May Meeting

May 08, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
 Add to Calendar

Cross Creek Cafe
1221 Cross Creek Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30327
Venue website

Registration: 6:00 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm
Program: 6:45 pm - 7:45 pm

Members                  $30.00
Non-Members          $40.00
Full  Time Students  $20.00

Payment Options
Cash or Check at the door
Credit Card at the door
Advance Payment thru PayPal


The 20-year-old State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, recently had a major makeover. Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design services to architect HOK for the renovation, and was also the engineer of the original facility, which was formerly called Philips Arena. It was the world’s first LEED-certified NBA/NHL arena when it opened, and included a host of innovative features, which this recent upgrade improved upon to bring it into the 21st century.

A major goal of the project was to create premium amenities throughout the venue at every price point. The first phase of renovations, completed during the Hawks’ 2017 off-season, removed the upper levels of the suite wall and reduced the number of suites, which were often left unsold, from 90 to 40. A courtside club was also added behind one of the baskets. The more extensive second phase of renovations in 2018 created new premium seating, connected 360-degree concourses and added a new center-hung videoboard that is three times larger than its predecessor as well as new videoboards in the corners of the upper decks. Many of the walls that blocked views of the court from the concession areas were removed, while more than 100,000 square feet of office and storage space was repurposed for visitor use. The project also added new dining options, featuring local cuisine and other unique amenities, like a barber shop operated by Atlanta rapper Killer Mike and Top golf Swing Suites with virtual indoor golf.

This presentation will focus on some of the unique engineering challenges presented by the project as well as its fast-track construction schedule.


Mark Johnson, P.E., LEED AP//
Senior Associate

Thornton Tomasetti

Mark Johnson, who joined Thornton Tomasetti in 2011, has 20 years of experience providing structural engineering services for a variety of projects. His portfolio includes structural analysis, design and review of sports venues, healthcare and research facilities, educational and civic buildings and various other structures. Mark manages design teams, supervising the work of engineers and building information modelers. He is also responsible for the development of plans, details and sections of contract drawings as well as review of contractor submittals for compliance with technical specifications.

Mark received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Notable projects that Mark has been part of include the renovation of State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA, the renovation of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, MD, the University of Missouri Memorial Stadium South Expansion, and the design of Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Justin S. Sampson, PE, LEED AP//
Project Manager
Sykes Consulting, Inc.

Justin Sampson is a Project Manager at Sykes Consulting, Inc. with over 15 years of experience in design and analysis of building structures.  Justin has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology from South Carolina State University and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University.  He is a LEED Accredited Professional and a registered Professional Engineer in Georgia and two other states.

Some of his other notable projects include Hartsfield/Jackson (HJAIA) Landside Modernization, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, University of Arizona North End-Zone Expansion, Atlanta-Fulton Central Library Renovation, and Fiserv Alpharetta Lobby Addition/Renovation.


Bahadir Ekinci, P.E., LEED AP BD+C
Senior Associate
Thornton Tomasetti

Bahadir Ekinci is a senior associate at Thornton Tomasetti, with nearly 20 years of experience in a wide range of projects. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul Turkey and master’s degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken NJ. He has played a key role managing and overseeing projects, from the schematic design phase to construction administration and groundbreaking to completion, for sports arenas and stadiums, commercial and residential buildings, healthcare facilities, data centers and various other structures.

Some of his key projects include Prudential Center in Newark, the expansion of Stadium at Rutgers University in Piscataway, Novartis Oncology Center in East Hanover, Liberty National Golf Course Clubhouse in Jersey City, and Cove on the Bay Residential Complex, all in New Jersey, as well as The Edge Residential Complex in Brooklyn, New York.