Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Bust'm or not?

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
>Dennis McCroskey wrote:
>> >Dear Dennis:
>> >
>> >I vote not to bust them.
>> >
>> >Civil engineers practicing structural are the joke of 
>the century. Poor
>> >guys can do (by law) about everything that a SE can do, 
>yet are not allowed
>> >to compete fairly with SE........

I didn't write this.  It was written to me.


>For me, I think it is important not to lose site of the 
>core issue, rather than the legal technicalities that may 
>or may not be associated with a yellow page listing -- is 
>an individual competent to practice structural 
>engineering.  A civil engineer can legally practice 
>structural engineering (with some exceptions) if they are 
>competent to do so. He or she just can't use the title or 
>represent themselves as a "Structural Engineer".  For much 
>of the public I would believe this to be a very subtle 
>Keep in mind the engineering community is in many ways 
>relatively small.  Respect for our peers is important.  We 
>will all find our selves on the other side of the table, 
>so to speak, at some point and time in our careers.  Going 
>out of our way to discredit each other, in the end will 
>benefit none of us. I do not see how yellow page 
>advertisements constitute major marketing for our 
>profession.  As professionals, we would be better served 
>if our professional organizations provided standardized 
>referrals for engineering services, much like the legal 
>and medical professions do.  This would have the benefit 
>of allowing firms and practicioners ample space to list 
>the specific services that offer and are competent to 
>provide.  Structural engineering simply encompasses too 
>much to be clearly definitive for those looking for our 
>services, yet know nothing about what we do.  
>Edwin T. Dean, P.E., S.E. 

So what's your conclusion, Bust'm or not?

I believe in what some of the others have said recently that in order for it
to mean anything, it needs to be protected.  Allowing any one to make claim
they are a structural engineer is detrimental to the profession.  If it is
allowed, why have it at all?  I feel it is an elite status.  There are over
3,000 se numbers issued and over 30,000 ce's.  It seems pretty elite to me.

For those of you that are ce's, you are qualified to build up to about 160'
I believe.  This is equivilent to about a 13 story building.  The se test is
broken up into 4 sections, seismic/lateral/analysis, steel design, concrete
design and wood design.  All of the questions are based on UBC (not State
code T24 or essential facilities requirements) and they cover concepts that
are relavent to structural systems less than 13 stories or 100 stories.  The
concepts are the same.  Distribution of forces are the same for a 100 story
building as they are for a 13 story building and so is the member sizing and
connections.  Design of steel, concrete, masonry and wood are common to both
ce's and se's and are the bulk of all engineering work.  If you can't answer
the questions on the se's exam you have no business saying you do structural
I suggest if anyone wants to call themselves a structural engineer they put
their money where there mouth is and take the test, prove it then there is
no question.  Except that the board should maintain the 70% min score for
passing the exam.

Different topic:

When a project needs engineering, the buiding department in our rural
community always tells the public their project needs engineering by a
qualified civil or structural engineer or an architect (an absurd choice).
Instead of trying to educate the public on the difference, why not educate
the building department to make a similar statement, allowing the consumer
more choices without haviing to know any diferences.