061622 CSCE Structural Engineering Seminar

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 08:00 AM - Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 04:30 PM

Please join CSCE at our Structural Engineering Seminar at the MDC Operations Facility & Training Center, Hartford, CT. The topic for this seminar is Structural and Construction Challenges and Failures. CSCE will offer up to 6 New York State Professional Development Hours (PDHs) at this event. 

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Construction Engineering Challenges With Movable Bridge Demolition ~ Nicholas Venuti, P.E.,Siefert Associates, LLC

Nicholas Venuti graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2016 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He was an intern at Siefert Associates, LLC during the summer before his senior year, and has been working full time there ever since graduation. As a construction engineer at Siefert Associates, LLC, Nicholas has experienced the demolition of two moveable bridge structures from the preliminary planning phases all the way through project completion. His specialties within these projects included: engineered lift planning, analysis of existing structures for crane and other equipment loadings during demolition operations, design of temporary support over both land and water, and analysis of the existing bridges during phased demolition sequencing.

Simple and Continuous, Steel Girder Design ~ Brian Byrne, P.E., H.W. Lochner

Simple for Dead Load, Continuous for Live Load (SDCL) detailing has been developed and studied extensively for steel girder bridges for over 20 years. This presentation will discuss and compare the application of SDCL for five bridges, two built with Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques, for four different clients, and with varied contract delivery methods. The SDCL detail has been used to reduce traffic impacts, reduce construction costs, simplify construction and erection, and improve durability of the structure.

Brian Byrne is a senior project manager in Lochner’s East Hartford, Connecticut office and has 28 years’ experience within the transportation industry. He serves as the firm’s Structural Technical Resource Lead and has had 20 years of experience with design-builds – which have provided substantial opportunities to develop and discuss innovative design solutions. Brian graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Union College in Schenectady, New York and has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.

Stamford Media Village Joe Gencarelli, P.E., DeStefano & Chamberlain, Inc.

Stamford Media Village is a five-story mixed-use building featuring office space, TV studios, a micro-brewery, and an organic market. It is situated along a former barge canal in the south end of Stamford, CT. The building was built over the top of a crumbling 1920s reinforced concrete factory. The project presented a host of structural challenges, including the restoration of a deteriorated concrete structure, seismic upgrading, underpinning of the foundations, fortification of the concrete columns, and brownfield remediation. The new upper three floors are an innovative hybrid structure consisting of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Stamford Media Village has been a huge success that has exceeded the owner’s expectations, due in no small part to the innovative structural solutions employed to meet a host of project challenges.

Joe Gencarelli is the CFO of DeStefano & Chamberlain, Inc. and is responsible for the financial management of the company. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Central Connecticut State University in 2000 and has been with DeStefano & Chamberlain ever since. In addition to being a senior structural designer, Joe manages the firm’s special inspection program.

Joe serves on the ASCE 7-22 Standard Committee that is tasked with establishing structural design loading criteria for the International Building Code. He was the President of the Connecticut Structural Engineers Coalition (SEC) having taken the position in 2018 and continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. 

He is a Professional Engineer licensed in Connecticut, New York, and Montana. He is a Certified Welding Inspector and holds a Master of Special Inspections certification.

A Tale of Two Structures ~ Howard Epstein, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor Epstein will speak on his investigation into a major structural failure and an innovative solution that he designed:

Structure 1 ~ Some notable structural failures will be discussed and then will focus on one, the Hartford Civic Center (now the XL Center) roof. The roof collapsed under the weight of snow in January 1978 shortly after 5,000 people who attended a UCONN basketball game had left the arena. The presentation will show the details of the design, the construction sequence and the reason that the design did not work. The cause of this collapse and the failure mechanism will be shown as well as other inaccurate theories that were presented at the time.

Structure 2 ~ Because of a newly constructed wing at Backus Hospital in Norwich CT, the original 75 foot tall stack needed to be 125 feet. Professor Epstein’s design allowed the hospital to not replace the structure and also to have continuing operation while the construction of the extension proceeded. The innovative design received national recognition.

Dr. Epstein received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Cooper Union in New York City; and his Master’s and Ph.D. in applied mechanics from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After earning his Ph.D. he worked as a research engineer at the IIT Research Institute in Chicago, followed by seven years as Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, before joining the faculty at the University of Connecticut in 1976.

Professor Epstein was promoted to Associate Professor in 1978; full Professor in 1989; and Professor Emeritus in 2016. From 1997 to 1998 he served as chair of the civil engineering department. In 1982 he spent a semester as Visiting Professor at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Simultaneous with his academic career, he worked in private industry, serving as Senior Structural Consultant in the firm of Torello Engineers, Essex, Connecticut.

As a registered Professional Engineer, he has considerable industrial and design experience, and has received recognition for several innovative structural design concepts which have been implemented in the private sector. Specifically, he has done significant work in the field of specialized structures such as pre-engineered metal buildings, liquid storage tanks, floating roofs, transmission poles, and Ferris wheels, and has authored nearly one hundred publications, many presented at conferences, as well as lectured extensively on these subjects. Numerous papers deal with practical design applications.

Emerging Technologies for Bridge Inspection and Evaluation ~ Arash Zaghi, Ph.D., P.E., S.E. and Alexandra Hain, Ph.D., P.E.

One key challenge in transportation infrastructure maintenance is conducting objective, high quality condition assessments. Accurate inspection data is critical for estimating the remaining life of the structure and planning for required repairs. Current evaluation methods are labor intensive and often dependent on subjective visual assessments by inspectors. This presentation discusses two solutions which provide high-quality data without requiring major traffic disruptions using non-invasive imagine techniques. The first method employs photogrammetry to create accurate, high-resolution 3D representations of structures such as bridges and stone masonry retaining walls.  The second method is 3D scanning for localized areas of damage such as beam end corrosion or spalling concrete. Both methods can be used to document current, in situ conditions as a baseline for future measurements. Combined, these methods allow inspectors to assess realistic 3D representations of structures to evaluate aging over time, prioritize rehabilitation projects, and responsible allocate retrofit funds.

Arash E. Zaghi is an Associate Professor and UTC Professor in Engineering Innovation in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He holds professional licenses in Civil and Structural Engineering.   In 2009, he received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating, he continued as a Research Scientist, overseeing major projects involving system-level shake table experiments. Dr. Zaghi’s research interests include applying novel materials for multi-hazard mitigation, designing bridges for extreme events, e.g. earthquakes, blasts, and fires; innovative repair methods for aging bridges; Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC); and system-level, large-scale structural experiments.

Additionally, Dr. Zaghi has partnered with state departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration to develop novel repair methods for steel beam/girder ends using ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), integrate 3-D imaging to improve the accuracy of bridge inspections, and develop simplified design methods for both the acute corners of skewed bridge decks and shear keys at in-span hinges in multi-frame highway bridges. Dr. Zaghi’s work on UHPC beam end repairs, supported by CTDOT and FHWA, was selected by the Transportation Research Board as a High-Value Sweet Sixteen Project in 2016, was recognized in Civil Engineering Magazine in 2019, the March/April 2022 Issue of the USDOT Innovator Magazine, and is featured in the current Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts Initiative (EDC-6). He expanded his studies on UHPC bridge repair during an NRC Research Fellowship at the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center during AY2020. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is an associate editor of the ASCE’s Journal of Bridge Engineering and will be serving as the co-guest editor for a special issue on application of UHPC in bridge design and construction.


Dr. Hain is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD in Civil Engineering with a focus on Structural Engineering in May 2019 from the University of Connecticut and her PE license in 2022. Her research focuses on novel construction materials, innovative inspection and repair techniques, and engineering education and workforce development.  Her work with Dr. Zaghi on a novel repair method for corroded steel bridge beams using ultra-high performance concrete was recognized in the December 2019 issue of Civil Engineering Magazine, the March/April 2022 Issue of the USDOT Innovator Magazine, and is featured in the current Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts Initiative (EDC-6).  She serves as PI and co-PI on multiple projects with the Department of Defense, National Institute of Undersea Vehicle Technology (NIUVT), Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), National Science Foundation (NSF), and industry. She currently serves as the Director of the Navy STEM Program at UConn, where her main goals are to provide research opportunities for engineering undergraduates considering Navy-related careers, encourage more students to consider engineering programs in naval science field, and addressing the increasing demand for a STEM workforce in the region.

Hammer Away: An Investigation into Concrete Conditions ~ Tim Ariosto, P.E., & Hannah Rakowski, P.E., WJE

WJE was engaged to investigate the conditions of an existing reinforced concrete structure as well as in a new building, that was under construction.  WJE performed visual inspections, mechanical sounding, and other destructive and nondestructive techniques to locate and assess deficient concrete conditions throughout the concrete structure.  Working with the design and construction team, WJE helped to develop repairs to the structure. 

Tim Ariosto, P.E., (Pittsburgh) and Hannah Rakowski, P.E., (New Haven) are Associates at Wiss, Janney, Elstner (WJE). After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Architectural Engineering Program at the Pennsylvania State University, they have developed expertise at WJE in the assessment, analysis, and rehabilitation of a variety of historic and modern buildings. She is a licensed P.E. is CT, while he is licensed in both CT and PA.

Important Times

The seminar will run from approximately 8:00-4:30 p.m.

Seminar Program


MDC Operations Facility & Training Center, 125 Maxim Road, Hartford, CT 06114  

Parking Map & Directions


Snacks and lunch will be provided at this seminar.


Early Registration Rates:

Full Day Attendee (includes Lunch and 6 NYS PDHs) - $225 ($250 after Thursday, May 26, 2022)

Morning Attendee without Lunch (Earn 3 NYS PDHs) - $112 ($137 after Thursday, May 26, 2022)

Morning Attendee with Lunch (Earn 3 NYS PDHs) - $152 ($177 after Thursday, May 26, 2022)

Afternoon Attendee without Lunch (Earn 3 NYS PDHs) - $112 ($137 after Thursday, May 26, 2022)             

Afternoon Attendee with Lunch (Earn 3 NYS PDHs) - $152 ($177 after Thursday, May 26, 2022)

Student Registration (ID Required at Registration) - No Charge

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Networking Breaks Underwriter (1 of 2 available) - $250 each

Your company will be recognized during the event on signage and from the podium during the breaks. Submit your logo when you register to [email protected]. Note: underwriting does not include registration.

Networking Lunch Underwriter (2 available) - $250 each

Your company will be recognized during the event on signage and from the podium during the lunch. Please submit your logo when you register to [email protected]. Note: underwriting does not include registration.

register now