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David W. Cocke, SE, F.SEI, F.ASCE, F.SEAOC

Founder and President

Structural Focus

Friday, April 5, 2024 | 11 a.m. | 140 Ketter Hall


David Cocke.

From the beginning of David’s college experience, he was interested in older buildings. When choosing a field to study, he focused on structures and he has been fortunate to participate in the renovations and restoration of numerous historic buildings. Nearly one half of his portfolio has consisted of the evaluation and renovations of existing buildings, including dozens of national historic landmarks. David will review the lessons he has learned about the unique challenges of structural engineering on historic buildings, discuss some case studies and include some stories of his own career path and some tips for a structural engineering student to follow leading to a successful career.


David Cocke, S.E. has been practicing structural engineering since 1981 when he followed his fiancé from Virginia to the San Francisco Bay Area. He relocated from Degenkolb’s San Francisco office to open their Los Angeles office in 1995 after the Northridge EQ and his first client was Warner Bros. assisting them with their earthquake repairs and retrofits. David left Degenkolb in 2001 to start Structural Focus. He is a registered structural engineer in California and several other states, with expertise in seismic evaluation, historic preservation, retrofits and new design. Some of his most notable projects include the Hotel del Coronado, Glendale Masonic Temple, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Red Bull North American Headquarters, Walls Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Netflix Egyptian Theater, Culver City’s new Amazon Studios, the new Sunset Glen Oaks Studios, and numerous projects for all of the major Southern California film studios. David has been very involved in numerous professional associations throughout his career. He is the immediate past president of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and has been president of the national Structural Engineers Institute of ASCE, as well as the U.S.C. Architectural Guild. He has served on the board of directors of the Structural Engineers Association of California, of both the Southern and the Northern California Structural Engineers Associations, and several preservation organizations in California. Since 2007 David has served as the SEAOC appointed alternate structural engineer member on the California Historical Building Safety Board and he is currently on the NIST federal Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction, the board of directors of the Applied Technology Council and on the University of California Seismic Advisory Board.