Principal at Tipping Structural Engineers
Class of 1993
Advice For Students:
"Engage deeply in the subject you’re studying and invest in your professional and educational development. In other words, be passionate and learn a lot about what you enjoy."
Leo Panian is a Principal at Tipping Structural Engineers located in Berkeley, California. Leo graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego in 1993 before receiving a Master’s degree in Structural Engineering at UC Berkeley. After completing his masters, Leo worked for a few years as a bridge engineer at Buckland & Taylor. He then joined Tipping Structural Engineers in 1997, later earning the position of principal in 2011.
Tipping Structural Engineers has worked on several large-scale projects, many of which Leo has led. These projects include the structural design of Campbell Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley, the headquarters for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the renovation of many historic buildings around the Bay Area.
One of the most recent projects Leo has led is the San Francisco’s Moscone Center expansion. The Moscone Center is a large convention center located in downtown San Francisco with two main areas divided by Howard Street. This project included increasing the underground exhibition space between the two main areas while maintain operations on the upper levels. This was done by excavating forty feet underneath the existing city street and building a 250-foot-long bridge to go above this new excavated space. The exhibition space was designed to have high ceilings while not being obstructed by any columns that would support the bridge overhead. This project required innovative techniques and novel approaches to design. In addition to managing these projects, Leo led an effort to incorporate vertical post-tensioning technology into structural design, in which vertical cables are embedded in pre-stressed concrete to re-center a building after an earthquake. This novel technique epitomizes the innovative design philosophy at Tipping Structural Engineers.
Senior Technical Advisor at ATA Engineering
Class of 1989
Advice For Students:
"Gain experience through an internship to see what you might enjoy in the future and study hard!"
Kevin Napolitano is a Senior Technical Advisor at ATA Engineering in San Diego. He graduated from UC San Diego in 1989 with a Bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering, before earning a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford. Kevin accredits his undergraduate experience in Structural Engineering at UC San Diego for his preparedness in his future studies.
After he received his degree, Kevin worked for a few years in the Bay Area and joined ATA in San Diego when shortly after it was founded in 2000. ATA Engineering provides test- and analysis-driven design services, and works with organizations like NASA, the Air Force, and the Navy. The Test Group at ATA work on projects ranging from vibration tests on aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles to strain gauge testing on amusement rides.
Part of Kevin's role in the Test Group is to develop better structural dynamic testing methods. He has recently developed a way to measure fixed base vibration modes of structures mounted on dynamically active supports such as shake tables and static test rigs. The results of this effort have helped reduce cost and schedule for programs by performing two separate tests in a single configuration. Structural analysts are also able to use the measured fixed base modes to calibrate their finite element models more accurately.
Kevin attributes the unique perspective he brings to the Test Group at ATA to his educational experience at UC San Diego.