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SE EXam Refresher Course Instructors

SEAOI's SE Exam Refresher Course Instructors are seasoned professionals who bring years of experience and practical understanding to the classroom.

Brandon Chavel is a Great Lakes Regional Bridge Technical Manager for Michael Baker International in Cleveland, Ohio.  He has over 20 years of professional experience in steel bridge analysis, design, construction engineering, load rating, research, and guideline development, including the design of complex curved and skewed steel girder bridges and long span steel bridges.  Dr. Chavel served as project manager for editions of the FHWA and now NSBA Steel Bridge Design Handbook, which included the development of design examples in accordance with the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. He has also served as an instructor for multiple NHI training courses, including LRFD and Analysis of Curved Steel Highway Bridges and Engineering for Structural Stability in Bridge Construction.  Dr. Chavel has co-authored several FHWA and NSBA technical guidelines, industry articles, and peer-review journal papers related to steel bridge design, fabrication, and construction. 

Dr. Chavel earned his B.S., Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is a licensed Professional Engineer in multiple states.  He is an active member of several industry committees including AREMA Committee 15 - Steel Structures, the International Bridge Conference Executive Committee, the TRB Standing Committee on Steel Bridges (AKB20) and co-chairs the Methods of Analyzing Steel Bridges Subcommittee (AKB20(1)), and the AASHTO/NSBA Steel Bridge Collaboration where he is also the chair of Task Group  11 (Design).

David Fanella, Ph.D., S.E., P.E., is the Senior Director of Engineering at the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute. He has over 30 years of experience in the design of a wide variety of buildings and other structures. He is a member of several ACI Committees and serves on ASCE Committee 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. David is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Structural Engineers Institute. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Alfred E. Lindau Award from the American Concrete Institute for outstanding contributions to reinforced concrete design practice. David is a past board member and president of the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois.

Nathaniel Gonner, is the Director of Specifications at the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), where he oversees the development of all their standards.  He serves as secretary of the AISC Committee on Specifications and is a member of the committee for ASCE/SEI 41 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings.  Mr. Gonner has taught steel design as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Before joining AISC in 2017, Mr. Gonner spent eight years as a consulting structural engineer, working on a variety of large-scale projects located in Chicago and throughout the world, including transportation structures, high-rise buildings, and projects featuring architecturally exposed structural steel.  He earned an M.S. in Structural Engineering from Lehigh University, where he researched seismic-resistant self-centering steel frames.  He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and a B.A. in Physics from Truman State University.

Cathleen Jacinto, PE, SE is a Structural Engineer at FORSE Consulting, LLC in Mt Prospect, IL with over 20 years of design experience. She worked on a variety of building design projects in the U.S. and abroad while at Thornton Tomasetti and T.Y. Lin International in Chicago, Illinois. Currently at FORSE Consulting, Cathleen assists other structural engineers with design projects and contributes to FORSE’s seminars and publications. One topic Cathleen highlights is structural masonry design, as a Technical Consultant to the International Masonry Institute and Masonry Advisory Council.  Cathleen has served as an Adjunct Lecturer for the Design of Masonry Structures course at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She currently contributes as a Board Member to the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois, and is a licensed Structural Engineer (SE) and Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Illinois. Cathleen has a Professional Masters in Structural Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Robert G. Lukas, PE, is a practicing geotechnical engineer with 74 years experience; 33 years with Soil Testing Services followed by 41 years at Ground Engineering Consultants located in Northbrook, IL. He attended Northwestern University receiving a BS in 1956 and an MS in1959.

His experience includes over 50 high rise buildings in Chicago, two research projects, 25 expert witness cases, 15 overseas projects and 5 years teaching soil mechanics at the Chicago campus of U of I.

Mr. Lukas authored 35 technical papers and was awarded the Martin S. Kapp award of ASCE for "pioneering ground soil improvement by dynamic compaction of multiple sites including rubble deposits, landfills and mine spoils."

Dan Roig, PhD, PE, SE is a Vice President at Solutions Engineering Group in Naperville, Illinois and a Partner at Roig Associates in Cary, Illinois. He is an expert in structural analysis and design, failure analysis, and timber construction. He has investigated over a hundred roof system collapses for various building types while working with the metal plate connected truss industry over a thirty-year period. His experience as a consulting engineer involving timber construction includes AEP Consulting Services, Alpine Engineered Products, Inc., and Woodclaw, Inc. Over the past forty years, he has worked on projects worldwide including commercial, industrial, residential, institutional, and governmental buildings and other structural systems, using wood, masonry, concrete, light gauge and hot-rolled steel, plastics, cast iron and other materials, from single story to high-rise.

Dr. Roig received his B.S. degree in Engineering, his M.S. degree in Civil Engineering, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a licensed Structural Engineer in Illinois and Hawaii, and Professional Engineer in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Hawaii. He has lectured on engineered wood design, metal plate connected truss design, and has been an instructor for the Refresher Course for nearly 20 years. 

Jon Sfura, PhD, PE, SE is a Associate Principal at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. in Northbrook, Illinois. Dr. Sfura’s experience includes the assessment of structural distress and serviceability problems, the investigation of structural failures, peer review, and the rehabilitation of structures. He has published and lectured on seismic design and performance, and the assessment and rehabilitation of structures.

Dr. Sfura received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois.  He studied the nonlinear seismic response of asymmetric steel structures to earthquake ground motions as a doctoral candidate. He is a licensed Structural Engineer in Illinois, Civil Engineer in California, and Professional Engineer in Florida and Michigan. He is a member of the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois (SEAOI). He participates on the BSSC NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions Committee and ASCE 7 Wind Load Subcommittee. He has been an instructor for the Refresher Course for nearly ten years.

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Chicago, IL  60606

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