Donald O. Dusenberry, P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE

Donald O. “Don” Dusenberry, P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE gravitated toward math and science in high school, and after enrolling at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, chose to study civil engineering, with a structural focus. He earned both his B.S. in Civil Engineering and his M.E. in Civil Engineering while at Cornell. It was also during this time that Don joined ASCE. At first, Don used his membership to obtain publications, but in the late 1980’s Don rolled up his sleeves, and joined one of the task committees that maintains ASCE/SEI 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures with former schoolmate, John Gross.

In 1975, Don joined the engineering mechanics division of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc. in Waltham, MA, where he currently serves as Senior Principal. In addition to his paying job, Don volunteers much of his time with the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI)of ASCE. He has served on technical committees, standards committees, awards committees, the continuing education committee, the Board of Governors, and even worked as an associate editor for one of the journals. While serving on the SEI Board of Governors, Don became engaged with strategic planning, and helped write A Vision for the Future of Structural Engineering and Structural Engineers: A case for change (“Case for Change”).Case for Change discusses what the profession will look like in the future, and what the qualifications of structural engineers should include. Don commented, “The Case for Change document had been completed, and it was clear that there were things that needed to be done, and it was very clear that these things were going to cost money beyond SEI’s operating budget. At the same time, the SEI Futures Fund was kicking off, so I knew it was the right time to make a gift."

"Don’s generous gift to the SEI Futures Fund impacts the following strategic initiatives established by the SEI Futures Fund Board of Directors:

  • Promotes student interest in structural engineering
  • Supports younger member involvement in SEI
  • Provides opportunities for professional development
  • Invests in the future of the structural engineering profession

His leadership both as SEI President and as a Futures Fund donor is the first step in ensuring a brighter future for the structural engineering profession. When looking ahead, Don stated, “We need to adapt to our changing professional environment. Structural engineers should be leaders and innovators in society, and we need to invest in our profession so we can assume those roles.

"Because of the support of Futures Fund donors, like Don, 10 young professionals will be offered scholarships to the 2015 Structures Congress, the top three Student Structural Design Competition teams will have free registration to present their projects at the Structures Congress, continuing education webinars will be offered to local SEI chapters, and the Stakeholder Workshop for the Reform of Structural Engineering Education will continue the conversation on where the profession needs to go next.