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When: 10/11/18
4:45 - 8:00 PM
Where: Thorton Tomasetti SF
650 California Street
Suite 1400
San Francisco, California  94108
United States
Contact: SEAONC

Online registration is closed.
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Onsite registration available Oct 11.

This panel will include opening remarks from the SE3 committee about the importance of work life balance, highlighting findings from the 2016 SE3 survey and related preliminary results from the most recent national survey. The five panelists will discuss their personal and organizational experiences in establishing work-life balance. Following the panel discussion will be a networking happy hour, during which attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, share thoughts and experiences, and solicit advice from the panelists.


4:45 pm
Registration opens 
5:00 pm
Reception / Light Appetizers and refreshments
5:45 pm
Opening / Welcoming Remarks | SE3 Team
6:00 pm
Introductions & Moderated Panel
7:15 pm
Closing thoughts from moderator & SEAONC President
7:20 pm
Networking Happy Hour
8:00 pm

Price: Member: $45.00 // Non-Member: $50.00 // Must be logged in to receive Member price

Please register online by Wednesday, Oct 10th.



Abe Lynn, PhD, P.E. Associate, Degenkolb Engineers

The son of a general contractor, Abe grew up building structures on his father’s work crews during the summers and weekends.  Combined with his love of math and physics, structural engineering was a logical choice when it came to applying for college.  It felt right then and still does. Abe was initially an academic, being a professor in architectural engineering at Cal Poly, SLO for 18 years before switching to professional practice in 2012.  He’s been a full-time employee at Degenkolb ever since. Abe’s responsibilities as an associate and engineering manager are project management and business development, as well as mentoring and assisting in the professional growth of engineers in his charge.

Abe is married to a structural engineer and they have two children, aged 11 and 12 years old.  While parenting, he loves camping, hiking and reading, when life gives him those opportunities.


Ibbi Almufti, S.E., P.E., Associate Principal, Arup

Ibbi is a structural engineer and risk and resilience consultant in Arup's San Francisco office. He is the city resilience skills leader for Arup’s Americas region and the manager of Arup’s global seismic skills network. He is a thought leader in resilience-based design, having led the development of the REDi Rating System — a framework for implementing enhanced design, business continuity planning, and risk verification to help organizations recover quickly in the aftermath of natural hazards. He serves on committees for FEMA, USGS, and the Building Seismic Safety Council to develop seismic design provisions for future national building codes. His projects include the resilience-based design of the 181 Fremont tower in San Francisco, the geoseismic analysis of the New International Airport for Mexico City, and the risk and resilience assessment of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Ibbi is married to a structural engineer and has two young children (1 and 5 years old) who require constant attention and are usually sick. He lives in San Francisco in a small apartment and too much of his paycheck goes to daycare costs. In his free time…oh wait, what free time?


Lizzie Blaisdell Collins, P.E., S.E., Director of Engineering, Build Change

Lizzie is the Director of Engineering for Build Change, a non-profit social enterprise that works with people in emerging nations to design, build, finance, and regulate disaster-resistant houses and schools.  Since 2013 she has worked with Build Change's engineering teams, consultants, volunteers and local partners providing technical assistance to communities rebuilding after disasters, such as the 2010 earthquake and 2016 Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, the 2013 and 2016 earthquakes in Aceh, Indonesia, 2013 Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.  Lizzie also leads Build Change's technical development for supporting cities, such as Bogota, Medellin, Guatemala, and Makati, in implementing disaster mitigation programs through the application of simplified evaluation and retrofit methodologies for highly vulnerable, informal housing. 

Lizzie is a registered structural engineer in California, where she worked previously for 8 years with Degenkolb Engineers after receiving her M.S. from the SEMM program at U.C. Berkeley and her B.S.E. from Princeton University.  She was the 2016 recipient of the EERI Shah Family Innovation Prize.

In August 2017, Lizzie became a first time mom to daughter, Isla, who keeps her and her husband very busy.  Together they enjoy spending time with family and traveling.


Gina Beretta, S.E. Associate | Project Director, Tipping Structural Engineers

Since arriving at Tipping as a structural designer in 2007, Gina Beretta has been involved in a wide variety of project types in the public and private sectors. She currently serves as project director for the ambitious seismic retrofit and expansion of 633 Folsom Street, an existing seven-story building with a five-story vertical addition, a total square footage of 278,000. Gina is also leading the design of 1950 Mission, two large PT-concrete buildings for affordable housing in San Francisco, and a vertical addition at Berkeley’s UC Press Building, currently in construction.

Other projects on which Gina proved instrumental include the LEED Platinum-certified 270 Brannan Street, modular public educational facility designs for Project FROG, and San Mateo’s Nueva High School at Bay Meadows — 120,000 sf of new construction comprising two steel structures. Expert at rapid evaluation, Gina has assessed more than a hundred structures for the National Parks Service, including several listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Gina earned her BS in civil engineering at UCLA, graduating cum laude, and her MS in civil engineering from UC Berkeley.

Outside of Tipping, Gina enjoys running, climbing, sailing, and skiing, dinner parties, and hanging out with her two dogs and fiancé.


David A. Friedman, S.E., Emeritus CEO, Senior Principal, Forell/Elsesser Engineers

David is a Senior Principal, and emeritus President, CEO and Board Chair of Forell/Elsesser Engineers Inc., with over 40 years of professional practice (over 35 years at F/E!) in structural and earthquake engineering. His strength, gained over the breadth and depth of his career, is a holistic perspective of a projects’ planning, design and construction and the collaborative integration of creative structural solutions with architects, engineers and builders.

With a specialty in seismic engineering and retrofitting of existing structures, particularly those with historic designation, David has solved numerous structural and earthquake engineering challenges during his career with Forell/Elsesser Engineers. Principal examples of his projects include the base isolation retrofits of San Francisco City Hall and the Asian Art Museum, the adaptive reuse and retrofit for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the seismic safety corrections and remodeling of UC Berkeley’s California Memorial Stadium. David is devoted to world-wide seismic risk reduction and is a former director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and a current director of Build Change.

From the beginning of his career, work-life balance has been critically important to David and his family. He found the need to be on a learning curve, driven to expose himself and his family to new things, and therefore travel has always been a very important part of his life. He is also deeply involved in many other civic, philanthropic and not-for-profit Boards including The San Francisco Foundation, SPUR, UC Berkeley Foundation, Jewish Senior Living Group, Faultline Foundation and the United States Resiliency Council (USRC).



Ayse Hortacsu, P.E., Director of Projects at the Applied Technology Council

Ayse Hortacsu is the Director of Projects at the Applied Technology Council, a structural engineering organization focused on technology transfer from research into practice. Her current and past projects include: development of next-generation performance-based seismic design guidance, guidance for nonlinear modeling of building systems, and post earthquake safety evaluation of buildings in Bhutan.

Ayse served on the Board of Directors of SEAONC from 2016 to 2018 and is an active member of the SE3 committee. In 2014, Ayse was named as an EERI Housner Fellow; she also served on the board of the Northern California chapter of EERI between 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Ayse founded the Women in Structural Engineering (WiSE) in San Francisco networking group, which communicates mainly via a LinkedIn group page (contact her to join!) where ideas and interesting articles are discussed and shared.

At home, Ayse manages the violin/swimming/soccer schedule of her two young boys with the help of her husband, also an engineer. She is the chair of the School Site Council of her son’s elementary school.

2019-2020 Sponsors

Contact Us

Structural Engineers Association
of Northern California
575 Market Street Suite 2125
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415.974.5147

Mission: To advance the practice of structural engineering, to build community among our members, and to educate the public regarding the structural engineering profession.

Vision: A world in which structural engineers are valued by the public for their contributions to building a safer and stronger community.