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April 2009 » Places & Faces
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Structural Engineer Staff


  • Thornton Tomasetti acquires DASSE Design
  • TCA elects new board of directors

To read the full press-release, see below.

Thornton Tomasetti acquires DASSE Design;

San Francisco—Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm with practices in structural engineering, building performance and building skin design, in February acquired California-based DASSE Design Inc., a structural engineering firm focused on the health care, education, government and corporate sectors.

The acquisition of the 60-person DASSE operations in San Francisco and Oakland adds to Thornton Tomasetti’s existing presence in Irvine, Los Angeles and San Francisco, bringing the firm’s California workforce to more than 100 people.

"Our combined expertise will make California our center of excellence for performance-based design, as well as enhance our ability to serve clients in the health care and education markets," said Daniel A. Cuoco, P.E., president & CEO of Thornton Tomasetti.

DASSE Founding Principals William Dasher, S.E. and Joseph Sutton, S.E. will continue with Thornton Tomasetti as senior vice presidents, based in Oakland and San Francisco, respectively. The California operation will be overseen jointly by Thornton Tomasetti Principals John Abruzzo, P.E. and Bruce Gibbons, S.E., CEng., who are based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

DASSE was founded as a California corporation in 1986 and currently has more than 100 major active projects throughout the state. Its staff of 60 includes 38 engineers, 25 of which are registered. Thornton Tomasetti began its California presence with operations in Irvine in 1999. Today the firm has 213 active projects in the state, with expertise in educational, cultural, commercial and transportation facilities, including the structural design of the new intermodal transit terminal in San Francisco’s financial district.

DASSE has designed hundreds of educational facilities in California, ranging from complete K-12 campuses to major facilities for the University of California and the California State University systems. Many California hospitals have been remodeled or expanded by DASSE throughout its 23-year history. Most recently, these have included replacement facilities for El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Washington Hospital in Fremont, San Mateo General Hospital and Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.

Thornton Tomasetti provides engineering services to clients worldwide on projects of all sizes and complexity, with practices in building structure, building skin and building performance. From the tallest buildings and the longest spans, to innovative building systems and materials, we are committed to creating the best solutions through our technical ingenuity, pursuit of excellence, and responsiveness to client needs. Founded in 1956, today Thornton Tomasetti is a 650-person organization of engineers and architects collaborating from offices across the United States and in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

TCA elects new board of directors; Mackinnon elected president

Mt. Vernon, Iowa—The Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA)—a non-profit international organization that serves to expand and improve the use of Tilt-Up as the preferred construction method—has announced the election of new board members and the slate of officers for the 2009 year.

Jim MacKinnon, preconstruction manager at Saunders Construction Inc. (Centennial, Colo.) was elected president of the TCA Board of Directors at its annual meeting on Feb. 5. MacKinnon has been a member of the construction industry since 1991 and has spent a significant amount of effort encouraging the use of Tilt-Up in expanding market areas such as education, medical, retail and office development.

Other officers serving the Board for 2009 are:

  • President-elect Jimmie Ballard of CMC Construction Services (Houston, Texas)
  • Vice-president/secretary Ed McGuire of Bob Moore Construction (Arlington, Texas)
  • Treasurer Glenn Doncaster of Citadel Contractors, Inc. (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Past-president Alan Wilson, AIA of The Haskell Company (Jacksonville, Fla.)

Two members of the Board re-elected for an additional term include:

  • Clay Fischer of Woodland Construction Company (Jupiter, Fla.)
  • Joe Steinbicker, P.E., of Steinbicker & Associates Inc. (Dayton, Ohio)

This year also marked the formal implementation of the new TCA Global Associate’s Council, a body made up of one voting seat per Global Associate member. This Council is a representative entity of the entire TCA Global Associate membership body.

According to the by-laws now established, this Council is responsible for all related activities and directions pertaining to the interests of the supplier and manufacturer members of the Association. The goal of the Council is to help promote the interests and expertise of National Associate and Local Associate members of the TCA while benefitting the overall goals of the Association.

Four seats on the TCA Board of Directors are reserved for representatives selected at-large from this membership body. As Chair of the Global Associate Council and President-Elect for the TCA, Jimmie Ballard will hold one of these seats. The remaining three seats were determined through Council election and include:

  • 3-year term: Kim Corwin of A.H. Harris & Sons (Newington, Conn.)
  • 2-year term: Tom Stecker of Composite Technologies Corporation (Boone, Iowa)
  • 1-year term: Mike Wolstenholme of Meadow Burke (Chesterfield, Va.)

Those continuing service on the Board are:

  • David Tomasula, P.E., of CON/STEEL Tilt-Up Systems (Dayton, Ohio)
  • Laurence Smith of J.W. Lindsay Enterprises, Ltd. (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Shawn Hickey of SiteCast Construction Corp. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
  • Glen Stephens of SAA Architecture (Laurel, Md. and Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Philip Kopf, P.E., of The Kopf Consulting Group, Inc. (Atlanta, Ga)

In other business, TCA announced its 2009 Tilt-Up Achievement Award winners, recipients of the Peter Courtois Memorial, Robert Aiken Innovation, Murray Parker Memorial and Irving Gill Distinguished Architect awards during the annual business meeting. Detailed information on the award winners and copies of the meeting minutes are available through TCA by calling 319-895-6911 or visiting

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