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North Carolina Section - Eastern Branch

Quick Links: Next Luncheon | Calendar | Announcements | Past Presentations | Officers

Please join us for our next luncheon on April 17, 2014 at the NC University Club at 4200 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.  You can register online right now!


About Us

Welcome to the ASCE, North Carolina Section Eastern Branch website. Your Eastern Branch has many opportunities for you to get involved with ASCE in addition to participation in our regularly scheduled lunch meetings, held the 3rd Thursday of each month (except June, August, and December).  All upcoming events will be posted below.  Please visit the calendar to view event dates through 2014.  You can follow us on Twitter at @ASCENCEast and subscribe to our online schedule to be automatically notified of upcoming events.

Monthly Branch Luncheon Announcement

You are invited to the next
American Society of Civil Engineers
North Carolina Section
Eastern Branch

Register online right now

Speaker: Ms. Sepi Saidi, PE, President & Owner Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Topic: Importance of Culture in Growing a Business Time: 12:00pm to about 1:30pm

Summary: Ms. Saidi is the President and Owner of Sepi Engineering.  She plans to discuss how she grew her business in very challenging times. What does an authentic, visionary leadership mean to the value and importance of company culture? Why is it important and how can it add value?

We hold our monthly luncheons at the beautiful NC State University Club at 4200 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27606. You can contact the NC University Club at (919) 828-0308 if you need assistance locating their establishment.
The luncheon rates are $25 for ASCE Members, $30 for Non-ASCE Members, and $10 for ASCE Life Members, Students, and Unemployed ASCE Members. If you are paying at the door, please bring cash or a check made out to "ASCE NC Eastern Branch".
You can register and pay for the event online right now using your credit card. There are no additional fees, and no accounts or magic passwords needed either. You will be able to specify your meal preference during registration. Upon arrival at the luncheon, just check-in at the registration table using your name.

We understand your schedule may change and you might not be able to make it to the event. Cancellations with refunds can be honored up until 48 hours before the event starts. If you are neither able to attend nor cancel in time, you may send a replacement. To help Professional Engineers in attendance acquire 15 Professional Development Hour (PDH) units per license renewal period in accordance with 21 NCAC 56.1703, we offer one PDH certificate after the presentation.

Our online system handles all registrations and payments.  Even if you don't want to pay online, you still use the online system to register. The online system will also allow you to specify your meal preference (Standard or Vegetarian). Upon arrival at the luncheon, just check-in and pay at the registration table using your name.


You can view this calendar in your web browser:  ASCE NC Eastern Branch Calendar.html. Better yet, you can subscribe to the live-updating ASCE North Carolina Eastern Branch public calendar in your desktop or mobile calendar application of choice.  Select the option that best matches your needs:

Subscribe using Outlook 2007/2010
  • Click ASCE NC Eastern Branch Calendar.ics
  • At the prompt, Add this Internet Calendar to Outlook and subscribe to updates, click Yes.
  • Subscriptions can be added, changed, or removed by going to Tools->Account Settings->Internet Calendars.
  • For versions before Outlook 2007, you will only get a non-updating snapshot of the event calendar.
Subscribe using iPhone
  • Tap and hold on ASCE NC Eastern Branch Calendar.ics and copy the web address to the clipboard
  • Go to Settings-> Mail,Contacts,Calendars
  • Tap "Add Account"
  • Tap "Other".
  • Tap "Add Subscribed Calendar"
  • Paste the web address in the field and tap "Next" to complete.
Subscribe using Android
  • Tap and hold on ASCE NC Eastern Branch Calendar.ics and copy the web address to the clipboard
  • Go to your GMail/Google Apps account and view list of calendars on left.
  • At the bottom right of that list is the word "Add"
  • Select "Add", then "Add by URL" and paste the link.


• North Carolina's 2013 Infrastructure Report Card

The North Carolina Section has released the 2013 Report Card for North Carolina’s Infrastructure.  Visit the ASCE Infrastructure Report Card site to review the North Carolina-specific report card.

ASCE Scholarship Golf Tournament Save the Date

• 18th Annual ASCE Eastern Branch Scholarship Golf Tournament

It's going to happen!  Join us on April 9, 2014 at 1:00pm for the Eastern Branch's Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament at the River Ridge Golf Club at 3224 Auburn Knightdale Road in Raleigh, North Carolina.  You can register and pay online right now.  The cost is $65.00 per player, which includes Golf, Range Balls, and a BBQ Dinner at the Club.  Bring a Foursome to compete for the prestigious ASCE Cup and have your team name included on the list of champions. Individual players are always welcome and will be teamed with other players. All proceeds benefit the ASCE NC Scholarship Fund. Online registration closes April 3, 2014.  Sponsorship opportunities are available. Please email Kevin Nadeau for more information at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

• Joint Dinner with AEG

Join us for a joint dinner and meeting with The Carolinas Section of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists and The Eastern Branch, North Carolina Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Natty Greens' Pub and Brewery at 505 West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. The dinner and talk start at 5:30pm and ends around 9:00pm. The guest speaker will be 2013-14 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering Geology, Dr. Greg Hempen, PhD, PE, RG who works with URS in St. Louis, Missouri. The presentation is titled "What’s My Line? Site Assessment! [AKA Applying Geophysics in Site Assessment]". The fee is $25 for AEG and ASCE members, $30 for non-members $30, $10 for teachers $10, and free for students with college ID. If you would like to attend, please submit your reservation to Madeline German ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by 5:00 PM on Monday, March 24, 2014.

ASCE Spring Technical Seminar

• ASCE Spring Technical Seminar

Save Another Date! Friday, April 25, 2014 from 8:00am until 4:00pm. Want a chance to earn up 7 Professional Development Hours? Attend for some excellent professional development and networking opportunities at UNC Charlotte's William States Lee College of Engineering. Registration will open soon. View the preliminary session information in their flyer.

• YMG Spring Bowling Event

Where? The Alley at 2512 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, NC 27607

When? Wednesday, April 2, 2014 from 6 to 8 PM. That's two hours of free bowling, and includes shoe rental! Light appetizers will be served.

RSVP: Please RSVP HERE so we can reserve enough lanes and order food.

Have questions? Send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We hope to see you there for some bowling, food, and lots of fun!

• Is the Eastern Branch Your Primary Branch?

We've learned that many of the engineers in the Eastern Branch haven't updated their profile with ASCE National to state that the Eastern Branch is their "Primary Branch". The establishment of a person's Primary Branch is typically done during the renewal process, but often times people let it stagnate to a former state, old employer, or old residential address. When this happens, the Eastern Branch loses funding which limits the number and size of events we can have each year. How can you help? Visit your profile at ASCE National and update your mailing address (Go to "My ASCE, login, then go to "Edit Personal Information"). Optionally, you can call ASCE National at (800) 548-ASCE (2723) or contact them via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . They're awesome and love to help!

• ASCE's 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure

Every four years, ASCE grades the performance and condition of America's infrastructure. ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure is available now on the web and in a new digital format for Android tablets and smartphones, Apple's iPod Touch, iPhone, and a version optimized for Apple's iPad.  The app comes complete with the grades, ASCE’s vision for infrastructure, and more content than ever before with 16 infrastructure categories, over 100 infrastructure success stories, and infographics on every state. In this new app, the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure puts the most comprehensive and clear reference available on America’s infrastructure right into your pocket. ASCE Infrastructure Report CardBringing you expert advice in videos and interactive content, this app truly shows how America’s infrastructure and your state’s infrastructure are doing and what needs attention. Share ideas for action and your thoughts along with any part of the app with friends, coworkers or professional groups, local leaders, or even your member of Congress. Visit http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org to review the grades.

• Recent Life Members

The ASCE North Carolina Eastern Branch recently recognized the following, newly-appointed Life Members:

  • Robert Berndt
  • Siraj Chohan
  • Speros Fleggas
  • David Heiser
  • Earnest Parker
  • Parshottam Patel
  • Ronnie Thompson
  • David Demo (pictured)
  • Michael Creed (pictured)

    ASCE Life Member David DemoASCE Life Member Michael Creed



    Congratulations and thank you to the Life Members for their support and enduring commitment to the engineering professional and to the ASCE community.


    • Solicitation for Local Project Photos

    The Eastern Branch is soliciting for local project photos with a brief description from any member who wishes to share their accomplishment with the Branch and public. If you have a high-quality digital photo of a project upon which you or your company worked, please send it along with a brief project description to the Web Director, Luke Montoya ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). As opportunities arise and when appropriate, we may use your project photo in future emails and/or on our website with attribution to you or your company. This is not a one-time competition but an ongoing effort to share each other's achievements, so feel free to submit anytime.


    Past Presentations


    Speaker: Mr. Mark Landis, PE, PG, Principal Engineer Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
    Topic: Rehabilitation of Stoney Creek and Lake Cammack Dams, Burlington, NC Download: Presentation (11MB)

    Summary: The dams are owned by the City of Burlington. The presentation discussed the overall project description, engineering problems, the engineering analyses and results, and construction.

    Mr. Landis has 30 years of experience as a Civil Engineer/Engineering Geologist for projects involving dam design and rehabilitation, geotechnical engineering, geological and hydrogeological evaluations, and geophysics. Mr. Landis has performed evaluations, design, and routine dam inspections for small to large earthen and concrete dams in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Idaho, California, and Maine. His recent focus has been associated with the design of new large earthen dams for offline water supplies. He has also performed engineering for power plant ash handling to include dike design for as sluice ponds, slurry wall design, and quarry/mining permitting/evaluation for large roller compacted concrete(RCC) dams. Mr. Landis is currently the Lead Engineer in the Greensboro dams office of Schnabel Engineering. He obtained his B.Sc Geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981 and got his M.SC (Civil) from the NCSU in 1990.


    Speaker: Mr. John E. Skvarla Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
    Topic: Changes at NC DENR No Presentation

    Summary: Mr. Skvarla is the Secretary of the NC Department of Natural Resources. He discussed the new changes at NC DENR and the impact of those changes to engineers across the state.

    Mr. Skvarla came to DENR after a successful career in business. He most recently served as CEO for Restoration Systems, an environmental mitigation firm based in Raleigh that helps improve and restore wetlands and waterways. His past environmental experience also includes his work as chairman with Wilkinson Hi-Rise, a world leader in manufacturing new products such as waste management and automated recycling systems. Skvarla previously served as chief operating officer for The Aviation Group, Inc., a company that emerged as the world's largest all-cargo airline during his tenure. He also has been managing director of an investment banking office in Raleigh and owner of a Sandhills golf course community. An attorney, Skvarla in 1978 founded and served as senior partner to the Raleigh-based Skvarla, Wyrick, and Robbins law firm, where he specialized in corporate and tax matters, as well as public and private capital formations.


    Speaker: Craig M. Newton, PE Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
    Topic: The Planning Process for the Union Station Project Download: Presentation (31MB)

    Summary: The first Raleigh Union Station was built in 1892 and still stands at the corner of Dawson and Martin Streets, though it was abandoned as a train station in 1950.  Since then, multiple plans and studies identified the Boylan Wye as the best area for a new union station or Multi-Modal Transportation Center.  The City of Raleigh, NCDOT, and Triangle Transit recently aligned their efforts to develop plans for a new Raleigh Union Station, which will adaptively reuse a 1960’s-era industrial building.  The $73 million project is partially funded, design teams have been selected and began work in January 2013, and completion is scheduled for 2017.  This session will review the project history, feasibility, costs, funding, schedule, and benefits.

    Mr. Newton is a native of Raleigh, and a 1988 graduate of NC State University with a BS in Civil Engineering.  He began working with the NCDOT Rail Division in 2000, and oversees the NCDOT Train Station Improvement Program, and other Rail Facilities projects.  He has also worked in municipal government and in private sector engineering.


    Speaker: R. Jason Herndon Date: Thursday, October 17, 2013
    Topic: Mechanics’ Liens in North Carolina Download: Presentation

    Summary: Mechanics’ Liens in North Carolina – Where have we been, where are we now, and where are we going? Substantial changes over the course of the last year have dramatically altered the mechanics’ lien “playing field” for engineers and all other construction project participants. This presentation will discuss the evolution of those changes, what those changes mean for engineers who want to protect and enforce their rights, and what additional changes may be on the horizon.

    Jason Herndon is a construction law attorney with Parker Poe in Raleigh, where he represents a diverse group of clients including design professionals, public and private owners, general contractors, subcontractors, and construction sureties. He has litigated a wide variety of construction issues including scheduling disputes, delay/disruption claims, design defects, construction defects, cumulative change impacts, payment and performance bond claims, mechanics’ lien prosecution and defense, and contract disputes. Mr. Herndon currently chairs the Lien and Bond Law Revision Committee for the NC Bar Association’s Construction Law Section, and has been named a “Rising Star” in construction litigation by Super Lawyers each year from 2010-2013.


    Speaker: David Demo Date: Thursday, September 19, 2013
    Topic: An Introduction to Tensioned Fabric Structures Download: Presentation

    Summary: The presentation covered the fundamentals of tensioned fabric structures including the materials, fabrication, structural characteristics, and design. Additionally, Mr. Demo discussed the environmental considerations and performance related to energy use, daylighting, acoustics, fire safety, maintenance, and operating costs. Finally, he discussed the applicability of this construction type.
    Dave Demo, principal of David A. Demo, PLLC, has over 45 years of experience in structural engineering and construction project management. Twenty-five of those years have been spent in the analysis, design, and construction of tension fabric structures. He has contributed to a number of major fabric structures; most notable are the Denver International Airport, Inchon Stadium in Korea, and BC Place in Vancouver, Canada. He is has a BSCE from the University of Pittsburgh, a MSCE from Lehigh University, and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Life Member of ASCE and a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania.


    Speaker: Greg Lucier, Laboratory Manager, Constructed Facilities Laboratory, NCSU Date: Thursday, July 25, 2013
    Topic: Development of a Rational Design Procedure for Precast Concrete Spandrel Beams Download: Presentation,
    MP4 #1 | AVI #1, MP4 #2 | AVI #2

    Summary: Precast concrete slender spandrel beams are commonly used in parking structures to transfer vertical loads from deck sections to columns. In addition, slender spandrels often serve as a railing or barrier around the exterior edge of the parking structure. The main objective of this research program was to develop rational design guidelines for precast concrete slender spandrel beams. These design guidelines are expected to simplify the reinforcement detailing required for slender spandrels. The results of the research can be read in "Behavior of precast, prestressed concrete sandwich wall panels reinforced with CFRP shear grid" and "Development of a rational design methodology for precast concrete slender spandrel beams: Part 2, Analysis and design guidelines".


    Speaker: Beth Howey of HDR Engineering, Inc. Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013
    Topic: Bonner Bridge - History and Replacement Structure Foundation Design Aspects Download: Presentation,
    MP4 #1 | AVI #1, MP4 #2 | AVI #2

    Summary: The replacement of the 50-year-old Bonner Bridge has been studied for over 20 years and the presentation provided a brief glimpse of the history of the bridge as well as some of the foundation design aspects the Design Build team tackled in working on the replacement structure.


    Speaker: Dr. Reza Jafari Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
    Topic: Roundabouts vs. Signalized and Unsignalized Intersections: Safety and Operation Concerns Download: Presentation, MP4 | AVI
    Summary: Mr. Jafari discussed the advantages and disadvantages of roundabout design versus signalized and unsignalized intersections. Traffic and transportation engineers are responsible for safety and ease of travel for all modes of transportation including pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist. He reviewed the overall delay, back of queue, and other measures of a roundabout’s effectiveness by discussing case studies in North Carolina.


    Speaker: Mr. James Rispoli Date: March 21, 2013
    Topic: Practical Lessons Learned For Engineers Managing Projects Download: Presentation
    Summary: Mr. Rispoli is a professional engineer and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. He provides expert engineering management services to clients engaged in project and construction management. He is currently a Director at Large for ASCE, a Senior Executive Advisor at PT&C Inc., and a Professor of Practice at NCSU's Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures. He presented several projects and discussed their potential and actual pitfalls. He also presented ways to anticipate, avoid, or mitigate potentially adverse outcomes. He showed how to mitigate risk in the planning and the execution phases, and discussed his view of essential approaches to optimize outcomes.


    Speaker: Nico Sutmoller, Insulfoam Geofoam Specialist Date: February 21, 2013
    Topic: Geofoam - A Lightweight Fill Alternative Download: Presentation
    Summary: Mr. Sutmoller spoke about the utilization of Geofoam as a light weight fill alternative. EPS Geofoam is a large block, rigid foam plastic material that has typical densities between 12-46 kg/m³ (0.7-2.85 ft³) making it up to 100 times lighter than soil. It is one of the only truly engineered fill materials that has predictable, consistent physical properties. He also spoke about the manufacturing process of EPS, the history of Geofoam, recent trends, some design considerations, specifications, and installation considerations.


    Speaker: Mr. Wade Kirby Date: January 17, 2013
    Topic: Engineering Challenges in a War Torn Country Download: Presentation
    Summary: Wade Kirby is a licensed Professional Engineer and Geologist in North Carolina.  He earned his Masters degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech, a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M, and a Bachelors degree in Geology from North Carolina State University.  He recently completed a one year contract with the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan through L-3 Communications.  Prior to his work in Afghanistan, Wade worked for several large consultant firms as well as the NCDOT, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the City of Wilmington.

    The 2012 - 2013 Officers

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    Younger Members President
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