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RE: SECE - New Catagory, SOS

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If given this suggestion as the only alternative, I would prefer we keep things as they are. This proposal essentially reduces the structural engineer's exam to a single question with a check box that reads:

"If you want to be a structural engineer, check here"

A couple of _simple_ things could be done that would address 90% of my concerns. First, there is a single sentence paragraph in the B&P code that allows architects to practice structural engineering. If this paragraph were deleted, we would have come a long ways. My second concern is with inexperienced civil engineers being able to stamp and sign drawings. At least as far as I know, a person can be a licensed CE two years after school (this might be changing to four years). If the person cannot sign plans during his/her first renewal period (four years), he/she would have/should have gained more structural experience. This could be applicable in seismic zones 3 and 4 (at least 4). At that first renewal period, the candidate could take an oral examination (administered by SEAOC?) to demonstrate their structural experience.

If this process occurred, then only Civils who _really_ wanted to practice structural engineering could (at least in seismic zone 4), architects couldn't and the title act would remain as is. This method would require much less legislation and more quality control.

Regards,
Bill Allen

-----Original Message-----
From:	Dennis S. Wish PE [SMTP:wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com]
Sent:	Thursday, October 09, 1997 10:29 AM
To:	'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'
Subject:	SECE - New Catagory, SOS



-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Allen [SMTP:BAllenSE]
Sent:	Wednesday, October 08, 1997 6:55 PM
To:	'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'
Subject:	RE: SE,CE ad nauseum
With regards to the topic itself, it should be obvious to all of those who have followed my comments on this topic the last several months that I feel that this is the single most important topic to practicing engineers in California. To capsulate, I have less of a problem with civil engineers doing structural engineering (particularly those of the caliber participating on this list serve) than I do with architects practicing structural engineering, the general public _thinking_ that architects provide structural engineering services and civil engineers with very little structural engineering experience being able to stamp and sign structural designs in seismic zone 4. I would prefer the discussion drift towards these areas, but I will participate no matter what direction this topic takes us.

I agree with Bill, but rather than be as verbose as most of you accuse me, I wish to point out that we can not address the important issues that Bill is concerned with until we complete Step One. IMHO, the first step is to re-define by title and license those professionals qualified to practice in the area of Structural Engineering. Before we can restrict Architects from practicing in this area, we must stop the flow of new engineers entering structural engineering who should be in land only.  Until the CE exam is rewritten, the only way to do this is as follows:
1.	Have existing CE's declare their field of expertise by reference, review of past work or additional testing as a last resort.
2.	Separate  the CE exam into two categories: CE/land and CE/structures. Have new engineers declare by application and by reference (experience) their specialty - land or structure. Let them take the exam that covers the area of specialty only. To be qualified in both areas would require a second test and additional work references (and additional experience requirements). In this definition, a graduate with two years experience must be working for those years in one of the other specialty. 
3.	Reclassify (I know many of you do not like this) the CE in the area of structures to SE and elevate the existing SE to SE expert or some such designation. 
4.	Redefine the B&P code to allow only SE designated engineers in seismic zone 3 and 4 to design structures - period.
5.	Go after the Architects by using the new definition in the B&P code or by legislature.
6.	Finally, start to weed out the unqualified engineer who sneaks in by allowing the building official to file complaints with BORPELS based upon review of submitted work. This is, perhaps the most troublesome part of the plan since it does not protect the engineer from frivolous complaints. This becomes time consuming for BORPELS, but is probably cheaper than creating new legislation and funding for public advertising.

None of these areas are perfect or fool-proof, but based upon our debates. However, this allows the community to weed out the unqualified, declare new applicants and limit the authority of architects with possibly the lowest cost to the public. The most pragmatic solution is that the public no longer has to be educated in the determining who is qualified, they only need to choose an SE or SE expert. Those that need an SE expert will generally not be the general public but larger businesses that already understand that they need the top authority in the SE field.

We should consider the public's safety before we consider our squabble within the profession on titles. These steps are intended to protect the public from unsafe design, unethical business practices to profit from natural disasters and major loses to the insurance industry by poor or inadequate design and construction practice.

There is one more advantage to this plan, we will have more power to change those area's of the code that allow non-professionals from designing without understanding how to tie a load path together. The conventional framing section of the UBC is one such area. ICBO has too much power based upon the distribution of votes to their membership. SEA (including NSPE, CASE, ASCE and others) should be allowed the majority vote on issues of structural design. If this were true, I believe that we would not have the Conventional framing section of the code, or that it would be written with much stricter guidelines for design of interior braced panels and actual load distribution.

There are many outreaching advantages to something as simple as starting within our own profession and creating clear and distinct limits and titles. 

Dennis Wish PE
Wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com

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