David Cocke, S.E. has been practicing Structural Engineering since he moved to California from Virginia in 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 in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 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 of Governors of the Structural Engineers Institute of ASCE. Also, David has served as the SEAOC appointed Alternate Structural Engineer Member on the California Historical Building Safety Board since 2007. He has recently served on the Los Angeles Earthquake Technical Task Force with Dr. Lucy Jones as advisors to Mayor Garcetti.
Some of David’s more notable projects are the Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center, Wilshire Boulevard Temple restoration, Red Bull North American Headquarters, Google Los Angeles, YouTube Space Los Angeles, Dreamworks Animation, Warner Bros. Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hotel del Coronado renovations and many more. David has recently been leading the effort to bring Building Occupancy Resumption Programs to southern California. In 2013, his team worked with Dreamworks to establish southern California’s first BORP in the City of Glendale. Now his team is partnering with a multitude of clients and cities in throughout southern California to establish their programs.
I am extremely honored and flattered to be a candidate for the EERI Board of Directors. I have always held EERI apart from other engineering organizations because of its diverse participants. EERI has always impressed on me that structural engineers should not be working in a vacuum. We as practicing Structural Engineers have a critical role in the reduction of seismic risk, but to be successful it is vital that we also have to learn to work with other earthquake professionals to move forward with our mutual goals stated in the EERI Mission statement. EERI provides us with that platform to be successful by engaging a mixed group of professionals from all fields that have a shared goal of seismic risk reduction.
It is my desire to serve on the Board as a voice representing practicing Structural Engineers. I believe that it is vitally important to include on the Board some practicing Structural Engineers that are actively involved in the evaluation and design of our communities’ buildings. Our practicing Engineers can be considered “on the front line” – they need to be able to communicate the importance of good engineering and construction to reduce their clients’ and other stakeholders’ risks, and reduce the risks to the buildings’ occupants, even for decades into the future. Learning from the other professionals involved in EERI can only help to 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 clearly enthusiasm and motivation to do more work to further EERI’s Mission, we just need to gather those ideas, harness that enthusiasm, give them a little help where possible, and point them in the right direction. I hope to continue those efforts if elected.
My experience as a Visiting Professional has also been very meaningful to me. The students generally have told me during my discussions with them that they are not necessarily interested only in the math equations that we use in our analysis and design efforts, but they are looking for inspiration from stories about our projects. They want to improve the world and they have chosen Structural Engineering as their path to do so. It will be very important for EERI to stay connected with our younger professionals as their career develops and to get them more involved in the organization.