October 11, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

Join us at this informative forum where engineers 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. 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. 

Technical Program -- Call for Abstracts Open!

Individuals wishing to present a 30 minute presentation (includes five minutes for Q & A) at the 2018 Structures Symposium are invited to submit a completed Abstract Submission Form on any general-interest subject related to the analysis, design, construction, or inspection of structural projects by August 13, 2018.

Abstract Review Criteria

  1. Clarity: the concept and expression should be comprehensible
  2. Approach: including definition of the problem, hypothesis, methodology, application, results, and analysis
  3. Practice of Structural Engineering: should bridge the gap between theory, challenges, and solution
  4. Originality: should report preliminary or novel results
  5. Learning Objectives
  • Speakers will be notified of abstract acceptance by August 24, 2018.
  • Speakers will be provided with required guidelines after acceptance of abstract.
  • Standard AV equipment will be available: podium, laptop, microphone, projector, and screen.
  • All speakers receive free registration on the day of their presentation. (Travel expenses not included.)

Click here to complete the Abstract Submission Form


Keynote Speaker -- Dr. William Bulleit presents The Engineering Way of Thinking – An Introduction

We are delighted to welcome Dr. William Bulleit. to present the keynote address at the Structures Symposium. Dr. Bulleit has been a professor of structural engineering at Michigan Tech for 36 years.  He received a BSCE and MSCE from Purdue in 1974 and 1975, respectively.  From there he went to Florida where he designed manned and unmanned submersibles. After Florida, he moved to Washington State University where, in 1980, he received a Ph.D. He then went to HNTB in Bellevue, Washington where he worked on the design of bridges and a large-diameter, soft-earth tunnel.  He came to Michigan Tech in November of 1981 and since then has taught a wide range of structural engineering courses, both theory and design, including reinforced concrete design, wood structural design, and structural dynamics.  His research over the years has included areas such as structural wood engineering, structural reliability, and agent-based modeling.  Much of his research and teaching has considered the need for engineers to make decisions under uncertainty, and it was this portion of his work that led to an interest in philosophy and other nontechnical aspects of engineering.

The Engineering Way of Thinking – An Introduction

Anecdotal evidence, both spoken and written, supports the hypothesis that engineers, in general, think differently from everyone else.  Although there are certainly significant similarities between other disciplines and engineering, something seems to distinguish engineers.

Engineering has been defined in many ways, most commonly as problem solving and/or applied science.  Such definitions capture only a portion of what engineering encompasses and certainly do not adequately delineate the engineering way of thinking.  For instance, if engineering is primarily problem solving, then the engineering way of thinking is how engineers go about solving problems:  What knowledge and tools do we use?  How do we decide which knowledge and tools to use in a given instance?  How do we select new knowledge and tools as problems change?  The answers to these and other questions are what differentiate engineering from other human endeavors.

Engineers recognize that there is a wide range of knowledge and tools that may prove necessary in the design and construction of any engineered artifact.  These include heuristics, visualization, teamwork, interaction with community members, interactions with clients, simple mathematical equations, complicated software, written communication, and so on.  As we move forward, where our systems become more complex, all of the previous tools will be needed, as well as others, such as agent-based modeling, artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, quantum computing, and tools that we know little or nothing about today.

Learning Objectives

  1. Gain a better understanding of engineering as a body of knowledge.
  2. Consider some philosophical aspects of engineering design.
  3. Examine the future of engineering.



150 North Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606



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 $255 for members and $305 for non-members before September 11, 2018. After that date, the fee will be $380 for members and $430 for non-members.

Please register by Friday, October 5 to guarantee your place. Registrations made after that time will be accommodated if possible, but we cannot guarantee that space will be available. 

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 early 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






Jeff Diqui ( Illinois Structural Masonry Coalition )
Patrick Olechno ( Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc. )