Home Secretary's Corner Secretary’s Corner – March 2016 – Chris Hill

Secretary’s Corner – March 2016 – Chris Hill


Hello All,

Well we are already in March so you know what that means, college basketball tournament and the rodeo! I hope you all enjoy both this year, especially with our city hosting the Final Four to start April.

Last month we had our second meeting of the year which was held at HESS from 6 to 8pm (please be aware that our next meeting is during the lunch hour and will not be at HESS). Chapter President Tan Tran was not able to attend last month’s meeting. In his absence Vice President Rick Miles ran the meeting. Rick started the meeting by encouraging those in attendance to help with increasing membership and attendance. He then introduced the launch of the new SEAoT Houston Chapter website (seaothouston.org). Following the website introduction Young Members Chair, Chris Hill, provided the group with an update on the next young member event. The next event will be a Happy Hour in April and a sponsor has been determined. Rick Miles then turned to floor over to Lee Walden who gave an update on what SEA is doing at the state level. Major items that Mr. Walden addressed where increasing benefits for members, creating documents for wind engineering and engaging with the public, and the continued search for a young member chair at the State Chapter. Following Mr. Walden’s address Rick gave the group an update on upcoming chapter meetings and some of the programming for the year.

Rick then introduced our speaker for the evening, Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Consultant in the Diagnostics Services Group of Walter P Moore. Dr. Gosain presentation titled “Failure and Forensic Investigation of Non-Building Structures” discussed some of the typical reasons for failures of non-building structures. Of particular interest where the reasons for failure based on the design, construction and the owner. The reasons Dr. Gosain gave are listed below.

8 Causes of Structural Failure: Design

  1. Lack of communication
  2. Design Errors
  3. Lack of understanding of imposed loads
  4. Complexity of codes
  5. The GIGO syndrome in the electronic age
  6. Compressed time for design
  7. Lack of clarity of drawings
  8. Professional ethics

4 Causes of Structural Failure: Construction

  1. Pour construction practices
  2. Inadequate preparation and review of shop drawings
  3. Compressed time for construction
  4. Professional ethics

3 Causes of Structural Failure: Owner

  1. Imposing unreasonable time constraints on the design and construction teams
  2. Tight squeeze on fees for design
  3. Deferred maintenance.

Dr. Gosain ended by presented two case studies of failures that he has worked on. The first being an overhead bridge crane and the second being a sign support. Each had design flaws that were determined by Dr. Gosain and his group.

Until next time,