October 26, 2017 -
8:00am to 5:30pm


The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois is pleased to announce the Seventh Annual Structures Symposium, which provides a forum for engineers to share analysis, design, and construction information from recent projects with unique and/or distinguishing characteristics. Attendance typically represents a diverse cross-section of all aspects of the profession, including: design, construction management, material suppliers, academia, general contracting, and owners’ representatives.

Please register by Friday, October 20 to guarantee your place. Registrations made after that time will be accommodated if possible, but we cannot guarantee that space will be available. 


Keynote Speaker

We are delighted to welcome Barry Charnich, P.Eng. to present the keynote address at the Structures Symposium.  Barry is a Principal at Entuitive and specializes in large-scale commercial, residential and institutional projects, working closely with architectural firms, developers and construction clients. With over 40 years of experience in consulting engineering, Barry is a seasoned professional who retains his enthusiasm for each and every project. He has worked on large, complex structures in Canada, the United States, China and Germany, and is recognized for his expertise in tall building design. Barry’s projects include cultural centres, hotel and residential structures, commercial high rises, government buildings, and educational and institutional facilities. Contributing to the profession is important to Barry, and he has helped develop quality assurance standards for the engineering industry. Also, Barry publishes articles and gives lectures on high-rise building design.


Technical Program

The Symposium is comprised of a single day-long session including continental breakfast and a group luncheon.  In addition to the keynote address, the Symposium includes twelve half-hour presentations.  Attendees of the Symposium receive 7.0 hours of continuing education credit. 


7:30 am  Registration Opens, Breakfast, Visit Exhibitors
8:00 - 8:05 amProgram Begins: Welcome Remarks and Overview
8:05 - 8:35 amMulti-Story Residential: Structural Steel Framing Solutions 
Joseph Dardis, AISC
8:35 - 9:05 amFlat Plate Voided Concrete Slab Systems
David A. Fanella, CRSI
9:05 - 9:35 amEpic Challenges, Rewarding Solutions
Joshua Brickman, Magnusson Klemencic Associates
9:35 - 10:00 amBreak
10:00 - 10:30 amLateral Analysis: Right Way, Wrong Way
Sam Rubenzer, Forse Consulting
10:30 - 11:00 amOptimizing the Structural and Foundation Systems of the 151-Story Incheon Tower
Ahmad Abdelrazaq, Samsung
11:00 - 11:30 amStructural Glass -- Analysis and Design
Alloy Kemp, Thornton Tomasetti
11:50 am - 12:30 pm  Lunch
12:10 - 1:10 pmKeynote Presentation
Barry Charnish, Entuitive
1:10 - 1:30 pmBreak, Visit Exhibitors
1:30 - 2:00 pmThe Midtown Athletic Club Expansion
Garret Browne, Rockey Structures
2:00 - 2:30 pmUnited States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel: Recladding Engineering
Christine Freisinger, Wiss, Janney Elstner Associates
2:30 - 3:00 pmWashington-Wabash Elevated Station
Nathaniel Gonner, exp US Services, Inc.
3:00 - 3:15 pmBreak, Visit Exhibitors
3:15 - 3:45 pmStructural Steel Solutions for 30 Hudson Yards
Jennifer Pazdon, Cast Connex Corporation
3:45 - 4:15 pmStructural Form Finding of a Rope Sculpture
Alessandro Beghini, Skidmore, Owings & Merril LLP
4:15 - 4:45 pmThe Chicago Freight Tunnel System
Roman Vovchak, TranSystems
4:45 - 5:00 pmRaffle, Adjourn


Location, Times, and Fees

The Symposium will take place at Maggiano's Little Italy, 111 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago. 

Registration and a continental breakfast will be available at 7:30 am; the program begins at 8. Lunch will be provided. The program concludes at 5 pm.

The registration fee is just $250 for members and $375 for non-members through October 1. After that, prices increase to $300 and $425, respectively. 


Exhibitor Opportunities

Limited Exhibitor Opportunities are available.  The exhibit fee is $825 and includes recognition the program, mention from the podium, one admission to the Structures Symposium, and access to participants during breakfast, lunch and breaks during the day.  Additional representatives may attend at the member registration rate. 


Sponsorship Opportunities

There are four different levels of corporate sponsorship:

  • Platinum: $1,000 – Recognition in program, display of a poster at event, and recognition for sponsoring lunch.  
  • Gold: $850 – Recognition in the program, display of a poster at event, and recognition during the technical session for sponsoring one of the following:     Continental Breakfast, Morning Break or Afternoon Break 
  • Silver: $600 – Recognition in the program and display of a poster at event
  • Bronze: $300 – Recognition in the program



About the Presenters

Joseph Dardis is a Structural Steel Specialist at the American Institute of Steel Construction in Chicago IL.  In addition to his primary role of increasing the use of structural steel in the Chicago marketplace, Joe is the AISC subject matter expert on high rise buildings, author’s articles for Modern Steel Construction magazine and serves on the Engineering Journal Review Board.  He is also a member of several professional organizations in the Chicagoland area.  Joe previously worked in AISC’s Steel Solutions Center and prior to joining AISC Joe worked as a structural engineer in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  Joe earned his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Ohio University in 2009 and a master's degree in Civil Engineering from Cleveland State University in 2012 upon completing his thesis on sustainability in the construction industry.  Joe is also currently pursuing an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

Market conditions have changed recently and structural steel framing has become an economical alternative to structural concrete for mid-rise hotels and other multi-story residential projects.  This presentation will provide a detailed description of four steel-framed systems that can achieve floor-to floor heights as low as 8’-8” while offering greater speed and economy over conventional concrete framing systems. Attendees will learn what these different systems are and how they provide benefits to the architect and client. The presentation will also include examples of recently completed steel-framed multi-story residential projects describing how the use of each particular system benefited the project owner.

David A. Fanella, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., F.ASCE, F.ACI is the Senior Director of Engineering at the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute. He has 30 years of experience in the design of a wide variety of buildings and other structures. Fanella has authored numerous technical publications and recently authored a textbook on reinforced concrete design for McGraw Hill. He is a member of several ACI Committees and is a Fellow of ACI and ASCE. He also serves on ASCE Committee 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. He is a licensed structural and professional engineer in Illinois and is a past board member and president of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois.

This presentation provides state-of-the-art information on the design and construction of flat plate voided concrete slab systems. Included are methods for flexural and shear design and how to select a system for vibration. Results from a recent ASTM E119 fire test are also presented. Recent projects that have utilized flat plate voided concrete slab systems are covered, which highlight some of the benefits of this system and the reasons why the system was selected for that project.

Josh Brickman, P.E. is a design engineer for Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc. (MKA).  A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he has designed healthcare, office, residential, and sports projects across the Midwest, including towers up to 55 stories and developments up to 120,774 m² (1,300,000 ft²).  Projects Josh has worked on include the newly completed River Point Tower and Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital Expansion, and the forthcoming Blackhawks Practice Facility.

This presentation chronicles the unique structural designs implemented at Epic Systems in Madison, Wisconsin, the nation’s largest provider of electronic healthcare recordkeeping services.  Tasked with creating a series of wizard themed office buildings while simultaneously evoking iconic structures like the Smithsonian Castle and King’s Cross railroad station, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc. (MKA) employed a touch of structural wizardry.  Along the way, MKA successfully designed six visually striking office buildings totaling 92,903-m² (1-million-ft²) with an underground parking garage for 1,380 cars, two pedestrian skybridges, and an interconnecting tunnel system, all on 16.2 hectares (40 acres).

Ahmad Abdelrazaq  is Senior Executive Vice President at Samsung C & T Corporation, Seoul, Korea. During his tenure there, Mr. Abdelrazaq held several major technical and management positions, including consolidating/developing/strengthening highrise building division with diversified business models domestically and globally that led into multi-billion dollar contracts. Among many projects at Samsung, Mr. Abdelrazaq has been involved in all aspects of construction planning, pre-construction services, and structural design of the Burj Khalifa, Jumeriah Gardens in Dubai, Samsung HQ, Seoul, the 151-story Inchon Tower, and the Yongsan Landmark Tower in Seoul. Presently, Mr Abdelrazaq is involved in the design and construction of several mixed-use highrise and complex building projects in Asia and the Middle East. Prior to joining Samsung, Mr. Abdelrazaq was Associate Partner with Skidmore Owings and Merrill in Chicago. Mr. Abdelrazaq serves also as a lecturer at Seoul National University, and is an investigator in a National Science Foundation-sponsored project with the University of Notre Dame, The University of Western Ontario/ Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory and SOM that seeks to improve correlations between actual wind load responses of tall buildings and those predicted by computer models and wind tunnel studies. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

The 151-story super high-rise Inchon Tower is located in an area of reclaimed land constructed over soft marine clay in Songdo, Korea. This presentation will focu on 1) the structural engineering techniques utilized to optimize the structural and foundation systems of the tower, 2) the different floor framing system considered, 3) the wind engineering approach to tame the wind behavior of the tower to reduce the overall wind forces and to tame the dynamic response of the tower, 4) a description of an additional reliable damping system that is well integrated with the structural and the architectural design concepts to improve the tower overall behavior under service and extreme lateral load conditions, 5) and finally describe the impact of foundation flexibility on the overall behavior of the tower, through soil structure interaction.  The introduction of the damped mega-frame structural system for the 151 story Inchon will be a catalyst in utilizing the latest Damping systems and technologies for a “New Generation of Tall Building System."


Alloy H. Kemp, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti, where she has worked since 2010. As a member of the firm's Façade Engineering practice, she is responsible for façade structural system design, material selection, prototype development, parametric modeling and fabrication planning. Her work includes high performance envelopes; structural glass, cable nets, and membrane systems. Having worked in both the US and Europe, she has a unique perspective on the principles and practice of both industries. She received her B.Arch and M.Arch + Structures from UIUC. Although a licensed Architect, Alloy practices as an engineer and is pursuing engineering licensure.

Glass is used as a structural material in many notable applications around the world. The appeal of a virtually invisible structure is hard to deny. However, the analysis of glass is far from simple. An engineer must consider the type of glass, the method of its manufacture, temperatures, interlayers, coatings, connections to other materials, and fabrication limitations. Add to this the lack of specific code procedure and education at most engineering programs, it can be a bit of a black hole. Attendees will learn about the types of glass, interlayers, use of structural silicone vs. fittings, ASTM E1300 and its limitations, Chicago Building Code's stance on structural glass, and the risks of using such a material or designing it improperly.

Christine Freisinger is an Associate Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in the Chicago office where she has worked as a structural engineer since 2004, primarily focusing on the investigation, evaluation and repair of existing structures. She is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota. She currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI). 



The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Cadel Chapel is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, along the Rocky Mountains. The Chapel was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and completed in 1962 to provide multiple worships areas for the academy. In 2004, the Chapel was designated a United States National Historic Landmark. AECOM and WJE are currently working with the USAFA to design and install a new cladding system to prevent water leakage. As part of the repair design, a wind tunnel study was completed to consider the unique wind loads along the Rocky Mountains and an analytical model of the superstructure was created to evaluate the unique framing system resulting in relative movements along the strip windows.



Nathaniel Gonner, SE is a Senior Structural Engineer in EXP’s Buildings Group.  He has worked on the analysis and design of complex building projects around the world, including transportation structures, high-rise buildings, renovations, sports facilities, and existing structural assessments.  Many of these projects have featured the use of architecturally exposed structural steel.  While at EXP, his work has focused on the design and renovation of transit structures.  Nathaniel holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from Lehigh University, where he researched the design of seismic-resistant self-centering steel frames.

The recently opened Washington-Wabash Station is the first station built on Chicago’s downtown Loop in 20 years.  The new two-level steel structure adjoins an existing steel track structure constructed over 100 years ago.   The most prominent feature of the station is the architecturally exposed structural steel canopies.  The canopy structure consists of a continuous tubular spine supporting closely-spaced transverse ribs of varying length and inclination, which define the canopy’s shape.  The aesthetic and functional requirements of the canopies called for highly-coordinated and elegant structural detailing.  The presentation will focus on the design of the canopies, the integration of the new and existing structures, and challenges presented by the station’s dense, urban setting.

Jennifer Anna Pazdon, PE, M. Sc. Eng is a licensed structural engineer in NY with over 10 years of experience in design of structures. She received her Masters from Princeton University where her studies focused on efficiency and economy in structural design. She is excited to have recently joined Cast Connex to open the NYC office and provide engineering, design-assist, and client collaboration support.



This presentation will discuss some of the structural design challenges of 30 Hudson Yards, the tallest building of the development.  Constructing a significant high-rise building on a site with active rail tracks below led to unique solutions including massive built-up steel shapes, transfer systems, and the use of forged steel blocks to facilitate connections. Attendees will learn how forged steel blocks were determined to be an effective manner to transfer high stresses in very tight geometric constraints in multiple directions; how steel product manufacturing method influences the structural characteristics of various structural steel products including laminated plates and cast elements. Attendees will gain insight as to when cast or forged steel products provide an improved technical solution over conventionally fabricated connections.


Alessandro Beghiniis currently an Associate Director and Senior project engineer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, where he has been working since 2005. Recent projects that he has been involved with include 111 S. Main in Salt Lake City, the new United States Courthouse in Los Angeles and several large scale mixed use high-rise buildings, like the CITIC development in Shenzen and the CTF Tianjin in Tianjin. Within SOM, Alessandro is also responsible for conducting research in the field of optimal structural topologies and development of innovative methodologies for structural analysis. Alessandro received his B.S./M.S. from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, his M.Eng. from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and his PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Northwestern University. He has co-authored several technical publications on a variety of structural engineering topics ranging from topology optimization to behavior of fiber composites and fiber reinforced concrete.


A rope net sculpture was developed for the Sunset La Cienega project in West Hollywood, CA. The sculpture was designed in collaboration with artist Janet Echelman and spans the two towers of the development. The sculpture is articulated into four levels of structural net layers and several sculptural nets made of fishing net-type material hanging from the structural layers. The structural design of the sculpture presented several challenges from the analytical and material points of view. The design process required form finding of the structural rope net layers followed by dimensioning of the rope elements. Rope structure materials are highly non-linear due to their construction and are relatively soft compared to traditional structural materials. This presentation describes these challenges and the most important aspects in the design of the rope net sculpture.


Roman Vovchak, PE, is a structural engineer at TranSystems’ Chicago office. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and 2013 with a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering. With four years of experience, Roman has many accomplishments, including managing the structural portion of the Central Tri-State (I-294) Master Plan, designing an HDPE bridge, and numerous inspections across Illinois, Texas, and Michigan.



The Chicago Freight Tunnels consist of 60 miles of tunnels 40 feet underground and are one of the most extensive and unique tunnels in Chicago’s central business district. Dug between 1899 and 1906, the tunnels were initially used to hide many miles of telephone and telegraph cable but were chiefly used to carry small freight trains to deliver mail and packages, and to ship coal and coal ash to and from the coal-burning furnaces of the time. Due to a construction accident in April 1992, the tunnels flooded causing extensive damage. The tunnels have been inspected on a much more frequent basis with thorough annual inspections and quarterly checkups.





Derek Boeldt ( SEAOI )
Zhang Chen ( Garza Karhoff Enginnering llc )
Vincent Kania ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Jeff Warmolts ( DeWalt Engineered by Powers )
William Smith ( J. Watson Engineering Co., Inc. )
Aaron Neuman
Justin Cline ( Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. )
Nancy Collins ( )
Jeannette Pfeiffer ( DeSimone Consulting Engineers )
Terrence Lindsay ( Lindsay & Associates, Inc. )
Alloy Kemp ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Ahmad Abdelrazaq ( Samsung C&T Corp. )
Garret Browne ( Rockey structures )
Nathaniel Gonner ( exp US Services, Inc. )
Christine Freisinger ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (Chicago) )
Alessandro Beghini ( Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP )
Roman Vovchak ( TranSystems )
Barry Charnish ( Entuit )
Joseph Dardis ( AISC - American Institute of Steel Construction )
David Fanella ( CRSI )
Josh Brickman ( Magnusson Klemencic Associates )
Sam Rubenzer ( FORSE Consulting )
Jeannette Pfeiffer ( DeSimone Consulting Engineers )
David Weihing ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Arantzazu Alarcon-Fleming ( )
Jennifer Pazdon ( Cast Connex )
Robert Dodge ( Robert Dodge SPAAN Tech, Inc. )
Chris Stefanos ( CS Associates, Inc. )
Ralph Calistro ( CS Associates, Inc. )
Anthony Johnson ( CRSI )
Mohammed Zagloul ( Kapur & Associates )
Joe Diqui ( ISMC )
Gary Porter ( ISMC )