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Heather Sustersic Presents at the 13th North American Masonry Conference

Heather Sustersic, P.E. is in Salt Lake City, Utah for the 13th North American Masonry Conference. This conference occurs just once every four years and serves as a global forum to share the latest advances in masonry knowledge and practice. As a Presenter at the conference, Heather will share two unique presentations based on her recent research:

On June 17th Heather will present “Best Practices for Masonry Resilience Based on Performance During the 2018 Wilkes-Barre Tornado.”

This research highlights the June 2018 Wilkes-Barre tornado that ravaged an outdoor shopping complex in Northern Pennsylvania. Due to the presumed low probability of occurrence, designing low-rise buildings for tornadoes is typically viewed as absurd and expensive. However, using photographic evidence taken shortly after the Wilkes-Barre tornado, Heather will review how the potential for any building to experience this intense phenomenon is real and design solutions may be simpler than imagined. Heather will also review the performance of multiple construction types, including masonry structures, and highlight steps for the practicing engineer to make informed decisions regarding tornado design and detailing.

On June 18th Heather will present “What We Wish Your Students Knew About Masonry: The Industry’s Perspective.”

Not every University has a masonry design course. Those that do often include them as a technical elective. The result is that many entry-level engineers have limited knowledge of masonry as a structural material, even though masonry, in one form or another, is present on the vast majority of architectural building projects. This presentation will attempt to provide a springboard for masonry instructors looking to improve the quality of masonry education at their institution, and for entry-level engineers looking to ‘hit the ground running’ in professional practice.

If you’re attending this year’s conference, we hope to see you at the above presentations. If you’d like to connect with Heather to learn more about her recent research, or discuss other aspects of masonry design, you can find her on LinkedIn or via Providence.