Orange County Branch Newsletter

January 2017

Structural Engineering Institute

Local Leaders Conference Held in Puerto Rico

By: Aileen Santos-Redman, P.E.

The ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Local Leaders Conference took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on October 14 & 15. The event consisted of the working seminar on the morning of the first day, during which the Board of Directors shared SEI updates and the various committee heads informed us on the latest efforts of their respective groups, before we separated to attend two of four breakout sessions to have an in-depth discussion and share ideas on K-12 Outreach, New Membership, Use of Technology, and Holding an Event. After lunch, our conference continued with a walking tour of the governor's mansion, La Fortaleza, and the largest fortress in America, San Cristobal Castle, led by the President of the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Jose "Pepe" Izquierdo, P.E.. In addition to his abundant knowledge on all things San Juan, Pepe also counts his service as the Secretary of Transportation and Public Works, Secretary of State, President of the Local Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors, and President of the American Concrete Institute among his many other accomplishments. No doubt it was due to Pepe's many years of service that our tour of the governor's mansion, already impressive in and of itself, was made even more exceptional by concluding it with a reception of hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and refreshments served in the governor's dining room, complete with a souvenir coffee table book on San Juan that was provided to each of us. To wrap up the first day of the conference, Pepe also made a presentation on the "Development and Construction of the Walled City of San Juan" during dinner, and we learned about the challenges that the engineers faced as the capital city evolved over the years.

The ATC-20/ATC-45/Cal OES SAP Training on Post-Disaster Safety Evaluation of Buildings and Infrastructure took place on the second day of the conference, which allowed participants to be certified in the proper assessment of damage sustained by buildings from a major natural disaster.