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RE: CE licensing a different problem

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Since the title "structural engineer" pre-dates the Fields Act, I am curious about the original motivation to create the title. Does that motivation still exist?

Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From:	Charles Greenlaw [SMTP:cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Sunday, October 05, 1997 11:54 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	RE: CE licensing a different problem

Several aspects of this subject are responded to below, and BORPELS is also
newly interested in figuring out how the SE relates to CE, etc.

The Field Act had no need to create the structural engineer title because it
already existed. My grandfather, Russell H. Cooley, was issued SE No. 25 on
Dec 4, 1931. I once worked for the late W.A. Buehler, whose SE No. 93 was
issued in early 1932. (The initial round of civil engineer registrations in
California took place in June,1930.) Presumably SE examinations were offered
for those who missed the grandfathering process the year after it ended, as
was the case for the civils.

Confusion over the SE title/Field Act relationship isn't uncommon, even at
the Board of Registration (BORPELS). I attended the first meeting of their
newly established Sub-Committee On Structural Engineering Examination
Evaluation last Wednesday, Oct 1, 1997, where this same misunderstanding was
voiced among BORPELS members until the above event timings were recited. 
As for expressing  various opinions on how the SE title and SE exam relate
to everything else (or ought to) there is for the next several months a
golden opportunity to tell it directly to BORPELS. The entire SE topic, not
just the exam, is under a wide-open inquiry triggered by the state
legislature. More on this later under a new heading.

For those who are speculating about BORPELS rules for qualifying experience,
stamping plans, etc., the first resort should be looking it up in the PE Act
and Board Rules. This is available as a pamphlet from the Board for a few
dollars. The BORPELS Internet address is  and
that might have the story as well.

Chuck Greenlaw, SE, Sacramento CA     
At 7:37 PM 10/5/97 -0700, you wrote:
>Unless a LOT has changed since I took the SE exam (1983), I think there are
a lot of misconceptions about the SE exam. First of all, the exam was
created as a result of the Fields Act in 1935 due the large amount of damage
to public school buildings during the Long Beach E/Q in 1933. The Fields Act
mandated that persons designing the structural portions of public schools
would take and pass this exam and be granted the authority to use the title
"structural engineer". Schools then (and now) are not high rise structures
nor do they require much finite element analysis.