Jim Malley Senior Principal

Office San Francisco

Direct 415.354.6419 Email malley@degenkolb.com

Renowned expert in steel construction, Jim has a portfolio that includes structural design, seismic evaluation, and seismic strengthening of existing buildings. Projects include a variety of healthcare facilities and several research efforts funded by institutions like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Science Foundation. Jim was the Project Director for Topical Investigations of the SAC Joint Venture Partnership. Funded by FEMA, this team of professionals from the Structural Engineers Association of California, the Applied Technology Council, and California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering investigated the problem with steel moment frame connections revealed in the Northridge earthquake. SAC published guidelines on how to design, inspect, evaluate, and repair steel moment frame connections. Jim was President of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations from 2010-2011 and serves as chair of the AISC’s Task Committee 9 on Seismic Design, responsible for AISC document 341 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings. Jim’s longtime clients include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the City of Los Angeles, and the City of San Francisco.

Joined the Firm:

Little Known Fact:
I am a 3rd generation San Franciscan and have never lived more than 20 miles from the City. I’ve also coached little league baseball for 30 years, which briefly ended when my youngest son started high school. My withdrawal symptoms from not coaching were strong enough to begin coaching again three years later.

Client or Design Philosophy:
Our profession is about service. Service to the owner, to the public, and to our clients. I try to keep that as the forefront guiding principle of my efforts.

Honest, humble, reliable

ESPN, any competitive sporting event.

Favorite Project Story:
In 1989, we had prepared a seismic evaluation of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Palo Alto hospital. The evaluation included a recommendation for a seismic retrofit that would have cost around $100 million. That was in August. In October, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. The building we had evaluated failed in the way we thought it would and had to be evacuated. The week after the earthquake we spent more time on the campus evaluating the damage and reporting back to the VA. Within two weeks we had a contract to design a $250 million replacement hospital. It was interesting to see our predictions come true and the project began the firm’s and my long term relationship with the VA.

Special Interests:
Baseball, my kid’s athletic endeavors, golf, Civil War history


B.S. Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1980
M. Eng. Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1983


California – Structural Engineer, 1988 License No. 3044
California – Civil Engineer, 1984 License No. 38451
Oregon – Professional Engineer, 2000 License No. 64360
Nevada – Professional Engineer, 1996 License No. 017640

Professional Affiliations

National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA): Board 2008; President Elect, NCSEA 2009-2010.
Building Seismic Safety Council: Member, PUC; Chair, Technical Subcommittee 6 – Steel Structures
American Society of Civil Engineers: Co-recipient of Raymond C. Reese Research Award, 1986; Member of the Committee on Design of Steel Building Structures
Structural Engineers Association of Northern California: Chair, Research Committee, 1985-1986; Board of Directors, 1993-1995; Fellow Member, 1998; Vice President, 1999-2000; President, 2000-2001
Structural Engineers Association of California: Board of Directors, 1995-1997; 1999-2005, President Elect 2002-2003, President 2003-2004
American Institute of Steel Construction: Member, Committee on Specifications; Chair, Specification Task Committee 9 on Seismic Provisions; Member, Committee on Partially Restrained Connections; Member, Research Committee; Recipient of Special Achievement Award, 2000; Chair, International Seismic Steel Joint Action Group, 2000-2001

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Las Vegas Hospital
  • Department of Veterans Affairs, San Juan Hospital Seismic Upgrade
  • Caltrans District 4 Headquarters Seismic Upgrade

AISC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012