Senior Principal

Mason Walters

With the firm since 1984, Mason is a Senior Principal at Forell | Elsesser. One of Mason’s most effective roles at the firm is orchestrating teams of engineers to leverage their varied areas of expertise, and quickly develop solutions to even the most complex problems. He constantly explores solution concepts and ideas that are outside the norm, leading to unexpectedly elegant and efficient solutions–a practice he encourages with those he mentors. Mason has also had success in crossing lines between engineering disciplines and construction processes to improve existing structural engineering methods to the benefit of F/E’s clients.

As a well-known industry leader, Mason is a resource for in-house staff and colleagues. His engineering expertise includes such diverse areas as sustainable concrete mix design, seismic isolation of new and historic buildings, long-span bridge design, and performance-based seismic design of steel structures. He excels at the analysis, testing, and design for unusual projects that fall outside the scope of traditional building codes. In the early 1990’s, he developed specifications and testing requirements that were used for the U.S. Court of Appeals seismic retrofit in San Francisco, the first federally funded seismic isolation project. Mason is a licensed Structural Engineer in California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and licensed Professional Engineer in D.C. Mason earned a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master of Engineering degree in Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics from UC Berkeley.

Mason’s recreational interests include hiking, fly fishing, cinema, metalworking, and carpentry.  He sometimes integrates the latter two interests into his structural engineering practice by building physical models of structures and structural hardware to quickly enhance the clients’ and colleagues’ grasp of complex structural concepts.

Professional Associations

  • University of California Office of the President Seismic Advisory Board (Charter Member, Chair 2017-2022)
  • Caltrans Seismic Advisory Board
  • Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC), Solar Photovoltaic Systems Seismic Committee, Voting Member
  • Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), Director (2003-2005); Convention Technical Committee, Former Co-Chair; Program Committee, Former Chair; Subcommittee on Protective Systems; Subcommittee on Non-Building Structures
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)
  • International Association for Bridge & Structural Engineering (IABSE)