Young Member Group

We are the Young Member Group of the Minnesota Structural Engineers Association. Our goal
is to assist young engineers as they build their careers in the structural engineering profession;
by offering training, networking, and community outreach opportunities to our members. We are
geared towards young PEs, EITs, and structural engineering students who have interests in
the structural industry. Our goals are to:

 Alleviate the steep and difficult learning curve for young structural engineers by providing seminars, workshops, and construction site visits.
 Build a network among young professionals, both within the structural engineering industry and among other design and construction trades.
 Provide opportunities to develop leadership and management skills by being a part of the YMG Committee.

Members will be exposed to in-depth structural methodologies, latest technologies and applications, and presentations on lessons learned from past or ongoing projects. We aim to shape our members into more valuable structural engineers and to further educate them to advance their career.

We invite all structural EITs and PEs (0 to 5 years of practice) to join and to become actively involved in this group.



MNSEA YMG received the Young Member Group of the Year award at the 2019 NCSEA National Summit in Disneyland. Past YMG Chair Ricky Kirchner was present to receive this award. Ricky is pictured below (left) with the current MNSEA President Greg McCool (right). There are 35 active NCSEA young member groups across the country, so our group is incredibly proud to be recognized as the best of the best! The MNSEA YMG is a very active group that has a committee full of thoughtful, engaged and brilliant young engineers. It was the hard work and dedication of the collective YMG committee that lead to this award. The MNSEA YMG took home a $2,500 cash award which will be used for a future MNSEA YMG event. This is the second time that MNSEA YMG has won this award with the previous time being in 2017.



December 10 – Trivia Night with AIA EPC

Join the MNSEA YMG as we’ll tag-team with the Emerging Professionals Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter for a trivia night at Lakes & Legends Brewery. We don’t know what the categories will be yet, but if you have extensive knowledge on current events, world geography, pop culture, sports history, or the International Building Code – you’ll certainly be an asset to your team.

We’ll form several teams made up of both architects and engineers. Lakes & Legends will hook you up with prizes ranging from bar tabs to swag if you do well among all competing teams, plus we’ll be providing a prize to the winning-est team of architects/engineers.

MNSEA YMG will be collecting donations for Toys for Tots at the event! Toys and monetary donations will be accepted. For more information see:

Street parking is available throughout the area. Hope to see you all there!

Lakes & Legends Brewing Co
1368 Lasalle Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Trivia starts promptly at 7:00 PM



January 24 – Ronald McDonald House

Come volunteer alongside young engineers for an afternoon as we prepare a meal in support of families with sick children. By providing a meal, Ronald McDonald House Cooks for Kids program groups allow families to spend precious time together as well as the opportunity to connect with other families in similar situations. But we need your help to make it happen! The hours are flexible, and we’ll sit down to eat together after the families have been served.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus
Ronald McDonald House
621 Oak Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

Friday, January 24, 2020
~3 pm – 7:30 pm (flexible start time)

To register, follow this link:
Volunteer space is limited and will be reserved on a first come first serve basis. The first 15 volunteers to respond will be accepted. If your plans change after you’ve RSVP’d, please alert Jim Strehle ASAP at

Make sure to wear appropriate clothing (no open toed shoes).


January 2 – MNSEA YMG Committee Meeting

The YMG committee meets monthly to plan future events and discuss outreach opportunities. Breakfast will be provided.

Contact Lauren Piepho if interested in participating in the YMG committee. All are welcome!


7:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Lauren Piepho at


Save the Date: June 11-14 2020 – MNSEA YMG Camping Outing

Plan to enjoy a weekend of camping with MNSEA YMG at beautiful William O’Brian State Park. We have reserved the group camp site.

William O’Brian State Park
16821 O’Brien Trail N
Marine on St Croix, MN 55047

June 11-14

Stay tuned for more info!

Please email us at to get info about upcoming events.



Harris Rebar Fabrication Shop Tour
Thursday, November 21st 2019, Minneapolis

The MNSEA YMG visited Harris Rebar Fabrication Shop in Northeast Minneapolis. YMG members were given the opportunity to see how rebar is fabricated for all types of concrete members. Harris staff were present to answer the numerous questions that our members had about rebar about topics ranging from how to help review shop drawings to the how difficult it is to bend a #14 bar! A happy hour followed the tour at Able Seedhouse and Brewery. The tour was a great opportunity for our members to get out of the office and see rebar fabrication in action! A special thanks to Harris Rebar for hosting our group!


Feed My Starving Children Volunteering Event
Monday, October 28th 2019, Coon Rapids

In October, members of MNSEA YMG donated their time at the Coon Rapids Feed My Starving Children facility. Together, the six of them packaged over 1,000 meals for starving and malnourished children! It was a great time, and in under 2 hours they made a tangible difference in the world. Thank you to the volunteers!


Noche de Ciencias:
Thursday, October 10th 2019, Minneapolis

The Twin Cities Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) hosted its fifth annual “Noche de Ciencias”, or Science Night. 70+ K-12 students got to interact with members of the local SHPE chapter and MNSEA YMG in hands-on STEM activities. Parents were provided with college resources to help encourage their child(ren) to pursue higher education and STEM careers. Members of the MNSEA YMG designed, coordinated, and provided volunteers for one of the night’s activities. Students created bridges out of K’nex pieces and load tested them to failure with stacks of books. Students had an opportunity to learn the basic concepts of relative strength of shapes, triangles, symmetry, stability, and buckling along the way.

Check out this neat video posted by SHPE:


McGough Headquarters Construction Site Visit:
Thursday, October 3rd 2019, Roseville

The YMG toured McGough’s new headquarters, designed by HGA. The building features a post-tensioned concrete addition adjacent to an existing steel bowstring truss warehouse.


Wood and Post-Tensioned Structure Tour:
Thursday, April 18, 2019, Minneapolis

The MNSEA YMG visited the site of a post-tensioned concrete and wood building. YMG members were given the opportunity to see various stages of completion for the PT work: fully cured slabs, stripped and re-shored slabs, freshly poured slabs, and pre-pour layouts with formwork, tendons, mild steel, sleeves and embedded items. After touring the PT building, members toured an adjacent wood building and viewed the wood framing. Members were able to observe open-web trusses, exterior wall framing, shear wall framing and connection to the podium slab. A happy hour was hosted at Surly Brewing following the tour. The tour was a great opportunity for our members to get out of the office and see some construction in action! A special thanks to Weis Builders for hosting our group!


Dodgeball Tournament:
Wednesday, January 9, 2019, Minneapolis

The MNSEA YMG hosted the First Annual Young Professional Dodgeball Tournament on January 9, 2019. Members from the entire Architecture/Construction/Engineering (ACE) industry were present to battle it out dodgeball style. A double elimination bracket was established and teams went head-to-head in a night of friendly competition. The purpose of this event was to build comradery in the ACE industry and encourage fun conversation between professionals that don’t always interact on a day-to-day basis. The ASCE University of Minnesota Student Chapter took first place and was awarded a rotating trophy. They’ll be back next year to defend their title! 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams were awarded medals. A happy hour at a local brewery was held afterwards. Here is a list of all the awesome competitors we had that evening:

• ASCE UMN Student Chapter – Champions
• Kimley-Horn – 2nd Place
• MNSEA YMG – 3rd Place
• ASCE Younger Member Group
• IIDA Northland Chapter
• Meyer Borgman Johnson
• Terra General Contractors
• Cemstone

Noche de Ciencias:
Saturday, October 20, 2018, Minneapolis

The Twin Cities Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted its fourth annual “Noche de Ciencias”, or Science Night. K-12 students got to interact with members of the local SHPE chapter, MNSEA YMG, several University SHPE chapters, and members of other volunteers in hands-on STEM activities. Parents were provided with college resources to help encourage their child(ren) to pursue higher education and STEM careers. Members of the MNSEA YMG designed, coordinated, and provided several volunteers for one of the night’s four activities. Students were provided with base bridges made with k’nex pieces and creatively built bridges that could span 32”– learning the basic concepts of relative strength of shapes, triangles, symmetry, stability, and buckling along the way.

MSP Parking Ramp Tour:
Friday, September 28, 2018, MSP Airport

The MNSEA YMG partnered with ASCE MN for a tour of the new Terminal 1 Silver Ramp, a 5000-stall CIP post tensioned parking structure. Kimley-Horn (EOR) and PCL construction representatives gave a brief presentation about project design considerations before the tour, specifically focusing in on the geostructural design required to bridge over the Blue Line LRT station underneath the parking structure. On site, tour participants were able to climb to the (current) top level of the ramp, watch a helix pour, and ask questions of both site engineers and a PCL construction supervisor. Participants enjoyed a happy hour at the new Intercontinental Hotel after the tour.

Allianz Field Tour:
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, St. Paul

The MNSEA YMG was able to tour the new soccer stadium, Allianz Field, in St. Paul. While there we had the unique opportunity to see the inside of the stadium and talk with the general contractor on site.

First Year of Your Career:
Thursday, April 12, 2018, Minneapolis

One of the MNSEA YMG’s core goals is to alleviate the steep and difficult learning curve for young structural engineers. That’s why we hosted “First Year as an Engineer,” an event designed to highlight some of the key challenges facing new and pending graduates. We received wisdom from seasoned engineers who gave us advice while going through this nerve-racking transition – the unknowns, the trials and errors, the new challenges.

Volunteer at Ronald McDonald House:
Thursday, April 5, 2018, Minneapolis

The MNSEA YMG volunteered alongside students to prepare, cook, and serve a meal for families at the Ronald McDonald House.

Plat Tour at AZZ Galvanizing:
Wednesday, March 21, 2018, Minneapolis

MNSEA YMG took a tour of the AZZ galvanizing plant in north-east Minneapolis followed by a happy hour at a local brewery. Members of our parent group (MNSEA) were invited to this event. Members had the opportunity to see the preparation of steel as well as steel being dipped into a kettle of zinc alloy that was a whopping 850 degrees Fahrenheit! AZZ staff was present to answer questions that members had. This is the second time the MNSEA YMG group has toured the plant. The previous tour was in 2016.

Trivia Night with AIA- MN Emerging Professionals:
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Minneapolis

The MNSEA YMG collaborated with the AIA-MN Emerging Professionals to do a trivia night at a local brewery in Minneapolis. The 14 attendees broke up into teams that had both Engineers and Architects. The teams competed against each other and the other patrons. The questions were broad in scope, ranging from song titles to famous Harvard graduates. Therefore, teammates had to work patiently with each other and communicate efficiently to be successful. This was a ‘take-home’ lesson we can all use when working on projects together, now and in the future. Each team did very well in working together, however only one team could win in the end, and were awarded the gift cards for coffee (brain fuel)! Those who didn’t win will have to practice up with their new crossword puzzle books. This event was the first of hopefully many collaborative events to come with these two young professional groups. Maybe in future we can add contractors into the mix as well!

Overlooked Welding Provisions Webinar & Member Appreciation!:
Thursday, December 10, 2017, Minneapolis

Thanks to Mattson Macdonald Young for hosting the YMG for this seminar and member appreciation event. We apologize that technical difficulties kept us from watching the welding webinar, however we felt the AISC webinar “SteelDay 2017: Designing in Structural Steel” was a good substitution. This webinar identified key changes to the 2016 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, Code of Standard Practice, and Steel Construction Manual. Thank you to everyone who participated. The event was followed by a happy hour at Pryes Brewing to celebrate winning the NCSEA YMG of the Year for 2017. The committee thanks all members again for their continued support and participation in making this group a successful one!



♦ Chair
Lauren Piepho, PE

♦ Past Chair
Ricky Kirchner, EIT
BKBM Engineers

♦ Communications Coordinator
Elizabeth Manning, PhD, EIT
Meyer Borgman Johnson

♦ Events Coordinators
James Strehle, PE
Walker Consultants

Rosina Pletscher, EIT

Spencer Borchardt, EIT

♦ Student Liaison
Morgan Keuhn, EIT
BKV Group

♦ Digital Media Officer
Phil Koktan, PE
Meyer Borgman Johnson

♦ Secretary & Treasurer
Rose Milavitz, PE
Ericksen Roed & Associates

♦ Committee Members
Kevin Vazquez, EIT
Meyer Borgman Johnson

Catherine Johnson, EIT
Meyer Borgman Johnson

David Hedberg, PE
Mattson Macdonald Young

Dean Mikulik, EIT
BKBM Engineers

Isaac Fritz, EIT
Kimley Horn







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ACEC Minnesota Calendar

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