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SEAOSC March 4th Dinner Meeting (Los Angeles)

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Just a reminder, The SEAOSC March 4th dinner progam:

"International Perspectives on Accreditation of Testing Laboratories And
Inspection Agencies" by Mr. Peter Unger, President of American Association for
Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).


The dinner persentation will be an overview of the activities of accreditation
of testing labratories and inspection agencies. The presentation will include
the significance of international and national accreditation, with a specific
focus on testing laboratories and inspection agencies as related to


As design engineers (structural, mechanical, electrical, etc.), we incorporate
many different types of building materials and components (steel, concrete,
wood, connectors, etc) into our designs.  Much of this information is based
upon evaluation reports and standards approved by various organizations (ICBO,
ASTM, ASSHTO, NER, etc.).   In some cases, we require testing to determine the
actual strength or properties of the materials ( example: concrete mix
designs, rebar yield strengths, etc.) and inspection to ensure that the
correct materials and construction procedures are used ( example: rebar and
lumber sizes, welding inspection, concrete placement, etc.) by private

There now appears to be a growing international trend towards developing a
conformity basis for accreditating both testing laboratories and inspection
agencies to ensure a certain minimum level of confidence in these various
testing and inspection agencies.  This is not to say that there have been
problems with the testing and inspection agencies as a whole, but rather a
need by third party organizations, for example Insurance Agencies and Lending
Institutions, for assurances by independant organizations that the selected
testing and inspection agencies are providing their services to a recognized
minimum standard level of care.

Thought this may at first appear to be more of a inspection and testing agency
concern, it remains important for the structural engineer to understand what
kind of services are actually being provided by these agencies.  Especially,
since we are putting our faith in these agencies to ensure that our building
designs are being built per plans and specifications.

A2LA is a non-profit, open membership organization administering the largest
multi-discipline laboratory accreditation system in the United States and
fourth largest in the world with over 1,000 laboratories accredited.  A2LA
also provides inspection body accreditation and related quality training

Hope this peaks your interest about attending the dinner meeting.  Time is
being set aside for questions and answers.  We are expecting a good turnout
from the local Testing and Inspection Agencies. 

Michael Cochran
SEAOSC Dinner Program Co-Chairman

For Dinner Reservations: Contact SEAOSC at (562) 908-6131

(note: SEAOSC April 1, 1998 dinner meeting " Seismic Risk Assessment- Probable
Maximum Loss Analysis" by Mr. Jeff Coronado).