5000 - SEI Investigations of the 2017 Hurricane Season

Friday, April 20
9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Location: Ballroom A

Several SEI members were involved in hurricane investigations in 2017 including for Hurricane Harvey in TX, Hurricane Irma in FL and the USVI and Hurricane Maria in the USVI and Puerto Rico. This session will include four of those SEI members who will share what they saw and how what they saw might influence future building codes and standards. There were many buildings that performed very well to the punishing winds of these storms and the storm surge that came with them. The investigators will share how current building codes and standards contributed to these successes. All four investigators have extensive forensic experience and all are active on the SEI Wind Load Task Committee and thus are very knowledgeable about wind effects on buildings.

Peter Vickery, PhD., PE
Thomas Smith, AIA, F.SEI
David Prevatt, PhD., PE
Cherylyn Henry, PE

Bill Coulbourne

Coulbourne Consulting

Coulbourne Consulting is a structural engineering consulting firm specializing in solutions to natural hazard-caused problems from high wind and flood events including hurricanes, storm surge, riverine floods and tornadoes. The focus is on understanding what these events do to the built environment and creating solutions to reduce losses to buildings and increase personal and community resiliency to future events. Mr. Coulbourne is one of the nation’s leading experts on coastal construction issues and the designs required for high winds due to hurricanes and tornadoes. He is very involved in engineering standards focused on wind, flood, and tornado loads.

Coulbourne Consulting studies how building failures occur during wind and flood events and uses that knowledge to teach other design professionals not only what has been learned but what the events have taught us about how to rebuild stronger. Mr. Coulbourne has conducted post-event damage assessments on thousands of buildings for multiple clients over a 20 year period, and has published articles and books about these events and the learning from them, and delivered talks to many different audiences. He delivers more than 30 seminars annually about design topics related to natural hazard mitigation.


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Peter Vickery

Applied Research Associates

Principal Engineer, Applied Research Associates, Inc., Raleigh, NC
Dr. Vickery has been working in the area of wind engineering for over 35 years. He is responsible for the hurricane wind speed contours given in ASCE 7 since ASCE 7-98. He has performed numerous wind tunnel tests on buildings. He was the principal investigator for the development of FEMA’s Hurricane Hazus-MH® loss estimation tool. He is currently developing tornado damage models.
ASCE/SEI Involvement
ASCE 7 Wind Load Subcommittee since 1996
ASCE Wind Performance Based Design Committee since 2016
ASCE Wind Tunnel Testing Manual of Practice Committee (1995 – 2000)
ASCE Wind Tunnel Testing Standard (2000 – 2012)
Ph.D., Civil Engineering University of Western Ontario, 1998
M.E.Sc., Civil Engineering University of Western Ontario, 1984
B.E.Sc., Civil Engineering University of Western Ontario, 1981


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Thomas Smith


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David Prevatt

Associate Professor
University of Florida


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Cherylyn Henry

Structural Engineer/Project Manager

Cherylyn Henry, P.E. has 13 years of structural engineering experience, focusing on concrete bridge design, steel building design, structural renovations and retrofits, risk analyses, and structural failure assessments. She has a special interest in structural failures and post-disaster evaluations. She serves as a member of North Carolina Task Force Three's Urban Search and Rescue team. She is also a past chair of the SEI Young Professionals Committee, member of the SEI Chapter Resources Committee, and ASCE 7-16 Wind Loads Subcommittee Secretary.


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5000 - SEI Investigations of the 2017 Hurricane Season

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