International Training Center in Bowie, Maryland. Their plan for the workshop was to host several structural engineers from throughout the country with extensive masonry design experience to further the development and use of structural masonry. The western leg of their search brought them to Lionakis, who was specifically sought out due to our knowledge and history of excellence awards in the use of structural masonry. The Structural Studio’s very own, James Langelier was then selected amongst 14 other engineers from across the country to attend as one of two west-coast representatives.

Over the course of three days in October, engineers were presented with a series of learning opportunities in advanced masonry construction on both structural brick and concrete masonry units (CMU). The workshop engaged engineers in both classroom and training-room floor exercises to review various construction methodologies throughout the country and outline proper approaches to efficient masonry design.

Classroom discussions focused on masonry system selection, advanced modeling techniques and breakdown of code interpretations. Sessions also centered around showcasing resources available to the engineers, developing engineer’s awareness of the various masonry materials and providing engineers with feedback on different detailing requirements, just to name a few of the many topics.

On the training-room floor, engineers were given the opportunity to execute some of the tasks performed by the masons to gain a better understanding of the trade. Engineers were tasked with grouting a CMU Wall, laying wythes of brick and even operating a specialized block-laying machine, titled “The Mule.” A specialty, weight-calibrated machine designed to assist masons with the handling of masonry blocks for placement in up to 12” wide masonry walls.

James had an amazing time in attendance at this new workshop and was grateful for the opportunity to learn and connect with other Structural Engineers from all over the country. Some of his biggest takeaways were an increased understanding of thermal barriers and cavity walls, as well as learning about the storm-shelter requirements of mid-western schools. Congratulations and thanks for sharing about this opportunity with us James!

Looking to join our team? Here are open roles in the Lionakis Structural Engineering Studio.