33rd Annual Structural Forum
San Luis Obispo, California
04 February 2023
Structural Forum is a full-day event, hosted by the Cal Poly SEAOC and AEI student chapter annually to connect structural engineering professionals and students. The event includes two portions, occurring in the morning and evening. The day program will be held on Cal Poly's campus and will feature presentations from three distinguished individuals in the structural engineering field. This portion is free for all to attend. The evening program, held at the Madonna Inn Expo Center, consists of a resume-free career fair followed by a three-course dinner banquet and keynote speaker. Structural Forum provides students a unique opportunity to interact with professionals in the structural engineering field and companies with the chance to promote their firms and recruit aspiring students.
Thank you to the following distinguished industry professionals:
SE3: Natalie Tse, Claire Leader, Martin Cortez
Natalie Y. Tse is a California Licensed Structural Engineer with a broad range of design experience in educational, commercial/retail, residential, science and technology sectors. She joined Tipping Structural Engineers in Berkeley, California as a Project Manager in 2017.
Natalie's portfolio includes the structural design, assessment, and seismic retrofit of over 35 school campuses, a mission critical laboratory and office building, and the design of a new wood-framed cathedral over concrete post-tensioned podium. Natalie is deeply passionate about innovative solutions, well-integrated and cost-effective designs, responsiveness during construction, and open communication. She is profoundly committed to learning, mentoring, building strong relationships, family, and giving back to the community.
In 2015, Natalie co-founded the SE3 Project, a project established to understand and mitigate issues of employee engagement and retention, advancement, work/life balance, gender and racial equity and design justice in the structural engineering profession. Natalie received her BSE in Engineering and Mathematics from Queen’s University in Canada in 2002. She is a recipient of the SEAOC Giles Scholarship and the Edwin G Zacher Award. Natalie lives in the San Francisco East Bay with her husband and three children, aged 8, 10, and 12.
Claire Leader is a Structural Designer at MKM & Associates Structural Engineering where she provides engineering services for residential and commercial projects.
Since graduating from Cal Poly SLO in 2021 with a B.S. in Architectural Engineering, Claire has been building her design portfolio with new residential construction, commercial and residential retrofits, retaining walls, residential remodels, and a Bay Area cemetery monument. She looks forward to growing her knowledge of design with an array of construction materials.
As an outspoken advocate for personal wellbeing, Claire continually seeks avenues for community improvement and inclusion. Aside from work, Claire spends much of her time growing a personal and professional network through volunteer service. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children, an Alumna Advisor to Cal Poly CAED’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club, a weekly volunteer at a senior dog rescue, and a member of SEAONC’s SE3 and DES committees.
Martin Cortez is a licensed structural engineer in California and Washington. He is currently a Project Manager at Murphy Burr Curry Structural Engineers in San Francisco.
Martin’s design experience includes K-12, high-end residential, high-end multifamily, affordable housing, and commercial work in California, Oregon, and Washington. With a broad range of new construction projects and seismic retrofits, Martin has experience with timber, steel, concrete, light-gage steel framing, post-tensioned concrete, and CMU design.
Martin has been involved with the SEAONC SE3 Committee since 2019 after moving to San Francisco. Martin is directly involved with the mentorship task group of SE3 and helps organize mentorship events. Martin believes that the most important and rewarding part of structural engineering are the relationships we build with coworkers, clients, and fellow consultants.
Walter P. Moore: So-Fi Stadium
Margaux Burkholder is a licensed structural engineer with 12 years of design experience in the Los Angeles area. She has worked on a range of project types and has experience with high-rise and performance-based design, seismic retrofit and rehabilitation, multi-family residential, commercial, mixed use, retail, sports and entertainment.
A graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Margaux has focused her career in the high seismic regions of California, working with architects and developers to provide elegant yet cost effective structural solutions to their projects. As a result of her experience with tall buildings and performance based design, Margaux has emerged as an area expert in concrete design and currently sits on the ACI Southern California Board of Directors. She is also an active member of the SEAOSC Concrete and Sustainability committees and co-chairs the Women in Structural Engineering Committee.
A personal passion for Margaux is the fostering of young students’ interest in the design and construction industry. As a result, she is a mentor for the ACE Mentor Los Angeles program and also sits on the Advisory Board for the Structural Engineering Department at Cal Poly, SLO which helps to guide the future of the curriculum and prepare future college graduates for success in the industry.
Rafael Sabelli is a Senior Principal and Director of Seismic Design at Walter P Moore. Rafael has earned a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Special Achievement Award from AISC, as well as the T.R. Higgins Lectureship award. He is a member of the AISC Committee on Specifications, where he is vice-chair of the Technical Committee on the Seismic Provisions, and a member of the AISC Committee on Manuals, where he is chair of the Seismic Design Manual committee.
Rafael is co-author of Ductile Design of Steel Structures and has written extensively on the design and behavior of steel seismic systems. He has published technical papers on braced frames, connection design, and structural stability. He is a past President of the Structural Engineers Association of California. Rafael was Structural Engineer of Record of landmark projects including the award-winning San Francisco International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower and of the Los Angeles Rams Sofi Stadium.
Mason Walters: Base Isolation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mason Walters is a Senior Principal at Forell/Elsesser and has been with the firm since 1984. Mason has had 40 years of experience in structural analysis and design of buildings, long-span bridges, and other structures. Mason’s career includes pioneering applications of seismic isolation and energy dissipation for new and historic structures, seismic design of reinforced and post-tensioned concrete and steel building and bridge structures. Several of Mason’s projects have gained special recognition for their unique structural solutions. For instance, the historic Salt Lake City and County Building was the first building to be retrofitted using seismic isolation, and the Mokelumne Aqueduct No. 3 is the first critical water supply lifeline to be protected using seismic isolation devices. Mason is the structural engineer of record for the seismic isolation retrofit of the Main Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is currently under construction. Mason is registered as a structural engineer in eight states and is a member of the Seismic Advisory Boards of both University of California and Caltrans.
Ron Klemencic, SE, Dist. Member ASCE, Fellow SEI, NAC, NAE, Hon. AIA
Ron Klemencic is Chairman and CEO of Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), an award-winning, 185-person structural and civil engineering firm founded in 1920 with offices in Seattle, Washington, and Chicago, Illinois. An industry innovator and one of the preeminent high-rise structural engineers practicing today, Ron is sought by developers, architects, and contractors worldwide for his creativity, “big picture” approach, and unique ability to consistently produce cost-effective and inventive designs.
Through his roles as a Director of the Charles Pankow Foundation and the MKA Foundation, in addition to his daily work as a practicing structural engineer, Ron continues to lead the research and development of many new technologies and systems that further the engineering profession. He has championed numerous innovations throughout his career—from implementing Performance-Based Seismic Design for high-rise buildings beginning in the mid-1990s, to the development and successful application of the first-of-its-kind, non-proprietary SpeedCore structural system starting in the early-2000s, to recent advancements in Performance-Based Wind Design and Structural Fire Design.
Engineering News-Record (ENR) included Ron on its annual list of Top 25 Newsmakers on three occasions, and he received an Award of Excellence from ENR. He also was named an AEC Industry Innovator and Disruptor by Building Design+Construction magazine. Ron received the Dennis L. Tewksbury Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)/Structural Engineering Institute, the Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and ASCE’s Outstanding Projects and Leaders (OPAL) Award in recognition of his innovation, leadership, and lifetime achievement in engineering design.