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Mike wrote:

>What is architectural engineering?  I have seen references to it and 
>talked to some people but no one seems to know what it is.

Then, John wrote:

>I believe that Stan Caldwell from Dallas is the chairman of the ASCE
>Architectural Engineering Committee.  He would probably be the best person to
>define that term.

Now, Stan Responds:

I am flattered, thank you for the opportunity.  Yes Mike and John, there
really are such things as Architectural Engineers.  In fact, there are
lots of them.  Some of them are famous, including:  Alexandre Gustave
Eiffel, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Buckminster Fuller, William
LeMessurier, and Mario Salvadori.  Most are just common engineers doing
uncommon work.  If you would like to see an Architectural Engineer right
now, simply turn off your computer and continue looking at the monitor.
Most likely, you will be staring at the silhouette of an Architectural
Engineer.  I estimate that at least 2,000 Architectural Engineers
subscribe to this listserv.

Simply stated, an Architectural Engineer is an engineer who pursues a
career in the planning, design, construction, and/or operation of
buildings.  Unlike the architect, the Architectural Engineer deals with
function rather than form.  He views a building as an integrated system
of structural, mechanical, electrical, and architectural elements.  Most
Architectural Engineers are specialized in only one of these fields.
However, it is their perspective that building projects require
well-coordinated, multi-disciplinary teamwork that sets them apart from
others.  For a more thorough definition of Architectural Engineering, I
recommend that you visit the following website:

Most Architectural Engineers have degrees that read "CE, ME, or EE".
The fortunate ones, however, have degrees that read "AE".  I am a
structural engineer, and both of my degrees read CE.  That means that I
took many hours of courses in such irrelevant areas as surveying,
hydraulics, hydrology, transportation, environmental, etc.  By
comparison, a structural-option AE takes more hours of structural design
at the BS level, and his/her other required courses are in relevant
areas like HVAC systems, plumbing systems, electrical power and
communications systems, and roofing systems.  An AE degree provides a
student with a firm understanding of all of the engineered systems in a
building, as well as a solid specialization in one of those areas.  My
degrees preceded the handheld calculator, so I have had ample time to
work with many individuals holding AE degrees.  Without exception, I
have found them to be superb engineers!

Currently, there are thirteen U. S. colleges and universities offering
ABET-accredited AE degree programs.  To view the list of these
institutions, and to view each of their programs in detail, you can
visit the following website:


Two professional organizations currently serve the needs of
Architectural Engineers:

The Architectural Engineering Division of ASCE (AED), with 6,000

The National Society of Architectural Engineers (NSAE), with 1,000

On July 14, 1997, AED and NSAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding
whereby the two organizations will jointly establish a successor
organization, the Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI).  One week
later, the AEI plan was approved in concept by ASCE.  Thus, it is likely
that AEI will be established as ASCE's third "Institute" in the very
near future.  As the logical home organization for all building design
professionals, and as an organization with a modest dues structure, AEI
is expected to grow to more than 25,000 members within five years.

I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  Those of you who
read to this point are to be commended.  I also took the liberty of
changing the name of this thread, so that you would not automatically
assume it was from our good friend Mr. Nagarajan and immediately hit the
delete button !;^> 

Best Regards:

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas, Texas

The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon,   
or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the    
middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them.
                                                         ...Henry David
Thoreau, 1852