Home President's Corner President’s Corner – January 2018 – Chris Hill

President’s Corner – January 2018 – Chris Hill


SEAoT Houston Gulf Coast Chapter – President’s Address February 2018

Hello all, I hope everyone is having a good start to their year and has been able to keep any resolutions they might have set!

I have seen these addresses for years from all the previous presidents and always found their topics of choice quite interesting. Whether it be trends in the industry that Tan Tran would focus on or the time Rick Miles allowed us insight into the very interesting meeting dynamics and team building efforts made by one of his project teams. Now as I am charged with writing these “corners”, and although I know the readership of these addresses can be low, I have a desire to bring some meaningful content to our membership. This process feels very much like a blog and being an engineer I am sure you are not surprised to hear I have not blogged before. So we will see how this year goes. My goal is to use this as an opportunity to let you know how things are going with the SEAoT group as well as update you on my current projects and other items I have found interesting about our profession.

Currently I am working on a large hotel project in Florida. Due to the size of the project, I am not working on it alone as the project manager, as I have for my past few projects. Because of this I have been able to focus more on the engineering and allow our project manager to focus on communicating with the design and construction team. Fortunately the project manager and I have a great working relationship and have successfully completed several projects together in the past. However, I have found myself missing the opportunities to attend design and construction meetings. I am not the type of engineer that enjoys sitting in his office all day running models and it is much easier to build successful teams when you know more about the people that comprise your team than just their names.

Unfortunately, this project, like so many in our office, has started construction before the architectural plans have been completed. To accommodate for this, we have submitted early foundation and superstructure permit plans based on our understanding of the architecture. Although structurally sound, these less than ideally coordinated drawings will require changes, and these changes are being made as crews actively work to build the structure. As you can imagine, things like embeds and slab edges are frequently misplaced. Although I am early in my career, it seems that the industry is moving more and more to this kind of delivery schedule. How do we as structural engineers educate building owners to the issues associated with this? How do we ensure that these type of construction issues are avoided? Is there a feasible solution? These are just some of the questions I have been asking myself recently about our industry. I look forward to working with SEAoT throughout my career to better address these issues and others.

Hope to see you guys at our next meeting and please let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you.


Chris Hill, SEAoT Houston Gulf Coast Chapter President.