2023 Schedule of Events
Over the course of 2 days, the 2023 SEAoT State Conference will feature industry experts providing vital educational opportunities for attendees, as well as an unparalleled line-up of exhibitors.
Pre-Conference – Wednesday, September 27, 2023
4:00pm - 6:30pm
4:00pm - 7:00pm
Attendee Registration Opens
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Kirby Ice House - Memorial City
Welcome to Houston Reception
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Exhibitors Booth Set-up
Day 1 – Thursday, September 28, 2023*
7:00am - 8:00am
4th Floor - Azalea Foyer
Breakfast with Exhibitors & Registration
8:00am - 9:30am
Keynote: Emerging Trends in Structural Engineering – Embracing the Future (1.5 PDH)
Speaker: Emily M Guglielmo, SE, PE, F. SEI
In the ever-evolving landscape of technological advancements and societal progress, the field of Structural Engineering has often been perceived as resistant to change. Recognizing the immense value that Structural Engineers bring to society, it is crucial that we no longer remain confined to traditional methods and approaches. Instead, we must seize the opportunities presented by emerging trends to propel our profession into the forefront of innovation.
Join us for a compelling keynote address that explores how Structural Engineers can not only embrace change but also become leaders in shaping the future. We will delve into key topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Diversity, and Codes, highlighting how these advancements can revolutionize our field. By harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence, we can augment our design capabilities, enhance efficiency, and unlock new possibilities. Embracing diversity within our profession fosters creativity, collaboration, and the incorporation of fresh perspectives, ultimately driving better solutions for the challenges we face. Additionally, staying ahead of evolving codes and standards ensures that our structures are resilient, sustainable, and adapted to the changing needs of our society.
This keynote address aims to inspire and empower practicing Structural Engineers to step beyond the confines of tradition, embracing emerging trends as opportunities for growth and improvement. Together, let us chart a course toward a future where our profession leads the way in technological innovation and societal impact.
9:30am - 9:50am
Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
9:50am - 10:50am
Fatigue Behavior and Design of Steel Railway Bridges (1 PDH)
Speaker: Gary Fry,Ph.D., P.E.
At least 50,000 miles of railway existed in the U.S. in 1870. By 1890, railway mileage had more than tripled exceeding 160,000 miles. Roughly 110,000 miles of railway had been built in those 20 years—enough to encircle the Earth 4.5 times! And, of course, many bridges were built.
Bridges are essential to a railway, allowing us to build optimally-routed tracks that cross major rivers and small streams, deep canyons and shallow swales. Railway bridges come in many span configurations often incorporating multiple types in a particular bridging solution—-arches, girders, trusses, and trestles. They have been made from a variety of different materials–wrought iron, steel, concrete, stone, wood, and combinations of these. As dictated by the local needs along the railway, one bridge to the next can vary greatly in length from a short, single span of less than 15 feet to a multi-mile trestle comprising hundreds of spans. It can be estimated that roughly 2,700 total miles of bridge spans were built between 1870 and 1890—-a little under 2% of the 160,000 miles that comprised the U.S. railway network at that time.
Over this same period, locomotive weights and railcar loads continually increased. So much so that in the 1890s, engineers speculated that future increases in train loads would lead to rapid replacement of bridges then being constructed. By the 1930s, it appeared that these predictions would become fact; loads for railway bridges were approximately twice those used in the original designs. Engineers and researchers began to observe and investigate a new type of damage occurring in the steel bridges–fatigue cracks.
Around the U.S. today, thousands of steel railway bridges built in the 1910s and earlier have supported revenue service train operations well into the 21st century. But few, if any, have done so without strategic engineering interventions. With increasing frequency, these bridges are being replaced with new structures that incorporate “lessons learned” from our experiences maintaining their predecessors.
This presentation offers a discussion of the history of railway bridge engineering in the U.S. with a focus on the development of fatigue design and rating provisions for steel spans. Current design and rating provisions will be presented, and we will conclude with a look into future fatigue risk assessment and mitigation strategies that are under development and consideration.
10:50am - 11:00am
11:00am - 12:00pm
Design and Construction of 75-Story J.P. Morgan Chase Tower (1 PDH)
Speaker: Joe Colaco, Ph.D., P.E.
This talk will present the design and construction of Houston’s 75-story J.P. Morgan Chase Tower, the tallest building in Houston and Texas. The presentation will focus on a variety of structural design and construction challenges, including the structural analysis of the building, wind tunnel testing, slope forming of the composite core wall, flying form for the exterior composite system, and the 63′ deep excavation and mat foundation.
12:00pm - 12:30pm
Lunch Buffet Opens
12:30pm - 1:30pm
SEAoT Lunch Awards & Legislative Update (1 PDH)
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Tolerance and Constructability Considerations for Steel-Reinforced Concrete Buildings (1 PDH)
Speaker: Rob Kinchler, P.E.
This presentation provides guidelines to identify tolerance conflicts commonly encountered in the construction of steel-reinforced, cast-in-place concrete buildings. Recommendations on how to possibly avoid and remedy such conflicts are also given. Also covered are general recommendations that, when implemented, will help improve constructability and reduce RFIs.
Course will award 1.0 hours of continuing education.
2:30pm - 2:45pm
Coffee with Exhibitors
2:45pm - 3:45pm
Unique Structural Aspects of the Houston Zoo Galapagos Exhibit (1 PDH)
Speaker: Jessalyn Nelson, P.E.
This presentation will feature the structural engineering supporting the Houston Zoo’s new Galapagos exhibit, which boasts a variety of habitats and features as well as support spaces for the staff and animals over 2.5 acres. The engineering services provided by Walter P Moore played a crucial role in the design and construction of the Galápagos Islands exhibit. The firm provided structural design for the entire site, including exhibit pools, back-of-house areas, animal life support infrastructure, sculpture and signage bases, and portions of the artificial rock formations. Walter P Moore also offered guidance and assistance for the remaining artificial rock formations, acrylic panels, and animal caging. The project includes large tanks, including corrosive salt water pools and mixing chambers. Walter P Moore developed several specialty concrete mixes and carefully detailed the exposed areas to mitigate against leaks and deterioration in these critical elements. Animal health and safety considerations introduced additional challenges, including coordination with substantial Life Support System infrastructure and mindful material selections. Walter P Moore incorporated loading allowances as well as particular detailing to accommodate specialty acrylic and rockwork in the exhibit spaces. Extensive collaboration and creative approaches resulted in an immersive experience for visitors while protecting animal health and safety.
3:45pm - 4:00pm
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Seismic Design of PetroTerminal de Panama’s New Marine Terminal in Puerto Armuelles, Panama (1 PDH)
Speakers: Emily McCarthy, Ph.D., P.E. and Sarvesh Khanna, P.E.
As part of a Design/Build contract, WEEKS Marine constructed a new loading platform for PetroTerminal de Panama to replace a damaged loading platform at Dock 2 near Puerto Armuelles, Panama. The old platform was hit by a 300,000 DWT oil tanker in 2020 and damaged the platform beyond repair. Given the high seismic demands in the region, a large pile footprint employing batter piles was originally assumed as required for the replacement terminal. This traditional terminal pile layout required more piles, more money, and a longer schedule to complete. However, through creative engineering and industry knowledge, SGH and Lloyd Engineering proposed a compact plumb pile layout, using a steel jacketed frame and steel plumb piles, which achieved the project’s seismic design requirements. Because of the alternate pile design, the elevated deck was allowed to displace laterally during an earthquake more than the old deck. This meant that the piping system connected to the old land trestle had to safely accommodate the new deck displacements. This case study presentation will describe the seismic design and analysis of the new plumb pile marine terminal and the accompanying seismic pipe stress analysis per MOTEMS and ASME B31 standards.
6:00pm - 7:00pm
Cocktail Reception with Exhibitors
7:00pm - 10:00pm
3rd Floor - Wisteria Ballroom
CSI Dinner Party featuring the Ashraf All-Stars
Day 2 – Friday, September 29, 2023*
7:30am - 8:30am
Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:30am - 10:00am
Legal Challenges Facing Our Profession: Where are we at risk? (1.5 PDH)
Speakers: Tanner Weil, PSP; Stephen Lucy, P.E.; Michael Lee, P.E.; Kerry C. Williams, P.E.
ABSTRACT: This panel discussion will delve into the pressing legal challenges confronting our profession. Moderated by SEAoT President, David Williams, our panelists will explore the intersection of structural engineering and the legal landscape, addressing issues such as contracts, standard of care, technology risks, and common areas of structural claims. We will also discuss industry trends, offering valuable insights to help practitioners and stakeholders navigate these legal complexities. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the legal challenges facing structural engineers and learn what others are doing to mitigate risks in our evolving industry.
10:00am - 10:30am
Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
10:30am - 11:30am
Nondestructive Testing to Support Investigative Engineering (1 PDH)
Speaker: Joshua White, Ph.D., P.E. and Peter Larson, P.E., LEED AP
This presentation discusses common and not-so-common construction issues in reinforced concrete structures, and how investigative engineering can utilize nondestructive testing (NDT) to diagnose and resolve these issues. This presentation is geared for the structural engineer who desires to learn more about the nondestructive testing tools available to aid in an investigative engineering effort. We will present the fundamental principles of NDT and the advantages and limitations these test methods may present for practical field use. We will also review two case studies where structural diagnostics using NDT helped to solve real problems: one project involving voids at post-tensioned tendon anchorages, and one involving determining the extent of fire damage to structural elements.
11:30am - 11:40am
11:40am - 12:40pm
The State of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in AEC (1 PDH)
Speaker: Kristin Kautz, CPSM
AI has dropped a bomb on the public lexicon in the past year. Suddenly it is everywhere, and you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are feeling curious, lost, or even left behind, you are not alone. How do you wade through the technology, keep updated on every advancement happening at lightning speed, and most importantly, understand how it impacts you, your job, and your business – specifically within the AEC industry?
This seminar will explore AI 101, what it is, and what you should know, including its inherent problems and emerging opportunities. We will outline the most significant ways that AI will affect your business from top to bottom, in every corner of your organizational chart, through design, leadership, management, HR, accounting, legal, and marketing.
We will also share the results from our latest AI survey and provide recommendations for immediate next steps. Whatever you think is next is actually already here. The future is happening today. This seminar is designed for anyone interested in understanding the transformative power of AI in the AEC industry. We promise you will walk away with valuable insights into the current state of AI adoption in the AEC industry and how it is shaping our future, right now.
*Subject to change
The 2023 annual Structural Engineers Association of Texas (SEAoT) State Conference is considered one of the leading events in the state for practicing professional engineers. Join us to learn the latest in structural engineering while earning 11 PDHs.