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The American Engineer

"Ours is a great profession. There is a fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.

The great liability of the engineer compared to…other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hoping that the people will forget.

On the other hand unlike the doctor, his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort and hope. No doubt, as years go by, people forget which engineer did it, even if they ever knew…But the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness which flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professionals may know."

Herbert Hoover, Inauguration Speech 1929.



Welcome to the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) website. Founded in 1930, SEAONC is committed to the advancement and incorporation of the state of the art in structural engineering standards and practices through applied research, continuing education, and the promotion of professional relations among Civil, Structural, and Geotechnical Engineers.

SEAONC endeavors to enhance the life safety, environmental health, and economic well-being of the public served by Structural Engineers through direct involvement in the development of building codes, community education, and consultation with legislative and regulatory agencies that influence the design and construction industry.


Public Information

Among the pages of this website, you will find much information ranging from earthquakes to community support.  Please feel free to explore what our association has to offer the general public.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the SEAONC office for assistance.

Earthquake Performance Rating System Users Guide

2020-2021 Sponsors

Contact Us

Structural Engineers Association
of Northern California
575 Market Street Suite 400
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.