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Re: Error in Phone Book - Structural Engineers

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Bill Sherman wrote:

> >From Dennis McCroskey:
> > If you want to continue to talk the talk, take the dam exam and
> prove to
> > yourself and the rest of us that you are worthy of the title.
> Anything
> > short of this is just verbal retoric justifying your inability to go
> the
> > distance.
> Dennis, do you really think a Professional Engineer should take extra
> exams
> just to prove themselves?  If a licensed Civil Engineer is permitted
> by law to
> perform structural analysis and design on a variety of structures, why
> should
> they go to the trouble to take an exam that is not legally required to
> perform
> their work?  (By the way, I passed the exam and am a registered SE.)

It's strictly a personal choice.  Passing the SE exam leaves little
doubt and defines that person as a specialist and opens additional
markets to the engineer.

> Per Bill Allen:
> > Doesn't this thread make it more obvious that the language in the
> B&P code
> > administered by BORPELS doesn't really serve any of us?  The
> language gives
> > very little exclusivity to licensed structural engineers...The
> language also
> > doesn't allow professional engineers, degreed in Civil Engineering,
> > experienced in structural engineering to profess their area of
> expertise
> > properly.
> I agree - the problem here is that the title act makes it very hard
> for a
> Civil Engineer to convey to John Q. Public that they are licensed and
> capable
> of performing structural analysis and design.

I generally find the public to be different that what I've seen
discussed in the list server.  They go to a Cvil Engineer for all their
design needs, including structural, and are not aware that Structural
Engineers exist.  Most don't realize that Structural Engineers are also
Civil Engineers and I find myself often explaining what a Structural
Engineer is, a Civil Engineer who specializes in structural design.

One advantage the land Civil Engineer has is that they are often the
first engineer on the project, doing grading, putting in roads, septic
systems, wells, etc.  Once they are in with the owner, it's easy for
them to continue working with them to do the strucutural
design.Architects and contractors know the difference and usually chose
one or the other depending on their confidence and price for doing the

(Note the caps)

> Per Satinder P. Singh:
> > Hope the debate can focus on accepting a more clear definition of
> the
> > title Structural Engineer for the practicing engineers as well as
> the
> > general public.  Somebody had recently pointed out that many in the
> > public believe that a registered engineer is the one who fills some
> > forms and gets registered with the state.
> I agree here too - BORPELS should come up with a better term for
> titled
> Structural Engineers for clarity to the lay person - unless their
> intent is
> actually to curtail the ability of Civil Engineers to practice any
> form of
> structural engineering.  I don't think that "Licensed Structural
> Engineer" is
> any clearer from the public's viewpoint.  (Something more along the
> lines of
> "Structural Engineer with Honors".)
> Where does California State Law define the limits of what a Structural
> vs
> Civil Engineer can design anyway?  I know some local codes define
> this, but is
> there anything in the State law or does the State only control the use
> of the
> title?

I'm not positive where it defines the difference.  I have been told the
limits are structures over 160 ft (about 13 stories) are required to be
designed by SE's.  SE's were created by the Field Act shortly after the
Long Beach earthquake of 1933 (or was it 1935?).  Their function was to
design schools under a defferent code, Title 21, now Title 24.  That was
originally the only difference.  After the San Fernando earthquake in
1971, hospitals were also added to the SE only category as well as
essential facilities (fire stations, vital communications, and police
stations).   Federal governments and many states/counties also require
an SE to do the structural design

If you look across the skyline of cities like San Francisco and LA,
you'll see a vast number of buildings the same height (13 stories).
This is because in the 20's taller buildings were banned until engineers
came up with suitable designs to resist earthquake forces for bigger
buildings.  The LA city hall (the one that Superman always jumped out
of) was 27 stories and the last to be built over 13 stories until the
late 50's when engineers convinced the world we knew what we were
doing.  Northridge told us otherwise.

I've asked a couple of times about getting a copy of the Field Act in
computer form so I can post it on the SEAOC web site.  If I don't get it
soon, I'll search out my old copy, scan it and post it on the web.  It
may be of some interest to many of you.