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January 17th Meeting: "Insight into Engineering a National Landmark and a People’s Journey"

posted Dec 27, 2016, 6:56 PM by robert miller   [ updated Dec 27, 2016, 7:02 PM ]
Presented by Michael A. Ajomale, PE

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description:
Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the museum chronicles and memorializes the African American experience in a new 376,00-sq.-ft building that itself becomes part of the story. The mission of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is “to tell the story of America through the lens of black history and culture.”  The building is the result of years of planning and an international design competition sponsored by the Smithsonian Museum Council.  In the end, a team of 32 consultants were managed by the Architect of Record, the Freelon Group.  

This presentation comes from the perspective of the structural engineer who acted as the owner’s representative for all things structural.  In addition to peer reviews of all structural work on the project, the owner’s rep was responsible for design of all miscellaneous metals.  Unlike most projects, the miscellaneous metals are integral to the mission of the building, and include major aspects of the public experience, like the monumental stair, which is traversed by thousands of visitors from all over the world.  This presentation will take us beyond the holistic view of the triple inverted pyramid shape to focus on the unique nuances of the design and how they relate to the occupants’ experiences.  For instance, that unusual shape is actually in perfect alignment with the angles at the peak of the Washington Monument, which sits nearby.  Even the intended egress of the building is symbolic.  It begins in the darkness of the bottom, in which two-thirds of the museum’s space is located more than 65ft below grade on four different levels – and ends at the top where the building skin (an iconic façade system), which consists of a bronze lattice work connected to a complicated truss system, is placed with precision to filter sunlight.  Not only is the craftsmanship of the bronze rooted in traditions of African American ironworkers, it “evokes a feeling of sunlight dappling through the trees.”  Visitors quite literally emerge from darkness and move into light.  Essentially, every aspect of the building is the result of intricate planning and weighted with special meaning.  The structure of the building is no exception, and this presentation will give us an opportunity to learn what it is like to design with such purpose.

Time-lapsed video of museum construction

Presenter Bio:
Michael A. Ajomale is the founding principal of Design Depictions Structural Engineering, P.C., a licensed professional engineer, LEED Accredited Professional and a Construction Quality Control Manager certified with the Army Corp of Engineers. He is licensed in the states of NY, NJ, DE, MD, VA, PA & DC and a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University’s Architectural Engineering Bachelors and Masters programs. Michael worked in New York City for 10 years before starting DDSE in February of 2011. His ability, knowledge and expertise within the Building and Construction Industry stems from years of experience working on multi-story office buildings, educational and health care facilities, commercial, residential, industrial buildings and special structures.  Michael is a member of Structural Engineering Association of Metro Washington, the American Institute of Steel Construction, and American Society of Civil Engineers.

Evening Schedule:
Event Date: Tuesday, January 17th  
6:00 – 7:00 PM: Registration/Deli Buffet/Open Bar
7:00 – 8:00 PM: SEI Announcements and Presentation
8:00 – 8:15 PM: Q&A and Closing Remarks

Cost for this Event:
SEI-MD Member from Sponsored firm = $25
Non-member from sponsored firm = $30
Dues Paying SEI-MD Member from non-sponsored firm = $40
Non-member from non-sponsored firm = $45
Full-Time Students = FREE
Event Location:
The Engineers Society Of Baltimore (ESB)
Garrett-Jacobs Mansion
11 West Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Event Details:
(1) PDH awarded with attendance.
RSVP via Web Link to Sign-up Form 
Reservations will be considered firm and billed unless cancelled by no later than Friday noon prior to event.
Billing for late canceled reservations will be billed at the highest rate.
Checks or cash payable at the door. Checks payable to: “ASCE Maryland Section”.  Add a note indicating “January SEI Meeting” in the memo spot on the check.
Credit card payment also available via PayPal.
ESB Dress Code: Jacket required, Tie optional.