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SE or PE

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This debate of 




discussion of "illegal use of the title SE" is getting hotter and hotter.
Before I took and passed the SE exam, I used to think that why are SE's any
better than the PE's.  I was practicing structural engineering just like 
any other SE, designing hi-rise, hospital, school and special structures.
The difference was that I (being PE at that time) did all the works and
details and the SE (my boss) will sign it

will sign it after reviewing the works.


After I passed that SE exam ( the longest and unforgetable nightmare ), I
found out the difference between the two exams.  To pass the PE exam, it does
not require much practical experience and preparation or study, all it takes
is good academic background.  It is just another version of the EIT exam.
except it is not multiple choice exam.  However, to pass the SE exam, 
Although one does not have to be knowledgable about designs of hospital,
hi-rise and special structures, it does require some good understandings
of analysis and design of at least steel, concrete and may be timber.  I
know some SE's who don't know timber and passed the SE exams.  It is not
that difficult but it is not easy either.  In my opinion, that exam is
a good measure of your knowledge of structural engineering practice.  It
has served its purpose.  If you have more than 5 years of real structural
engineering practices on various type of structures, you should be able
to pass the SE exam.

I have personally encountered so many bad practicing engineers (PE or SE)
out there.  The problems are the standards of practice and code enforcement.
Plan checkers have been slipping permits for bad designs and inspectors
don't have the resources to enforce the code.  If you go out to the field,
you will know what I mean.

So please keep up the standards and the exams also, go take the exams.
If you think you can do it, you will pass it.  If you don't pass it,
go back and practice for any year, you will eventually pass it if you
qualify.  Other profession, such as electrician has class I, II etc.
We should keep our standards also, the illegal SE or PE should not
be tolerated.

Just another opinion!

From: Tom Chiu, SE
      Dames & Moore, Inc.
      Lax23(--nospam--at)Dames.Com