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News & Press: President's Message

February President's Message

Saturday, February 1, 2020  
Posted by: Janiele Maffei
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The February SEAONC meeting on February 4 will include apresentation by Joe Maffei on “Challenges in Seismic Evaluationand Retrofitting”. (This is usually where I mention that Joe and I are not related so I will not disappoint). The presentation is well timed since the National Earthquake Conference (NEC) will convene in San Diego the following month. The NEC happens every four years bringing together what I refer to as the earthquake engineering community. The NEC website notes that this community will gather to “share the latest advances in earthquake science, best practices for outreach and education, building science and code advancement, and policy initiatives that improve resiliency.” Our organization will be well represented with David Bonowitz providing one of the keynote presentations and numerous SEAONC members contributing as moderators and speakers. This is yet another opportunity for SEAONC and SEAOC members to contribute to and learn from the broader community.

SEAONC and SEAOC have a long history of not just participating in earthquake engineering but in leading efforts to develop and put into practice the best available science and applied science. Our history as an organization is highlighted on the SEAONC website as having come a long way since 1930 when just 39 members started the organization. That “club” began to make significant contributions following the 1933 Long Beach earthquake when they counseled the California State legislature to pass the Field Act governing the design and construction of schools. Statewide, members became increasingly involved in code development and in 1959 SEAOC published model earthquake design recommendations entitled “Recommended Lateral Force Requirements” commonly referred to as the “Blue Book”. SEAONC and SEAOC continued to have a significant impact on earthquake engineering with their involvement in the California Hospital Act of 1971, the creation of the Applied Technology Council (ATC) in 1971, and the adoption of the Alquist-Priolo Studies Zone Act in 1972.

SEAONC and the statewide umbrella organization, SEAOC, have a long history of providing talented volunteers to local, State, and National committees creating and updating earthquake design standards. The opportunity for new members to contribute still exists on our seismology, existing buildings, resilience, and disaster emergency services committees (to name just a few). We hope that you will lend your voice, and your talents, to the earthquake engineering community through membership in one of SEAONC’s prestigious committees.

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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.