General Meetings

All general meetings occur at the Engineer's Society of Baltimore and start at approximately 6:00 PM. For more details, visit here.

To sign up for any of our general meetings, please register here.

September 5th 2018 Meeting:

Ship Collision Assessment & Mitigation for Two Long-Span Bridges in Vancouver

Presented by Michael Knott, PE

Vice President, Moffatt & Nichol

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Please note that this meeting occurs on Wednesday rather than Tuesday as is typical.

Topic Description:

The Lions Gate Bridge (LGB) and Ironworkers Memorial Bridge (IWMB) are major highway structures that cross the Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, British Columbia and are critical links in the provincial highway system. LGB is a suspension bridge with a 1,550 foot main span, and IWMB is a steel arch truss bridge with a 1,100 foot main span. The inlet is the busiest commercial port on Canada’s west coast where marine vessel traffic is projected to increase in both size and frequency. The two bridges were assessed for vessel collision risks based on the probability-based Method II approach specified in the Canadian and AASHTO Highway Bridge Design Codes, and physical pier protection mitigation alternatives were evaluated. Project analysis and design services were provided under contract to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure by MMM Group (now WSP) with Moffatt & Nichol as a subconsultant on the MMM Team.

Speaker Biography:

Mike Knott is an internationally recognized expert on complex issues related to transportation systems, bridge design, port engineering, rail, and heavy marine foundations. Over a 42-year career, he has developed a unique expertise on the specialized subject of ship and barge collisions with bridge and marine structures. Mike was the principal author of the AASHTO vessel collision specifications and is the author of numerous technical papers and articles dealing with extreme events, risk analysis, bridge pier protection systems and other topics.

In 1987 he was the recipient of the Gustave Willems Award from the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses (PIANC), the first American to ever receive this international prize. He served as Chairman of PORTS’ 95, an international port engineering and planning conference hosted by ASCE and PIANC. In 2004 he served as a consultant to the History Channel television series Modern Marvels, Engineering Disasters #7. In 2000, he was the recipient of the prestigious Crom Lecture Award from the College of Engineering, University of Florida.

October 2nd 2018 Meeting:

AN INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN ENGINEERING: “To lead, Influence and Inspire”

This presentation was this year’s keynote speech at the 2017 SEI national conference.

Topic Description:

Research conducted at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (aka the Carnegie Mellon College of Engineering) has suggested that only 15% of your financial success is due to your technical expertise. The other 85% is due to your skills in human engineering, i.e. your personality and your ability to deal with people. And as strategic use of economic power translates into influence and recognition, perhaps a closer look at the need for an education involving human engineering is in order.

It is a fact that a structural engineering education is focused almost exclusively on technical topics with practically no exposure to human engineering. Could that be the reason why the professional fees and compensation for structural engineers do not even begin to reflect the profession's immeasurable contributions to humanity? And why our profession is not even in the running for any high profile recognition or prize, such as a Nobel?

In this talk, Ashraf emphasizes the need for a human engineering based education. He convincingly demonstrates, with his usual enthusiasm and humor, why it is important to cultivate deep personal beliefs, to develop public speaking skills and to become familiar with the arts, human psychology and human chemistry. These talents will enable young engineers to enter the professional world ready to lead, influence and inspire!

Speaker Biography:

Ashraf Habibullah is a Structural Engineer and is President and CEO of Computers and Structures, Inc. He founded CSI in 1975.

Today, CSI is recognized globally as the pioneering leader in the development of software tools for structural and earthquake engineering. The software is used by thousands of engineering firms in over 160 countries for the design of landmark projects such as the Freedom Tower in New York City, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai and the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing.

Ashraf has led the development of CSI's products for over four decades and has been active as a researcher and educator, conducting international seminars on analytical techniques used in software for structural and earthquake engineering.

Ashraf also has a keen passion for the arts. He is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed Diablo Ballet and the founder of the Engineer’s Alliance for the Arts, an organization that involves school children with technology, focusing on the artistic aspects of bridge engineering.

May 2nd, 2018 General Meeting

"Regular" Design of "Irregular" Steel Girder Bridges - Recent Findings of Skewed or Curved Steel Girder Bridge Design

Presented by Prof. Chung C. Fu, Ph.D., P.E.

Director of the Bridge/Building Engineering Software & Technology (BEST) Center and Research Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

  • Mystery of live load deflection L/800 limit
  • Homogeneous/mixed/hybrid and prismatic/non-prismatic plate girder design
  • Load induced and distortional “surprising” fatigue cracks
  • Crossframes, “lean” bracing, and their functions in skewed and curved bridges.
  • Toward jointless bridge: Use of link slab on steel girder bridges

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Chung C. Fu is the Director of the Bridge/Building Engineering Software & Technology (BEST) Center and Research Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park. He received

his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from National Taiwan University and Master of Science and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of Maryland. He is the Fellow of ASCE and Member of the ACI, PSI, AISC and TRB. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Maryland, Virginia and DC. Before returning to the University to take the faculty position and established the BEST Center, he was the engineering supervisor of the Bechtel Engineering Corporation at Gaithersburg, Maryland, and conducted/supervised many analysis, design, and construction projects. Since joining the University, he has been principal investigators on over-100 private, state and federal projects from US DOT, DOD, Federal Highway Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Army Corps, World Bank and several Maryland State Agencies, SHA, MDTA, MPA, and MTA. He has given lectures and training courses over 40 states and has provided consulting services throughout the United States and some abroad. He has published over 200 referred and non-referred technical papers and given over 200 presentations worldwide.


April 3, 2018 General Meeting

"Bridge Instrumentation/Testing/Monitoring for Maintenance and Preservation Decision Support"

Presented by Ed Zhou, PhD, PE

AECOM Bridge Instrumentation & Evaluation Lead, North America

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

Bridge instrumentation and field testing/monitoring involves various types of sensing and data collection technologies, non-destructive testing/evaluation (NDT/E) techniques, as well as structural testing/monitoring methods. If planned and implemented properly, field instrumentation can provide information on bridge in-situ conditions and actual responses to specific loads, which would not be known otherwise. Applications of bridge instrumentation and field testing/monitoring include bridge load rating, fatigue life assessment, condition and defect assessment, problem diagnosis, and various types of structural performance evaluation. The ultimate goal is to support engineers and bridge owners for better decisions in bridge maintenance, weight restrictions, preservation, and replacement.

This presentation will discuss several bridge instrumentation and field testing/monitoring methods through example projects. The methods will include diagnostic and proof load testing for bridge load rating, field measurement of stress range histograms for fatigue life assessment, the taut cable vibration measurement (TCVM) method for assessing existing tension in cables or P-T bars, and investigation of signs of distress for effective repair methods. The discussions will address instrumentation plans, data collection and processing methods, testing/monitoring results analysis, comparison with and calibration of analytical models, and finally and most importantly, decision support in bridge maintenance and preservation.

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Ed Zhou, P.E., is AECOM’s Bridge Instrumentation & Evaluation Lead in North America, with 24 years of experience in field testing and non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of various types of bridge structures. Ed has evaluated over 100 bridges across the U.S., including many in Maryland, through field instrumentation, structural monitoring, load testing, non-destructive testing (NDT), and finite element analysis for the purposes of strength evaluation, fatigue life estimation, condition and defect assessment, performance problem diagnosis, and decision support in bridge maintenance, weight posting, preservation, and replacement.

Ed earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northern Jiaotong University in China, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. He has served in several national technical committees as: past chairman of ASCE Committee on Fatigue & Fracture; member of ASCE Committee on Methods of Monitoring Structural Performance; member of TRB Committee on Field Testing and Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) of Transportation Structures; and member of AREMA Committee 15 Steel Structures and Committee 17 High Speed Rail Systems. Ed taught several graduate courses in bridge engineering as well as the undergraduate civil engineering capstone course Design and Synthesis at Johns Hopkins University between 2000 and 2015.

March 6, 2018 General Meeting

"The Big Buzz on Tall Wood"

Presented by Steve Baden, P.E.

Technical Advisor, Special Projects - Design and Construction Services - WoodWorks

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

As examples of successful tall wood buildings proliferate worldwide, many U.S. design teams are considering how to leverage wood’s sustainability and other advantages through their own tall wood designs. Intended as a practical overview for those interested in understanding wood’s potential, this presentation will cover the “who, what, when and where” of mass timber buildings. Following a brief discussion of history and motivators, existing tall wood projects will be used to illustrate mass timber and hybrid components, high-rise structural design concepts, and lessons learned regarding cost and schedule. Topics will also include building code avenues for alternate designs, and available resources and support.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the historical context for tall timber structures, and consider the construction and sustainability motivators driving modern examples.
  • Discover the variety of structural components used in mass timber and hybrid projects and, through a series of studies, learn how they can be assembled into systems that address real architectural and structural design constraints.
  • Based on surveys done on built projects, understand what lessons have been learned and potential impacts to cost and schedule.
  • Realize the construction and sustainability motivators for pursuit of tall wood structures and become familiar with available design guidance and research.

February 6, 2018 General Meeting

"Quality in the Constructed Project: A Guide for Owners, Designers, and Constructors, ASCE, Manual of Practice 73"

Presented by Michael O'Connor, PE, M.ASCE

Vice-President & Chief EngineerFrederick and Pennsylvania Line Railroad Museum Mix

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

The purpose of ASCE Engineering Practice for Quality in the Constructed Project is to provide project owners, design professionals, and constructors with information and recommendations on opportunities to enhance the quality of constructed projects as well as factors that drive project quality. In its manual on CE practice for delivering quality, ASCE states its guide was not a technical standard, nor a compilation of standard industry practices. The striking feature of the MOP is that unlike the ISO quality frameworks, ASCE's quality vision places the civil engineer on par with the owner and contractor as "customers" in the project execution and delivery. No reference is made to either stakeholder or process in this definition. There are other comparisons to Project Management Institute and ISO, the speaker will discuss these topics.

Speaker Biography:

Mike graduated with an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, political science and economics as well as a minor degree on soviet studies. He had worked his way through college doing construction jobs during the summer. When Mike started his first year of college, tuition cost was $1,100 a year and the minimum wage was $0.90. Mike quickly realized that he really had wanted to go into engineering and completed his graduate degree in civil engineering in 1975. He quickly passed his EIT and then got his PE in 1978. Overall, Mike has five decades of engineering, construction and project management experience that is split equally between the public and private sectors. He managed his own engineering firm in the 1979-1987 timeframe and then in retirement, starting an engineering non-profit in 2015. Mike is the father of three children, all in their thirties and more recently has had the good fortune to be a proud grandfather of two beautiful grandchildren, Jack and Hannah. He has had a lifelong interest in engineering history and railroads in particular. One of his fond memories was operating a PCC streetcar in Philadelphia in the early 1970s on Germantown avenue (route 23), then, one of the longest streetcar routes in North America.

January 9th, 2018 General Meeting

"Business Ethics vs. Engineering Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, and Unlicensed & Unauthorized Practice"

Presented by Troy S. Brown, Esq

Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

The concept of “business ethics,” as economist Milton Friedman summarizes, is “generally … to make as much money as possible while conforming to their basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom.” Conversely, the concept “professional ethics” are often established by professional organizations to help guide members in performing their job functions according to sound and consistent principles, adopted by that professional community. Being caught between the proverbial Scylla of business ethics and the Charybdis of professional ethics can be difficult for engineering professionals to navigate. Many potential problems can arise for those aspiring endeavoring to build a lucrative business, especially one involving professional services that may be considered quasi-engineering, in nature.

This presentation focuses on the interaction and tensions between professional ethics and business ethics, namely business conflicts of interest, unlicensed practice, and unauthorized practice. These issues necessitate resolving essential questions; the failure to properly navigate the interstices of business and professional ethics could result in reprimand, suspension, fines, revocation of one’s professional license, ruinous liability or the inability to compete, and, in the case of engineering disaster, even death. Many questions arise while balancing between these often opposing ethical poles. For example, what concerns should an engineer consider before being engaged to perform similar services for rival businesses? For a businessperson providing quasi-engineering services, should it matter, from an ethical perspective, if unlicensed an “engineer” provides engineering services? Similarly, should there by any ethical issues if an engineer licensed in one state extends her business into another state without obtaining proper authorization?

From one perspective, we as a society want to protect the justified and reasonable endeavors of qualified professionals. One the other hand, society has an interest in ensuring minimum safety requirements for services provided by engineers. Sometimes these tensions can be harmonized, but as the provision of services becomes a matter of interstate commerce, these tensions become rather difficult to resolve. These issues, while not exhaustive of their type, represent three of the more ubiquitous and challenging for the 21st century professional/businessperson. The presentation will use several scenarios to illustrate the tensions between the contrasting concepts of professional ethics and business ethics to facilitate discussion.

Speaker Biography:

Troy S. Brown is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Brown graduated summa cum laude from Morgan State University in 1999, where he earned a B.A. in political science. Mr. Brown earned his J.D. in 2003 from Harvard Law School, and his masters in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Mr. Brown is a practicing attorney and currently works with the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and was an associate professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law and a visiting professor at Vytautas Magnus University Law School, where he taught Professional Responsibility and Conflict of Laws. Mr. Brown was also an associate at McGuireWoods, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia where he practiced intellectual property and complex commercial litigation and represented franchisors, Fortune 500 companies, and major financial institutions in a broad range of litigation matters. He is a member of several professional legal groups including the American Bar Association and the Gate City Bar American.

Mr. Brown's research interests lie in governmental responses to crises, law and policy, and law and economics.

December 5th, 2017 General Meeting

"Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) Bridge Applications"

Presented by Gregory Nault, PE, SE

UHPC Specialist for Bridge and Other Structural Engineering Applications Ductal (a division of LafargeHolcim)

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is one of the major breakthroughs in concrete technology in the last two centuries. It is a fiber-reinforced, cementitious material that offers exceptional mechanical and durability performance, including compressive strengths exceeding 22,000 psi and excellent resistance against environmental degradation. For this reason, UHPC is being considered for a wide variety of structural and architectural applications to provide innovative design solutions. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken significant interest in this material as part of their Every Day Counts program to promote accelerated bridge construction (ABC) through the use of prefabricated bridge elements. Field-cast UHPC is used in this case to join prefabricated elements on-site to form simple, strong, durable connections for improved long-term performance. Over 180 bridges throughout North America have been constructed using this type of system. This presentation will discuss what UHPC is, what characteristics it exhibits, the advantages to using it, and the various structural applications that have proven successful over the years.

Speaker Biography:

Gregory Nault, PE, SE is currently a project manager with LafargeHolcim, a world-leading concrete supplier that manufactures ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) under the brand name Ductal®. Greg works closely with engineers and owners to provide innovative design solutions using UHPC. Prior to joining LafargeHolcim, Greg spent 8 years as a professional engineer designing bridge structures for highway and railway projects. He received his BSCE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MSCE from the University at Buffalo (UB). Greg is a registered professional engineer in five states and a registered structural engineer in Illinois. He is an active member of various ACI and PCI Committees and is an Advisory Board member for the Institute of Bridge Engineering at UB.

November 7th, 2017 General Meeting

"Bridge Foundations: Constructability Issues In The Design And Selection Process"

Presented by Steve W. Fung, PE

Schnabel Engineering, LLC.

**Receive 1.0 Professional Development Hours**

Topic Description

Bridge foundations are designed based on the AASHTO LRFD Design Specifications, 7th Edition, 2014. The specifications provide design guidelines for the design of different foundation elements, however, the selection of the appropriate foundation type for support of the bridge structure is ultimately the responsibility of the designer. The selection of the appropriate foundation type is typically based on one or more of the following factors:

•The magnitude and type of foundation loads.

•The subsurface conditions at the site

•Cost of the foundation type

•Special design considerations such as scour and downdrag loads

•Availability of technology and local practice

•Constructability

For designers to fully incorporate constructability into their design, the designers must have a thorough knowledge of the construction process; experience in the construction planning process and field operations; and knowledge of the available technology and resources, to achieve the overall project objectives. Most designers do not have this level of knowledge, therefore, while constructability is already practiced to some extent by designers, some aspects of constructability is sometimes overlooked in the design and selection process of foundations – which could lead to project delays, cost overruns, or even litigation.

This presentation provides an overview of some of the constructability issues related to different foundation types, and discusses some of the constructability issues that the designer should evaluate when selecting foundations in the following environments:

•Urban fill

•Soft compressible soils

•Lateral resistance

•Available space/Site constraints

•Karst/Sinkholes

•Scour

•Depth to rock

Speaker Biography:

Steve Fung is a senior associate at Schnabel Engineering and has over 15 years of experience in geotechnical engineering analysis and design, construction inspection services, and project management. He has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Guyana and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, and is a registered professional engineer in the District of Columbia, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. He has specialized geotechnical engineering experience in deep and shallow bridge foundation design, design of support of excavation walls, slope stabilization design, and the evaluation of soil-structure interaction problems.

Steve has served as Secretary and Vice-President on the board of the Maryland chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute.