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    • November 30, 2023
    • December 03, 2023
    • The District at Tustin Legacy

    2023 SoCal Gingerbread Challenge

    Prepare for a festive fusion of creativity and holiday spirit at the 2023 SoCal Gingerbread Challenge on December 1, 2, and 3! This exciting annual event sees iconic structures transformed into edible wonders, bringing the magic of structural engineering to Southern California each holiday season.

    Highlights of the Southern California Gingerbread Challenge include:

    • Discover the incredible talents of real engineering professionals who can only use gingerbread and other edible holiday treats as construction materials.
    • Enjoy a delightful display of gingerbread replicas of famous real-life structures in Southern California, as well as iconic movie set pieces and whimsical imaginary creations.
    • Build your own gingerbread structure, and take it to the next level by testing it on our shake table for earthquake readiness.
    • Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with family and friends as you wander the colorful and cheerful exhibitions.
    • Vote for your favorite gingerbread creations and make your voice heard.
    • Donate to a local nonprofit organization with every vote.
    • Visit the 2023 SoCal Gingerbread Challenge at The District at Tustin Legacy while you shop and experience the magic of the holidays through the eyes of engineers and creators. It's a celebration you won't want to miss!

    What Is the SoCal Gingerbread Challenge?

    Architects, engineers, and their colleagues come together to showcase their design and construction skills by crafting intricate masterpieces made of gingerbread, candy, and icing. After forming teams and constructing their structures on build night (November 30), the gingerbread creations are exhibited to the public for viewing and judging. After the third viewing day, an award ceremony will honor the winners. The event also raises money for local charities.

    When and Where is the 2023 SoCal Gingerbread Challenge?

    The exhibition is open to the public on December 1, 2, and 3 at The District at Tustin Legacy in Tustin, CA.

    • December 14, 2023
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom


    Gruening Middle School, located in Eagle River, Alaska, was significantly damaged during a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on November 30, 2018. Gruening was shut down for almost three years. Engineers first evaluated Gruening on Sunday, December 2, 2018, and the building was red-tagged per ATC-20-1 Field Manual – Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings.

    Design began on the Gruening Middle School Earthquake Recovery Project in the spring of 2019. Engineers referenced ASCE 41 and ASCE 7 for structural design. The building was to have its heavy masonry veneer removed for architectural reasons and reduced seismic weight. Engineers then reviewed the existing interior CMU walls compared to the current design and detailing standards. Although the ASCE 41 Tier 1 screening compares CMU wall reinforcing to a maximum spacing of 48 inches on-center, the current MSJC code requires a minimum spacing of 24-inch spacing for both vertical and horizontal reinforcement. The spacing of the existing masonry reinforcing at Gruening was 32 inches vertical and 48 inches horizontal; the existing CMU walls at Gruening did not meet the minimum spacing requirements of the current MSJC.

    A clever solution was needed to provide additional reinforcement while minimizing weight and meeting the project budget. FRCM provided a novel solution to accomplish the objectives: upgrading existing stack bond CMU walls to meet current MSJC requirements and strengthening tall walls to meet out-of-plane capacity requirements. FRCM closed the reinforcement gap, reduced schedule impacts, and provided increased performance economically for the project. With close collaboration between the contractor, Simpson, and the engineer, the FRCM installers could place the FRCM ahead of schedule. The installers covered approximately 36,000 square feet of wall with FRCM per the structural drawings and increased the resiliency of the existing structure for future events.


    Alex Daddow is a registered professional engineer in California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Wyoming. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Architectural Engineering. Before joining Simpson Strong-Tie in 2019, Alex was a consulting engineer working on podium structures, custom housing, bridges, historic retrofits, schools and advanced foundation systems. He is now a Senior Composite Strengthening Systems (CSS) Field Engineer and educates the industry on composite systems throughout the Southwest region. Alex also works directly with specifiers, installers, contractors and plan reviewers, assisting them with the technical aspects of designing and building Composite Strengthening Systems.

    Ellen Hamel, PE, SE, has over 15 years’ experience in the structural design of a variety of structures, including government and academic buildings, docks, oil and gas facilities, and pedestrian and vehicular bridges. She is fluent in a range of design codes and engineering software. In addition to structural design, she has a strong background in construction administration and field coordination. Ellen obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Colorado. She has lived in Alaska since 2011.

    • January 26, 2024
    • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Pasadena

    • March 20, 2024
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom

    • April 24, 2024
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom

    • May 15, 2024
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom

Past events

November 01, 2023 Webinar | Utilizing Fluid Viscous Dampers in Retrofit Applications
October 31, 2023 Concrete Design for New and Existing Non-Ductile Structures
October 18, 2023 OC Membership Breakfast Meeting
October 11, 2023 Webinar | Building Settlement and Structural Collapse Analysis
September 27, 2023 SEAOSC Committee Showcase
August 07, 2023 2023 Annual Golf Tournament
June 29, 2023 Webinar - Engineering Inclusive Engineers
June 21, 2023 Webinar | Overview of ICC, State and Local Code Adoption Process
May 17, 2023 Webinar | Seismically Isolated Mass Timber-Hybrid Roof by PDXNext TCORE
April 19, 2023 Webinar | An Introduction to Disaster Emergency Response for Engineers
March 22, 2023 Webinar | Beyond Site Class - Where Your Steel Frame Building is Sited Greatly Influences Seismic Vulnerability
February 22, 2023 Webinar | Ground Motions for Analysis in Engineering Practice
January 18, 2023 Webinar | Hospital Seismic Strengthening Legislation Overview and New AB1882 Requirements
January 12, 2023 SEAOC Webinar Series Part II: More Examples from the 2021 IBC SEAOC Structural/Seismic Design Manuals
December 15, 2022 SEAOC Fall Webinar Series: Braced Frame Base Plate Design
December 14, 2022 Webinar | Resilient Design: Performance Assessment of Structural Materials
December 07, 2022 SEAOC Fall Webinar Series: Wood Diaphragm Design
November 30, 2022 SEAOC Fall Webinar Series: Design of CFS Framed Building on Concrete Podium
October 12, 2022 SEAOSC Webinar: Use of Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) in Concrete Mixes to Reduce Embodied Carbon
August 08, 2022 2022 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
June 15, 2022 SEAOSC Business Management Webinar #3 - Project Management
May 25, 2022 Building Safety Month Webinar
April 20, 2022 WiSE Business Management Webinar #2 - Recruitment & Retention Challenges in the SE Industry
February 23, 2022 SEAOSC WiSE Business Management Basics Webinar Part 1 - Business Development for Engineers 101
January 06, 2022 SEAOC Webinar / NCSEA Webinar Series
November 17, 2021 SEAOSC Webinar - LA City’s C40 Clean Construction Commitment
August 09, 2021 2021 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
August 10, 2020 2020 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
August 12, 2019 2019 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
June 05, 2019 2019 Safer Cities Gala & Annual President's Dinner
August 27, 2018 2018 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
November 07, 2017 2017 Strengthening our Cities Summit
August 28, 2017 2017 SEAOSC Golf Tournament
November 17, 2016 SEAOSC Summit - Strengthening our Cities 2016
October 12, 2016 2016 SEAOC Convention
August 29, 2016 2016 SEAOSC Golf Tournament

SEAOSC Event Policy:
Cancellations are required within 3 business days of the event to receive a refund or to avoid being charged. Cancellations will not be accepted after this time and requests for seating after this time cannot be guaranteed. Non-attendance does not constitute cancellation and will still require payment. Limited on-site registrations will be available on a first-come, first served basis, unless the event sells out.

On-site registrations made after close of registration will be charged a $10 on-site fee.

Payment for this event is not deductible as a contribution or gift under federal law, but is most likely deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

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Contact Us

10945 Burbank Blvd. 
North Hollywood, CA 91601
Phone: (562) 908-6131
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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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