Joyce Fuss is a Structural Engineering Associate at Lionakis and the 2018/2019 Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) President

This month I am reminded why I love structural engineering: we save lives and make life better for our communities by improving the performance of structures in our designs and by our contributions to standards and resources for the industry. One of the best opportunities for sharing knowledge and the exchange of ideas is coming up in just a few months and all of us are looking forward to a great 2019 SEAOC convention at the end of August at the Squaw Creek Resort at Lake Tahoe. More information and registration for the convention is available here.

As professional Engineers, we continue to raise awareness of the ways in which SEAOC is influencing the practice of structural engineering and the evolution of industry standards across the United States and beyond. It is important that we look at our relationship and collaboration with the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations NCSEA, an organization that SEAOC was instrumental in helping to form and develop. It has continued to be an organization that we support and look to for resources to strengthen our association, as well as work with so that together we can both say we have elevated the status of our profession over the past 25 years.

We had an opportunity to re-evaluate what the give-and-take of this affiliation between SEAOC and NCSEA involves at the board meeting held before our convention in Southern California last September. We also had an unprecedented number of SEAOC delegates attend the NCSEA summit in Chicago in October, to further this conversation and raise the level of interaction between our organizations.

In Chicago, there were many amazing opportunities to interact with delegates from across the nation and develop a deeper understanding of our profession and collective initiatives on a national scale. Presentations included shared association successes and problem-solving, which were then explored further in the breakout sessions. It turns out that we all face the same challenges and share the same goals! And by exchanging ideas, everyone benefited from the conversations regarding membership engagement and growth value, non-dues revenue generation and management, communication and the benefits of annual meetings and conferences like this.

The evening gala event “A Celebration of Structural Engineering” at Navy Pier was hosted by CSI (Computer Structures Inc.) and the Friday NCSEA Awards banquet included the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards ceremony and special awards.

I also had the privilege of attending a meeting of the CASE (Council of American Structural Engineers), ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers)/SEI (Structural Engineering Institute)/NCSEA, Joint Coalition,  during which the discussion included a vision to “make a case for change” and look at the big picture of “The Future of Structural Engineering”.  The group started out by creating an outline of initiatives important to all three organizations and then working to determine the best organization(s) to lead and channel the effort for each project. Efforts range from tracking and influencing legislative issues and licensure/models, to tracking on a national scale, to professional development and support for emerging professionals.

This article has been abbreviated for the Lionakis Blog platform. The entire original posting can be found on the SEAOC website.