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You may recall from last year’s conference a presentation by John C. Cronin Jr. PE on Hurricane Sandy.  Well that presentation has morphed into a full blown seminar providing 2 PDHs for engineering continuing education in New York.  Not only has it grown into a credit-producing presentation, but it has been given twice since last year’s NABIE conference and is scheduled to be offered at least two more times in the coming months.
Much of the presentation focused on storm surge effects and their origin.  Both Criterium and the New York State Society of Professional Engineers expressed an interest in the seminar.  On November 2, 2013 John travelled to Maine to make the presentation at Criterium’s annual meeting in Portland.  Then on November 19, 2013 the presentation was given by John to the Suffolk County, NY chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers.
Storm surge is receiving an enormous amount of attention due to the damage impacts from Sandy.  Even the most recent edition of PE Magazine has an article on “What Sandy Taught” and discusses coastal protection research work now on-going at Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.  Coincidentally, Stevens is John’s alma mater.
Only a few years ago when NABIE last conferenced in Texas presenter Kirk Marchand, PE discussed blast effects on buildings.  Certainly one area a building inspection engineer should have at least some familiarity with concerns blast effects and Kirk’s presentation focused on engineering aspects of such work.  Now the Department of Homeland Security has a web page dedicated to such information, including a variety of downloads and tools.  Go to  for further information.
DHS is now providing the Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) tool designed to determine initial or relative risk and resilience base on visual inspection only.  IRVS allows the user to gain a preliminary risk assessment.  Typically one to two people conduct the assessment over a few hours.  Information from the visual assessment can be used to support higher level assessments and mitigation options.
Other information of use to building inspection engineers can also be found at the website.
Cronin’s Hurricane Sandy presentation and Marchand’s discussion of blast effects are but two of the reasons NSPE liaison Andy Haimes, PE has said that, “NABIE presentations are the best for leading edge material in building science.”
*This article had been posted in the Winter 2013 edition of The Examiner.