The Golden Gate Bridge


As a group, Structural Engineers in Northern California have a national reputation for being among the brightest and most qualified SE professionals practicing anywhere in the world.

Collectively, they have done more to advance the art of how to design, construct, and sustain safe structures than almost any other group of engineers. They understand the important relationship between the natural environment and the built environment - particularly in the midst of earthquake country and how to achieve this balance.

Their professional organization, the Structural Engineering Association of Northern California (SEAONC) was formed in 1930 with 39 members to:

  • Help promote the advancement of technical excellence in the design and building of structures, and
  • Improve the interchange and communication of technical knowledge among all professionals involved in the creation of buildings and other structures.

Members of SEAONC devote much of their
free time to working on committees and
projects to advance the profession, advocate
for public safety, conduct research and
educational programs, and volunteer their
time in the community.

Today, SEAONC has more than 1700 members all dedicated to the advancement of Structural Engineering as a profession and to being advocates for public safety through applied research, continuing education, and the promotion of professional relations among Civil, Structural, and Geotechnical Engineers. (For more information, visit

SEAONC endeavors to enhance the life safety, environmental health, and economic well-being of the public through direct involvement in the development of building codes, through community education and through liaison and consultation with legislative and regulatory agencies that influence the design and construction industries.

SEAONC members benefit throughout the year from
programs, conferences, tours and visits to universities.
The majority of SEAONC members are licensed engineers regularly engaged in the practice of Structural Engineering. The Association also draws membership from related fields involved in design and construction, including academe (professors and students), contractors, architects, and representatives from industry and government.

A similar organization of Structural Engineers formed in Southern California. In 1932 the two groups realized that the statewide nature of the problems facing Structural Engineers necessitated a statewide effort, so together they formed the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC).

Regional groups in central California and San Diego developed in later years and eventually joined the state organization. (For more information, visit

SEAONC members are actively involved in the development of building codes to ensure the life safety, environmental health, and economic well being of the public. (See Section on Developing Codes and Standards for Safer Structures.)

Group at steel fabrication plant
The Association continues to review current laws, regulations and their implementation to ensure protection for the public and profession against improper use of engineering and to guarantee proper continuing education and development of the profession.

The success of SEAONC, in its efforts to serve the public and the profession, stems chiefly from the volunteer commitments of members working on committees, both technical and nontechnical, that form the basis of SEAONC operations.

Its volunteer efforts are directed in many arenas, including: helping disadvantaged homeowners to better their living environment, educating the students in our community schools, providing support to communities following major earthquakes and other disasters, and participation on legislative and building code committees to help ensure safe building structures. Below are just a few of the activities we sponsor, either with monetary donations, the volunteer efforts of our members, or both.


For more information, visit