Structural Engineers Association of New York



Sara Steele, P.E., is an Associate at Silman. She received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Over the past ten years she has worked on new construction, renovation, and historic preservation. She has worked on a variety of project types including educational, institutional, residential and commercial. Sara's major projects include Morgan Library Expansion, FDNY Rescue Company 3, Manhattanville College Student Center, Thompson LES Hotel, and many private residences. She has been a member of the SEAoNY Programs Committee for over five years where she has helped to organize many evening seminars and annual meetings.

Jonathan C. Hernandez P.E., SECBis a Partner at Gilsanz Murray Steficek and has designed new construction work as well as renovations and rehabilitations. He has worked on the infrastructure upgrade of the 2 million sf JP Morgan Chase Headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, the rehabilitation of the historic SculptureCenter in LIC, the creation of a tomotherapy suite at Lenox Hill Hospital, over 200 new LEED certified PNC Bank Branches and a new Central Utility Plant at Staten Island University Hospital. Mr. Hernandez is a Director of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA), and has served on the Board of Directors of the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY). He is certified by the Structural Engineering Certification Board (SECB), and a member of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), CoreNet Global, The Architectural League of New York, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and SEAoNY.


Christina Chu, P.E., LEED AP, is a Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti (TT). She received a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Engineering degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. She is a licensed professional engineer in the State of New York. Since joining TT, Christina has worked on a variety of projects including commercial, education, retail and tenant fit-outs. Some of her previous work includes Las Vegas CityCenter in Las Vegas, Nevada; Two Riverfront Plaza in Newark, New Jersey; Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China; and Basrah Sports City, Secondary Stadium in Basrah, Iraq. Christina is currently helping oversee work on the Hudson Yards Platform in New York.Christina has been a member of SEAoNY since 2008. She is an active member on the Programs Committee and began working with the SE Licensure Committee last year. She has also been involved with Urban Assembly and the ACE Mentor Program.


James Vignola, P.E. is a Senior Structural Project Manager at Dewberry. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and a Master's of Civil Engineering with a structural concentration from Stevens Institute of Technology. He has been on the SEAoNY Board of Directors for 5 years including a term as Treasurer. He is well versed in many types of construction, from new construction of modern single family homes up to large scale institutional buildings and renovations of all sizes including many exterior envelope restoration projects. He began his career at a boutique structural engineering firm and since then has been employed primarily at large multidiscipline firms where he has consulted on numerous infrastructure and capital improvement projects for various public agencies and private owners. Notable projects include New Stair at Grand Central Terminal and Davis Barracks at US Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Vignola has recently taken a senior position at Dewberry where he is working on residential and commercial projects for private owners as well as ongoing capital improvements for various city and state agencies including several resiliency efforts.

Douglas P. González, P.E., is an Associate Partner at LERA.  Mr. González has been involved with the structural design of many of the firm’s award winning cultural and civic projects including the Newseum and Freedom Forum in Washington D.C., the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland; the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Renovation and Expansion and the Apollo Theater in New York City.  He is an active member of the SEAoNY Code and Standards and Membership Committees and has served on the SEAoNY Board since 2011 as Secretary and Director.
Currently, he is overseeing LERA’s efforts for projects at the NYU Langone Medical Center, consisting of several new and renovated facilities including their new Kimmel hospital tower being constructed at 34th St. and 1st Avenue, as well as several other healthcare and adaptive reuse projects.  Mr. González’s experience ranges from new construction consisting of long spans and exposed structures to the modification, renovation, and restoration of existing structures.  Additionally, Mr. González held the titles of Secretary, Vice-Chair, and Chair for the ASCE Metropolitan Section Structures Group, and was a member of the Structures Congress (NYC) Steering Committee in 2005. He was also a member of the SEAoNY IBC-NYC code comparison study and participated in the NYC Building Department model code development program.
Mr. González holds a Master of Science from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Engineering from The Cooper Union in New York City


J. Benjamin Alper, P.E., SE (CA), is an Associate at Severud Associates Consulting Engineers, PC where he has practiced for the last 11 years.  He is a registered professional engineer in New York and California and is a registered structural engineer in California. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, Ben received his Bachelors of Engineering and Masters of Engineering from Cooper Union.  He has been a member of the SEAoNY Code and Standards and served as a SEAoNY representative to the NYC Building Department on the group that prepared their Plan Examination Guidelines.  His experience includes many notable projects such as New Brunswick Transit Village, the Weeksville Educational Building, the Redevelopment of LGA Terminals C and D and the renovations of The Beacon Theatre and The Forum (Los Angeles).
Ben volunteers as the Responsible Engineer in Charge of Engineers Without Borders’ Maize Processing Facility in Rwanda and has participated in several industry related events such as CANstruction and ACE Mentors.  He has written numerous articles for various structural engineering magazines, including an article published in the June 2016 issue of Structure magazine.

Eugene Kim, P.E., is an Associate at Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP. His design work includes new construction work as well as renovations and rehabilitations.  Some of his previous projects include the renovation of the 40 story Bertelsmann Building in New York, restoration and redevelopment of 280 Park Avenue, Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the new Herb Alpert Educational Village, a non-profit college preparatory school in Santa Monica, CA and One Jackson Square.  Some of his current projects include a new 45 story residential complex in Jersey City, the Moise Safra Community Center on the upper east side, and a new corporate headquarters in NJ.  Eugene joined GMS right out of Columbia University in 2005 where he received both his Bachelors and Masters of Science.  He has previously served as Secretary and Director for SEAoNY and is an active member of the Membership Committee.  When he is not busy engineering, he serves as the company's team captain for CANstruction, an annual event to fight hunger.

Matthew Peitz, P.E., is an Associate at Severud Associates Consulting Engineers, PC where he has practiced for the last 9 years. He is a registered professional engineer in New York and New Jersey. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Matthew received his Bachelors of Science from Pennsylvania State University and later received his Masters of Science from Rutgers University in 2013. His experience includes new construction, renovations, and modifications to institutional, residential, commercial, and public buildings. Matthew's most notable projects include One Bryant Park, the American Museum of Natural History, Moynihan Station, the World Trade Center PATH Station, the New York Stock Exchange, the Barnes Foundation, and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. He is the Project Manager for both the new Science Building at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Harrison PATH Station Replacement project, which are currently under construction. Matthew is a member of SEAoNY and has participated in several industry related events such as CANstruction and the Iron Designer Challenge.

Yegal Shamash, P.E., is an Executive Engineer with the New York City Department of Buildings.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree from University at Buffalo and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University both in Civil Engineering.
Yegal has previously worked for a private structural engineering consulting firm managing a wide range of projects from new buildings, investigations and renovations/historic preservation. After seventeen years at that firm, Yegal decided he could have larger impact and better assist the general public by serving the community on a broader scale by working for the Department of Buildings. Yegal has been with the Department for the last two years and has worked on multiple city wide safety initiatives.  He currently manages the Forensic Engineering Unit, Concrete Enforcement Unit, Façade and Local Law Unit, Retaining Wall Unit, Compromised Building Unit and the Cooling Tower Unit.  All in all, Yegal supervises over 50 people – Professional Engineers, Construction Inspectors and Administrative Staff - within the Department.  Yegal has been a SEAoNY member since 2000.

Yunlu (Lulu) Shen, P.E., is an Associate at the SOM New York Office. She received her Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, and her Master of Applied Science from the University of Toronto. She has experience in a wide range of project types, including super-tall towers, commercial offices, museums and cultural centers, renovations, and pedestrian bridges. Recent New York projects include the Manhattan West Development, 34 East 51st Street Boutique Office, and 510 Fifth Avenue renovation. She also participated in the winning design of the inaugural City of Dreams Pavilion competition on Governors Island.
Yunlu has been an active member of SEAoNY since 2009, and was chair of the Programs Committee from 2010-2012. She is also involved with the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Young Professionals Committee.

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