June 19, 2018 - 8:00am to 12:00pm

Join Cathleen Jacinto and Scott Conwell for an intriguing half-day seminar on Structural Masonry, covering several topics of interest, including case studies and software available for those working with masonry. 

Cathleen Jacinto will present on the following topics:


In this session, we will touch on several areas of best practices for structural masonry design,
including the “how” and “why” specific to each element of structural masonry (spec for block
strength, mortar type, etc). We will explore masonry strength considerations, movement joints,
and constructibility considerations for practical masonry detailing and specification. Recent
updates to code provisions specific to storm shelter design and its impact to typical masonry
structures will also be addressed.


Masonry lintel design is a critical part of an efficient structural masonry solution. The design of
masonry lintels can add significant capacity to the structural design and add robustness to the
wall that contractors and owners will welcome for crack prevention. In many cases in the past
we have made assumptions to simplify the analysis of masonry lintels that has been a
detriment to the architectural and engineering design. Today we have software tools to
analyze complex integrated masonry lintels, and therefore engineers should be utilizing those
tools for masonry wall and lintel design. We will be demonstrating the construction of several
different types of masonry lintels. Engineers, architects, and contractors can see firsthand how
different design problems are being solved with masonry lintels.


We  will review all the major commercial design programs that support masonry analysis and design,
for both component design and finite element analysis and design. To solve complex designs
effectively and efficiently, more and more structural designers are turning to Finite Element Analysis
(FEA). Software companies have responded by developing FEA programs that support masonry
materials. This presentation is an overview of FEA masonry assumptions, modeling masonry
elements, supported loading and design codes, and the integrity of results when designing masonry
components with FEA.


Scott Conwell will discuss the following topic:


The exterior masonry wall is a complex assembly challenging architects in the problems of aesthetics, performance, and structure. This session analyzes and graphically deconstructs a variety of complex masonry wall types commonly used in new construction.

On a basic level, the session takes a detailed look at the decision-making process for walls in the pre-design and early design stages. Attendees will learn a design approach that quickly and systematically takes them through a series of micro-decisions on a small number (eight or fewer) of subassemblies of the wall, resulting in a well-informed system design.

This session will use examples of walls from real projects and walk the audience through the uniquely swift linear decision-making process (think about your experience designing a burrito at Chipotle). It will also discuss development of a wall taxonomy, the curation of a Wall Systems Library, and the implications in BIM integration.

Attendees will earn 4 hours of continuing education credit for this seminar. CE certificates will be emailed to all participants following the event.

About the Presenters

Cathleen Jacinto, PE, SE has 17 years of experience in the design industry as a structural engineer.   A seasoned project manager, Cathleen collaborated on a variety of building design projects while at Thornton Tomasetti and T.Y. Lin International in Chicago, Illinois.  Her resume includes small to large-scale project types in healthcare, aviation, commercial, infrastructure, cultural, and steel connection design located in the U.S. and abroad. 

Since joining FORSE in May 2015, Cathleen provides structural engineering design and modeling services in collaboration with other structural engineering firms.  Her solid knowledge base of various building materials, including steel, masonry, concrete, and wood contributes to FORSE’s designs, seminars, and publications.  She serves as a technical consultant to the Illinois Structural Masonry Coalition.  One topic Cathleen highlights is structural masonry analysis and design. 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.  She is a licensed Structural Engineer (SE) and Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Illinois.


Scott Conwell is a Director of Industry Development with the International Masonry Institute (IMI), where he has dedicated his career to educating design professionals and advancing good design with masonry materials. He has authored technical articles published industry-wide, and he leads IMI’s team on the Masonry Detailing Series and the Wall Systems Library, online tools that have influenced the masonry industry. He is a regular presenter at design and construction conferences, and frequently contributes articles to the journals and magazines of AIA, CSI, ALA, and others. Scott is a graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and a Fellow of AIA.


Farnsworth Group
200 W College Ave, Fourth Floor Community Room, Normal, IL 61761


The registration fee is $140 for members and $220 for non-members.



David Gaskins ( self-employed )
Phillip Gregory ( Farnsworth Group, Inc. )
Joseph Lowrance ( Farnsworth Group )
Frank Montana ( Montana Design Service )
Marc Chiles ( Shive-Hattery )
Adrienne Coussens ( Farnsworth Group )
William Flannigan ( AECOM )
Joseph McCarthy ( ADM Design Services )
Scott Conwell ( Illinois Structural Masonry Coalition )
Cathleen Jacinto ( FORSE Consulting )
Larry Stevig ( State Farm )
Marcin Bazula ( Structural Preservation Systems LLC )
Gina Baldea ( Structural Preservation Systems LLC )
Dunja Vla ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. )
Timothy Roecker ( Mohr and Kerr Engineering and Land Surveying )