The Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington (SEFW) advances the profession of structural engineering through support of community outreach, education, and research.
OUTREACH: SEFW's annual Fall Forum brings distinguished speakers to address interdisciplinary audiences on current topics. SEFW programs elevate the public profile of distinguished structural engineers whose work shapes the profession as well as structures throughout Washington and the world. In 2011 SEFW supported the Structural Engineers Association of Washington (SEAW) in the initiation of the Structural Engineers Hall of Fame; and in 2012 produced a documentary of Structural Engineers of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair which premiered among celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Fair.
EDUCATION: SEFW invests in K-12 & STEM programs in Washington schools, and also supports professional studies via the SEAW scholarship program which has granted more than 50 scholarships since 1985.
RESEARCH: SEFW supports research efforts related to structures and engineering processes.
SUPPORT: SEFW, a 501(c)(3) organization, relies upon the financial commitment of key benefactors, originating with its Founding Donors in 2010. The Board of Directors acknowledges with gratitude the sponsors and donors whose generosity underwrites SEFW programs and operations.
FALL FORUM 2015: TOWER OF FREEDOM
May 2015: The SEFW Board of Directors plans the 5th Annual Fall Forum for Tuesday November 10 at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, to feature a 6pm presentation by Ahmad Rahimian introduced by Jon Magnusson. Pre-event reception (no-host, by advance registration) 4:30pm-
ENGAGING MOUNTLAKE TERRACE STEM STUDENTS IN ENGINEERING
May-June 2015: SEFW, in conjunction with SEAW, provided funding to support the Mountlake Terrace High School (MTHS) STEM Magnet program. SEAW and MTHS have worked together this year to incorporate engineering practices into the classroom and in their after-school robotics team. In the past, students in the “Principles of Engineering” (POE) class built short-span balsa bridges while learning statics concepts. This year, with the help of Gino Mazzotti and Brent Olson of SEAW’s Young Member Forum (YMF), 90 students in the POE class, working in groups, took on tasks to design and construct six-foot-long wood-framed truss bridges designed to carry a minimum of 150 pounds.
The project began with collaboration between MTHS teachers Craig DeVine and James Wilson, and Mark D’Amato and Tom Corcoran representing SEFW’s STEM outreach program. Craig envisioned young engineers in the industry working with the students to improve their bridge designs and to help the students understand likely failure mechanisms. Once the students had become familiar with free-body diagrams and the method of joints -- principles currently taught in the class -- Brent and Gino presented information to the classes about additional advanced bridge topics to consider. Through the presentation and discussions, the students gained insight into the engineering profession and the challenges many young practicing engineers face. More here
SEFW GUIDES STUDENTS ON SEATTLE CENTER STRUCTURES TOURS
April 2015: On April 16, SEFW Vice Chair Mark D'Amato and other DCI engineers led 40 high-school freshmen on a 2-hour tour of Seattle Center structures, as part of its partnership with Washington STEM.
The Highline Schools Career Center invited SEFW to provide guides for student group viewings of the structures featured in the SEFW-produced documentary film Structural Engineers of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. The students, from an Integrated Science class in which they design and build structures as part of their studies, viewed the film and reviewed construction images and engineering-related graphics before their tour.
Mark reported great pleasure in meeting the students and learning of their backgrounds, educational goals, and character -- for instance a student from Somalia with his sights set on the NBA, who after the tour expressed a feeling of empowerment from learning that students from disadvantaged backgrounds can become and succeed as engineers.
On May 11, SEFW Board member Dick Hemmen and others from DCI led two classes of 9th- and 10th-grade students from the AVID college readiness program on a tour of the structures and engaged in discussion of structural features and career pathways.
FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE
March 2015: The Foundation Board of Directors has initiated a campaign to advance support of community outreach, education, and research.
Click here to donate online and join the campaign.
SEFW will recognize generous donors and distinguished engineers at an upcoming SEAW meeting, details forthcoming.
SEFW Supports Bridge-Building Competition in Spokane High Schools
February 2015: Beginning in January 2015, 350 students at Mead High School and Mt. Spokane High School design popsicle-stick bridges in a competition funded by SEFW. The top 25 students selected from both schools competed at the District Bridge-Building Competition February 7 at Mt. Spokane High School. The winning bridge held more than 400 pounds -- as shown here.
SEFW also funds a balsa-wood bridge competition and a robotics team studying structural lifting elements at Mountlake Terrace STEM Magnet High School in the Edmonds School District. In addition, Gino Mazzotti and Brent Olson of YMF have undertaken a workshop with Mountlake Terrace students to design and build balsa wood bridges, also funded by SEFW.
At the Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington 4th annual Fall Forum September 18, 2014, SEFW Vice Chair Mark D'Amato presented a $5,000 check to Washington STEM, represented by Gillia Bakie. The investment establishes a partnership to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses and careers via Washington State Schools. Made possible by generous donors to SEFW, the grant will support field trips to Seattle structural engineering sites and integration of structural engineering subject matter into K-12 classrooms. Further work with STEM and its seven networks around Washington State will advance SEFW outreach to help raise awareness of structural engineering.
At its November 2014 meeting, the Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington Board of Directors acted to approve grants to Mead School District in Spokane to support its Popsicle Bridge Contest, and to Mountlake Terrace High School for a program in Statics and Bridge Building and a second program in Robotics.
DOCUMENTARY FILM AVAILABLE FOR SHOWINGS:
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS OF THE 1962 SEATTLE WORLD'S FAIR
Structural Engineers Foundation of Washington assembled engineers Richard Chauner, John V. Christiansen, Gary Curtis, Victor O. Gray, Norman Jacobson, Thomas Kane, Robert Mast, Fred Pneuman, and Einar Svensson to record recollections of their engagement in and observations of creation of the iconic structures that helped define Seattle as a city of innovation.
The film highlights a significant time in the history of structural design and the city of the Seattle, and also elevates the little-known work of structural engineers. Interviews capture the personal stories of structural engineers: what motivates them and how they view their choice of a career path -- aiming to inspire future generations of engineers.
Scheduling Documentary Showings: Teachers, school administrators, and community groups may contact the Foundation administrator (email@example.com) to arrange screenings of the 45-minute documentary, suitable for high school and undergraduate audiences as well as historical groups. On request and when feasible, SEFW will provide a structural engineer to attend the showing and respond to viewer questions.
Schools and public institutions may request copies of the documentary on DVD for $25 to cover shipping and handling. Donors of $100 or more to the Foundation receive a DVD.
Click here for details or to make a donation online.
SEFW thanks PLATINUM SPONSOR HOWARD S. WRIGHT for supporting this program.