Home President's Corner President’s Corner – May 2019 – Dan Barbuto

President’s Corner – May 2019 – Dan Barbuto


Hello all, it was great seeing everyone at the April meeting. Since our last meeting, the Houston Gulf coast chapter board has met and began to plan the remaining second half of the year and into 2020.  In the interest of transparency and providing a roadmap for the future of our chapter, I would like to highlight the principal conclusions of our meeting. Our board meeting was focused on our monthly meeting schedule and location, happy hours, annual events, sponsors, scholarships, and speakers.  Here is a brief overview of our meeting and the upcoming plans:

Monthly Meetings

We are going to start having lunch time meetings.  This is based on our recent survey, continued feedback from our members, and discussions with other SEAoT chapters and the success that lunch time meetings has brought their chapters.  The first lunch meeting will be our upcoming May meeting at the HESS Club.  Our June meeting location is TBD.  However, starting in September we are looking into having future lunch time meetings at Maggiano’s.  Stay tuned regarding this update.

Happy Hours

We would like to help our group to engage with one another and have fun. We are planning multiple happy hours from now until the end of the year.  Possible venues include Karbach or St. Arnolds. 

Annual Events

In addition to being engaged, we would like for our SEAoT chapter to provide an avenue for networking beyond other structural engineers. Starting this fall, we are planning an annual event where we will invite clients, coworkers, contractors, and other industry people to participate. The first annual event will be Top Golf Networking. The details of our 2019 annual event are still being ironed out.


Sponsors will have three available tiers: $500 Gold, $250 Silver, and $100 Bronze. This will make sponsoring our meetings more flexible.


We want to bring back the student scholarships and engage the next generation of structural engineers. This year we will provide a scholarship to an undergraduate/graduate student to attend the SEAoT State Conference in San Antonio. The scholarship will include the cost of sending the student to the conference. This scholarship will be open to the University of Houston, Texas A&M, and Rice University students. After the conference attendance, the student will be required to attend our next monthly meeting and give a short presentation on the State Meeting if they are an undergraduate student, or present their research for a full time slot if they are a graduate student. The hope is that we can engage student now that will eventually become a participating member.


We are still looking for two speakers to round out the 2019 meetings. If there is a topic that you would like for us to investigate please let us know. 

Additional items

We have some proposed changes to the newsletter that will include membership contribution section that will alternate between a Technical Note and a Member Spotlight.

We are in the process of changing the software utilized for the newsletter and website.  The state chapter is requiring this change.  Please thank Jennifer Martin-Logan for taking the time and making the change seamless for our members.

I am truly excited about the plan for remainder of the year, into 2020, and beyond. I’m looking forward to the events and hopefully you are too. The board is working hard to make our local chapter a success. I look forward to seeing you at our may meeting.