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Sneak Peek into SEAoT’s Survey Results

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Emily McCarthy, Ph.D., P.E. (TX), SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast Vice President

Preliminary survey results are in! And insightful.

First let me take this opportunity to thank all of you who took the time to answer our 2019 survey. Your responses are key to helping this year’s Board make decisions about the direction, function and structure of our Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter. You look to SEAoT for many things structural engineering related, this survey aimed to tell us the good, the bad and the ugly that keeps you coming or keeps you away.

If you have not yet responded to our survey, please follow this link. We will keep this open until after our March 21st meeting.

The survey comprises 9 questions, 4 are fill-in-the-blank questions where you give helpful information relevant to your experience, 2 are multi-choice options, and the remaining 3 are demographic related. Our questions aim to gauge 1) WHY you do/do not attend SEAoT meetings 2) WHAT would make you more/less likely to participate in SEAoT.

The following summarizes our results to-date:

  • Over 85% of respondents are currently practicing licensed engineers.
  • Half of respondents attended 3 or fewer meetings in the past 12 months.
Table 1
  • Approximately 90% of respondents list PDHs as a reason they attend monthly meetings, while 50% list networking as either a primary or accompanying reason for attendance.
  • SEAoT’s meeting schedule/time was almost unanimously listed as a reason for not attending, by both active and inactive members.
    • Even though most respondents listed scheduling as a reason for not attending, only 32% stated changing the time would convince them to attend more meetings (Table 1). However only 8% of respondents voiced disagreement with changing the meeting time. This will be a topic further pursued by the Board.
Figure 1
  • Most respondents have an interest in presentations focusing on 1) case studies, 2) new design, 3) code discussion and 4) forensic engineering (see Figure 1).

As I mentioned earlier, our preliminary survey results are insightful. These results tell us that the value we bring to our members is knowledge dissemination at our meetings and facilitating networking within the structural engineering community. However, when considering our member roster, SEAoT Houston/Gulf Coast currently only scratches the surface of member participation. We recognize that PDHs are available through many means, yet our association offers the added benefit of interfacing with structural engineers in our Houston community. Many of us may be competitors, but we are mutually invested in the successful growth of our industry. Our meetings are times where discussion, doubt, and discovery can educate both onlookers and participants.

Your Board will continue to evaluate ways to better support you, that is after all our mission as an association. Please continue to let us know what we can do better and what we are doing well. As we make changes do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions or comments. You can find us here.