Randy Collins, S.E.

Founder, Principal

What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Growing a company. For more than ten years, my “design project” has evolved from engineering projects for clients to the designing the business of FTF. I love building and construction, and I love growth — both personal and professional growth for myself and for those around me. I have a passion for building a company that thrives on collaboration and respect — internally and externally.

How does an owner’s business mission affect how you engineer their buildings?
The owner’s mission should drive the project. Some engineers and firms know this, and their practice can provide a wide range of design services that are customized to individual projects. At FTF, we get most excited when we get to truly partner with an owner — helping them understand structural and earthquake engineering and how it affects their business goals and operations, and advising them where “code minimum” will meet their objectives, and where a more robust solution is warranted.

About

Founded FTF in 2002

Recipient of a University of California, Berkeley Regent’s Fellowship

Magna Cum Laude graduate from UC San Diego

Projects: Single Family Residential, Commercial, Historic Preservation, Seismic Retrofits

Education

MS, Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

BS, Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego

Licenses and Certifications

Structural Engineer, California, Hawaii

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

AISC, Member

ASCE, Member

SEAONC, Director and Secretary of the Board, Existing Buildings Committee

Berkeley Task Force on Exterior Elevated Elements, Delegate

City and County of San Francisco Department of Building Inspection – Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety, Member, and Private School Seismic Safety Committee, Member

Other Activities

Cooking and entertaining

Supporting my daughter’s academic, athletic and travel adventures

Coaching my son’s baseball team

Biking with friends and colleagues

Surfing at Ocean Beach


John A. Dal Pino, S.E.

Principal

How does an owner’s business mission affect how you engineer their buildings?
A building is more than a shelter from the sun and rain! It has to perform a specific function for the owner, whether it is a house, a store or a factory. I start by asking the owner what the building needs to do, how long it needs to last, how important are the contents, and how much it can cost. Then I can create options that satisfy the owner’s immediate mission and hopefully allow for future changes as that mission changes. The result can’t be about what I want. It has to be about what the owner wants.

What is something that comes up in your work that people often overlook but makes a big impact on how buildings perform?
It is always the last 10% of whatever I am working on. If it’s a report, it is clearly stating and re-stating the most useful and critical information. If it’s producing a set of drawings, it is the final adjustments and changes to connection details that make the building perform better or make it easier to construct. If it’s construction, it is making sure the contractor follows every aspect of the drawings and gets the work right. Overall the difference between 90% and 100% can be huge.

About

Joined FTF in 2016

Keeps three chickens: Nugget, Franny and Lady Bird

Projects: Seismic Evaluations and Strengthening, Historic Rehabilitation, Construction-Related Means and Methods activities

Education

MBA, University of California, Berkeley

MS, Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

BS, Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Licenses and Certifications

Structural Engineer, California

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

ACI, Member

ASCE, Member

EERI, Member

SEAONC, Member

Other Activities

Gardening

Drinking fine wine

Reading Soviet/Russian history books

Attending Cal Football games

Traveling


Nik Favretto, P.E.

Principal

Why did you become an engineer?
When I was in eighth grade, I attended a presentation prepared by a polytechnic civil high school. The school had a civil engineering curriculum and was preparing students for careers in the industry. After watching the first 20-minutes of the video presentation I knew that engineering was the right path for me.

What are exciting changes in structural engineering that will make the profession better?
The structural engineering community has started, in recent years, to question of what a good structural design is from a more holistic point of view. Until recently we were only looking at the seismic performance of individual buildings but today, we’re looking at enhancing the seismic resilience of entire communities. By developing frameworks of complementary measures of resilience, we can reduce failure probabilities, reduce consequences from failures, and reduce the time required for communities to recover from a major environmental disaster such as an earthquake.

About

Joined FTF in 2012

Speaks four languages and two dialects and used to be a professional basketball player in Europe

Was the first engineering student at CSU SF to receive the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship

Involved as a volunteer with education and community-rebuilding organizations in San Francisco

Started his career on large-scale military construction projects for NATO in Europe

Projects: Single Family and Multifamily Residential, Commercial, Retail, Religious, Seismic Retrofits, Advanced Structural Analyses

Education

MS, Engineering (Summa Cum Laude), Structural/Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco State University

BS, Civil Engineering, San Francisco State University

BS, Civil Engineering, University of Rijeka, Croatia

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

EERI, Member

SEAONC, Member, Existing Buildings Committee

Other Activities

Traveling

Photography

Hiking

Cooking and Baking


Jillian van Enckevort, S.E.

Associate

What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Seeing the first structure I designed and be constructed from start to finish. What started as a paper sketch and developed as a collaboration among the design team emerged as something tangible to show friends and family. Now working as a mentor, I get to see that excitement on the faces of young engineering staff as their buildings emerge from the ground.

How can a good structural engineer make a difference?
A mentor of mine once told me that a surgeon may save a couple hundred patients a year, but with each well-designed building that does not collapse in an earthquake, a structural engineer will have saved thousands. While I am not ready to pat myself on the back just yet, creating safe buildings that will protect their inhabitants before, during and after a seismic event is what excites me the most about structural engineering.

About

Joined FTF in 2015

Daughter of a general contractor

Has designed launch sites and satellite processing facilities on several Air Force bases

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Hospitality, Government, Historic Restoration, Retrofits

Education

BS, Architectural Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Licenses and Certifications

Structural Engineer, California

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

ASCE, Member

ICC Central Coast, Member

NAWIC, Member

SEAOSC, Member

Other Activities

Spending time with family

Helping with my daughter’s homework

Being a Soccer Mom

Volunteering with my local Girl Scout troop


James Enright
P.E., LEED A.P.

Associate

Why did you become a structural engineer?
I have a passion for solving problems in the physical world – it’s a characteristic that can be seen in my personal and professional interests.

Where is the profession headed? How do you want to be part of its progress?
There continues to be more dialog among owners, users, public officials, builders, architects, and engineers regarding building performance and expectations during and after environmental hazards. It’s important that structural engineers are comfortable discussing this. My hope is that these conversations are slowly changing the public’s understanding of building performance, building codes, and the structural engineering profession overall.

About

Recipient of a Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Achievement

An avid cyclist and triathlete

An adjunct lecturer at San Francisco State University

Projects: Commercial, Residential, Healthcare, Tenant Improvements, Seismic Retrofits

Education

MS, Structural and Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco State University, CA

BS, Civil Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

LEED AP

Professional Activity

AISC, Member

SEAONC, Member

SPUR, Member

Other Activities

Camping

Cycling…and more cycling!


Skye Garrison, P.E., S.E.

Project Engineer

How do you create value for clients through civil and structural engineering?
I view projects that I work on as if they were my own by asking myself, “If this were my house, or my yard, what would the best design to achieve the vision?” In doing so, I always have a client’s best interest in mind and am able to provide a solution tailored to them, not just a “one-size-fits-all” solution.

How can a good structural engineer make a difference?
Good engineering is like a good set of directions. Say you buy a piece of exercise equipment, and it comes in a box with 25 different parts and 3 different bolt sizes. Some people try and put it together without the directions or with poorly crafted directions, and they may end up redoing steps because they were connected in the wrong order or with the wrong bolt. However, with a good set of directions, it is easy to follow the steps and it takes less time to assemble. The same is true for a structure; the better the plans, the smoother and faster the construction.

About

Joined FTF in 2015

Has extensive experience with projects on California’s Central Coast

Projects: Single Family Residential, Hospitality, Religious, Commercial, Industrial, Advanced Structural Analyses, Seismic Retrofits

Education

MS, Civil Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

BS, Civil Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Licenses and Certifications

Structural Engineer, California

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

ASCE, Member

SEAONC, Member

Other Activities

Helping my husband with our nonprofit Christian ministry

Gardening

Working on arts and craft projects


Anna Vongsing, P.E.

Project Engineer

Why did you become an engineer? What excites you about structural engineering?
I did not choose engineering, it chose me. I didn’t always dream of becoming an engineer, but once I took a course in college, it sealed the deal. I liked the direct relationship between the physical world and the calculations behind it. Structural engineering also requires just the right amount of creativity for me; it balances out the math behind it all.

Where is the profession headed? How do you want to be part of its progress?
I think the profession is headed towards greater community involvement. As the public becomes increasingly interested in structural engineering, political will dictates ordinances and better expectations of performance in both new and existing buildings.

About

Joined FTF in 2014

Graduated first in her class at Cal State Northridge

Projects: High-End Residential Additions and Expansions, Commercial Tenant Improvements, Seismic Retrofits

Education

MS, Structural Engineering, Stanford University

BS, Civil Engineering, California State University, Northridge

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

ASCE, Inter-Organization Director

SEI San Francisco, Board Member

SEAONC, Member

Tau Beta Pi, Member

Other Activities

Spending time with friends and family

Gardening

Snowboarding

Hiking

Going to the beach


Eric Bateman, P.E.

Design Engineer

What is something that comes up in your work that people often overlook but makes a big impact on how buildings perform?
A building’s future use is an issue that can have big impacts on how it ultimately performs. Owners and design teams who understand current and potential future uses before the design process starts are far ahead of the curve and can accommodate for a wider range of circumstances.

What do you think is the most important part of the quality control process? What is your favorite part? What gets overlooked?
The most important part of the quality control process is to make sure that construction documents are up to our standards. Providing FTF quality standards helps see that the building has not only good design, but good detailing as well. Catching errors early can help mitigate problems later on and save owners and project teams a lot of time and money.

About

Joined FTF in 2018

Worked for 5 years in the San Diego area before moving to the Central Coast

Projects: Commercial, Health Science, Government, Civic, Education, Zoological, Renovations, Tenant Improvements

Education

MS, Architectural Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

BS, Architectural Engineering, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Other Activities

Hanging out with my wife and dog

Hiking

Playing soccer and golf


Hamid Dadjour, P.E.

Project Engineer

How do you create value for clients (owners and architects) through structural (and civil) engineering?
I engage in every project with the mindset that my design should match the high standards and quality of FTF. I do my best to fully understand the scope of a project and my client’s needs before starting. Doing so provides the most efficient and suitable solutions, which in the end saves time and money. Communication is the key to this approach, so I constantly communicate with all parties involved in the project.

What are exciting changes in structural (or civil) engineering that make buildings better? The process smoother?
Structural engineers are adopting new analysis techniques and concepts from other branches of engineering and science more rapidly than ever before. To me, one of the most exciting advancements is using cloud-based computation, which fosters more collaborative work and harnesses power in ways that enable structural engineers to efficiently design very complex structures.

About

Prior to joining FTF, served as a structural designer/field engineer working on residential and commercial buildings, hydraulic structures, and oil and gas facilities

Involved in the development of structural analysis programs

Projects: Single Family and Multifamily Residential, Soft Story Retrofits

Education

MS, Structural and Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco State University

MS, Structural Engineering, Sahand University of Technology, Iran

BS, Civil Engineering, Tabriz University, Iran

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

SEAONC, Member

Other Activities

Hiking and camping with friends

Swimming

Playing soccer and tennis

Computer programming


Karen Wang, P.E.

Design Engineer

Why did you become a structural engineer?
My interest in the built environment initially stemmed from the architectural history behind famous structures I visited in Europe. After taking an engineering design course my freshman year of college, I realized I wanted to design my own buildings and not just learn the history behind them. Even though it is such an old field, structural engineering remains very exciting because of the new challenges that are continually presented. The evolving needs of humanity and higher expectations for building performance push engineers to come up with innovative designs and technologies.

What are exciting changes in structural engineering that make buildings better?
Technology has played a large role in structural engineering recently. Because of more advanced analysis programs and innovative building products, the building design and construction processes have become much more efficient.

About

Joined FTF in 2018

Professional experience includes mission critical data centers, multifamily residential buildings, solar additions, and industrial equipment anchorage

Served as a student researcher for the Texas A&M Texas Transportation Institute and studied, among other topics, the structure of a bicycle frame

Has visited 18 national parks across the U.S.

Projects: Hospitality, Single Family Residential, Commercial, Tenant Improvements, Seismic Retrofits

Education

MS, Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

BS, Civil Engineering, Northwestern University

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

SEAONC, Member

Other Activities

Hiking, particularly in National Parks

Cooking

Doing puzzles

Crafting

Finding new DIY projects


Nadia Tehandon

Designer

What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Seeing a project being brought to life from beginning to end. I’ll never forget my first job and site visit where we had a rebar inspection, and I was the one that calculated how many bars were needed, and what went where. When we finally went to the site, it was surreal seeing how big a #9 bar was, how wide a 3′ wide grade beam stretched, and how all the bars twisted and turned into each other, connecting the entire structure. I thought it was breathtaking. When I drove by a few years later and saw people walking in and out, I felt the reward for all that hard work.

Why did you become a structural engineer?
My desire to be an engineer started when I was a kid playing with Legos. I remember how I would sit there and really think through how everything would be connected and actually hold itself up and do what I imagined it would do. It was always exciting for me to go through the steps of problem solving even in math class and in physics and figuring out how to do something right. Then one day while driving down Highway 580, I saw a train bridge stuck between two neighboring hillsides, and it looked exactly like the Lego bridge piece. That was when I realized that I could something I loved as a kid in real life.

Having that passion for building and design has also fueled a desire to help Third World countries build safer homes, roadways and bridges. It always bothered me knowing that we have found the solutions for making infrastructures safer, but because other countries are less privileged, they suffer mass casualties when a natural disaster hits.

About

Joined FTF in 2014

Interested in workflow improvements including calculation and programming spreadsheets

Projects: New Construction and Renovations, Single Family Residential

Education

MS, Structural Engineering, San Francisco State University

BS, Civil Engineering, San Francisco State University

Professional Activity

ASCE, Member

Society of Women Engineers, Member

Other Activities

Spending time with my husband and my family

Being outside

Doing anything that gives an adrenaline rush

Soccer

Playing music on the piano and violin


Brenna Marcoux, P.E.

Project Engineer

What do you think is the most important part of the quality control process?
I think the most important part of quality control during construction is taking your time and really paying attention to detail. It’s easy to glaze over a steel shop drawing submittal and assume that your drawings and details were interpreted correctly. But it’s critical to really take the time to look through the drawings. You can catch so many errors and save the contractor and owner a lot of time and money. My favorite part of structural observations or special inspections is identifying an issue and coming up with an elegant solution.

Where is the profession headed? How do you want to be part of its progress?
As the industry learns more about earthquakes and can better model how buildings perform in seismic events, the idea of building a more resilient community and city is the future of structural engineering. We need to think not just about how the buildings we design are going to perform during a specific hazard, but what the path to recovery for that building looks like. I like being a part of this conversation and what it means for pushing our industry forward by being an active member of the SEAONC Resilience Committee.

About

Joined FTF in 2017

Graduated Summa Cum Laude from The George Washington University

Has worked on projects in both California and the Washington, DC area

Projects: Single Family and Multifamily Residential, Mixed-Use, Commercial, Aviation, Seismic Retrofits, Seismic Evaluations, Shoring

Education

MS, Structural Engineering, University of California, Davis

BS, Civil Engineering, George Washington University

Professional Activity

SEAONC, Member
Structural Engineering, Equity & Engagement (SE3) Committee, Co-Chair
Resilience Committee, Member

ASCE Young Member Forum SF, Member

SEI SF, Member

Other Activities

Hiking in Bay Area parks

Reading

Listening to podcasts

Travelling and exploring


Larisa Enachi

Designer

How do you create value for clients through structural engineering?
I provide value by offering the ultimate structural engineering service: safety. I feel good knowing that when a client is on their property, they can be certain that their structure has been engineered not just for economics, but for safety and strength.

Why did you become a civil and then structural engineer?
Even in my early school days I showed an interest in subjects like math and physics. For my initial degree I pursued civil engineering and studied statics and material mechanics. I was fascinated by the behavior of materials. But I went on to graduate school in order to earn a master’s degree and become a structural engineer. Learning to design with reinforced concrete and steel and being able to give back to the community by building safe and resilient structures have been highlights of my educational and professional career.

About

Joined FTF in 2017

Recipient of a San Francisco State College of Science and Engineering Scholarship Award

An advocate of LEAN Construction principles and how supply chain management applies to the engineering field

Projects: Single Family Residential, Soft Story Seismic Retrofits, Landscape Projects

Education

MS, Structural and Earthquake Engineering, San Francisco State University

BS, Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Moldova, Moldova

Professional Activity

ASCE, Member

SEAONC, Member

Other Activities

Spending time outdoors

Hiking

Camping and exploring

Playing basketball

Reading

Cooking


Yifeng Xu

Designer

Why did you become a structural engineer?
My interest in math and physics, even from a very young age, has fueled plans for a career in engineering. However, it wasn’t until high school, when I was introduced to specific disciplines of engineering, that I understood I really wanted to become a structural engineer and explore all aspects of structural design and construction.

How can a good structural engineer make a difference?
A good structural engineer is one of the safety nets of society. As professionals who provide efficient and effective design solutions to serve clients as well as ensure the integrity of structure, we serve a dual role to the people who hire us as well as the general public.

What are exciting changes in structural engineering that make buildings better or the process smoother?
Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the technological revolution that is sweeping the design industry is a significant tool that will increase efficiency as well as allow for enhanced collaboration. BIM allows structural engineers, architects, fabricators, and contractors the ability work together on coordinated models in real time. We can design, test and produce things in ways that speed the process and make sure that important information isn’t lost along the way.

About

Joined FTF in 2019

Summa Cum Laude graduate with Academic Excellence and Departmental Honors from SFSU for his Bachelor degree

Has served as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant at SFSU

Has experience with SAP 2000, ETABS and MATLAB analysis software

Education

MS, Structural Engineering, San Francisco State University

BS, Civil Engineering, San Francisco State University

Other Activities

Cooking

Coding

Video editing

Jogging


Dena Anderson, CPA

Controller

What has been your most rewarding professional experience?
Passing the CPA exam and then obtaining the necessary work experience to obtain my license.

How do you create value, both inside and outside the firm?
Externally I ensure that invoices are sent out efficiently and correctly, and I reply to client inquiries in a timely manner. Internally I provide important financial information so that our firm can make educated business decisions, and I support employees in making their human resources choices.

About

Joined FTF in 2006

Has a goal of visiting all of the Major League ballparks in the U.S.

Supervises accounting and human resources for FTF

Education

Bachelor of Accountancy, New Mexico State University

Professional Certifications

Certified Public Accountant

Other Activities

Baseball – Go Giants!


Elizabeth Bognar

Office / Marketing Manager

How do you create value for clients?
In our world of instant gratification, we want solutions, answers to our questions, and information right away. At FTF we are not insulated from this mindset. In my role as an office and marketing manager the most important way I create value for our clients is through clear communication and follow up. When I interact with clients, I listen to their concerns and questions first, then I ask questions from them, if necessary, to mutually find the most practical option.

Why do you like working at FTF?
Working at FTF has been rewarding both professionally and personally. When I was hired a few years ago, FTF was a one-office firm with a staff of six. Today we have fourteen engineers supported by two CAD Specialists and two administrative staff, and we have a second office in San Luis Obispo! I am proud to be part of this expansion and to work with our leadership team, who push themselves and everyone else to achieve more and educate themselves in their respective fields. They also hold the company together by creating time and space for us to get to know each other.

About

Joined FTF in 2014

Is a member of the board and tutor for the literacy program Project Second Chance

Oversees office administration and marketing

Education

BS, Business Administration, California State University, Northridge

Professional Activity

Society of Marketing Professional Services (SMPS), Member

Other Activities

Genealogy

Hiking, biking and walking

Visiting museums


Mary Enns, P.E.

Project Engineer / REVIT Specialist

How do you create value for clients through structural engineering?
The best value an engineer can offer their client, other than a safe and beautiful structure of course, is clear communication. Communication is what translates the client’s schematic desires and plans into reality. For instance, as engineers work through the detailing of a project, communication is key to offering foresight into the construction phase, which can save the client time and money.

What are exciting changes in structural engineering that make buildings better? The process smoother?
The advances in BIM and 3D modeling have streamlined the collaborative efforts between the multiple disciplines of a project team. Additionally, the introduction of cloud-based models at FTF has greatly increased our efficiency. Multiple team members are able to work on a live model at the same time, and with the use of BIM 360, we’re able to host, manage and collaborate multiple REVIT projects. Using software tools like this streamlines our review processes, and ultimately produces more coordinated documents for our colleagues and clients.

About

Joined FTF in 2018

Left-handed

First project out of college was construction administration for a 25,000 square-foot residence in Las Vegas that would regularly change in mid-construction at the direction of the client. One revision was to open the living room roof with a 1,200 square-foot steel truss skylight.

Projects: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Educational, Hospitality, Aviation and Peer Reviews

Education

BS, Architectural Engineering, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Licenses and Certifications

Civil Engineer, California

Professional Activity

ASCE – San Luis Obispo Branch, Member

SEI, Member

Other Activities

Spending time with my husband and two daughters

Hiking

Going to the beach

Attending music and comedy shows

Volunteering in the Kids Ministry at church