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Structural Engineers (CE & SE)

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Dear fellow Civil Engineers:

Passing the CE exam doesn't neccessarily entitle one to design buildings -
it entitles one 
to practice in Civil Engineering in areas of COMPETENCE.  Passing the SE
exam doesn't
necessarily entitle one to design high rises, either - it allows one use the
title "Structural
Engineer" and practice within their areas of competence.  The "CE" is the
practice act; the "SE"
is a title act.  Not all doctors are "surgeons"...but all surgeons ARE
doctors.  So for Pete's
sake, don't water down the profession by excluding yourself from the Civil
community if your area of competence is primarily structural.  I'll bet 90%
or more of you learned
your stuff in a university civil program, and ALL SE's are CE's, period.  I
like the fact that
the SE title act confers a measure of prestige and honor to
those who are publicly devoted to
the art and science of structures; masters of structures.  I also like the
fact that Civil Engineers
have a LONG, LONG tradition of designing and building structures for human
occupancy and use.  What's
my point?  Medical Doctors are a strong group because despite their WILDLY
VARYING areas of competence,
they lobby and stick together in one __COMMUNITY__ - they all have to go to
years of medical school, and pass 
numerous "generalized" tests to become "doctors" - they have a strong
mentorship/apprenticeship program, 
and they are generally highly regarded professionals.  Civil Engineers

should stop bickering amonst one 
another and start working to elevate the profession.  Why can't we trust one
another to practice within
out areas of competence like so many other professionals do?  We waste too
much time focusing
upon the few "bad apples" that are bound to occur no matter how the system
is set up.
Can you imagine structural engineers acting like welders, with a seperate
certification for every position and type of weld?  "I'm certified to design
nailed wood connections, but I haven't got my bolted wood connection cert.
It is counter-productive and dangerous to allow a chism to occur within the
ranks of the Civil Engineering
community.  If we separate ourselves into tidy little independant groups, we
will find ourselves the foder of 
architects, politicians, lawers and other vicious and tidy little
independant groups.  I'd suggest that we
all start acting like Civil Engineers more, and not "civil-civils",
"civil-structurals", and "SE's".  Give due
respect to those who have achieved the distinction of SE, but do not exlude
them from the proud ranks and traditions
of Civil Engineering!  And if they forget their roots, kindly and
respectfully remind them of their lineage.


Joe McCormick, P.E.
Civil Engineer

At 08:36 AM 9/30/97 -0700, you wrote:
>This discussion has focused far too much on the SE exam rather than the CE.
>The real problem is that taking a test that you can pass without answering
>any structural questions entitles you to design buildings.  The CE test is a
>worthless measure of ability and knowledge.
>In America, most believe that anyone with a license is capable of doing the
>work -- otherwise, how would they have a license?  What about quality
>issues?  That, my fellow engineers (CE & SE), is a very different subject.
>James Lord, SE