October 9, 1998


October 9, 1998 

Greetings fellow members.

As we go into the fall season, SENH has been very busy in lining up programs for the membership. Read on in this newsletter to find out more of what's happening with your organization.

November Membership Meeting

The next membership meeting will be held on November 10th in Tilton, NH. This meeting is a combination of the Annual Business Practice Committee presentation, as well as holding our Annual North Country Membership Meeting. The speaker will be Ms. Astrid Daly, PA, an attorney from Manchester who will review the CASE (Council of American Structural Engineers) contract documents. This will be an excellent meeting for professionals who are involved with preparing, negotiating, executing and complying with owner/engineer agreements. I would encourage every member who plans on attending this meeting to pre-purchase and review the CASE documents. As a member of NCSEA, you may purchase these documents on disk for only $23.00. Contact CASE (ACEC Publication Dept.) at telephone no. 202-347-7474 or visit their web site at www.acec.org and view resources/bookshelf for more information. Information on this meeting including time, place and reservations, is included in this mailing.

September 15th Meeting

The attendance at our September 15th meeting at the Start Mill Brewery in Manchester was overwhelming. Over 90 members, associate members and guests attended this meeting and presentation on engineered wood products. This was our best turnout ever for a regular membership meeting. A summary of this meeting activities is provided in the meeting minutes which are enclosed.

NCSEA Conference, Portland ME

Our attendance at the annual convention in Portland was outstanding, 21 members and 3 associate members signed up for this conference. SENH, by far, had the best attendance of any member organization, including other structural organizations from New England. The Board of Directors of NCSEA were both impressed and pleased with our turnout, as well as the level of activity of SENH. Members attending this conference listened to speakers and presentations on such subjects as design/build, architect/structural engineer relationships, continuing education requirements, shop drawing practices, liability issues, and NCSEA organizational issues. Attendees also learned of the many activities of other member organizations in other states. Overall this was a good conference for structural engineers.

Where's the Joke?

Even our organization suffers from gremlins. Our August 14 mailing only included page 1 of a 2 page president's letter. Page 2 of this letter provided information on our web site development, as well as the newsletter joke. Enclosed is a complete copy of the August 14 newsletter for your records.

Future Membership Meetings

The SENH calendar is quickly filling up with meetings and topics of interest to the membership. Pencil in on your calendar these dates:


January 12, 1999 Retaining Wall Systems
March 18, 1999 Construction Site Safety (joint meeting with AIA-NH)
May 11, 1999    Annual Meeting (speaker to be announced)


The New Hampshire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NH) is inviting all members of SENH to attend their Annual Beaux Arts Ball to be held on December 4, 1998 in Concord, NH. This ball brings together the design, construction and artistic community for a fun-filled night of food, music and camaraderie. This should be a great opportunity to interact in a social atmosphere with the architectural community. Every member will soon be receiving a personal invitation in the mail from AIA-NH.

NCSEA Monthly Moments

The August issue of the Monthly Moments Newsletter is enclosed for your review. NCSEA is calling for contributions to "Structure" Magazine, as well as topics for the monthly newsletter. If you have an article or news you would like to contribute, please contact Emile Troupe, President.

Student Membership

The Board of Directors are encouraged by what other state member organizations are doing to promote student membership and student activities in their organization. The Board of Directors feels it's time that SENH get involved in assisting structural engineering majors at universities with their career development. Suggested student member activities could be career workshops, job fairs, office tours of structural engineering consultants, co-op placement program with consulting firms, and working with local universities to promote engineering curriculums that better prepare students for careers in the consulting field. The Board is seeking volunteers for a student member committee which would organize these activities. If you or your firm has an interest in starting this committee, please contact me. Also, if you have any other ideas on what activities we could offer student members, I would also very much like to hear from you.

The Engineering Consultant

There was an engineer who had an exception gift for fixing all mechanical things. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired.

Several years later his company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day he marked a small X in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, "This is where your problem is!" The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his services. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly:

One chalk mark: $1

Knowing where to put it: $49,999

I will look forward to seeing you at the next SENH meeting on November 10th in Tilton.



Robert H. Durfee, P.E.

bdurfee_sig.gif (876 bytes)

President - SENH