BASE/SEAMass Dinner 9/15/2010

by Keith M. Bouchard, E.I.T.

The Boston Association of Structural Engineers (BASE) kicked off the 2010-2011 year with a rousing dinner meeting at the MIT Faculty Club overlooking the Charles River.  The meeting, which was held in conjunction with SEAMass, included an address by Dr. Jerome Hajjar, the new chairman of Northeastern University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Dr. Hajjar emphasized NU’s continued commitment to educating tomorrow’s practicing structural engineers while highlighting exciting research in structural monitoring and homeland security.

Following a scrumptious steak dinner, the 70+ attendees were broken into four groups to discuss risk-management topics facing structural engineers.  David Odeh, P.E., SECB led a spirited discussion on “The Risk Associated with BIM” which touched on such topics as setting your fee, handing off your model, and defining the level of detail expected in the model.  David Corkum, Esq., led the roundtable on “What is Structural Engineers’ Risk Working with the State of Massachusetts” that focused on avoiding penalties associated with the state’s “False Claims Act.”  A discussion on “How to Collect Your Fees Without Getting Sued” was led by David Collings, Esq., who described how firms that are more successful at collecting outstanding fees are not afraid to have frank conversations with their clients.  Finally, Mark Steiner, P.E., SECB, led a roundtable on “The Engineers Role in Government Advocacy” which discussed helpful practices for getting legislation passed that benefits the A/E community, including a “Certificate of Merit” for architects and engineers.

The meeting closed without a hitch and all attendees left a little more conscious of the risks associated with structural engineering.  Please monitor the “Upcoming Events” page in this newsletter for more interesting, engaging, and PDH-providing BASE and SEAMass functions.