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Structural Engineers Association of New York

SEAoNY January Seminar: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words: Technical Illustration in Structural Engineering

  • 14 Jan 2020
  • 6:15 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place
  • 52


Registration is closed

SEAoNY January Seminar

 A Picture is Worth 1000 Words:Technical Illustration in Structural Engineering

January 14, 2020

6:15 PM - 8:00 PM

Center for Architecture | 536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012

Presented By:  Liling Cao, Ph.D.,P.E., LEED AP, Associate Principal, Thornton Tomasetti

Structural engineers use a variety of analysis tools to evaluate the structural behavior during the design, construction and investigation phases of a project. Often engineers encounter the recurring challenge of conveying complex analytical results to clients in a way which can be easily understood. In particular, when investigating structural collapse, engineers have numerous tasks to perform, including; review of a large number of documents, gathering all relevant information from the parties involved, tracing the load path in the structure prior to the collapse, analyzing the structural response at the time of the collapse and presenting the collapse theory through a final deliverable. This final product must be accurate, informative and self-explanatory. Using words alone is extremely difficult to explain a unique problem such as a structural failure. Technical illustration with rendered pictures and animation has become a useful tool to reproduce the details and present the collapse theory efficiently. Technical illustration is not a graphics cartoon, but instead it is a 3-D visualization of structural behavior that is supported by rigorous structural mechanics. During the illustration process structural engineers work closely with graphics designers to explain, link and illustrate the analysis results in rendering software. Case studies will be presented for discussion.


Presenter Bio:

Liling Cao leads Advanced Analytics Group in Thornton Tomasetti Forensics Practice. She has more than 12 years’ experience in structural design, linear and nonlinear analysis, investigation and retrofits. She specializes in using advanced analysis tools for engineering modeling and simulations of structural behavior under the effects of earthquake, flood, wind, vibration and blast loads. She is experienced in evaluation of existing buildings, bridges and temporary structures, structural stabilization and rehabilitations, failure investigations, litigation support and emergency responses.

l.5 PDH Credits (pending)

Advanced registration closes 5:00pm January 13, 2020

Registration opens at 5:45pm. Seminar begins promptly at 6:15pm

For SEAoNY members, registration is $25 in advance or $35 at the door.

For non-members, registration is $40 in advance or $50 at the door.
For student members, registration is $5.

To avoid the credit card convenience fee, please send us a check. If you would like to bring cash or a check at the day of the event, please let us know by emailing us at

The event will take place at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place.



(t) 646.736.0694



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