Joel Figueroa-Vallines, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, a business entrepreneur and versatile structural engineer, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Figueroa-Vallines specializes in design and forensic engineering of commercial facilities, entertainment and hospitality venues, and hardened buildings. He is president and executive principal of Structural Engineering Partnership (SEP), a consulting firm based in Central Florida that provides engineering, inspection, forensic, and other consulting services in the United States and the Caribbean. In between his executive, quality control, and mentoring roles, Figueroa-Vallines is also involved with the design and conceptualization of the most challenging structural designs that the firm undertakes.
He has designed structures with a variety of building materials in the most complex of site and geographic conditions. In accord with his belief that the structural engineering profession serves as a protector and preserver of human life, his passion greets the challenges inherent in designing critical structures such as shelters, emergency operations facilities, high-rise structures, entertainment venues and stadiums, and special seismic structures.
Figueroa-Vallines first made his mark on the engineering industry by participating as an intern in the design and peer review of the $2.1 billion Tren Urbano Project, in Puerto Rico. Inspired by the need to resolve the settlement of existing historic structures due to the extensive underground excavations, he researched a system to correlate settlement to cracking in order to analyze and predict the settlement values of the structures.
In 2005, while working for a noted structural firm in Florida, Figueroa-Vallines was given the mantle of project engineer and designer for the LEED Platinum–certified Duke Energy Center, which now stands as the second-tallest building in North Carolina and the tallest in the world constructed out of precast double-tee floors.
Figueroa-Vallines is the engineer-of-record and special inspector for Cruise Terminal #1 at Port Canaveral, an aggressive fast-track design-build project that was designed and completed in 11 months and which has become an example of creative foundation engineering in the presence of fast-track construction. He lectured on this topic at the ASCE Florida Annual Conference in 2015. He also lectured at the National Structures Congress in 2013, at ASCE conferences in 2015 and 2016, and is scheduled for the upcoming 2019 Florida Conference.
He is actively involved in ASCE and also donates his services for humanitarian causes. He contributed seismic expertise to the Dominican Republic and Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, and to the Union School of Haiti in 2015 for the engineering of their new inverter facility to support their campus in the event of another natural disaster.
Figueroa-Vallines is a graduate of Northeastern University and participated in research for the MIT and UPR Technology Transfer program in 1999. He was recognized as an Under 40 Entrepreneur by BD+C and ENR in 2011 and 2013, and was nominated by OBJ in 2012.