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Response to Lynn Howard on foreign engineering:

My experience on international engineering and construction projects is
that the Far East countries can compete with U.S. companies when design
concepts are established, but the U.S. is still considered better at new
design concepts and quality control.  Firms in the Orient are
technically capable of designing anything we do and to any code (U.S.,
European, Japan, etc.), and can meet any schedule a U.S. firm could
meet.

Mexican and South American firms can design anything in steel, masonry,
or concrete but still want to use unreinforced masonry or clay tile
infill walls with a structural framework which does not meet U.S.
codes.  They also are not as aggressive with regard to schedules but if
watched carefully they can perform.  There is a real savings with regard
to design cost but I do not see many U.S. companies turning to countries
like Mexico or Venezuela to provide design unless a project is owned by
a Mexican or Venezuelan firm.

I have found very little difference between European companies and U.S.
companies except that most European companies have a problem with our
codes because they feel that the British or German codes are better. 
Their fees are also equal to ours or even more.

Lynn is correct to be concerned about international competition and we
all will learn how to compete. Today we all compete with companies from
other states for engineering design on projects in California but we are
also providing design for projects in other states.  Fifteen years ago
there was not nearly as much competition among states.  I personally
think this change has been good and has helped to make us all think
beyond what is in our own back yard and consider everyone as a potential
client or competitor.

With economical and fast air travel, rental cars at every airport,
telephones, fax machines, modems and the Internet, the world is
shrinking rapidly and the future global economy I heard about when I was
growing up is now upon all of us.  It is becoming a matter of do or die
and I think that the U.S. has the best engineers.  Guess I am prejudice
just a little.

Enough standing on the box.

Jim Dane, C.E.
Bottom Feeder and proud of it.


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Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team
rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org

The service mission like-minded Christian organizations
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