December 10, 2019 - 8:00am to 5:00pm

The consideration of extreme loads, such as fire and blast, in the design of structures has been commonplace in industry for a long time. Fire resistance ratings for structural members under the standard fire have been around for over a century. Blast loading and its effects on structures has been studied over the past several decades by the US federal government, military, and national laboratories. A joint seminar on structural fire and blast may seem incompatible at first; the time scales are on opposite ends of the spectrum and the structural response mechanisms are vastly different. Concrete and steel degrade in fire while these same materials may gain strength under very high strain rates when subjected to blast. So, why do these topics belong together? The evolution in analysis techniques and recent code changes have brought upon a new era in the design and analysis of structures under extreme loads.

Attendees of will earn 8 hours of continuing education credit. Certificates will be emailed to attendees after the event.


 7:30 am - 8:00 am Breakfast and Registration
 8:00 am - 10:00 am Structural Fire & Design Introduction
Kevin LaMalva, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
10:00 am - 10:15 am Break
10:15 am - 12:15 pm Structural Blast Design Introduction
Kevin Mueller, Thornton Tomasetti
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm Lunch
12:45 pm - 2:45 pm New Developments of Structural Fire & Design
Kevin LaMalva, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
 2:45pm - 3:00 pm Break
 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm New Developments of Structural Blast Design
Kevin Mueller, Thornton Tomasetti


Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger
135 S. LaSalle, Suite 3800
Chicago, IL


A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Registration is $390 for members and $505 for non-members.    

Kevin J. LaMalva, P.E.; Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.

Kevin is registered as both a fire protection engineer and civil engineer, and has worked at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. since 2007. He is Past Chair of the ASCE/SEI Fire Protection Committee, and a member of numerous industry committees that conduct research and develop standards for structural fire safety. His work experience spans many areas of fire safety and structural engineering. He has recently been recognized as an ENR Newsmaker for serving the “best interests of the construction industry and the public.”

For the past century, project stakeholders have tolerated a strikingly inefficient and amorphous system for protecting structures from uncontrolled fire. Structural engineers have traditionally been absent from the structural fire protection design process. However, due to recent advancements put forth by ASCE/SEI, now is a great time for structural engineers to get involved with structural fire protection, and lead its implementation in practice. This area represents one of the most promising opportunities for structural engineers to add value to building design. New ASCE/SEI guidance should validate structural engineers whom wish to engage and lead in the field of structural fire protection. Also, building officials now have tools to comprehensively evaluate structural fire protection variances. The future is bright in this space for structural engineers to impact the industry.

Kevin A. Mueller, Ph.D., P.E.; Thornton Tomasetti

Kevin is a protective design and structural fire engineer at Thornton Tomasetti. He has managed projects across almost all practice sectors, including the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, PANYNJ, Amtrak, the Smithsonian, and several confidential private clients. He is Chair of the ACI Fire Protection Committee (ACI 216.1 standard), and a member of numerous industry committees on structural fire, blast, impact, disaster reconnaissance, and protective design.

The premise of structural blast design is rooted in a “collapse resistant” design approach which addresses a limited range of performance objectives in response to a specific loading condition. Vulnerabilities in the structural system under this specific loading condition are hardened or modified so that an “adequate” performance is achieved up to the brink of collapse. Since the resulting design is only analyzed up to the specific loading condition, the actual performance under a real event is often unknown and uncertain. Catastrophic consequences could result if the structure is ultimately subjected to even a slightly larger threat than originally designed. This session will review blast analysis in general, educating engineers on how these extreme loads are considered throughout design using traditional methods and new resilience-based methods. From load development to structural analysis and response limits, structural engineers will find themselves in an explosive new sector of our industry.



Elie Hantouche ( American University of Beirut )
Luis Arenzana ( HWR, Inc. )
Tianshu Qi ( Chicago Transit Authority )
Carol Post ( Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. )
Moshe Calamaro ( Moshe Calamaro & Associates )
Stephanie Crain ( SEAOI )
Nancy Radler ( SEAOI )
Kevin Mueller ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Kevin Malva ( Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. )