Structural Engineers Association of New York


2019 - 2020 DIRECTORS


James Vignola, P.E. is the Technical Director of Structural Engineering at RAND Engineering & Architecture, DPC. 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 over 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 RAND where he is working on residential and commercial projects for private owners as focusing on staff development and quality control for the structural team.


Bradford T. Kiefer, a principal at GACE Consulting Engineers DPC holding P.E. licenses in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and a P.A. license from Connecticut. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Brad has been a part of SEAoNY for 20 years and has previously served as board member and as co-chair of The Codes and Standards Committee. He started at GACE immediately after graduation and over the years has worked his way up from engineer to principal, co-running the company where he started. He has worked on and managed a multitude of projects from small renovations to new buildings participating in all stages of the project, from initial design and analysis through contract documents and construction administration. “When my team and I work on a project we believe that we are not only the structural engineer, but a member of the team that takes the best interest of the entire project into account. By listening to our clients’ needs, we are able to provide a service that often goes beyond structural engineering.” Brad’s notable projects include: Provost Square, 1241 Broadway, 680 Madison Avenue, and Cornell Tech – Graduate Hotel.



Yunlu (Lulu) Shen, P.E., is an Associate Director 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.



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.



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.


John Pat Arnett is a Principal at Silman. He received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. Degree in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  In 1996, Pat was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and did research on improving ductility and energy dissipation in steel moment connections.  His projects at Silman have ranged from adaptive reuse to new construction, working for both institutional and corporate clients. Pat previously created a course in existing building renovations at NYC College of Technology (City Tech) and currently is a studio consultant for the Rice School of Architecture (since 2011) and an adjunct professor at Columbia University (since 2013).  He is currently the professional mentor for the Engineers Without Borders Manhattan College chapter and was formerly the mentor for Princeton University. Some of Pat’s notable projects include Maroon Ranch - Aspen, Theater For a New Audience, and the Empire Stores renovation and redevelopment in Brooklyn, NY.


Samantha Brummell, P.E. is a Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti. Sam started her career in NYC at Severud Associates. Prior to that, she worked in the Construction of Facilities Department at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Most of her experience is in healthcare, residential and commercial construction. Notable projects include Brooklyn Methodist New York-Presbyterian Hospital and The Greenwich Lane Condominiums. Sam holds a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering and Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering, both from Cornell University. She is licensed in the State of New York. Sam has volunteered as an ACE mentor for five years with Brooklyn Tech High School, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Professional Women in Construction. She was selected for CTBUH NY’s first Emerging Leaders Award and ENR New York’s Top Young Professionals in 2019.

In 2015, Samantha joined the Education & University Outreach Committee. The following year, she chaired the group and started a side project to organize and pilot events targeted towards younger members. In only 8 months, the committee hosted all their annual events for students as well as six new events targeted towards YMs. In 2016, she founded SEAoNY’s Young Members Group, which was honored in 2018 as a Finalist for “Young Member Group of the Year” by NCSEA.  Sam is also active in NCSEA’s Code Advisory Committee, General Requirements Subcommittee as the group’s Recording Secretary.  



Elizabeth Mattfield, P.E. is an engineer with the New York City Department of Buildings’ Technical Affairs and Code Development Unit.

Prior to joining the Department in 2017, her 16-year engineering career in the private sector of New York City steel construction included erection of AOL/Time Warner Center, the Bloomberg Building, Columbia University, and the World Trade Center for both steel erectors and structural design firms. As the technical director of a special inspection agency and metallurgical laboratory, her work included inspection and steel consultant services at LaGuardia Airport, the Bayonne Bridge, Verrazano-Narrows and Brooklyn Bridge repairs, as well as failure analysis for weldments, castings and mechanical components in the New York metropolitan area.

Elizabeth obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University in 2000. Having experienced the unique challenges of New York City design and construction, she became involved in the development of national welding and steel construction standards following her work at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. She has been a member of the American Welding Society’s Committee on Structural Welding Fabrication and Inspection task groups since 2013 and is currently a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction’s Code of Standard Practice Committee.


Jennifer Anna Pazdon, P.E. is Vice President of Cast Connex where she enables architects and engineers to leverage steel castings to simplify design, enhance aesthetics, and improve performance of connections. She earned her Bachelors in Civil Engineering with a Minor in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and her Masters in Structures from Princeton University where her studies focused on aesthetics, efficiency, and economy in structural design. Ms. Pazdon’s projects in NYC include One Jackson Square (with GMS), The New Whitney Museum of American Art (with Silman), VIA 57 (with Thornton Tomasetti) and multiple residential renovations with Pazdon Engineering, Inc.

In addition to her practice as a structural engineering consultant based in New York City, Ms. Pazdon has been technical consultant to humanitarian agencies for projects in developing nations in Africa, Asia, and SE Asia. She was Lead Engineer for Build Change from 2015-2016.

Ms. Pazdon has been an active member of SEAONY for over 13 years. She is founding Chair of the SEAoNY Diversity Committee, was SEAoNY Programs Chair for 3 years, and is a frequent contributor to Cross Sections, the SEAoNY Newsletter.

In 2016, Ms. Pazdon became inaugural voting member of the NCSEA SE3 Committee. She is an active member of the AISC Continuing Education Committee Archives, the Professional Women in Construction Membership Committee, and the Organizing Committee for the 2018 IABSE Future of Design Conference in New York City.


Muhammad Rahal, P.E.joined Severud Associates in 2002 as an engineer. Within the next five years, he received his master’s degree and progressed to senior engineer. In 2008, Muhammad advanced to the role of associate and in 2019 was elevated to senior associate. Muhammad’s condition survey and field experience has made him particularly expert in building additions and alterations and renovations of existing structures. He has contributed to many noteworthy projects, including the mixed-use building at 851 Avenue of the Americas, the 35XV Condominium, and renovation of the former New York Times building, all in New York City.

Muhammad is author of the master’s thesis, The Design of Steel Structures Under the Influence of Blast Loading, published by The Cooper Union in 2004.

Muhammad is licensed as a professional engineer in New York and New Jersey. He earned a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Engineering in civil engineering, both from The Cooper Union.



Maya Stuhlbarg,PE is currently a Project Engineer at Silman. Maya started her career in New York City at Thornton Tomasetti. Prior to that, she received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University, and a Master of Science from University of California, Berkeley. She is a licensed engineer in the state of New York. For the past five years, she has worked on new construction and existing renovation projects in a variety of sectors including residential, educational, and commercial. Some of her projects include the renovation of Nassau Coliseum, 207 West 79th Street, and the Yale Center for Innovative Technology. Maya has been a member of SEAoNY for the last five years, first involved with the Education and University Outreach Committee, and later collaborated to help form and grow SEAoNY's Young Member Group of which she is currently Chair. She is also a member of the NCSEA Young Member Group Support Committee and the AISC Education Archives Committee.

© Copyright 2015 SEAoNY
"SEAoNY" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 536 LaGuardia Place New York, NY 10012

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software