JAMA Project Manager Kent Kaewwaen wins the award for the best Zoom call ever. As part of his role in ACE Mentoring he, along with his mentee and team leader Luis Berrios and other regional and national representatives, awarded Pasadena High School student Obehb Hernandez a $10,000 scholarship this month via Zoom. This was part of the 2020 CMiC – Allen Berg Memorial Scholarship, an ACE scholarship program. Although it was awarded over Zoom rather than in person, the message (and surprise) was just as sweet.
JAMA is pleased to welcome Associate Principal John Nissen to its ranks this month. John has a 20-year history on the West Coast as owner of his own firm and brings technical expertise and deep experience with local and national commercial and institutional sectors with an emphasis on telecommunication projects to the firm. With particularly adept relationship-building skills that span disciplines and time zones, John will be instrumental in leading JAMA’s continued growth. We took some time to ask him about his background, including the following: What is the strangest / most interesting project you’ve ever worked on? My career is littered with strange and interesting projects…..riverboat casinos, buildings inside of buildings, buildings over existing buildings, internal structures for sculptures, artwork….. It has been a very cool ride. What drew you to JAMA? I worked for JAMA many years ago and joint ventured on efforts in the recent past. I knew that while the staff had change
What do you do when you have to perform a site inspection during a pandemic? Get resourceful, of course! JAMA engineer Cindy Qian used protective gear from our office-issued earthquake safety kits on site during an inspection of the foundations at LAX’s Tom Bradley Vertical Cores project. Who knew those face masks, gloves and protective goggles could come in so handy!
It isn’t our preferred strategy, but JAMA has been remotely onboarding new employees during the pandemic. One of the latest is Project Engineer Srikar Gunisetty, P.E.. We caught up with him (online, of course) in order to share some of his current and recent efforts. What’s kept you sane during the COVID-19 Safer From Home order? I’ve been holed up in my apartment trying to save the world, but I finally found time to finish that book I’ve been wanting to read, I caught up on multiple Netflix series, and I’ve spent loads of quality time online with friends and family. What’s the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on? John Burroughs Middle School, a 3-story steel moment frame instruction building divided into two wings connected by an outdoor bridge. With cool features like site specific response spectrum analysis, ConXtech moment frames, friction piles due to bad soil conditions, my very first DSA project had a bit of everything. What team ha
In such bleak times it’s nice to receive some uplifting news, particularly about projects that support our collective learning and community-building. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County expansion is the second large-scale effort undertaken for this institution by JAMA Partner Jackie Vinkler, this time in collaboration with Frederick Fisher and Partners. Referred to as the Natural History Museum Commons, the $60M project creates a new front porch for the museum and the Coliseum, located directly to the south. Additional components include a 400-seat theater, event space, a second cafe and outdoor gathering spaces. Approximately 53,000 square feet of the project will be renovated space, and 22,000 square feet is new construction.
What started as a design competition is now moving into the next phases of EIR and design as the Alvidrez! JAMA is once again pushing the envelope on this effort; this time through mass-timber modular high-rise design in a project that also provides much needed permanent supportive housing in LA. Located on East 5th Street in the Skid Row area of Downtown LA, the 14-story structure will offer 150 studio apartments for formerly homeless persons, a manager’s unit and ground-floor offices for case management services. Michael Maltzan Architecture is leading the design, or “collection of vertical ‘bundles” as it’s described, with tiered building heights that create terrace decks on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th floors. In addition to providing open spaces for residents, the open areas would also provide natural light and ventilation for each apartment. Unlike most high-rise buildings in the Los Angeles area which are built from concrete an
Although the physical conference was cancelled due to COVID-19, we still thought you’d be curious to know about BIM Director Marcello S.’s two sessions developed for this year’s SEI Congress. The annual conference is a premier event within the profession, working to stimulate technological advancement and improve professional practice. We’re hoping the Congress gets rescheduled, but in the mean time here’s the run-down on Marcello’s sessions which highlight JAMA’s expertise in employing the latest BIM/VR technologies. Session 1 – VR For Structural Engineers: An Interactive Presentation This initial roundtable will center on VR in practice and features JAMA, Walter P. Moore, Thornton Tomasetti, and Odeh Structural Engineers. Marcello is going to focus on our use of VR in the engineering of Nancy Ruben’s Agrifolia Major sculpture. For those not familiar, this fascinating progressive technology usage in 2017 for large-scale art met the artistic vision, structurally
JAMA’s team of Satish M., Ben R., Pi C., Raytene H., Shane F. and Ben K. recently started construction on a new church for the Diocese of Fresno. Founded in 2011, the church – St. Charles Borromeo – is the newest within the Good Shepherd Catholic Parish in Visalia and serves the southwest portion of the City. The project’s roof structure is framed with plywood and wood I-joists supported by large glulam scissor trusses that span over 80 feet. The cupola roof structure over the alter is supported by a glulam tension/compression ring and struts, which visually frees up the central worship space from interior columns. Exterior walls are made up of reinforced concrete formed using insulated concrete formwork (ICF). The ICF walls are leave-in formwork that make it easier to construct the building and lessen the energy demands on the interior space by providing a high R-value.