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Seismic Resilience Meets Mentorship in the Pacific Northwest Community

Every year, Seattle University’s College of Science and Engineering Project Center Program helps engineering students gain real-world professional experience through a capstone design project.  In the 2022-2023 academic year, Degenkolb Engineers is partnering with the program to deliver a seismic retrofit for local nonprofit, Camp Korey.

Four engineering students—along with Degenkolb engineers, Clare Terpstra and Bianca Casem—will design the seismic retrofit of the distinctive Fisher Lodge at Camp Korey.

Degenkolb Design Engineers, Bianca Casem (far left) and Clare Terpstra (far right), stand with the student team outside of Fisher Lodge.


Founded in 2005, Camp Korey is a year-round non-profit camp for children and families living with life-altering medical conditions. The camp sits on a 200-acre property in Mount Vernon, Washington; about 1.5 hours from Degenkolb’s Seattle office. Fisher Lodge, a building designed and constructed by University of Washington architecture students in 1968, features a great room with a rock fireplace and vaulted ceilings. As part of a 10-year master plan, the property has undergone major renovations to support growth.

“There have been many rewarding parts to the project: getting to know the students, getting to help an inspiring organization like Camp Korey, and getting to work on a one-of-a-kind building like Fisher Lodge,” says Clare Terpstra, Degenkolb Design Engineer, on her involvement.

Interior of Fisher Lodge at Camp Korey in Mount Vernon, Washington.


Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, our engineers will be meeting with the Seattle University team while its members complete the many tasks required for the project. Students will be digitizing and confirming original blueline stamped drawings, evaluating the current structural condition and seismic safety of the building, recommending modifications to meet current building codes, and eventually communicating the major findings to the client. As the students complete these tasks, our engineers will be available to answer both technical and non-technical questions.

Design Engineer, Bianca Casem, explains, “As an alum who went through this program, I gained many skills that I still use today which I learned from the structural engineers and professionals involved. I personally wanted to pay that forward and be a resource and mentor to the students.”

Degenkolb Engineers is thrilled to be providing mentorship and guidance to Seattle University’s student team!

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