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RE: CE licensing a different problem[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: "'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'" <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
- Subject: RE: CE licensing a different problem
- From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com>
- Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 13:55:41 -0700
-----Original Message----- From: Bill Allen [SMTP:BAllenSE] Sent: Sunday, October 05, 1997 12:18 PM To: 'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org' Subject: RE: CE licensing a different problem I haven't been following the Cardenas assembly bill very much (I tried to go to the web site and the search engine couldn't locate the document), but I HOPE the title act will not be watered down to let every civil engineer call him/herself a structural engineer. It would be a true slap in the face for all of us who took and passed the exam. I would agree with you and would hope that it has some provisions for the evaluation of qualifications - but this is a difficult area to guarantee. At best, I believe that grand-fathering existing Civils into an SE type of category will eliminate those that want to step over the line infrequently. For example, after a disaster which creates a need for qualified engineers. Possibly another way to filter out the unqualified is by requiring an engineer who claims his field of expertise to provide references from existing SE's to their ability or allow evaluation by committee of the work that they do. Even building department records listing the EOR can help to narrow down the field. I also believe the title of structural engineer implies a lot more than just issues applicable to high rises and essential facilities. Present company excepted, but I know a lot more about structural engineering than a lot of civil engineers (and architects) I have to compete with. Bill, I am sure that you are more knowledgeable than I am in many areas and that I have skills which you don't use regularly that I can claim superiority. But this is the issue and I think we all agree on this. I am not unique in our profession but feel that I represent the 40% of CE's that I mentioned in my post. I have not considered the CE's that belong to CASE and not other SEA's, nor have I considered the CE's practicing structures that are members of ASCE or NSPE. However, I believe that the statistics are a fair sampling of SEAOC alone. If you consider the sheer (no pun intended) number of CE's in California at over 46,000 from time zero the ratio of CE to SE may be greater. However, lets simply focus on the CE that is devoted to structural engineering. Also assume that any engineer who does not acknowledge his ability in some form of professional activity (subscription, volunteer, silent member etc.) is probably not keeping up with the profession and may not be qualified to meet the requirements of structural engineer. Possibly this is where continuing education credits can be helpful. I don't mind telling you that, when I am competing with a civil engineer on a project with a new (potential) client, I inform the client what was involved to allow me to use the title structural engineer and that the civil engineer either couldn't or hasn't. Based upon the number of engineers that take the exam each year, the answer is probably that he hasn't taken rather than couldn't pass the exam. Although this is a great marketing strategy, it has very little to do with ability to design your clients building unless it is an essential facility or high-rise. I can easily identify many SE's who have great ability in concrete and steel but should not have their stamp wood framing. They fully understand the concepts, but don't know enough about the materials of that section of the code. How about in area's such as URM retrofit. If I poses the knowledge and ability to design this area and an SE does not, does that make him any less of an SE or does that make the CE any more of a structural engineer. Of course not since URM retrofit is structural engineering but requires knowledge of some unique design methodologies other than simple uniform load distribution. Ability has to do with the individual, not with the title. I also believe that private sector clients have a right to request these credentials for their design professional. They have the right, but the engineer does not have the right to inform the client that only an SE has the ability to do what he does. An SE only has this right when he is speaking of essential facility and high-rise. To convince your client that your abilities are superior because you passed the SE exam is IMHO very unethical. Let's raise the bar, not lower it. Regards, Bill Allen Bill, again it is not an issue of raising standards for those areas where the licensing board has deemed the engineer qualified to practice structural engineering, The issue is filtering out qualified engineers from a mixture containing unqualified engineers. I believe the techniques that I have suggested are reasonable. This then leaves the decision to the individual as to whether or not he wishes to take additional exams to allow him expert status and to practice on specific types of structures.
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