September 2011 ACI CNY Newsletter |

President's Message
by Christopher N. Latreille, P.E.

Another summer comes to a close and while some lament this, I delight in the shorter days and cooler temperatures. The ACI CNY Board has been hard at work over the past few months planning the upcoming season of chapter events culminating with our annual awards banquet next April. We have put together an exciting lineup of educational and awards programs including a field trip to Nucor in Auburn.

We are also pleased to unveil a new website with some exciting interactive features. Membership renewals and dinner registrations can now be completed and paid for online. Our monthly e-newsletter will have many of our traditional features with the added benefit of interactive links that work hand-in-hand with the website. These enhancements will provide our members with a contemporary interface while streamlining many of the Board’s administrative duties. Please note that the hyphen has been eliminated from the URL, which is now We anticipate an adjustment period as we all begin to use these new features, so please do not hesitate to contact Board members with questions.

This year has been marked by extreme natural events across our country and the world from earthquakes and tsunamis to hurricanes, tornados, and epic flooding. It is fitting that our first educational program will be presented by David Biggs who will highlight his experiences investigating disasters, including the earthquake in New Zealand early this year and the World Trade Center disaster now 10 years past. Please join us on the evening of September 21st at the DoubleTree Hotel in East Syracuse for this riveting and pertinent topic. I hope to see you all there!


Congratulations to the 2010 ACI CNY Design & Installation Award Winners!

These awards were presented at our last program, the Awards Banquet in April. Please click here to view all recipients and project photos.


Time to Renew!

Members are asked to please pay their 2011-2012 ACI CNY dues this September. If you choose to be a sponsor of ACI CNY for an additional $100 per year, your company or organization will be featured on the website and in each newsletter.

$90 Individual
$190 Individual and Sponsor
$165 Corporate (up to 15 members)
$265 Corporate and Sponsor
(up to 15 members)

*To renew online, please go to Login to the site with your email and password (see the login box at upper left). If you do not have this information, click forgot password. The system will send you an email to set/change your password and login. Once you are logged in, click on view profile in the login box. You will see a button to renew your membership. You can either pay online with a credit card, or you can choose to send in cash or a check.

*Or click here to download and print the membership application form (PDF). 

If you have any questions about renewing your membership, please email Amanda R. Latreille at


ACI CNY Board Members

Click here to see Board contact information.

President: Christopher N. Latreille, P.E.
Vice President: Greg Novitzki, P.E.
Treasurer: Niel Zuern 
Secretary: Valerie Goettel


Nick Carparelli
Sam Conley
Donald Gresko, P.E.
Tom Hitchings
Gary Markinson
Dan Owens
Rick Roach
Richard Rohrer
Kenneth Tiss


Please Join Us!

Investigating Disasters Presentation by David Biggs, P.E. (with Dinner)

DoubleTree Hotel in East Syracuse
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

4:30 PM Board Meeting
5:30 PM Registration
6:00 PM Dinner & Presentation

$35 Member
$45 Non-Member
$15 Student

*Click here to register online - it's quick and easy!

*Or click here to download and print the registration form (PDF).

Registration is due by Friday, September 16, 2011.

Cancellations after 5:00 PM on Monday, September 19, 2011, cannot be honored. Please contact Amanda R. Latreille at

Program description:

Engineering support is a crucial element of any emergency response. Engineers are vital to search and rescue operations, but volunteer structural engineers are also an important part of the civil defense response to evaluate damaged structures. Following an event, there is always a desire by engineers to volunteer and assist in the response to an event; however, being ill-prepared or naïve to safety concerns can be dangerous.

This presentation provides advice that volunteer engineers (excluding search and rescue engineers) should consider before joining an investigation team, as well as concerns during an investigation. The information provided is also useful for the assessment of modern and historic structures. The examples presented will be taken from personal experiences with the most recent being the February 22, 2011 M6.3 Christchurch earthquake on the South Island of New Zealand that killed nearly 200 people and destroyed over 1200 commercial buildings and many more residences.

Technical article:

How Did Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Perform in the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake? Jason M. Ingham, David T. Biggs, Lisa M. Moon (Structural Engineer, March 15, 2011) (PDF)

David Biggs, P.E., S.E., Dist M ASCE, HTMS
(pictured at left above)

A structural engineer with Biggs Consulting Engineering, Troy, NY, he specializes in forensic engineering, historic restoration and strengthening, and masonry design and restoration. He was one of FEMA-ASCE investigators for the World Trade Center disaster of 2001, lectures for the European masters program on historic construction, and was in Christchurch, New Zealand for the February 22, 2011 earthquake and performed building assessments. David is a Distinguished Member of ASCE and an Honorary Member of The Masonry Society.


Save the Dates!
Upcoming ACI CNY Events

September 21st Dinner: Investigating Disasters

October 19th Dinner: Nucor Field Trip

November 16th Dinner: Thermal Performance of Masonry

January 18th Lunch: U.S. Green Building Code

February 15th Dinner: Alternate Building Envelopes: Concrete Solutions for Low Rise Structures

April 4th Dinner: Awards Banquet


Special Thanks to ACI CNY Sponsors!

Click here to see sponsor contact information.


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