March 21, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm

Assessment and Repair of Steel Building Structures Seminar

The Structural Engineers Association of Illinois is pleased to announce the Assessment and Repair of Steel Building Structures Seminar! This new seminar provides the background for investigating and repairing steel building structures from a forensics perspective and includes recent case studies to showcase repair applications. The presenters are a diverse group of industry leaders from Chicagoland and beyond. The seminar is designed for all professionals interested in the repair of steel structures. 

Attendees can expect to:

  • Learn practical information about steel metallurgy, welding, and bolting
  • Learn about damage mechanisms and how to assess existing steel structures, including applying NDE techniques
  • Learn methods for analyzing and repairing existing steel structures, including using code documents and FEA
  • Learn experiences, best practices, and lessons learned from recent repair projects


 8:00am - 8:30am Registration/Breakfast
  8:30am - 9:15am Steel Metallurgy, Welding, and Damage Mechanisms
Robert Warke - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
 9:15am - 10:00am Practical Applications of Structural Bolting
Jonathan C. McGormley - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
10:00am - 10:15am Break
10:15am - 11:00am Steel NDE Techniques and Applications
Curtis Schroeder - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates & Lonnie Anderson - Fickett Structural Solutions
11:00am - 11:45am Giving 110% - Strategies to Find Reserve Capacity
Christopher Hewitt - Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
11:45am - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 1:15pm Design of Strengthening for Members Under Load
Eric Wheeler - Thornton Tomasetti
 1:15pm - 2:00pm Assessment and Remedial Considerations for Problematic Structural Bolt Installations 
William Macicak - Raths, Raths & Johnson
  2:00pm - 2:15pm Break
 2:15pm - 3:00pm Iconic Skylight Investigation, Restoration, & Implementation
Terry McDonald -  Klein and Hoffman & Eric Dexter - Berglund Construction
  3:00pm - 3:45pm Corrosion and Cathodic Protection of Building Steel Framing
Gina Crevello -  Echem Consultants
 3:45pm - 4:30pm Fracture Mechanics and Advanced FEA for Structural Steel Retrofits
Steven Altstadt - Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
 4:30pm - 4:35pm Wrap-Up





















Association Forum
10 S. Riverside Plaza, Ste. 800
Chicago Illinois 60606


Registration and a continental breakfast will be available at 8:00 am, and the program begins at 8:30 am. Lunch will also be provided. The registration fee is $390 for members and $505 for non-members.  Please register before March 18, 2019 to guarantee your place.

Attendees will earn 6.5 hours of continuing education credit.  CE certificates will be emailed to all participants following the event.  Course handouts, if available from presenters, will be provided electronically.

If you make a reservation and cannot attend, please cancel before Friday, March 15, 2019.  If you do not cancel by that time, please send a colleague in your place, as you will be charged.

About the Speakers

Robert Warke

Robert Warke joined WJE in 2017 as an Associate Principal, and was co-founder of WJE’s first metallurgical engineering practice. Robert has over thirty years of experience in the analysis, diagnosis, prediction and prevention of weld-related failure, combining in-depth knowledge of weld metallurgy and failure mechanisms with hands-on field and laboratory investigation. In his current position, he supports fitness-for-service assessments and advises structural engineers on welding procedure development for modification, restoration or repair. Robert is a long-time member of the Welding Handbook Committee of AWS. He holds a BS in welding engineering from LeTourneau University and an MS in metallurgical and materials engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Both the short- and long-term success of a weld repair depend upon a correct understanding of the original cause of failure and the structure’s service environment, as well as how the repair process may alter its sensitivity to that environment. The metallurgy of ferritic steels will be reviewed, with emphases on the potentially detrimental  effects of welding and how those effects can be minimized in practice. 

Jonathan C. McGormley, S.E., P.E.

Jonathan McGormley joined Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in 1994, and has been involved with the structural evaluation and repair of deteriorated or distressed structures. Through his work, he has carried out numerous inspections and evaluations of bridge structures with an emphasis on fatigue and fracture problems. He is also experienced in nondestructive testing techniques and has conducted instrumentation and field testing projects as well as research projects. Jon currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Research Council on Structural Connections (Bolt Council). The RCSC is currently updating its specification for intended release later this year. Jon earned his BSCE from the University of Cincinnati and his MSCE from Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Jon’s presentation will address common issues and misconceptions associated with structural bolting. Many engineers often interpret the RCSC Specifications in ways that can make their designs more expensive or increase the complexity of installation. The presentation will provide background on why certain Specification provisions are included as well as describing the importance of proper installation practices to achieve design assumptions.

Curtis Schroeder, P.E., CWI, PhD

Curtis Schroeder, PE, CWI, PhD recently joined WJE as an Associate III after receiving his PhD from Purdue while performing research on the application of phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) to bridge welds. Curtis's background is in advanced inspection techniques for fabrication of new welded steel structures and evaluation of existing steel structures using fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments. While at Fish & Associates, Inc. (now Fickett Structural Solutions) for five years, his responsibilities were centered on nondestructive testing research using PAUT and writing engineering guidance documents for improved fatigue and fracture design of steel structures and FFS evaluation of members with existing flaws. He has also aided in the development, revision, and instruction of training courses in welding and bridge inspection.

Information on the common types of NDE methods used to investigate steel structures will be presented, including introduction and background to various NDE methods along with their advantages and disadvantages. Project examples will also be discussed to highlight applications of NDE during structural investigations. Example projects include investigation of laminations within lifting plates used for a vertical lift of jumbo section roof framing and repair of cracked column to base plate field welds for a multi-story hospital.

Lonnie Anderson, CWI, NDT Level II

Lonnie Anderson, Quality Assurance Specialist II, is a certified welding inspector (CWI) and Level II nondestructive testing (NDT) specialist.  He has a thorough understanding of welding processes for a variety of materials and over twenty years of experience in structural steel welding, fabrication, and inspection.  Lonnie has supervised the welding fabrication of steel, aluminum, and stainless steel elements of equipment and structures. He is a lead inspector for shop fabrication and on-site inspection of steel connections performing visual inspections(VT), ultrasonic testing (UT), magnetic particle testing (MT), dye penetrate testing (PT), shear stud inspection, metal deck weld inspection, and bolt tension inspection. He develops and performs the review and approval of weld procedure qualification records (PQR), weld procedure specifications (WPS), and welder qualifications.

Christopher Hewitt, S.E.

Christopher Hewitt, S.E. is a Senior Project Manager at Simpson Gumpertz and Heger in Chicago where he is actively engaged in the design and retrofit of steel-framed structures for industrial and architectural clients. He is currently a member of the AISC Manuals Committee, which is charged with development of the AISC Steel Construction Manual and related design guides. Hewitt has significant experience in the evaluation and retrofit of existing steel-framed structures in nuclear power facilities, which are typically modified and reassessed to meet provisions of their original licensing-basis design codes from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. As a former AISC staff member, Hewitt was responsible for the development of the first edition of AISC Design Guide 15 on Retrofit and Rehabilitation of Steel Structures and the development of AISC’s historic shapes database. He is the author of several journal papers that form the basis of connection design methodologies that are still in use today.

This session will discuss strategies for assessment of existing steel members, including a review of the evolution of AISC standards over time and expected differences in strength predicted by original design basis codes and current codes; the application of the IEBC and CBC to repair, additions or alterations; material sampling approaches; and application of AISC Appendix 5 for evaluation of existing structures. 

Eric Wheeler, S.E., Thornton Tomasetti

Eric Wheeler, SE, is an Associate with Thornton Tomasetti and a member of the firm’s Renewal practice in Chicago, IL. His projects include adaptive reuse, building renovations, due diligence, and building assessments. Mr. Wheeler's portfolio includes the Willis Tower Repositioning project that is currently underway; Navy Pier Family Pavilion and South Arcade Renovation; Navy Pier Pierscape; Saieh Hall for Economics; and the Physics Research Center at the University of Chicago. He is a licensed structural engineer in Illinois. In his free time, Mr. Wheeler enjoys traveling with his family, photography, and drawing.

When working on the renovation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, changes to loading demands often necessitate in-place strengthening of steel framing. This presentation will discuss various strengthening schemes that can be used to increase the capacity of existing beams, columns, and connections. Design methodologies for working on members under load at the time of strengthening and considerations for welding to historic steels will be discussed. Detailed strengthening examples will be presented using the 2016 AISC Specification and AISC Design Guide 15. 

William Macicak, S.E., P.E.

William J. Macicak, S.E., P.E. is Senior Project Engineer at Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc., an Illinois-based national engineering, architecture, and forensics consulting firm. He has 18 years of structural engineering experience specializing in the investigation and analysis of structures, materials, and construction components. He has managed complex field investigations and onsite testing programs to determine the adequacy and probable cause of structural and other building-related damages and developed repair designs and managed the construction phase of these programs. He has performed forensic support services including the collection of evidence for dispute resolution and development of expert technical opinions. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2001 and is a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), ASTM International, and the American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law.

This presentation provides lessons learned from a case study, wherein seemingly minor lapses in QA/QC diligence during the installation of high strength structural steel bolts resulted in major complications that jeopardized completion of a large-scale project. Design and installation considerations for pretensioned and slip-critical bolted connections will be emphasized. QA/QC procedures, arbitration and other verification methods will be addressed, along with recommendations for the resolution of deficiencies.

Terry McDonald, S.E., P.E.

Terry McDonald, SE, PE is an Associate Principal with Klein and Hoffman and manages the firm’s structural engineering group. Mr. McDonald has over 19 years of experience in the investigation, design, and analysis of building structures with emphasis on adaptive reuse and renovation of existing buildings. He holds a professional registration as structural engineer in Illinois and is licensed as a professional engineer in Illinois, Colorado, Michigan and New Jersey. Some of his recognized projects include work at Chicago Union Station, Wheaton Center Apartments, Rees House Relocation, and Loyola University.

Eric Dexter

As Sr. Project Manager, Eric is responsible for the administration and successful execution of the restoration projects, from preconstruction through final completion.  Eric has 10 years of construction experience, with various restoration scopes, including plazas, facades and historic structures.  Some of his recognized projects include work at Chicago Union Station, Shedd Aquarium, GSA Federal Plaza and Unity Temple. 

Two of Chicago’s iconic skylights were recently restored at the John G. Shedd Aquarium and Chicago Union Station.  This presentation will discuss the engineer’s perspective on the investigation, analysis, and recommendations; and the contractor’s perspective in the approach and numerous logistical challenges during construction as both remained fully occupied.

Gina Crevello

Ms. Crevello is an architectural and materials conservator with over 22 years of experience in material durability, corrosion diagnostics, forensic investigations, lifecycle assessments, and electrochemical repair methods for buildings and civil structures. Ms. Crevello holds an MSc and Advanced Certificate in Architectural Materials Conservation from Columbia University. She is the vice president of the Board of Directors for the Associated for Preservation Technology, Vice Chair of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers Concrete Technical Symposium and has published extensively on corrosion material science and its’ impact on historic and civil structures.  She strives to educate key decision makers in the A/E/C industry of advanced repair techniques to enhance their assets’ service life and to make a safer and more durable built environment. Ms. Crevello founded Echem Consultants LLC in 2009 and will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Fifteen years ago, the first use of impressed current cathodic protection in America was installed in a Chicago landmark as a means of corrosion mitigation.   Today, this is a common method of corrosion mitigation used in conjunction with façade repairs.  This talk will review corrosion of embedded steel framing, which can cause irreversible damage to building envelopes, cause a life and safety risk to pedestrians, and cost owners significant amounts of money in repairs.  It will also discuss the use of impressed current cathodic protection as a means of mitigating corrosion and how this increases the reliability of building envelope performance while providing significant returns on investments for clients.  As the topics are discussed, significant Chicago landmarks which have systems will be highlighted to illustrate the diversity and benefits of the using this technology.

Steven Altstadt, PhD, P.E.

Steven Altstadt is currently an associate principal and engineer in the Metallurgy and Applied Mechanics group at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., in Northbrook, IL. His primary technical interests are the strength and behavior of metals with a specialization in fatigue and fracture mechanics. He has consulted for many industries, including offshore structures, ships, pipelines, buildings, bridges, pressure vessels, piping, and machinery. His past work has included extreme event strength assessments, extreme event strain-based assessments, defect acceptance criteria, fatigue life predictions, writing material specifications, experimental testing, retrofit design, field monitoring programs, and forensic investigations. Dr. Altstadt has conducted large-scale test programs for welded and bolted connections in structural components and pressurized components, and he has written journal papers and conference papers on the topics of metal strength and behavior. He also gives introductory professional develoment presentations on the topics of metal fracture, fatigue, fitness for service, and integrity management. He is a licensed professional engineer in fifteen states.

In projects with uncommon designs, substandard fabrication, outdated fabrication, complex degradation, uncommon loading sources, or a combination of these, structural engineers may find that the mainstream structural steel codes and recommended practice documents provide limited guidance. In many of these cases the use of fracture mechanics or nonlinear finite element analysis can help with fitness for service (FFS) assessments and retrofit designs. In actual practice the degree to which these tools are embraced greatly varies by industry and region. Differences in lexicon and workflow between these specialized fields and mainstream structural engineering can sometimes lead to misconceptions and lost opportunities. This presentation will provide a qualitative overview of fracture mechanics and nonlinear finite element analysis in solving engineering challenges with FFS and retrofitting structural steel. A few case studies will be provided. The end goal is to improve the audience’s ability to recognize when these specialized tools likely are, or are not, a benefit to their projects.









Ditarijus Adomenas ( HED )
Michael Faron ( Rimkus Consulting )
Robert Warke ( WJE )
Tim Thompson ( Construction Resources, Inc. )
Stephen Schmitt ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Peter Haupt ( Structural Preservation Systems, LLC )
H Dickerson ( Barr Engineering Co. )
Erik Wetzler ( Envista )
Richard Little ( R.W. Little & Associates/IMETCO, Inc. )
Nezar Abraham ( Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc )
Keli Dudek ( KeliAnn Engineering, LLC )
Michael Cook
Roman Szczesniak ( RSJR Engineering Ltd. )
Abhiram Tammana ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Jeffrey Travis ( Exponent, Inc. )
Andrew Lane ( SoCore Engineering )
Perry Pinto ( DeSimone Consulting Engineers )
Matthew Wooden ( Brindley Engineering )
Ephraim Dissen ( Brindley Engineering Corp )
George Krupa ( Lakeshore Engineering, LLC )
Suresh Pinjarkar ( Probe Consulting Services )
ira Norooz ( Maxima Consultants Corp. )
Eric Wheeler ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Christopher Hewitt ( Simpson Gumpertz & Heger )
Gina Crevello ( e2Chem )
Steven Altstadt ( Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc. )
William Macicak ( Raths, Raths & Johnson, Inc. )
Terry McDonald ( Klein & Hoffman, Inc. )
Eric Dexter ( Berglund Construction )
Jonathan McGormley ( Wiss Janey Elstner )
Curtis Schroeder ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates )
Lonnie Anderson ( Fickett Structural Solutions )