SE University Sessions

Flexible vs. Semi-Rigid vs. Rigid Diaphragms

Structural analysis of buildings has changed with the advancement of technology and the movement away from hand calculations. Now, most engineers use sophisticated software capable of handling the many shapes, varieties, and complexities of newer structures.  These software systems are able to handle the many degrees of freedom necessary to more accurately predict the behavior of diaphragms and their ability…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: JPII Healing Center

In April 2020, SE University welcomed Sam Rubenzer, PE, SE, from FORSE Consulting, to present Masonry Checklist: Reviewing Structural Drawings.  Sam designated JPII Healing Center ( for our SEU Speaker Inspires donation for the month. Sam shared, “JPII Healing Center brings teaching, healing and equipping to bring transformation to the heart of the Christ’s church. JPII transforms lives helping people…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Operation HOPE – North County

In May 2020, SE University welcomed Allen Adams, PE, SE, from Bentley Systems, Inc. / RAM, to present 2020 Practical Strategies for the Modeling and Analysis of Diaphragms.  Allen designated Operation HOPE – North County ( for our SEU Speaker Inspires donation for the month. The mission of Operation HOPE – North County is to provide a safe and supporting…read more →

Semi-Rigid Diaphragm Properties and Their Influence on Structural Models

Calculating the exact material properties of diaphragms to include in your structural model can be a time consuming task.  Often times, structures with semi-rigid diaphragms also take longer to analyze due to the additional degrees of freedom.  Semi-rigid diaphragms can be more complex to analyze than their flexible or rigid counterparts.  However, accurate analysis results may not be so hard…read more →

How Much is That Masonry Wall?

How often do you have conversations with local contractors or masons to gain their insights and perspectives on the ins and outs of masonry construction?  While you may have a better grasp on the technical aspects of masonry design, local masons can offer their practical and reasonable advice for what makes the most economical sense when constructing a job in…read more →

Practical Control Joint Spacing in Masonry Walls

Control joints (CJs) are necessary in reinforced masonry walls with minimal joint reinforcing to prevent thermal cracking.  However, improper placement of CJs can negatively impact the structural capacity of the wall and lead to an inefficient design.  What are the best methods to ensure an efficient and practically detailed masonry wall with CJs? In the April 2020 SE University session,…read more →

Are you a Fiduciary?

On a daily basis, engineers tend to focus on their technical responsibilities to their clients and their most important task, to “hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.” Engineers may not consider themselves as a fiduciary for their clients, but are their actions and language in line with their intent?   In the March 2020 SE University session,…read more →

Practical Aspects of Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is still somewhat new to many structural engineers, but its uses are gaining in popularity, and structural engineers should become more familiar with its use, design, and practical applications.  Clients are always looking for new, innovative, and cost effective solutions, and SFRC may be the answer on your next project. In the February 2020 SE…read more →

“SEU Speaker Inspires” Organization of the Month: Friends of Perryville Battlefield

In March 2020, SE University welcomed Matthew Rechtien, PE, Esq., from Walter P. Moore, to present 2020 Engineering Ethics Update.  Matt designated Friends of Perryville Battlefield ( for our SEU Speaker Inspires donation for the month. Matt shared, “On October 8, 1862, nearly 8,000 Americans fell in the drought-parched Chaplin Hills of Kentucky during the Battle of Perryville. Perryville played…read more →

Specifying Steel Fiber Reinforced Concrete

Steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is gaining in popularity, especially in designs for industrial slabs on grade.  Steel fibers can add strength and increase fatigue resistance, impact resistance, and crack control which make it ideal for large scale slabs where the use of welded wire fabric can be eliminated.  The addition of steel fibers may be an economical option, but…read more →