July 6, 2022
Don Scott retires from PCS Structural Solutions
Don Scott, who has worked in the structural engineering industry for 40 years, retired from a full-time partnership with PCS Structural Solutions last month. However, he will continue to consult for PCS. Scott is a leading expert in performance-based wind design and shares his expertise nationwide through National Council of Structural Engineers Association technical publications, presentations, seminars and webinars.
In addition, Scott is a member of the General Provisions Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers 7, a member of the Main Committee and Steering of ASCE 7, Chair of the Wind Engineering Committee of NCSEA, and has served as a member of the ASCE 7 Committee WindLoad. since 1996, shaping future IBC layouts for wind turbine design.
established himself as one of the few wind design experts in the United States. It was in the late 1970s that one of his professors at the University of Idaho sparked Scott’s interest in wind turbine design. The 1970s was also when the last concerted effort was made to perform wind tunnel research in support of the ASCE 7 Wind Provision which set the standard for wind codes. Recognizing that modern structures require updated data, Scott actively participated on the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute committee to establish fundraising for new wind tunnel studies. The data provided by the studies will inform the next generation wind load standard for ASCE 7-28.
Scott has been instrumental in the growth of PCS Structural Solutions. He joined a team of 15 at Chalker Engineers Inc. in August 1982. “When I started,” says Scott, “the Tacoma Dome was already under construction. I supported construction efforts, exterior site structures and neon art installations. This included analyzing the roof of the dome to support various concert sound systems, which resulted in the design of the permanent light grid to support these systems. I have also been involved in the design of movable seats and associated handrails over the years and recently completed interior upgrades.
In 1987, Don Scott, Dan Putnam and Jim Collins purchased the company, and the next generation of leaders was established at Chalker, Putnam, Collins & Scott Inc. Projects like the Dome and the revitalization of historic downtown Tacoma established the careers of young engineers. and business in the region. The company began to grow rapidly, impacting the K-12 and healthcare markets in particular. Today, PCS has 73 employees and a deep resume in the public, healthcare, residential, commercial and private markets.
Scott’s understanding of building behavior has been forged over 40 years and over 1,000 jaw-dropping projects. “In the early 1980s,” Scott recalls, “a typical elementary school handout consisted of about a dozen sheets. Today, a typical elementary school needs 30-40 sheets of structural drawings to satisfy the plan review and construction process. Although the AEC environment has changed over the past four decades, some things remain the same. “Even with all the new technology, the most important factors for a successful construction project are teamwork, good communication and good coordination. The relationships between design team members and construction team members always determine the success of the project as much as anything else. »
Demonstrating an enduring passion for engineering and an unwavering work ethic, Scott has also helped shape the careers of a new generation of engineers. PCS CEO Brian Phair explains Scott’s influence. “Don was the technical mind and anchor of our company. Don’s door was always open for questions. “The greatest satisfaction came from seeing the completed project and how it affects the lives of those who use the facility. The relationships established with many school staff and hospital customers have been key to enjoying each of the projects I have been involved in,” says Scott.
Although “retiring,” Scott will remain active as president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Institute for Structural Engineering and will remain on the ASCE 7 Wind Load Subcommittee, where he has served since 1996. Retirement will allow Scott to focus his full strength on the cutting edge of structural engineering. He is currently leading efforts to incorporate climate impacts into our national standards for environmental loads. “These standards are more forward-looking rather than relying on historical data to establish the basis for our design requirements. They will lead to more resilient structures that will help our communities respond to and recover from major environmental events such as hurricanes, snow, ice, floods and rain,” says Scott. “I was also a principal investigator for the development of the performance-based wind design pre-standard, which is gaining momentum to become a national standard,” he continued. The PCS Structural Solutions team extends its deepest thanks to Scott for his work and service.