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Re: CE licensing a different problem

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Lew Midlam wrote:

> Some states require only that the drawings be prepared under the
> supervision of the P.E.  Others require the *direct* supervision of the
> P.E.    *Direct* supervision usually is interpreted as 'day-to-day'
> oversight and control of the drawing's preparation by a subordinate or
> counterpart of the P.E. within the same organization.

I would like to bring up an issue that I have been considering for some time
now, and that is the signing of plans of Principals of a company, when in
reality there is no day to day direct supervision of the project "in-house".

Here is how projects go in our office:  We have an office with 7 engineers,
two principals,  4 other full time engineers with varying levels of
experience, and on part time engineer.
When a project comes into the office, it is assigned to either myself or my
partner as the managing principal engineer.  We sign all drawings and
calculations that this office puts out.  None of the other engineers stamps
and signs anything.

If the project engineer for the job is a young inexperienced engineer, the
my partner and I stay pretty well involved in the project for the entire
duration of preparation of construction documents.  Many times we are also
the project engineer and do all of the work ourselves.  For these kinds of
projects, I feel when we sign and stamp drawings that we have fulfilled the
requirement of "direct supervision".

However, if a more experienced engineers is the project engineer, we will
review the structural system and preliminary plans at the beginning of the
job, and only be very minimally involved during the preparation of
construction documents.  We then do a back check of the plans and
calculations, and then sign and stamp them.  This is really little more than
a "plan stamper" would do.  He reviews someone else's drawings and
calculations, marks up any corrections he wants, and then stamps them.

The real problem I have is that at times we are buried with work and
deadlines, and my review and final backcheck may be minimal if I have very
high confidence in the Project Engineer who prepared the drawings, possibly
doing less checking of  the work than a "plan stamper" would.

I am interested in knowing if our practice is common among other firms or
not.  Do other firms require the project engineers to sign and stamp
drawings?  Do other Principals stay involved on all projects they are going
to stamp on a daily basis?