I participated as a mentor for students in the NOMA Boston Project Pipeline virtual camp in August. Here is a brief synopsis of the program, and an image below as well. Architect Reuben Cheeks also served as a mentor from our Boston office.
“Over three days of virtual activities, architecture and design professionals guided students ages 11 – 15 through their own design projects, set in the context of the city around them. Through brainstorming, sketching, and model building, students explored concepts of city and neighborhood design. The virtual three-day camp, Aug. 19 – 21, introduced 30 students from the North East region how we can use design as a tool for social justice as we explore the issues facing the city of Boston.”
Organization: Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities (BEAM)
A picture containing text, person, indoor, floor Description automatically generated This past November I had the opportunity to teach students about designing tall buildings for lateral loads as a part of the Saturday Academy program themed “Building the City”. The students were challenged with building a tower that could support a 2” diameter washer 12” from the floor and withstand our rigorous wind tunnel testing. The resulting towers were structurally-sound, creative, and aesthetically pleasing. (All of the best things.)
I volunteered with ASCE Buffalo Chapter to review resumes of University at Buffalo civil engineering students this past November. The students sent their resumes in and a group of local professional engineers critiqued the resumes. Then the professionals and students met at UB for additional feedback, discussion, and networking.
I teach a Structures course part-time at the Boston Architectural College. Topics include: structural analysis, structural materials and systems, and ways to improve communication between architects and engineers.
I also volunteer with an after-school program called The Village Norristown. Using my Wacom tablet and Zoom, I’ve been able to assist kids with their math homework through live demonstration. On days when they don’t have homework, I usually try to find an at-home experiment to show them. One of my personal favorites was demonstrating how fire takes oxygen in the air and transforms it into heavier carbon-based molecules that sink, decreasing the pressure inside a closed container, and creating suction (aka, float a lit candle in a bowl of water, put a glass bottle over it, and watch the water rise up into the bottle). I’ve found that children often get excited when fire is involved.
I am an active board member of WNYSHE (my local ASHE chapter) as the Chapter Meeting Committee Leader. I organize, schedule and host the meetings. I also coordinate and book speakers for educational presentations.
Kurt Bloch & Julie Shaw
A group of people standing in front of a sign Description automatically generated Julie and I both mentored and guided a Senior Design Group for SIUE Edwardsville structural engineering.
I am currently volunteering with the following:
SPIRE Smart Building Assessment Program
Comprehensive and objective building assessment program that identifies performance metrics for Connectivity, Sustainability, Life and Property safety, Power and Energy, Health and Well Being, and Cybersecurity sponsored by TIA and UL. The intent is to improve smart building performance and the overall user experience and make the building performance future-proof.
I am a member of the Connectivity Smart Building Working Group and was involved in the development of the questionnaire standards and am currently developing a whitepaper promoting the program.
Over the last two years, I have helped my church, Manchester United Methodist Church (MUMC) in Manchester, MO on an HVAC replacement masterplan. The current economic environment has been challenging, but I was able to author a bid package for the first phase of work that was approved and is currently being implemented.
Structural Engineers Association of Massachusetts (SEAMASS)
- Served as Vice President
- Scholarship Committee Chair
National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA)
- Volunteered with Internal Communications Committee
- Volunteered with Nominations Committee for NCSEA Board of Directors
- Served as the NCSEA delegate for SEAMASS
I serve as the Vice President of the Structural Engineers Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of structural engineering. SEF sponsors scholarships and research grants to structural engineering students, hosts bi-annual lectures to heighten awareness of the profession, and bestows awards to recognize outstanding achievements in structural engineering.
Design critic: Participated as a guest critic in the Interior Architecture and Design program at Suffolk University in Boston. The graduate students in the Fall Lighting Studio class remotely presented their final projects during the critique session.
De-CANstruction: Helped the DC CANstruction team to take down the sculptures of canned food. CANstruction is a national event held by local chapters wherein architects and engineers build sculptures of canned foods along a theme. At the conclusion of the event all food is donated to the local food bank. This year’s theme was “Children’s Books” and the DC office made the Cheshire Cat from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
I volunteer as Treasurer for the Scout Pack 322 and coached with Exeter Youth Soccer Association. I also volunteer for set building with Pine Street Players.
Thank you to all our engineers who donated their time to their communities this past year!