New Design Approach Recommended for Chevron Braced Frames

Chevron braced frames are popular among steel frame design engineers due to the convenient nature of their flexible geometry which allow for wall openings and movable workpoints along the frame beam.  The connections of such configurations are typically left to a contracted connection designer who, in the past, has considered these gusseted bracing connections to be designed in ‘isolation’ apart…read more →

What’s the difference? OMF vs IMF vs SMF

Are you able to quickly recall the different code requirements for Intermediate Moment Frames and Special Moment Frames?  For many engineers who don’t design in seismically active regions every day, anything beyond a standard R=3 seismic design might require some study on the current requirements for drift and strength design in moment frame construction.  However, even if seismic design requirements…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Structural Engineers Association of Southern California Foundation

In June 2017, Matthew Mester, PE, SE, from SidePlate Systems, Inc., presented Moment Frames: Design and Detailing per AISC 341 and 358. He nominated the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California Foundation ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California Foundation, in its goals to further the development of the structural engineering profession, looks for…read more →

The Chevron Effect – Useful Resources for EORs

Do you often utilize chevron braced frames in your steel building designs?  The flexible geometry of a chevron brace makes these configurations very common because of the ability to shift the workpoint of the bracing connection along the length of the frame beam; thus allowing for wall openings in the structural wall.  However, the Chevron Effect was more recently identified…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Wounded Warriors Project

In May 2017, Patrick Fortney, PhD, PE, SE, P.Eng, from the University of Cinncinati, presented The Chevron Effect – A Paradigm Shift in Approach to Analysis. He nominated Wounded Warrior Project ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. Patrick shared why he chose the WWP: “The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors who…read more →

2015 NDS for Wood Construction – Now Including Cross-laminated Timber

Have you seen some of the new mid to high-rise structures that are using cross-laminated timber?  While the product has been used in Europe since the 1990s, it has more recently become available in the US and Canada.  Now, with the incorporation of this new wood product in the 2015 NDS for Wood Construction, you can expect its availability to…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Friends of Blue Mound State Park

In March 2017, Pat Conway, AIA, from the International Masonry Institute, presented Masonry Movement Joints from a Structural and Architectural Perspective. He nominated Friends of Blue Mound State Park ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. Friends of Blue Mound State Park is a group of volunteers working together to benefit the park by enhancing and preserving its natural resources…read more →

Useful Resources for Masonry Joint Design

Are you aware of the many resources that are available for free to assist structural engineers in the design and detailing of masonry?  Sometimes, engineers are so busy meeting deadlines that they don’t have the time to peruse the many resources that could save time and reduce errors, especially when detailing masonry movement joints. In the March 2017 SE University…read more →

Horizontal and Vertical Masonry Movement Joints

When designing with structural masonry and/or architectural brick veneer, are you certain you are following the best practices in regards to control or expansion joint placement in your design?  Are you appropriately noting these movement joints on drawings and explaining in the specification to ensure the mason will follow your directions to prevent unnecessary cracks or failure?  With so many…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Humane Society of Loudoun County

In April 2017, Lori Koch, PE, from the American Wood Council, presented 2015 National Design Specification for Wood Construction – Significant Changes including Cross-laminated Timber.  She nominated the Humane Society of Loudoun County ( for the SEU Speaker Inspires donation of the month. Lori shared why she chose the Humane Society: “I have always loved animals, and have gained several 4 legged family members…read more →