In this episode, I share my experience of attending the 2022 SEAOC Convention and some of the great lessons I learned at the convention, and explain how attending engineering conferences can help you in your career.
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Make the Most of Engineering Conferences:
- Attending engineering conferences is a great way to get new information that you can take back to your office. There are many social events where you get to work on building your network.
- Changes to the ASCE 7-22 codes include clearer codes and calculations for the design of tsunami loads. In chapter 7, the snow loads are getting a major revamp for the better. In seismic loads, mass irregularity is going to be removed. More options to do diaphragm designs will be added. In chapter 12.6, the ELF procedures will be removed. The non-structural components equation will have newly updated parameters added to it, and some methods of doing the calculation will be removed.
- In the upcoming ACI 314-19 building codes, the size and thickness of sheer walls are going to be increased in some cases, and new detailing requirements will be added.
- A professional development seminar on how to give technical presentations in a digital world covered how being in a meeting when people have their cameras turned off can be very disengaging. To get people to be engaged and listen to your content, you must give presentations because you are an expert at something and aim it at the right audience. You can have good content in your presentation, but it will be pointless if you deliver it in a disengaging way and to the wrong audience.
- In a professional development seminar on how to design effective meetings, they supplied templates to design an effective meeting. Do not do everything in a meeting like leading the meeting, writing the minutes, and being the moderator. Assign these roles to other people in the meeting to ensure you do not get overwhelmed and the meeting can run more smoothly and effectively.
- A professional development seminar on networking covered how it is easy to network because you are surrounded by engineers who also have difficulty networking. Prepare for networking events beforehand. Preparing some in your pocket or go-to questions will make it a lot easier for you to engage with other engineers. Having some type of outline and being prepared for networking events can be very valuable and productive.
- Tips for younger engineers or engineering students when attending an engineering conference: Look at attending the SEAOC, SE pathways cohort because you will get a mix of professional development topics, technical topics, and conversations with people from the industry. It will help you get a sense of what the industry is like by talking to real professionals in the industry, having mentor sessions with them, and getting engaged in the structural community. Senior engineers will help younger engineers and students deal with impostor syndrome and help them to understand that it is something they will be experiencing throughout their careers.
- The topic of if you have thought about leaving the structural engineering industry was discussed. Everyone experiences this in different ways, but you must first look at what your career journey was like and what you are good at. Go to professional organizations where you can talk to like-minded individuals who can help you with what your career path will look like if you decide to change to another engineering industry.
- Always be prepared when going to engineering conventions. Have your default questions ready for your networking. Get a program to plan out your session selections and do not forget to have a mix of technical and professional sessions in your plan. Attending some social events can be fun and are the perfect places to build your network.
More Details in This Episode…
About the Host: Mathew Picardal, P.E., SE
Mathew is a licensed engineer, practicing on structural projects in California, with an undergraduate degree from Cal Poly Pomona and an M.S. in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego. He has designed and managed various types of building structures, including residential wood apartment buildings, commercial steel buildings, and concrete parking structures and towers. He also hosts the new YouTube channel “Structural Engineering Life,” through which he promotes the structural engineering profession to engineering students who are not familiar with the industry perspective.
This Episode Is Brought to You by PPI
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Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on the things you do to make the most of engineering conferences.
To your success,
Mathew Picardal, P.E., SE
Host of The Structural Engineering Podcast