The Structural Engineers Association of Michigan (SEAMi) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!
Please enjoy this brief history of SEAMi’s founding from Guy York. Guy is a “single-digit” SEAMi member who helped form our organization at the very beginning, and has just re-joined the board of directors to lend his guidance.
In 1995 seven structural engineers (firm owners and structural department heads) from the metropolitan Detroit area began meeting together to discuss forming an association of Michigan structural engineers. The National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) was started a few years earlier in 1993, and local member organizations began to be formed across the country, NCSEA encouraged Dave Ruby to get something started in Michigan. Dave, Gerd Hartung and Doug Sordyl (the first three Presidents of SEAMi) got the ball rolling. At that time a wide variety of construction industry groups were meeting in Detroit and across Michigan (ASCE, MSPE, ACI, CRSI, GLFEA), but none focused strictly on structural. Their aim was to provide a forum for Structural Engineers to exchange ideas and experiences, discuss standards and guidelines. One thing each of the steering committee members wanted was to get their less experienced staff to join SEAMi to learn more about the industry, join committees and attend enlightening presentations, seminars and workshops. They drafted and approved the state bylaws and constitution 25 years ago and SEAMi’s first meeting was held in Hazel Park in October of 1997, with an astounding 70 members in attendance. Within only a very few years SEAMi branches were developed in Grand Rapids/Holland and the Tri-Cities of the Saginaw Valley. Over the years, SEAMi has served over 700 individual members and currently have more than 250 members in good standing. There are currently 44 SEA’s like SEAMi across the country.
Thank you for being a part of our organization! Whether member or guest, we invite you to join us this year at our monthly meetings—and save the date for our state wide Spring Conference, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 18, 2023, in East Lansing. (Additional information will be published as it becomes available.)
We look forward to returning to a more normal schedule after the disruption of the last couple years. It’s been great to have new and different members join us from across the state for Zoom meetings, so we’ll try to keep a mix of those as we get back together in person this fall for more local networking, engagement, and camaraderie over lunch or dinner.
If you’re interested in becoming a member, please visit our membership page and register online.
All members of SEAMi are also automatically members of NCSEA and are entitled to enjoy many benefits of national membership--including a subscription to Structure Magazine, discounts on webinars and publications, and more. Please see this list from the NCSEA website (pdf) for a summary of the national-level benefits. Plus, our local membership fees are some of the most economical in the country.
Finally, we are in need of your help. Through active participation in SEAMi you have an opportunity to network, serve our association, and gain valuable experience by becoming a member of one of the many SEAMi committees. For a complete list, please see our website. We currently have interest in Building Codes, Emergency Response, Sustainable Design, Structural Licensing, Communications and others, but we need help to keep things moving. Resources are available at the national level for a host of other committees.
If anything strikes your fancy and you’d like to help out, reach out to one of our officers and we’ll get you in touch the right team! Also remember to update/fill in your committee interests when renewing your membership or any time by updating your profile on the SEAMi website. We can't make our profession better without your assistance. As we mentioned 25 years ago, "The stronger the participation, the stronger the organization. You can make a difference."
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