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Engineering & Surveying SPRING | 2016


Promoting and protecting the profession 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards The “Duty To Defend� your client: Engineers beware! The importance of partnering in policy Influencing codes and impacting policy Supporting success through mentoring

ACEC | California 1303 J Street, Suite 450 Sacramento, CA 95814 916.441.7991

SPRING | 2016

Engineering & Surveying B U S I N E S S R E V I E W

2016 Engineering Excellence Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 ACEC California honors engineering firms with Engineering Excellence Honor and Merit Awards.

COVER Winner of the Golden State Award was the Air Traffic Control Tower and Integrated Facilities Building at San Francisco International Airport, by Walter P Moore.

DEPARTMENTS President’s message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Bruce Presser

Executive Director’s message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Brad Diede



The “Duty To Defend” your client: Engineers beware! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Structural Engineers Association of California: Influencing codes and impacting policy . . . . . . . . . 22

Membership update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Christian Anger

Legislative update. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists: The many paths to licensure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Kelly Garman

Calendar of events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

My Voice: Supporting success through mentoring. . . . . . . . . . 30 Trudy Presser

Social media: An effective, powerful tool in issue advocacy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Promoting and protecting the profession

Bruce Presser President ACEC California, 2015 –2016


he theme of this magazine, “Promoting

California. The variety of project types

role to help bridge the gap between

and Protecting the Profession,” is a

are amazing — and demonstrates the

engineering and surveying firms and

good paraphrase of the overall purpose

wide array of areas our work benefits

students and their schools. ACEC

of ACEC California. Our organization

society as a whole:

California is active both at the local and

has been around since 1952, helping


to promote and protect the business interests of engineering and land


surveying companies in California. Our annual Engineering Excellence


Awards (EEA) ceremony held in San Diego

Bikeway (I like this one since

state level with mentoring students and

I’m an avid biker)

providing college scholarships. Our

Park Beautification, Trail

Scholarship Committee/Foundation is

and Zoo

led by Randy Leptein. The committee

Road, Bridge, Tunnel and Transportation

this past January promotes our organi■■

zation and firms and exemplifies what

chapters throughout the state.

Water, Wastewater and Groundwater

we do. The event showcased some of ■■


and surveying firms helped deliver for



our clients and communities throughout




(49ers) Football Stadium

the excellent projects our engineering

provides support and guidance for our

Please see the article in the magazine describing the projects and a big congratulation to all the firms who worked on them. We especially want to thank the judges who volunteered their time and expertise to help us with the program and John Moossazadeh for chairing the EEA committee. An area that bridges both the

$ 92,000 In 2015, the amount of dollars that ACEC California provided in scholarships to youth pursuing engineering or surveying.

promotion and protection of our industry is student outreach. As we look to the future of our organization and industry, in order to continue to be successful and provide the best people to deliver projects to California, we need young students who are bright and enthusiastic to join our profession. As an organization, ACEC California understands its important



The variety of project types are amazing — and demonstrates the wide array of areas our work benefits society as a whole…

ABOVE View from the 2016 Engineering Excellence Award-winning Air Traffic Control Tower at San Francisco International Airport, while it was under construction.

Last year ACEC California provided over $92,000 in scholarships! These scholarships were funded and distributed both at the local chapter and state level.

The EEA event showcased some of the excellent projects our engineering and surveying firms helped deliver for our clients and communities throughout California.

Two of our state scholarship honorees went on to win scholarships at the ACEC National level; Corey Walker, California State University, Fresno and Shawna

terms related to the “Duty to Defend.”

both help put us in a better position

Peterson, Stanford University, which is

Too often contracts attempt to shift

than we would have been. It’s encour-

very impressive. In the past we have

the responsibility for our client’s defense

aging to have the Fixing America’s

primarily focused on providing scholar-

costs to design professionals when we

Surface Transportation Act (FAST)

ships at the university and junior college

are not negligent or responsible. Such

passed in Congress. However, we know

level. However, we recognize the need

defense costs are not insurable and

we still need more sustainable funding

to encourage high school students to

create a significant liability risk for our

to address the serious transportation

enroll in engineering and surveying

member firms and their employees.

needs of the State. I’m optimistic that

college programs, so ACEC California

Senator Lois Wolk (D–Davis) is carrying

working together as members of ACEC

will also start focusing on providing

Senate Bill 885, which addresses

California and with our coalition partners,

scholarships to high school students

remedies for current contract practices

the legislature and Governor Brown,

as well. Please volunteer to assist with

in this regard. ACEC California is

we will collectively find ways to address

reaching out to mentor young people

appreciative of Senator Wolk’s efforts

our critical infrastructure needs.

on the value engineers and surveyors

on this behalf.

provide our communities and the

I hope you enjoy reading this

Overall, we have a lot to be proud

magazine which has a number of

exciting projects we work on. Likewise,

of and a lot to look forward to. It is

articles expanding on the promotion

we are highly supportive of STEM

encouraging to see that California’s

and protection of the engineering and

programs and are encouraged with

economy continues to look strong and

land surveying profession. We should

the interest the legislature has with

that we have finally received some rain

all take time to reflect on what we do

promoting these programs.

and snow this year. There are still major

(as individuals, firms and as an organi-

challenges with our water supply, but

zation), enjoy our accomplishments,

our profession. A major focus this year

this year’s wet weather and the 2014

and then get engaged to continue

is pushing forward legislation to protect

Water Bond (which ACEC California was

to promote and protect the future

our member firms from unfair contract

a major proponent and supporter of)

of our industry.

We continue with efforts to protect



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE Working toward a common goal

Brad Diede Executive Director ACEC California


will be a significant year

your ideas into consideration, and

to build California infrastructure

for the A&E industry. As you

we have taken steps to address the

projects exceeding $2 billion. If passed,

probably know, ACEC California is the

matter in the state legislature. All of our

this measure would stall or stop vitally

proud sponsor of Senate Bill 885 (Wolk),

members should seek opportunities

needed infrastructure projects all over

to reform the Duty to Defend under

to meet with legislators and their staff,

the state. (Related to this, although

uninsured indemnity agreements.

asking them to support our bill: SB 885.

Further, a handful of ballot measures

It’s important that elected officials

and related infrastructure campaigns

understand what our member firms

significantly impact our industry.

do, and to understand the need for this legislation.

Reforming the Duty to Defend

not on the ballot, is a campaign to implement the Governor’s California Water Action Plan. ACEC California supports the Governor’s plan.) ■■

Education bond. This would be a $9 billion school bond: $3 billion

ACEC California members are

for new construction and $3 billion

For years, ACEC California and many

taking this Duty to Defend reform

of our sister organizations across the

seriously. They are attending our

country, have been seeking fair and

Legislative Visit Day in Sacramento;

appropriate risk transfer terms in

holding in-district meetings with their

$2 billion for community college

contracts, related to indemnity reform.

legislators; presenting examples of

facilities. This could prove to be

Two years ago when I joined ACEC

the problem; and writing letters to

significant for our industry. ACEC

California, I visited all of our chapters

request support from legislators. Others

California, along with a large

and heard many times about the need

in the construction realm in California

coalition, supports this measure.

for “indemnity reform” in our industry.

and other states have been successful

To this end, our leadership has taken

in reforming this important issue, and

At the time of this writing, there are

it is time that we do the same for

still no “authorized” local county

design professionals in California.

transportation funding measures,

for modernization of K–12 public schools; $1 billion for charter schools and vocational education facilities;


Local transportation funding measures.

but it has been reported that many

Lengthy 2016 Ballot Political strategists have estimated as many as 19 statewide measures could make it to the November ballot. This does not include the possibility of

via ballot initiatives. ACEC California is interested in providing support to get the measures passed. ACEC California has an extremely

several local measures. ACEC California

busy year ahead of us. It is crucial that

is very active on this.

our member firms remain united in our


Anti-infrastructure initiative.

efforts to work on all of these efforts

This proposal is opposed by ACEC

and many others. Contact me via

California and a coalition of

email at or phone

business and labor organizations.

(916) 441-7991 and get involved!

It would require statewide voter approval for revenue bonds used


counties are seeking to raise funding


MEMBERSHIP UPDATE Spreading your investment (and benefits) throughout California

Christian Anger Membership Director ACEC California


ver the last year, ACEC California

Chapters to support our members locally

has experienced unparalleled growth

and give ACEC a presence on issues of

California has been highly successful

in our membership. Strong legislative

regional significance. This allows the

in supporting the Prop 1 Water Bond,

efforts and member support, coupled

tentacles of ACEC to stretch throughout

High Speed Rail, transportation funding

with the definitive return of development

California, expand our values and deliver

and much more. These efforts are

in our state, has reestablished ACEC

a consolidated message for the industry.

bearing fruit at the regional level and

California as the largest Membership

When I speak with prospective

Over the last few years, ACEC

our Chapters have worked hard to

Organization (MO) in the country. By

members, I focus on ACEC Membership

establish relationships with public

the end of our 2015–16 year we will

being a Tripartite. While we are known

agencies controlling these projects, as

have surpassed 900 memberships and

for our support at the national level

well as partnering with private entities,

will encroach on 19,000 Full Time

and our rich legacy at the state, at the

elected officials and like-minded

Employees (FTE).

heart of most firms’ membership is

organizations. Both at the State and

the Chapter. The Chapter is where we

Chapter level, public agencies and

is distinct about ACEC California; our

regularly engage with our peers and

legislators view ACEC as “the industry”

MO is also structured differently than

establish industry bonds. The Chapter

for contact and outreach. Chapter

most ACEC organizations. In general,

is the physical tie that binds our

membership puts you in front of the

California is a unique animal. Our

ACEC California members together.

leaders of these partnerships and

economy is highly diverse and our

Regional involvement is paramount to

creates opportunities that may not be

various regions are almost states in

a firm’s success and it is vital that ACEC

available if you go it alone.

and of themselves; the Gross Domestic

California be active and involved in

This is a call to all ACEC California

Product (GDP) for the L.A./Orange

the regional issues that provide our

firms: join your local chapter. Contribute

County metro area is larger than all

members with work. In this vein, it is

to the success of your region and

but 3 states. For these reasons, ACEC

also vital that firms have membership

support the hard work and efforts of

California has established 22 different

in the areas in which they receive work.

those firms fighting for your business in

Many of our ACEC

your backyard. As a leader in your firm,

California Chapters

look at where you are receiving work,

have been instru-

where you want to expand and invest

mental in effecting

in the region as other fellow members

local measures,

have. The more presence ACEC has

bringing attention to

nationally, statewide and locally, the

infrastructure needs

better the industry becomes and the

and engaging local

more opportunities you have to thrive.

Our size is not the only thing that

Many of our ACEC California Chapters have been instrumental in effecting local measures, bringing attention to infrastructure needs and engaging local officials.

officials. Chapter

For information on chapter

membership is an

membership, contact Christian Anger

investment in the


region and in your own firm.



LEGISLATIVE UPDATE The importance of partnering in policy

Kelly Garman Director of Government Affairs ACEC California


t was announced in late 2015 that

projects. He strongly supports high

few months, and as the governor’s May

Assembly Member Frazier (D – Oakley)

occupancy toll (HOT) lanes and has a strong track record in supporting

Revision is unveiled, we will continue to work with our coalition partners to

Legislator of the Year. Each year, ACEC

California’s freight mobility system.

advocate for issues such as contracting

California names a legislator who

ACEC California thanks you, Mr. Frazier!

out flexibility and a pure extension of the

was selected as ACEC California’s 2015

demonstrates political courage and

In January of this year, Governor

Public Private Partnership (P3) authority. ACEC California played a central role

strength of conviction on public policy

Brown proposed a $122.6 billion General

issues important to the engineering and

Fund budget plan that increases funding

in the passage of Prop 1 — the Water

land surveying industries. Moreover, the individual must present a strong

for education, health care and state

Bond — in 2014. Since then, we have

infrastructure, while strengthening the

joined a robust coalition of labor unions,

state’s Rainy Day Fund and paying down state debts and liabilities.

business leaders, family farmers, local

Among other items of interest to

tions, public safety officials, taxpayer

ACEC California members, the budget

associations, minority advocates and

reflects the Governor’s transportation

others to support and promote Governor

district includes Fairfield, Vacaville,

package, initially introduced last summer,

Brown’s plan to fix California’s water

Rio Vista, Antioch, and Brentwood,

and provides $36 billion over the next

system. This coalition is also opposing

certainly values a partnership with our

decade to improve the maintenance of

certain bills that cause unnecessary delays

industry. Mr. Frazier is Chair of the

highways and roads, expand public transit,

and possibly jeopardize the only viable

Assembly Transportation Committee

and improve critical trade routes.

solution available to secure water supplies

commitment to sound policies that efficiently deliver infrastructure projects that improve the quality of life for all Californians. Assembly Member Frazier, whose

and supports expansion of alternative

The chairs of the Senate and Assembly

governments, environmental organiza-

for 2/3 of the state while improving the

delivery, such as the utilization of the

Transportation Committees have their

health of the Sacramento San Joaquin

construction manager/general contractor

own proposals to reform the current

Delta ecosystem.

(CM/GC) procurement method to

environment and bolster funding for

develop and construct transportation

California’s infrastructure. Over the next

I have been with ACEC California for nearly three years now and have had the pleasure of working with several groups who share our goal of promoting and protecting the engineering and land

Together, we form a strong voice to fight for the preservation of your profession.

surveying professions. I meet regularly with the Structural Engineers Association of California; the California Land Surveyors Association; the American Institute of Architects, California Council; the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and



So far this year, your dedicated

$ 36 BILLION In the transportation portion of the 2016 budget proposed by the Governor, allocated over the next decade for infrastructure improvements to roads , public transportation and trade routes.

ACEC California’s Legislative

advocacy team and the above mentioned

Committee, chaired by Bill Wagner, HMH

groups have started grappling with

Engineers, has spent the last few months

issues such as drones; prevailing wage;

reviewing bills introduced this legislative

the future of the land surveying

session. The committee meets via conference

profession; a tax on professional services;

call every three weeks and at the time of this

online examinations for licensees; and

writing has taken several support positions

much much more. It’s going to be a busy

on bills dealing with — among others —

legislative season! I must also express my gratitude to several of these organi-

construction manager/general contractor

transportation funding, CEQA exemptions,

zations because of their support for our

contracts and STEM education. If you have

sponsored legislation, Senate Bill 885,

questions about specific legislation, please

to reform the Duty To Defend.

contact me at kgarman @

Geologists; the American Society of Landscape Architects, California Council; the California Geotechnical Engineering Association and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Together, we form a strong voice to fight for the preservation of your profession.

ACEC California played a central role in the passage of Prop 1 — the Water Bond — in 2014.



The “Duty To Defend” your client


In the absence of proven negligence, this is not insurable under most, if not all, professional liability policies.


Cavignac & Associates

On many occasions owners will also

Why is this a problem?

represents over 200 design

request a defense. We have always

Professional liability policies written

professional clients. One of the services

counseled our design professional

for design professionals all contain

we provide is contract review. By far the

clients not to accept the express

contractual exclusions. A typical

most critical provision in a Professional

obligation to defend. In the absence of

exclusion reads:

Services Agreement is the Indemnity

proven negligence, this is not insurable

provision. An indemnification agreement

under most, if not all, professional liability

contractually transfers risk from one

policies. Unfortunately, many owners

any “contract.” This exclusion does not apply if you would have been liable

This policy excludes claims that are related to liability assumed by you under

party to another. In typical owner/design

are not be willing to amend the provision

professional agreements, owners

and the engineering firm has to make a

in the absence of that “contract” due to

require design professionals to hold

decision to either accept the provision

your error, omission, or negligent act.”

them harmless and indemnify them.

as written or walk from the job.

In other words, a design professional can agree to hold harmless and indemnify a third party for the consequences of the design

By far the MOST CRITICAL PROVISION in a Professional Services Agreement is THE INDEMNITY PROVISION.

An indemnification

professional’s negligence, but anything that goes beyond the design professional’s negligence is not covered. The obligation to defend the client in the absence of the design professional’s

agreement contractually transfers risk

negligence or other obligations arising

from one party to another.

contract would not be covered.

solely from the professional services A question commonly asked by design professionals is, “Why can’t we



buy insurance for this?” The primary reason is that it is unfair to ask the

brought an indemnity

design professional to be responsible

action against Weather

for defending the client if the design

Shield, attempting to

professional didn’t do anything wrong.

recover what it paid

If the insurance industry was willing

for indemnity as well

to cover the defense obligation,

as its legal costs for

anything remotely related to the design

the window issues

of the project would be tendered to the

in the homeowner

design professional. Loss costs would

litigation. The lower


and other

professional organizations to enact fair indemnity laws, the SITUATION HAS ACTUALLY GOTTEN WORSE.

go through the roof, premiums would

court ruled that even

skyrocket, and the engineers’ deductible

though Weather Shield was found

burden would be enormous.

not negligent, the firm still had an

words, if there is no express statement

embraced by the indemnity.” In other

obligation to pay Crawford’s legal fees.

that the indemnitor is not providing a

The Crawford and CH2M Hill Cases

The rationale was that the “obligation

defense, then the duty to defend exists.

Despite efforts by ACEC and other

the “obligation to indemnify.” The

California Appellate court in early 2010.

professional organizations to enact

California Supreme Court upheld the

UDC v CH2M Hill (the CH2M case) was

fair indemnity laws, the situation has

decision. In a nutshell, even though

the first litigation to interpret a design

actually gotten worse. This is reflected

Weather Shield was not at fault, it was

professional’s duty to defend subse-

in two fairly recent California Court

still held responsible for the indemni-

quent to the Crawford case. CH2M Hill

decisions. The first was the Crawford

to defend” was a separate issue from

A similar case was tried by a

tee’s (developer Crawford’s) legal

was retained by the developer (UDC)

case. The California Supreme Court

defense fees for the homeowner

to provide engineering and planning

decided the Crawford case in July

litigation. This is problematic for any

services in connection with a residential

of 2008. Crawford, a developer,

contractor, subcontractor, supplier,

development. CH2M Hill was contrac-

contracted with Weather Shield to

consultant, or anyone else who agrees

tually obligated to “indemnify ...

provide windows for a project. In the

to “defend” an upstream party. Not

Developer ... from and against any and

contract between the two parties,

only is it unfair; it may not be covered

all claims … to the extent they arise

Weather Shield was obligated to not

by commercial general liability (CGL)

out of or are in any way connected

only indemnify and hold Crawford

policies, and it is definitely not covered

with any negligent act or omission by

harmless, but also to “defend any suit

by a professional liability policy.

Consultant....” Furthermore, “Consultant

or action brought against Crawford

But the Court in Crawford went

agrees, at his own expense, and upon

even further! The court clarified that

written request by Developer or Owner

damage....” Several years after the

the duty to defend is inherent to the

of the Subject Property, to defend

project was completed, some home-

duty to indemnify. In simple terms,

any suit, action or demand brought

owners filed suit against Crawford,

there does not have to be an “express”

against Developer or Owner on any

alleging, among other things, that the

requirement for defense; rather, it is

claim or demand covered herein.”

windows were defective. Crawford

built into the indemnity obligation.

After construction was completed, the

incurred legal fees to defend the

Rule 4 of Section 2782 states, “the

homeowners association sued the

claim, and ultimately settled with

indemnitor is bound on request of

developer, UDC, for various construction

the homeowners and all the cross-

the indemnitee to defend actions or

defects. UDC cross-complained against

defendant subcontractors except for

proceedings brought against the

numerous subcontractors, including

Weather Shield (and one other party).

indemnitee in respect to the matters

the engineering firm CH2M Hill.

founded upon the claim of such


Crawford then


Ultimately, UDC settled with all of

implicating CH2M Hill’s work. The

the subcontractors except CH2M Hill.

UDC case, in essence, demonstrates

downstream party was determined

This case went to trial. The jury ruled

that the Crawford case holding will

to have done nothing wrong!

indemnitee’s legal fees even if the

unanimously that CH2M Hill was not

be applied to virtually anyone who

negligent and had not breached its

enters into an express indemnification

Senate Bill 972

contract. Relying on the Crawford case,

agreement that includes the duty

Senate Bill 972 was an attempt by

however, the jury ruled that, despite the

to defend.

fact that CH2M Hill was not negligent,

the American Council of Engineering

Both these cases reiterated that the

Companies of California and others

it was still liable for UDC’s defense

express “duty to defend” was separate

to reverse the decisions in both the

costs. Under the court’s interpretation,

from the “duty to indemnify,” and that

Crawford and CH2M Hill cases. As

the duty to defend began when the

a downstream indemnitor could be

originally written, the bill tied the

homeowners association made claims

responsible for paying the upstream

design professional’s obligation to defend or reimburse legal fees to the design professional’s proportionate negligence. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the final bill turned out substantially different from the original. As signed, the new law makes it illegal to “… require a design professional to indemnify (including the duty and cost to defend) a public agency except for claims that arise out of, pertain to, or relate to the negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct of the design professional.” The phrases “arise out of,” “pertain to,” and “relate to” are vague. If an upstream party alleges that a design professional was negligent, is that enough to trigger an immediate duty to defend? It is unclear, and

Both these cases reiterated that the express

opinions vary. Ultimately, these questions will probably be answered


by the courts, but this, however, may

and that a downstream

take some time. In addition the bill


only pertains to public agencies and no one else.

So what is an engineer to do? What is clear is that the immediate obligation to defend, whether it is express or implied, is uninsurable under professional liability policies



written for engineers. So what is

and hold Client harmless against

an engineering firm supposed to do

damages, liabilities and costs caused by

nor can you insure for this. The fact is

when faced with an uninsurable

the negligent acts, errors or omissions

that clients will probably be better off

indemnity obligation?

of Consultant in the performance of

defending themselves as opposed to

If possible, all problematic contract provisions need to be negotiated out of the agreement. In order of priority, you should seek the following: 1. Try to avoid contractual indemnity provisions. 2. If you must agree to contractual indemnity, seek to make it reciprocal. 3. If you must agree to a unilateral indemnity, make certain that it is tied

professional services under this Agreement, but only to the extent that Consultant is responsible for such damages, liabilities and costs on a comparative basis of fault between the Consultant and the Client after adjudication in a Court of Competent Jurisdiction. Consultant shall not be

responsible for someone else’s mistakes,

relying on a joint defense provided by your firm. Also, if a design firm can’t afford to fund its clients’ defense costs out of pocket up front, the client will have to pay these costs anyway. Many clients will have a “take it or leave it” attitude when it comes to

obligated to defend or indemnify Client

amending their indemnity provisions.

for the Client’s own negligence or for

They will say, “This is legal, and it is

the negligence of others.

Option 4, while better than an

what our attorneys recommend.” Regardless, you should always make

to your negligence; also be sure that

unqualified express obligation to defend,

the effort to amend the contract so it is

there is an express rejection of the

may not accomplish your objective. It is

fair and insurable. Your client might say,

obligation to defend. You might consider something like this:

conceivable that a court may interpret

“Everyone else signs it” (which, by the

this clause to mean that a separate duty

way, probably isn’t true). Your response

Notwithstanding any clause or provision

to defend exists in addition to the duty

might be, “If we make a mistake, if our

in this Agreement or any other applicable

to indemnify, and that the sub-con-

performance falls below the standard of

Agreement to the contrary, Consultant

sultant (downstream party) is required

care required by the law, we will pay for

agrees to indemnify and hold harmless

to begin defending the client (upstream

it. However, we avoid assuming respon-

(but not defend) the Client, its officers,

party) as soon as a claim is tendered

sibility for mistakes made by others for

directors and employees from and against

by the client, even if no determination

which we are not insured. We take risk

of negligence has been rendered.

seriously, both yours and ours.”

damages and costs (including reasonable attorney’s fees and cost of defense) that Client is legally obligated to pay, to the extent caused by the negligent act, error or omission of the Consultant or anyone

Many clients are not going to

Final Comments

change their stance, and tough business

The decisions in both Crawford and

decisions will have to be made. You

Weather Shield as well as the interpre-

should also be aware that every

responsible, subject to any limitations

tation of California Civil Code section

contract is different, and any language

of liability contained in this Agreement.

2782 will have far reaching implications.

employed in a professional services

Even though courts in other states are

agreement should be scrutinized

for whom the Consultant is legally

Consultant shall have liability for reasonable and necessary defense costs incurred by persons indemnified to the extent caused by Consultant’s negligence herein and recoverable under applicable law on account of negligence.

not bound by California law, many

by your legal and risk management

states look to California for precedent.

advisors in light of the specific situation.

When negotiating with your clients, it is important that they understand

There are no “cookie cutter” solutions to this complex problem.

that you are not trying to relegate your responsibility.

4. If the “obligation to defend” cannot

clause insurable. If you make

negligence standard. Consider the

a mistake for which you are

following example:


You are trying to keep the

be deleted, then seek to tie it to a

responsible (and probably

Consultant agrees, to the fullest extent

insured for) you will pay for it,

permitted by law, to defend, indemnify

however, you should not be


Regardless, you should always MAKE THE EFFORT TO AMEND THE CONTRACT


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559-645-4849 or



ACEC California honors engineering firms throughout California with Engineering Excellence Honor and Merit Awards. Of those recipients, ACEC California selects one firm to receive the Golden State Award. This year, 24 California firms representing 27 projects were named EEA Award winners. Honor Award winners are eligible to enter the ACEC National Engineering Excellence Awards competition. An EEA Awards dinner was held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego and Honor Award winning projects had photographic panels on display at the Capitol, outside of the Governor’s office, during National Engineers Week in February 2016. For more information and details about each project, go to



GOLDEN STATE AWARD WINNER | WALTER P MOORE Air Traffic Control Tower and Integrated Facilities Building at San Francisco International Airport

Walter P Moore, a civil engineering firm based in San Francisco, was honored with the prestigious Golden State Award. The modern new tower uses a cutting-edge vertical post-tensioned system, enabling the tower to self-right and ensuring air traffic controllers remain fully operational after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

ARCADIS U.S., INC. Environmental Remediation Services for Nine Sites at Sierra Army Depot

ARUP (HONOR) LAX Central Utility Plant Replacement

STANTEC CONSULTING SERVICES INC. Carpinteria Sanitary District South Coast Beach Communities Septic to Sewer Project — Rincon Point

BIGGS CARDOSA ASSOCIATES, INC. (HONOR) Firestone Boulevard Bridge Replacement over San Gabriel River


KLEINFELDER, INC. California Department of Water Resources (DWR) Levee Evaluation Program (LEP)






STOVER ENGINEERING AND COWI (formerly Ben C. Gerwick) (HONOR) Crescent City Harbor Inner Boat Basin Reconstruction Project

CAROLLO ENGINEERS, INC. (HONOR) Delano Biottta™ Wellhead Nitrate Treatment Demonstration Project

GREEN VALLEY CONSULTING ENGINEERS Fort Bragg Coastal Restoration and Trail Project

MNS ENGINEERS, INC. Ranchero Road Interchange at I-15

BURNS & MCDONNELL ENGINEERING CO., INC. Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project

KLEINFELDER, INC. Main Street Bridge over Murrieta Creek






STV (HONOR) South Bay Bus Maintenance Facility Expansion

AECOM (HONOR) California Department of Water Resources Urban Levee Evaluation Project

CORNERSTONE STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING GROUP, INC. (HONOR) San Francisco Zoo — South American Rain Forest Exhibit

T.Y. LIN INTERNATIONAL (HONOR) I-805 Carroll Canyon Road and HOV Extension

HDR ENGINEERING, INC. Los Osos Wastewater Project Collection System

KENNEDY-JENKS CONSULTANTS (HONOR) Phase 1 of the EWA Energy Program — Alternative Fuel Receiving Facilities

DRAKE HAGLAN & ASSOCIATES Alpine Meadows Road Bridge Replacement over Truckee River








MARK THOMAS AND COMPANY, INC. (HONOR) I-280/I-880/Stevens Creek Boulevard Interchange Project

ARCADIS U.S., INC. North Operations and IT Management Building, Port of Long Beach Middle Harbor Redevelopment



MICHAEL BAKER INTERNATIONAL Sewer System Rehabilitation and Repair Program




Don Schinske Executive Director | Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)


vibrant society is one whose engineers are busy, and right now, for this

SEAOC and its four Member

And our technical committees, both at

moment, that seems to be the case in

California, Northern California, Central

local and state level, now collate our

California. Out from the doldrums of

California, and San Diego) own a

code recommendations with our colleague

the recession, most of SEAOC’s member

proud history that dating the period

state associations at the national level.

engineers report having a rebound in work

1929–1933. Those years spanned the first

SEAOC’s technical committees just

levels, and recently, greater hiring needs.

separate meeting of structural engineers

recently embarked on a FEMA-funded

But it would be wrong to think it’s just

in Southern and Northern California,

project with the Applied Technology

business as usual for structural engineers

followed the next year by a successful

Council to develop practical examples

and structural engineering. Marketplace

push for SE title authority and forming

for seismic retrofits under ASCE/SEI 41.

demands on the construction industry

of our state association.

SEAOC and its members continue to serve

for greater speed and productivity, as well as growing global competition over basic

Then came 1933 Long Beach

the profession as leading technical experts,

Earthquake, which killed 115, destroyed

and have been early adopters and advocates

technical design tasks, coincides with

or damaged 120 schools, and proved

for technical innovations, including

society’s call for better building perfor-

the need for, atop the grinding edge of

computer-aided design, and performance

mance, more sustainable design and

the continent, a structural engineering

based evaluation and design methodologies.

construction, and greater resilience in

profession focused on improving the

the built environment. Such demand

seismic performance of buildings. For

the larger environment in which we

lead to change, and SEAOC is evolving

decades, structural engineers in California

to meet them.

were called upon to help draft the seismic

practice. That means sticking up for what we know and what we can do, and

provisions of the Uniform Building Code

communicating the value that sound,

What we must get better at is affecting

of the Western US, and the SEAOC

forward-thinking engineering can deliver

“Blue Book” of code interpretation was a

to property owners, tenants, communities,

standard on the professional’s bookshelf.

and the public at large. In part, this means

In recent years, our work on building

structural engineers must expand beyond

codes and design for earthquake resistance

their historical influencing of building

has evolved. We now publish a five-volume

codes and standards, and into the bump

design manual to the seismic provisions

and grind of public policymaking.

In recent years, our work on building codes and design for earthquake resistance has evolved.


of the International Building Code.

Organizations (the SEAs of Southern


We’re discovering that we can have impact. Our Northern and Southern California Associations have been instrumental in the success of recent retrofit ordinances in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Following a fatal balcony collapse in Berkeley last June,


Board support the bill, and we look

The approximate number of earthquakes registering magnitude 2.5 or higher in California for 2015 alone, according to USGS and their earthquake archive.

a committee of structural engineers

forward to fighting for its success with ACEC California’s polished legislative team in the Capitol and legislative districts. Which points to one more necessary and ongoing professional adaptation. The policy and legal landscape, marketplace pressures, and practice issues that

worked with City of Berkeley to smooth

face structural engineers either match

the implementation of quickly adopted

system designed by our Northern

or rhyme with many of those confronting

inspection ordinances. At the state

California Association now being adapted

all of California design professionals.

level, we continue to make progress

by the non-profit US Resiliency Council

There’s much we can protect and

on long-standing efforts to increase the

and deployed in a voluntary program

accomplish together. Let’s talk more

licensure standard for design of “signifi-

by the City of Los Angeles.

and meet more. Let’s write in each

cant structures,” and have been pleased

At presstime, ACEC California had

other’s publications and attend each

just introduced SB 885 (Wolk), which

other’s events. And we should just say it:

input on the issue. Additionally, SEAOC

seeks to address the lopsided risk assumed

California is back to life, but it’s showing

and its Member Associations have been

by all design professionals under “Duty

lots of wear. If it is to ascend anywhere

deeply engaged in the discussion of

To Defend” clauses. Our Legislative

from here, it will need busy, optimistic,

building rating systems, with a rating

Committee is recommending that our

and enthusiastic engineers.

and grateful for ACEC California’s

Marketplace demands on the construction industry for greater speed and productivity, as well as growing global competition over basic technical design tasks, coincides with society’s call for better building performance, more sustainable design and construction, and greater resilience in the built environment.




Ric Moore Executive Officer | Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists


ow much education is enough to become licensed? How much

practical experience is enough? What

subject matter was equally as important

enough for several to walk side by side with

as actual practical experience.

an ever-increasing slope, growing in width

Generally speaking, it is human

to become very broad, able to accommodate

balance is sufficient to protect the public?

nature to view career advancement and

many walking shoulder to shoulder while

These are age-old questions and ones

obtaining a license to practice as a simple

the slope became unrecognizable, eventually

that are rising once again to the forefront

and easy to define path. But if one

reaching a point where the width narrowed

of discussions for those engineering and

was to imagine the historical progression

somewhat from its widest point and the

surveying professions, licensing boards,

to licensure as a path with the width

slope noticeably becoming steeper.

and educational programs nearing almost

representing the amount of required

one hundred years of service.

education and the steepness as the amount

took on the appearance of a different path.

Licensing for land surveyors, of course,

of required practical experience, that path

Initially it may have been barely wide

career as an engineer or a land surveyor,

would most likely appear ever changing

enough for only one to pass and very steep,

and had the money to afford it, it was

and rather daunting at times.

progressing to a long segment of narrowing

common to obtain higher education in

At the outset of the licensing movement for engineers, the width of the

that would appear like one was traversing the

either engineering or sciences offered at very prestigious universities around

path may have initially appeared as wide

to use your hands in addition to your feet

Initially, if one wished to seek a

edge of sheer drop walking sideways, needing

the world before seeking an internship. Many of the original engineers and land surveyors in this country obtained their education from elsewhere, primarily Europe. As private ownership of land in the coterminous United States finally took root in the westernmost regions in the mid to late nineteenth century and early twentieth century communities were faced with the impact that natural and artificial forces had on safety and welfare, a movement towards licensing individuals, who had met a government established criteria to ensure their work accounted for the public’s safety, began to proliferate. Historical documents show that right from the beginning, these criteria included a mixture of education and practical experience, and recognition that a fundamental knowledge of the


Historical documents show that right from the beginning, these criteria included a mixture of education and practical experience, and recognition that a fundamental knowledge of the subject matter was equally as important as actual practical experience.


due to the climb, only to eventually and

licensing before California’s

very gradually widen again just enough

Little Hoover Commission,

that one could walk normally on slopes

a nationally recognized

that undulated between gradual and steep. Today, many involved in the engineering profession believe that in order to

from the University of

continue to protect the safety and welfare

Minnesota, testified that

of the public, more education is necessary,

the hiring of those in a

like it was during the 1960s–1970s

licensed occupation is

(when the path was at its broadest point).

becoming out of reach

And those involved in the land surveying

for the normal working

profession witnessed land surveying

class individual and

programs at universities being reduced

recommended that

or eliminated during the last couple

regulatory licensing should

of decades (when the path was at its

be discontinued only to

narrowest and steepest) primarily due

be replaced with national

to lack of funding.

certifications as that

However, not all believe that more


expert on the subject, an economics professor

The majority of licensing boards regulate entry into the profession by requiring a combination of a bachelor’s degree and four years of practical experience as the minimum baseline.

process would better serve

education is necessary. Licensing boards

the national population

and professional societies across the

across all income levels regardless of

only require practical experience as the

country are continuing to face legislators

where people live. It was further stated

minimum baseline, the requirements

that do not want to increase the hurdles to

that continuing education previously

allow education to count as equivalent to

licensure and appear to give the impres-

established for these occupations failed to

work experience recognizing individuals

sion that they are further restricting career

adequately protect the consumer, and only

that have obtained a higher education in

paths for the new generations moving into

served to support the outdated idealism

engineering or land surveying. All of this

the work force. Almost two years ago,

inherent within the professional societies.

is further evidence to different and valid

representatives of the National Council

Back to the original questions, how

on Examiners for Engineering and

much education and experience is enough

points of view. What is clear is that a determination

Surveying (NCEES), voted to withdraw

to become licensed and what balance is

that can stand the foreseeable test of time

a minimum requirement for a masters

required to protect the public? It depends

has not been made and that the needs of

degree in engineering in its model law

on who is asked and whose point of view

several groups will need to be sufficiently

and re-publicize that as a recommendation

is most important in the overall scheme.

to be considered by licensing boards in

The majority of licensing boards regulate

considered before it is implemented. It is not always about what the licensing

the form of a position statement. Why

entry into the profession by requiring a

profession believes is protecting the

was this action taken? Not because the

combination of a bachelor’s degree and

public, but whether the public believes

Council believed that education was

four years of practical experience as the minimum baseline. Some extend

they are protected by the actions of

less important, but because there are significant numbers that believe the

from that baseline, recognizing that the

Otherwise, engineers and land surveyors

question on how much has not been

traditional route is not the sole manner

are destined to continue to walk that

adequately determined.

in which to “walk the path” and allow for

ever-changing path to licensure.

Surprisingly, some believe that the

the licensed professional that counts.

a “tiered approach” (i.e., a combination

idea of licensing has even run its course.

of less education and more practical

Recently, at a hearing on occupational

experience). Even for those boards that



SOCIAL MEDIA: AN EFFECTIVE, POWERFUL TOOL IN ISSUE ADVOCACY By Rob Stutzman and Erin Shaw, Stutzman Public Affairs


THE LAST 10 YEARS, our world

is that people are engaging a variety

usage among older adults has shot up in

has rapidly evolved. Advanced

of Internet platforms on any number

recent years with 35% of all adults aged

technology is now permanently

of devices anywhere and everywhere

65 and older reporting using social media.

embedded into and enables a

on a daily basis.

connected community where grand-

With the increased use of the

So what does this mean for those in the business sector that are not yet on

mothers are using their smart phones

Internet being integrated into our

social networks? It is time to get on board

to share real time pictures and posts

daily working lives, the rise of social

and start thinking through a social media

with their grandkids on Facebook

media networking sites has seen

strategy that is specifically designed to

and high school kids are watching

stupendous growth. According to

meet your designated outcomes. This is

live global events via Periscope.

Pew, in 2005 only 8% of Internet users

especially true for those with regulatory

utilized social networking sites. Today,

or legislative issue interests.

According to a 2014 report from the Pew Research Center, even

an eye-popping 70% of Internet users

our households have evolved —

are on social media platforms.

With the skyrocketing rise of social media platforms in recent years, issue

rendering landlines and even desktop

This is especially apparent in the

computers relics of the past with 41%

Millennial generation — which recently

incorporate effective social media platform

of all households opting to become

outstripped Baby Boomers in numbers —

tactics. Recent studies show that 43% of

completely wireless. The new reality

where 90% use social media. Even

social networking site users decide to

advocacy strategy has also evolved to

examine or learn more about a political or social issues because of something they have ready on social media. Therefore, it is a space that cannot be ignored and merits engagement. The power and potential of social media platforms in issue advocacy is that they allow organizations a way to identify and directly reach supporters, other like-minded organizations, and persuadable audiences without having to go through an intermediary like the press.



90% However, a coherent strategy requires

on Twitter with both their constituents

a number of key components:

and the Capitol community — some

1. Determining where a target audience exists;

even receiving and sending messages


during legislative floor sessions; and many use Facebook as a tool to stay in

2. Developing compelling content and messaging that resonates and is relevant to the platform; 3. Relying on analytics to ensure a return on investment. With the data analytics most platforms offer, finding your target audience is not difficult but it does require some research. For example, recent studies show that individuals engaging on Twitter skew younger, encompass wide and diverse ethnicities, are generally higher educated, and are located in urban and suburban communities as opposed to rural. According to Pew research, 23% of all Internet using adults are on Twitter, compared to 71% Internet users engaging Facebook. However, journalists, elected officials, policymakers, and other opinion leaders in the political space primarily use Twitter as the medium to receive political messages, break news, as well as a source of information. Many members of the State Legislature engage directly

touch with their district’s communities. To put it simply, as you develop a social media strategy, it is critical you understand the nuances of the platform — who uses the platform and for what purposes. Instagram might be a fantastic medium to promote the visuals of a newly completed public works project to the local community, but it would not be the most effective medium to elevate awareness among political reporters about the consequences of a policy committee vote. Once you have determined where your audience is located, developing relevant content and effective messaging appropriate to the medium is vital. Incorporating multimedia components into specific platforms is an effective tactic, as is targeting very specific audiences with promoted — or paid — messaging. Both Twitter and Facebook can help target audiences based upon geography, political

interests, industries, language, and other demographics. This type of targeting is a strategic and cost-effective tactic to deploy specific messages to persuadable audiences and natural supporters. Finally, a return on investment is important to any campaign strategy. Often, social media campaigns focused on issue advocacy are complementary to a larger, more traditional earned and/or paid media strategy to help condition the political environment — helping influence the opinion leaders or policymakers ahead of key regulatory or legislative decisions. Or it can be a tool for brand development within specific spheres of influence or reputation management. Whatever and however social networking sites fit into your strategy, measuring your return is important. There are a number of metrics that can be reviewed during a campaign: number of new friends; number of fundraising conversions; number of engagements; number of followers, likes,

The power and potential of social media platforms in issue advocacy is that they allow organizations A WAY TO IDENTIFY AND DIRECTLY REACH SUPPORTERS, other likeminded organizations, and persuadable audiences without having to go through an intermediary like the press.

comments, etc. In the new era of digital engagement, benchmark analytics can be provided to assess message effectiveness and ensure your strategy remains nimble. In summary, social media platforms are a valuable gateway to audiences that are receptive to your messages — whether they are potential clients, political journalists, policymakers, elected officials, or potential coalition partners. In political and issue advocacy, social media



engagement is a powerful tool — one that should be strategically deployed by any organization looking to make an impact on existing regulatory or legislative environments.





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ACEC CA Spring Board of Directors Meeting Sacramento, CA

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MY VOICE Supporting success through mentorship

Trudy Presser CE | Independent Consultant


don’t recall ever hearing anyone ever

could use more of to help sustain them

engineers for more guidance; instead of

say mentoring others in the engineering

in their engineering career is mentoring.

as in some cases, treating it as a weakness.

profession isn’t a good idea. Most, if not

Why does there appear to be either the

I feel so lucky to have found a passion in

all, believe mentoring is key to promoting

perception or actuality that there are not

mentoring. I’m lucky because hands down,

and supporting individuals to want to

enough opportunities for mentoring in

I feel I get more out of the practice than

stay and succeed. Mentoring provides the

our profession? My opinion is regardless

those I mentor. The biggest lesson I can

opportunity to explore an individual’s

if one could present a case it’s only

offer from my experience to those in a

understanding (or lack thereof) of where

perception, it would be wise to embrace

position to be a mentor, is that I learned

and how they may be able to contribute

the practice more proactively. I believe

that I actually have something useful to

in the field and/or at their respective place

more than ever before, the younger

offer. And the more I mentor, the more

of employment in their current environ-

generation wants the opportunity to be

useful I feel. Mentoring cannot happen

ment and equally as important, over the

assisted from those more experienced

long haul. Mentoring — unsurprisingly —

than themselves in an effort to piece

without people making a conscious effort to make themselves available to others.

is more often than not, as beneficial to

together how they will choose to manage

both mentor and mentee in promoting

their careers and juggle all their demands

can make a difference, there are typical

and protecting the profession as together,

inside and outside of work. We are living

pitfalls for why there are not more mentors

a mentor-mentee team work to inspire

in an age where one can practically “ask their computer” anything — the reality

or those doing on-going mentoring. First

desire and hopefulness for a successful future in the field of engineering.

the younger generation has grown up in.

recipe for how to do it. People get caught up

Aside from not necessarily realizing you

of all, there’s a tendency to want an exact

We, as an industry, should embrace

in what is mentoring? Should one have an

that what I hear more often than not

the asking (with a human interaction,

internal or external mentor? How is it

from individuals when asked what they

not with a computer) of the developing

differentiated from say, coaching someone

Given the benefits, it is perplexing

to do their job better? Can a supervisor mentor a subordinate? How is it different from sponsorship? The recipe lists go on and on! And then there is the age old comment — there’s just not enough time in the day. That’s not to say a successful mentoring relationship falls solely on the mentor.

Mentoring cannot happen without people making a conscious effort to make themselves available to others.

The mentee needs to fulfill their side of the relationship as well. As I mentioned above, I believe there’s plenty of desire from developing engineers to want to be mentored. However, desire isn’t the only ingredient a mentee should bring to the table. I have learned to request two



essentials from the mentees I work with. First, we have an honest discussion about our relationship, setting appropriate boundaries so as not to create false expectations. Second, after giving the mentee how and when I can be contacted, I request that they be the one to initiate meeting dates. The message as the mentor to the mentee is to educate how and when you may be of help and then to expect the mentee to take the initiative to make it happen. Don’t look for an exact recipe. Trust that jointly you have the means to set an appropriate relationship that will be beneficial to both of you and the industry at large. With the right tools and attitude, all of us can benefit from mentoring.

20% 80% The ratio of engineering degrees awarded by gender, women to men, 2011–2012.

We, as an industry, should embrace the asking (with a human interaction, not with a computer) of the developing engineers for more guidance; instead of as in some cases, treating it as a weakness. As a woman engineer, I saw many of my

experiences to benefit others. I did stay

female colleagues become disenchanted

in the engineering profession despite

and leave the profession. I however, was

the not-so-encouraging statistics for

lucky to have people I can point to as

gender diversity in the field. I did juggle

mentors who helped me continue to

the demands of family and work at the

be inspired to stay and prosper in the

same time. And I did deal with my own

profession. None of these were “formal”

desires and realities for where and how

mentors. I’m guessing because back then,

I could best contribute to my profession

any ideas set forth for formal mentoring

to make a difference for me, my company,

felt forced and therefore, were not

and the communities I served. I learned

sustainable. Additionally, early on in

that many of my experiences and how

my career, one of my wonderful male

they worked out could be helpful to

mentors encouraged me to join Women’s

those following in my footsteps. From

Transportation Seminar (WTS), an

that first realization several years ago

organization dedicated to supporting the

and on-going today, I make time to

advancement of women in transportation.

mentor others.

Along the way, between the wonderful

It is quite something for me to

mentors and the support and education

speak of finding my voice, and then

I received from WTS, I learned to find

quite humbling for me to speak of

and trust in “my voice” in the field of

helping others to find theirs. I do hope

engineering and management and I

my voice helps inspire others to realize

am grateful to have had a successful

they too can use their own experiences

consulting management career.

to make a difference by mentoring as I

The best part in all this for me was Source: GAO analysis of data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, GAO 14-374

when I realized I actually could use my

trust we all agree, it will help promote and protect the profession.




SINCE 1990

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