Business and Professional Practice

Full Session with Abstracts

343139 - Women in Structural Engineering – Bridging the Numbers Gap

Friday, April 20
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Ballroom A

Women are underrepresented in structural engineering and a higher percentage leave the profession than their male peers. The reasons for this are complex. Yet, many women have successfully pursued structural engineering as a career and navigated certain challenges. This panel session intends to create an honest dialogue regarding common obstacles that women face within our field, with the joint goals of helping employers understand these obstacles to better retain their female employees and helping women achieve fulfilling careers. In this session, we will feature several women who have succeeded in our profession, explore the paths through their careers, and discuss business best practices for retention. [This interactive session is designed for a co-ed audience of all career levels.]

Sarah Vaughan-Cook

Project Manager
KAE

Since obtaining her M.S. in 2004, Sarah Vaughan-Cook has practiced structural engineering in San Francisco and Chicago. Her experience includes design and analysis of new structures, and seismic strengthening of historic structures, laboratories, and U.S. embassies. She has overseen construction of 13 new buildings in the Bay Area and one in the Midwest employing steel and concrete systems. She has past experience in failure analysis, investigations, and repair. Sarah joined KAE, a two-person firm where she can do all of the above, in 2016.

Sarah is past-Chair and served nine years as a member of the Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE-SEI) Sustainability Committee, a national committee seeking to bring relevant information on sustainable practices to design professionals. She is a member of the SEI National Technical Program Committee, on which she has developed the building structures technical program for the annual SEI Structures Congress. She also serves as a member of the SEI Technical Activities Division's Executive Committee.

Presentation(s):

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Sarah Vaughan-Cook

Project Manager
KAE

Since obtaining her M.S. in 2004, Sarah Vaughan-Cook has practiced structural engineering in San Francisco and Chicago. Her experience includes design and analysis of new structures, and seismic strengthening of historic structures, laboratories, and U.S. embassies. She has overseen construction of 13 new buildings in the Bay Area and one in the Midwest employing steel and concrete systems. She has past experience in failure analysis, investigations, and repair. Sarah joined KAE, a two-person firm where she can do all of the above, in 2016.

Sarah is past-Chair and served nine years as a member of the Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE-SEI) Sustainability Committee, a national committee seeking to bring relevant information on sustainable practices to design professionals. She is a member of the SEI National Technical Program Committee, on which she has developed the building structures technical program for the annual SEI Structures Congress. She also serves as a member of the SEI Technical Activities Division's Executive Committee.

Presentation(s):

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Vicki Arbitrio

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, a nonprofit corporation committed to advancing engineering applications for hazard mitigation, whose projects address compelling problems in earthquake engineering, as well as wind and coastal engineering and she is a Past-President of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, recognized as the leading advocate for the practice of structural engineering. Ms. Arbitrio helped found the SEAoNY Diversity Committee and is Chair-elect of the ACEC – New York Metro Region.

Presentation(s):

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Erleen Hatfield

Founder
Hatfield Group

Erleen Hatfield, SE, AIA, LEED AP is a Partner of Buro Happold, a global multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm, and is based in New York. She has over 25 years of experience in the structural design of a wide range of complex projects including sports facilities, high-rise and cultural buildings. She is both a licensed structural engineer and architect.

She frequently lectures on technology and innovation in the building design and construction industry. With a focus on integrated engineering and the use of innovative technology. She teaches at Yale University and is a past board member of numerous industry organizations, such as Applied Technology Council, Pankow Foundation, AIA Technology Committee and more.

Presentation(s):

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Kelly Roberts

Principal
Walter P Moore

Kelly Roberts , P.E., LEED AP BD+C is a Principal and Project Manager at Walter P Moore with structural design experience ranging from educational and healthcare facilities to high-rise office towers. She is currently serving as Engineer of Record and Project Manager for a $400 million corporate office development in metro Atlanta. She leads WPM’s Sustainable Design Community of Practice for the structures group; specializing in life cycle assessment and the use of sustainable and salvaged materials. She is a founding board member of a non-profit material reuse center, the Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, as well as a member of the Structural Engineering Institute Sustainability Committee and the Carbon Leadership Forum. Kelly was recently named as one of the 100 Most Influential Women by Engineering Georgia Magazine. She is also a 2017 Design Futures Council Emerging Leader and an ENR Magazine Top Young Professional.

Presentation(s):

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Patti Harburg-Petrich

Associate Principal
BuroHappold

Patti Harburg-Petrich, SE, LEED AP BD+C is an Associate Principal at BuroHappold Engineering. She has designed structural solutions for many building types, including commercial, healthcare, education, sports, and industrial. She has a particular interest in historic retrofit projects and sustainable design and she has a passion for community-centric work. Patti is a licensed Structural Engineer in the state of California, LEED Accredited Professional, Building Design + Construction, and certified Disaster Service Worker for the State of California Safety Assessment Program. She serves on the board of the ACE Mentor Program and volunteers for the Spark Mentor Program.

Presentation(s):

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Angie Sommer

Associate
ZFA Structural Engineers

Angie Sommer is an Associate at ZFA Structural Engineers, a 70-person firm with five offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she currently focuses on projects in the educational and senior living sectors. She graduated from the Architectural Engineering (ARCE) program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (SLO) in 2005 and has since worked in SLO; Melbourne, Australia; and San Francisco. She is involved in a variety of industry organizations, including the San Francisco chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW SF), where she has held a variety of leadership roles, including as the managing editor for their quarterly publication, The VIEW. She was the 2016-17 co-chair of the SEAONC Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity (SE3) Committee and was the lead author of the 2016 SE3 Survey Report, which can be found on the committee’s website, SE3project.org. She is currently the co-chair of the NCSEA SE3 Committee, which was initiated in mid-2017. In her spare time, she helps people write wedding vows, speeches, and ceremonies via her business, Vow Muse, which was featured in the New York Times in June 2015.

Presentation(s):

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