2021 Spring Series

A Virtual Webinar Series: Engagement and Equity in the Structural Engineering Profession

The SE3 Spring Series is a multi-day program developed for engineers of all levels, business owners, human resource managers, and anyone within the AEC industry who is interested in promoting dialogue on engagement & equity in the structural engineering profession. 

 

Join us to learn about the key findings in the latest SE3 Survey as well as engage with industry panelists. The conversations will focus on topics currently in the national spotlight and how their effects impact the profession. Attendees will gain insight from engineers around the country, acquire practical strategies and best practices for improving retention & engagement within their organizations.

Program Overview
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Photo courtesy of NCSEA.

Agenda

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

  • 2020 SE3 Survey Results | 12:00pm - 1:15pm CT

    • Presentation & Extended Q&A

  • How to Build Your Own SE3 Chapter at Your Local SEA | 3:00pm - 4:00pm CT

    • Interactive Lounge Networking Opportunity


Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

  • Strategies to Enhance Your Employee Assessment Process | 12:00pm - 1:15pm CT

    • Presentation & Extended Q&A

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

  • A Perspective on a Changing Workplace | 12:00pm - 1:30pm CT

    • Presentation & Open Discussion
       
Registration

Attendees are welcome to register through the NCSEA website or through the SE3 Events page. Registration is available for purchase for the full program or a la carte per webinar. The Interactive Lounge is free to all attendees.

Session Descriptions

Structural Engineering Engagement & Equity: 2020 SE3 Survey Results
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Photo courtesy of NCSEA.

In the Spring of 2020, the SE3 Committee conducted its third nationwide survey of structural engineers across the profession. The survey is an ongoing effort to identify trends, and to initiate industry-wide conversations. With an effort to focus on both racial and gender equity , the committee streamlined its core questions regarding career satisfaction, compensation, and work-life balance. New to the survey were questions regarding challenges in retention and recruitment of engineers, work flexibility before and after COVID-19, and perception of the profession compared to other STEM careers among other topics.

 

This presentation will review the latest survey findings and highlight the work being done by the SE3 committee as informed by the results of the 2020 survey. Attendees will gain an understanding of the current challenges facing the profession as well as actionable information to help improve both their firms and the profession as a whole.

Rose McClure, PE, SE | Senior Consulting Engineer | Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Rose is a senior engineer in Simpson Gumpertz & Heger's Chicago office. She has a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Structural Engineering. Rose is very active within the SE community through her work with NCSEA and ASCE/SEI. She is the co-founder of the SE3 Project and past chair of the NCSEA Structural Engagement and Equity (SE3) Committee.

Sabrina Duk, PE | Principal and Founder | Verahaus Structural, LLC

Sabrina is the founding principal of Verahaus Structural, LLC. She has a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree from the Pennsylvania State University with a concentration in Structural Engineering. Originally from New England, Sabrina's career has taken her to all four corners of the country working on various projects ranging from post-disaster investigations to new construction and historic restorations. Sabrina is currently the Chair of the NCSEA SE3 committee.

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How to Build Your Own SE3 Chapter at Your Local SEA

Join us for an interactive conversation on how to bring SE3 initiatives to your local SEA. This will be an opportunity to network and chat with members of established SE3 chapters across the country. Committee members will share how their group got started, discuss challenges they faced, and highlight their current activities. They’ll also be available to answer any questions. If you’re interested in getting a local group started, host an event or learn more about SE3 related initiatives, join us and be a part of the conversation!

Moderator(s):

  • Sabrina Duk, Current NCSEA SE3 Committee Chair

  • Leo Baran, NCSEA Member Organization & Committee Services Director

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Strategies to Enhance Your Employee Assessment Process
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Photo courtesy of NCSEA.

It is not uncommon for managers of structural engineering firms to facilitate employee performance reviews. The frequency, format, complexity, and formality of these reviews vary widely from company to company. A vast majority of human resource managers argue that annual performance reviews have little impact on individual performance, and may lead to significant reductions in employee productivity and engagement. Over the past decade, many firms have made significant changes to their performance review processes to address these concerns and some have even abolished or considered eliminating numerical performance ratings. Organizations with multiple offices in several different regions have the added complexity of developing employee performance reviews for skills that may not be consistent for the same position. Smaller firms may not have the tools or resources to execute an effectively managed process.

This presentation aims to highlight key strategies to transform the traditional performance review into a positive, productive, and beneficial process for employees, managers, and a firm’s office culture. With reference to SE3 survey data, recent studies by other organizations and institutions, this session will share best practices for the feedback process, for greatest impact on employee engagement, career development, and overall retention.

Key Concepts:

  • Guidance for establishing expectations for employee development..

  • Resources and tools to communicate and track employee progress and areas of growth and improvement.

  • Methods to encourage reflection and active discussions between staff and management. 

  • Strategies to align individual career goals and priorities with management expectations and company values.

  • Discussion on research-based outcomes on employee performance, engagement, employee-manager conversations, and overall firm culture if and when performance ratings are eliminated.

Marc Steyer, SE, LEED AP | Principal | Tipping Structural Engineers

As a principal at Tipping, Marc directs his vision and energies externally and internally: He works first to understand and internalize the unique goals, concerns, and needs of his clients. He manages internal operations to allow for superior client service and, in alignment with client goals, pursues innovative avenues for project delivery and design collaboration. Internally, Marc has committed to developing the next generation of leaders; he works to nurture, create, and shape a workplace that inspires its creative, passionate members to engage in their best work. Marc’s wide range of experience includes work for engineering, architecture, and construction firms. Since joining Tipping in 2005, he has combined his engineering and management expertise on projects involving both new and existing structures, with an emphasis on sustainable design and seismic safety. Marc earned his AB in molecular biology from Princeton University and MEng in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. After nine years at Tipping, he was named principal in 2014.

Natalie Tse, SE, LEED AP | Project Manager | Tipping Structural Engineers

Natalie Y. Tse is a California Licensed Structural Engineer with a broad range of design experience in educational, commercial/retail, residential, science and technology sectors.  She is a Project Manager at Tipping Structural Engineers in Berkeley, California.  Her portfolio includes the structural design, assessment, and seismic retrofit of over 35 school campuses, a mission critical laboratory and office building, and the design of a new wood-framed cathedral over concrete post-tensioned podium. Natalie is passionate about innovative solutions, well-integrated and cost-effective designs, responsiveness during construction, and open communication. In 2015, she co-founded the SE3 Project, a project established to understand and mitigate issues of employee engagement, retention, advancement, work-life balance, and equity in the structural engineering profession. Natalie received her BSE in Engineering and Mathematics from Queen’s University in Canada in 2002.  She is a recipient of the SEAOC Giles Scholarship and the Edwin G Zacher Award.

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A Perspective on a Changing Workplace

Consider this a TED Talk from a seasoned structural engineer. Vicki Arbitrio--a pillar in the New York City engineering community. With boots-on-the-ground experience of the tragic events of 9/11, she is a past-president of several engineering organizations, contributor to public policy and legislation, and more recently, an active diversity advocate. Through the telling of her story, Vicki will highlight points of inflection for the profession and why it's important to take notice.

Many overlapping events not only define our lives but distinctly impact our careers. We take for granted that cultures and attitudes shift to fit the ever changing world. However, not all changes make it into the workplace. We often neglect to allow these social movements changes to inform our business practices or professional relationships until it's too late. The structural engineering community is struggling with successfully engaging and retaining talent in the profession. Are we adequately assessing the problem?

 

 

In this session, Vicki will share her observations from throughout her prolific career and highlight strategies that make for positive change in workplace cultures. She will touch upon a variety of buzzword topics, including, but not limited to, racial and gender equity, generational differences, navigating parenthood, work-life balance, social/political climates, events in the national spotlight, and technological advancements. Together these variables impact our behaviors and perceptions of the structural engineering profession. With the right perspective, we can begin to better understand the problem we're trying to solve.

 

Join us after the talk for an open discussion with Vicki Arbitrio and the SE3 leadership.

Victoria Arbitrio, PE, SEBC, F.SEI | Associate Partner | Gilsanz Murray Steficek

Vicki Arbitrio is an Associate Partner at Gilsanz Murray Steficek.  In her 35 year career as a structural engineer she has worked on a wide range of projects, both new construction and renovation, as well as specialty projects such as art installations and forensic reports.  In her role as an Associate Partner, Ms. Arbitrio has directed many of GMS’s operational efforts including the streamlining of human resources, hiring of new staff, overseeing marketing and business development, and creating standards for communications.

 

Ms. Arbitrio contributes to the structural engineering industry through involvement in professional societies both locally and nationally. She is a Past-President of the Applied Technology Council, and a Past-President of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations. Ms. Arbitrio participated in the ASCE/FEMA 403: World Trade Center Building Performance Study and in NCSEA’s first edition of SEERPlan Manual: Structural Engineers Emergency Response Plan. More recently, Ms. Arbitrio helped to found the SEAoNY Diversity Committee; she serves on the ACEC-NY Public Policy committee and was 2018-2020 Chair of the ACEC – New York Metro Region. In 2019 she was named an Honorary Member of SEAoNY.

 

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Sponsors

We’d like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all our sponsors for their generous support! We appreciate your leadership and show of commitment to the structural engineering profession.

Presenting Sponsor

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Influencer Sponsor

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Advocate Sponsors

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Supporting Sponsors

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Additional sponsorship opportunities are still available. If you would like to become a sponsor of the SE3 Spring Series, please visit the NCSEA Sponsorship page or contact Susan Cross at scross@ncsea.com for more information.