NCSEA Summit 2017 – D.C. Is the Place to Be!

I have exciting news to share with all of you. During the second week of October, from the 11th through the 14th, the structural engineering community will descend upon Washington, D.C., for the 25th annual NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit. This promises to be our best Summit yet, and I hope that you will make time in your busy schedule to join us. Attendees will include the best and brightest our profession has to offer, including our Member Organization Delegates and some of their officers, the NCSEA Board of Directors and staff, an excellent group of presenters, and many of our young members. This is your opportunity to meet and mingle with all of them.

NCSEA Summit 2017On Wednesday, October 11, we will have committee meetings all day long. Whether or not you are currently a committee member, please take the time to attend one or several of these meetings to find out how NCSEA committees operate to make our profession better. You might even consider joining one. There will be two private receptions later that day: the Young Member Group Support Committee will host one for all of the young engineers in attendance, and yours truly will host one for the Delegates. In the evening, there will be a formal welcome reception for all attendees.

On Thursday, October 12, the day begins with a Delegate Interaction Breakfast hosted by our newly formed Communications Committee. That will be followed by the keynote address presented by Martina Driscoll and Terence Paret from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. They will be discussing the 2011 seismic event that occurred in Mineral, Virginia, and its effect on the D.C. area. They will specifically address the impacts on the National Cathedral and the Washington Monument. This will provide you with a chance to see seismic solutions, East Coast style.

Next will be a panel discussion on how to improve ASCE/SEI 7, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures. The discussion will provide you with insight into how the standard is developed and the process for making revisions. Your panelists will be Ron Hamburger, John Hooper, and Don Scott, some of the best minds in our industry. At the conclusion, there will be breakout meetings affording you the opportunity to provide feedback directly to the engineers working on the code.

NCSEA Summit 2017After lunch, we will break into three tracks, one of which has been specifically designed for young engineers. Seismic/wind will be the primary focus of most of the afternoon sessions. Speakers include S. K. Ghosh, Kevin Moore, Charles Kircher, Steve Kerr, Joseph Kane, John Harris, and Ben Nelson. There will also be several opportunities to meet with vendors on the trade show floor and learn about the many products they offer for our industry. Already this year, we have more than 50 exhibitors, making this our largest trade show ever. Whether it is your first or 25th time, or something in between, there is much to be learned.

The evening will conclude with another fantastic CSi event, hosted by Ashraf Habibullah at the National Building Museum. This is one of the most impressive public spaces in our nation’s capital, and the evening will include a great variety of food and drink. This has been one of the Summit’s highlights in recent years, so you will not want to miss it.

Friday, October 13, will be another great day at the Summit. It begins with a Delegate Collaboration Session, again hosted by the Communications Committee. After that, there will be two tracks for the remainder of the day. One will be technical in nature and focus on a variety of structural engineering subjects. The other will cover the softer side of our profession, with topics such as networking, engagement, equity, client development, contract negotiations, and accounting/financial systems. Speakers include Jose Busquets, Nick Sherrow-Groves, Angie Sommer, Lori Koch, Cliff Jones, Sarah Appleton, and John Tawresey. Both tracks promise to deliver the best in professional development and leave all attendees better prepared to provide outstanding structural engineering services to their clients. Friday night is the annual banquet to recognize the winners of the Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards, so dress up in style and show D.C. that structural engineers know how to party.

On Saturday morning, NCSEA holds its Annual Business Meeting. In the past, this was predominantly intended for the Member Organization Delegates, but this year we are inviting all attendees to participate, especially Member Organization board members. This will give you a bird’s eye view of what is happening within the other Member Organizations, the NCSEA committees, and the NCSEA Board of Directors and staff.

In addition to all of the great education sessions, you will leave fully understanding the value that NCSEA and your Member Organizations bring to each of you. When I assumed the office of President last September in Orlando, I mentioned that I would like for us to begin the “drive for five.” I was referring to 500 attendees at the Summit. I sincerely hope that you will consider not only coming yourself but also bringing a friend to help us reach our goal. I look forward to meeting with each of you during our time together in October. For more information on the Structural Engineering Summit, see pages 34 and 35. Or, visit for even more information and to register.▪

Thomas A. Grogan, Jr. is Chief Structural Engineer and Director of Quality at The Haskell Company in Jacksonville, FL. He is also the current NCSEA President, member of the NCSEA Licensure Committee and past president of FSEA. Please feel free to reach him via email at

About the author  ⁄ Thomas A. Grogan, Jr., P.E., S.E.

Thomas A. Grogan, Jr., P.E., S.E., is Chief Structural Engineer and Director of Quality at The Haskell Company in Jacksonville, FL. He is also an NCSEA Board member, member of the NCSEA Licensure Committee and past president of FSEA, and a volunteer with ACE Mentorship. Please feel free to reach him via email at

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