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RE: Error in Phone Book - Structural Engineers

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Dennis, I did look at your response to Lynn. Admittedly, I did 
not see the jest in your comments, but took them as personal 
attacks. I believe that Lynn interpreted them the same. I have 
known you for probably two years or more and although we don't 
see eye to eye on many issues, I have never felt that your 
responses have ever been unprofessional - direct, yes, but 
unprofessional, no. Most of us just don't each other well enough 
to catch much subtle sarcasm. I do, admittedly, feel strongly 
about the CE/SE issue and interpreted your comments to be 
personal attacks against me and the two structural engineering 
instructors that wrote to this list.

Before responding your some of your comments: I don't feel that 
Shafat's solution is necessarily correct unless you can be sure 
that education is taught purely from a practical standard rather 
than a theoretical one like UCLA, USC or UC Berkeley. The 
majorities of what we learn is from apprenticeship and grunt 
work in the field. I never took a course that focused on code 
interpretation, except possibly a concrete class at Cal State 
Northridge. I also don't posses a degree from a university 
although I completed all of my structural courses (and 60% of an 
architectural curriculum at U of I). But with eight years of 
education under my belt, I don't feel any less qualified.
No, I believe testing is appropriate to scale a persons ability 
to know the foundations of their work. I don't feel the 
emphasize should be on working efficiently since many of us 
would rather work at a slow pace to assure that we cover all of 
the bases - even if it means earning less per hour.
I do feel that testing for a field in structures should be 
isolated from a field in land civil. Applicants should be 
willing to declare their field at the time the sit for the exam 
and should be given questions only related to that field. 
Personally, I don't remember every answering land civil 
questions on my PE exam in '86, but focusing only on the 
structural questions and afternoon problems.

I guess my long hair doesn't quite hide my red neck or my 
Orange County up bringing but take a look at the definitions of
structural engineers on Lynn's email that I responded to and let 
me know
which you think is a better definition.

Red neck is right - especially after a particularly heated 
softball game in the desert. I did read Lynn's post (see above)

I thought legal semantics is what was being debated.  Aren't you 
that he board should change their wording or definitions?

No sir, Legal semantics is what created this problem. If 
semantics were the issue, you would still be known as a CE. 
Someone came along and decided to add a specialty classification 
giving added authority to design essential facilities. The 
problem with the semantics is that you now feel that this added 
authority is all encompassing and. Placing restrictions on the 
title does not change the actual practice.
What is needed is a fair practice attitude. The public does not 
know that a civil engineer is allowed to practice structural 
engineering. They believe that only an SE can do this work. At 
one point, Bill Rome - chief inspector in Santa Monica and 
licensed CE in California - required an evaluation report to be 
done on all URM buildings. This report would be accepted only 
from SE's, even though the retrofit design could be done by 
Architects and Civil engineers. I believe he did this to 
simplify the number of phone calls received from building owners 
asking if this architect or that civil was qualified to submit a 
Although my license says I am a civil engineer, I don't practice 
in the area that the public assumes a Civil to practice - 
bridges, roadways, land. Neither does close to 50% of SEAOC 
members classified as CE and SE.
Why, then, must a Civil practice with a handicap. I have had 
more than two architects refuse to allow me to bid their 
engineering because they did not feel I was qualified to design 
a wood framed home based upon my license title alone. Sitting in 
their office trying to explain that structural engineering is 
covered under the CE license only created a degree of mistrust 
and made it look as though I was begging for the work. This does 
not seem to be fair when our professional organizations are not 
willing to help clear this up or educate the public.
By all means, create a clear and concise division between the 
semantics of structural engineering and land civil. But do this 
not be Symantec alone, but by proof of our ability in area's 
other than high-rise or essential construction.
BORPELS suggestion (or maybe it was SEAOC's) is close but does 
not help the public understand that they can hire a Civil who is 
authorized to practice structural OR a Structural is authorized 
to practice structural AND more.

I do apoligize to you, Mr. Singh or anyone else who may have 
offended.  It was not my intent to do so.

Thank you!

Now, you tell me what is the right terminology.

I would assume that Mr. Singh has a point and should be 
classified as Structural Engineer while SE's should be LSE 
(Licensed Structural Engineer). This seem most reasonable since 
a license is only required to perform a business.

Thanks for asking me to leave for not agreeing with you but, no 

I am not asking you to leave. I am asking that you not be 
insulting to your peers.

Actually Dennis, I was being devils advocate here.  If you were 
appear before the board or in court because of this, your 
would ask that question.  Does the board have a special 
requirement if
the laws are violated unintentionally?  I don't know?  I don't 
think you did it on purpose, why would you tell the world if you 
did? I
just found it humorous that we had debated this issue some time 
back and
now you suddenly find yourself in this dilemma.   I know you 
want to
abide by the rules, you just want to tweak them a bit to fit 

I do want to tweak them but not to simply fit my agenda. If I 
never participate again in this list or in this debate, I will 
never have to justify my abilities and will continue to practice 
with the authority already granted. I never stepped over that 
line and never would since I lack the specific skills to work on 
essential facilities and high-rises. As you mentioned, if I am 
not up to speed on something, I will work hard to learn it. Many 
times I have hired someone with more skill than me so that I can 
learn form their skills and provide the same to my clients.
The truth is that our community as most others is apathetic and 
tends to complain about the issues without taking action. I 
agree with the issues and feel more pent-up frustration holding 
back than bringing it onto the table for debate.
As many times as this issue comes up, there have been excellent 
conclusions drawn, but never have these been summarized and sent 
with the list's support to the appropriate committees or boards. 
Maybe it's time to get off our butts and start acting upon our 
passions. Therefore, I don't want to tweak for personal gain, I 
wish to obtain tweaking for the 50% of our unspoken community. 
How do I know they care? This list does not see all of the 
private email I get. Somewhere along the way the voices must be 

Dennis, take a look at my response to Lynn's email.  Let me know 
if you
still feel the same.  Those were not venomous remarks, you'll 
know the
difference if you see them.  I'm only expressing my opinions and 
point in my way which is often very much to the point with 
rhetoric.  Quite the opposite of you.  You don't have to agree 
with them
but both are valid.

Possibly, but rhetoric is the only way I know how not to be 
misunderstood - opposite of you. I do believe in sarcasm, I 
don't care for innuendoes and unsupported accusations. A little 
more rhetoric may have eliminated your letter explaining your 
first post.

Thanks for your response.