David Cocke, S.E. has been practicing Structural Engineering since 1981. He received his Bachelors from Virginia Tech and his Masters from San Jose State University. David founded Structural Focus in 2001 after 20 years at Degenkolb Engineers. He is a registered Structural Engineer in California and several other states, with expertise in seismic evaluation, historic preservation, retrofits and new design.
David joined EERI in 1992 and is a Charter Member of the Southern California Chapter. He is an active member of the EERI Initiatives Development Committee and has participated in the Friedman Family Visiting Professionals Program. David has served on the Board of Directors of numerous other organizations including the California Preservation Foundation, Pasadena Heritage, USC Architectural Guild, SEAONC, SEAOSC, and SEAOC, and is currently on the Board Los Angeles Conservancy and the Board of Governors of the Structural Engineers Institute of ASCE, as well as the EERI Board of Directors. David has also served as the SEAOC appointed Alternate Structural Engineer Member on the California Historical Building Safety Board since 2007.
In 2014, David was named to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Mayoral Seismic Safety Task Force to perform a year-long study of seismic risk in Los Angeles, resulting in the Mayor’s Resilience by Design report. The focus of the study was to improve community resilience. The report included the basis for the recent Los Angeles’ seismic retrofit ordinances – the strictest seismic retrofit ordinances in the nation.
A few of David’s more notable projects include the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Red Bull North American Headquarters, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, DreamWorks Animation Lakeside Annex, Warner Bros. Post-Production Facility, and Sony Pictures Akio Morita building. David has been leading the effort to bring Back to Business (B2B), a Building Occupancy Resumption Program, to Southern California. In 2013, his team worked with DreamWorks to establish southern California’s first B2B in the City of Glendale. Now the team is partnering with a multitude of clients and cities throughout Southern California to establish their programs.
I am extremely honored to be part of the EERI Board of Directors. I have always held EERI apart from other engineering organizations because of its diverse membership. EERI has impressed on me that we as practicing Structural Engineers have a critical role in the reduction of seismic risk, to be successful it is vital for us to work with other earthquake professionals. EERI provides us with a platform to be successful by engaging professionals from all fields who share the goal of seismic risk reduction stated in the EERI mission statement.
It is my desire to serve on the Board as a voice representing practicing Structural Engineers. I believe that it is important to include practicing Structural Engineers on the Board as they are actively involved in the evaluation and design of the buildings in our communities. Our practicing Engineers can be considered to be “on the front line” – they must communicate the importance of good engineering and construction practices to reduce their clients’ and other stakeholders’ risks, and reduce the risks to the buildings’ occupants, even for decades in the future. Learning from other professionals involved in EERI will prepare Engineers to do a better job at communicating that message so that we can truly reduce our society’s earthquake risks.
As a member of the Initiatives Development Committee, I have seen that there is enthusiasm and motivation to further EERI’s Mission. We need to gather those ideas, harness that enthusiasm, help where possible, and point our members in the right direction. As part of the EERI Board of Directors, I will continue these efforts.
My experience as a Visiting Professional has also been very meaningful to me. During our discussions, students shared their interest in inspirational stories from our projects, they are not only interested in the math equations in our analysis and design efforts. They want to improve the world and they have chosen Structural Engineering as their path to do so. It is very important for EERI to stay connected and involve our younger professionals in the organization as their careers develop.