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Articles from the Board

SEAU is Awesome!

Are we having fun yet?  I hope so!  The economy is good, and our profession is looked upon more favorably than it has been in recent memory.  And this is because WE have been stepping up to the challenges of our profession in ways that are unprecedented. 

Don’t get me wrong – I have had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with some pretty incredible engineers since I began my career in 1985.  But I suppose the difference I have noticed in the past few years is related to the way we as an industry have stepped up and utilized the technological tools like never before.  We design structures more complex and unique than ever before, and much more efficiently than we had the capability to do in years past.  Codes have evolved, designs have evolved, and we have had to evolve with them.  

So, what’s the difference with this generation of engineers?  Perhaps the 2008-2011 Great Recession had a refining influence on us (yes, I know the internet says the recession was from 2007-2008, but we all know it lasted at least until 2011 for most of us in this industry).  For those of you who lived through that, I am certain we all determined to be better businessmen (and women), among other things.  We have recognized the importance of hiring the right people, rather than just a warm body.  We are more careful about our designs, and more thorough with our reviews.  Engineers are recognizing the importance of good communication skills, not just technical skills. 

And hopefully we are helping our clients recognize our value to their project is more important than looking for the lowest fee.  This is key to the success of our industry!

But perhaps the most important change is that we are grasping the importance of creating and maintaining an incredible culture at work.  A big part of this culture is recognizing the importance of our employees’ life at home as being more important than their life at work.  Yes, it’s true!  Sometimes we even need to remind the employee of that – send them home when they have spent too much time at work, etc.  This can be a bit of a shock to them, but ultimately, they will thank you. 

We have all heard quite a bit about the Millennial Generation, as well as the Generation X’rs, and others as well.  My experience has shown these guys to be hard working, AND hard playing.  Some of us older dudes can learn a thing or two about what a balanced life is.  Let’s not find ourselves someday regretting the time we didn’t spend with our families because we were busy working on some amazing project for weeks on end.  The project will see an end.  Hopefully our families will not.

So…just a couple of quick notes about this great organization:

Annual SEAU Technical Conference

As many of you may already know, our annual SEAU Technical Conference has created quite the buzz in the industry (stay tuned for further announcements!).  It started only eight years ago, and has grown every year in popularity and attendance.  We have greater attendance than almost every similar conference across the country, and have received feedback that our technical presenters are better prepared, and have more applicable subject matter than those of our neighboring states.  Consequently, we have many attendees from outside Utah who attend our conference, and it’s not just to earn most of their annual PDH requirements!


If you want to get to know your peers, please join one of our incredible committees.   We have combined some of the committees this year, in hopes to engender more collaboration and creative thinking.  The new committee info can be found on the SEAU website.  Like anything else we do, the rewards and satisfaction we receive from this organization is directly related to how much we are willing to invest.  Make sure your career goals include investing some time on one or more of the committees, and get to know others in this great organization!  Trust me when I say we can all learn much from one another.

Let me wrap this up by saying “Thank You” to all of you incredible engineers, who make SEAU what it is.  I look forward to rubbing shoulders with many of you for the next three years (at least), and getting to know you better, as well as listening to your ideas and thoughts on how to help SEAU continue in the path that our predecessors paved, and rise with the times.  SEAU is Awesome!

David Alter

SEAU Vice President/President Elect


ATC-20 Utah Safety Assessment Program

by John Crofts, Utah SAP Administrator

The Utah Safety Assessment Program (SAP) provides experienced professionals who can quickly evaluate damaged structures, identifying those that are safe for occupancy to which people can return, while marking those that are unsafe or have restricted use. It accepts civil, structural, geotechnical, and architect licenses from any state, along with ICC building inspector certifications.

The ATC-20 course covers rapid assessment of damaged buildings, which covers the requirements for placarding and instruction on identifying potential failures of structures after events from seismic, flooding and wind.  This course also includes a field portion that examines buildings.

The ATC-20 course is offered several times a year and you may contact John Crofts for upcoming course offerings or request Crofts to help you to sponsor a training at your location. Once students have completed the FEMA ICS-100 course and completed the ATC-20 course, they are provided a certificate and photo credential as a Utah SAP representative.

The credential is required to be renewed every three years, and you may now renew your credential by passing an online exam with a score of 70% or higher. Exam questions are taken from materials provided at the ATC-20 course.

To renew your credential please contact me at [email protected] or at (801) 560-2637. I will then email you a link with your online renewal exam. You may also contact me for questions regarding hosting an ATC-20 class, updating contact information or any other general questions.

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Welcome New Members

The following individuals have submitted applications to SEAU the membership committee for new members or have advanced their SEAU membership.

Lynn Shutt – SE

Heather Wheeler – SE

Breyandi Bond – PE

John Leesman – Associate

Kyle Smoot – Associate

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Calendar of Events

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