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Re: What a disaster!

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I don't believe it. Mark your calender. I actually agree with everything Dennis
Wish has said in this post regarding CE vs. SE vs architect. I guess if we can
put a man on the moon, anything is possible!!

Good Post!

Bill Allen

wish wrote:

> Rick,
> You are ignoring the other 50% of the SEAOC membership - CE's who practice
> Structural Engineering.  Our complaints with Architects extend to Civils
> that have no experience in Structures who we affectionatly refer to as
> Civil-Civils. The rest of us activly practicing Structural Engineering have
> been refered to as Civil-Structurals.
> I recommend that you go back over the archives on the SEAOC web site for the
> last three years and spend the time to review our "threads" on the issue of
> CE verses SE and Architects Vs. Engineers and more. We have attempted to
> transfer this information to BORPEL's without luck and to SEAOC without them
> hearing us. If I am correct, you are a past president of SEAOSC (within the
> last three to five years). If this is the case, why were our discussions not
> discussed over board meetings to address the problems that exist within our
> own community as well as between professions?
> The fact remains that many of us who are CE's are registered with OES (I was
> prior to Northridge but not activated for some reason). I would venture to
> say that you may be lumping all CE-Structurals into one catagory. If so, you
> miss the essence of this discussion.
> The main reason why we have debated this issue is that many incompetent
> engineers and architects responded to the needs of the public after
> Northridge (and I venture to guess Loma Prieta and others). This included
> SE's who worked for large companies that did very little if anything with
> residential wood frameing. These engineers lacked the understanding of wood
> and had difficulty assessing a structures extent of damage by not having
> developed a feel for the materials. (Possibly these are the SE's who felt
> cheated that their abilities were not used). For those of you who are
> offended by my comments, please don't be, I have tutored a few SE's in wood
> design. There is no shame here to identify your weakness. For the same
> token, I would not feel comfortable accessing problems with steel and
> concrete framed buildings.
> More to the point: A financial market was created that opened the door to
> our "bottom feeders" and unscrupulus non-structural professionals to step
> over their bounds of experience simply because their license allows them to
> do so. This may have created a greater potential for harm to the public or
> may have attacked their pocketbooks by over-designers. Mind you, proper
> engineering skills and the competent understanding of engineering basics are
> what is in question, not whether a repair or retrofit design is over or
> under designed when the choice is subjectivly based upon the EOR's
> judgement. The professionals I am attacking are those who spend their time
> doing geotechnical, surveying, grading plans etc, but who never design
> buildings or foundations. These professionals (and I use the term lightly)
> swarmed over the private sector and insurance adjusters looking for
> profitable work. We can debate profit motivation, but when it comes to
> charging for services and receiving a report or retro design that is so far
> offbase it eithers breaks the homeowner or the insurance company is not
> professional. Those of us with structural engineering abilities are more
> than simple purveyors of calculations. We need to understand the ecconomics
> of design and be creative in our work. This is not the case for the bottom
> feeder who goes out to rape the tree of it's fruit.
> If you see us attacking our own profession, please understand that although
> the majority of those on this list who are SE's would love for me to join
> the fraternaty, they are still willing to accept my understanding of
> structural engineering from my experience with SEA and this list. What about
> all the others whose abilities are not known by the community, who don't
> participate in SEA, CELSOC or any of the other professional organizations
> that help the public differentiate between a CE(land) and a CE(structural)?
> Who protects the public when the title is too general (Civil Engineer). The
> latest changes suggested by Borpels simply help the profession police
> themselves, but do nothing to alert and educate the public of the
> differences and why a CE is not a CE is not an SE is not an Architect and so
> forth and so on. Structurally speaking, there is a discontinuity occuring in
> our own profession.
> Rick, the problem is that Architects (and non-structurals) should not be
> used for judgement calls simply because some SE refuses to evaluate
> residential or complains about not be used to the best of his ability. The
> fact is that residential structural design falls under the SE's title as
> part of his knowledge more so that an Architect. Ego and Superiority have no
> place in emergency response when your goal is to help the public whether
> they be a single family or a building full of employees.
> I understand your frustration with the problem. Possibly you can understand
> ours. You have more power within SEA than the combined lot of us and can
> open many eyes to our collective needs. Again, I highly recommend that you
> review past threads to come up to speed with the concensus of Listservice
> members. When you do, I would be honored to have you raise the issues and
> offer some constructive means to getting the needs of the community through
> the thick skulls of board members (Borpels and SEA).
> Respectfully
> Dennis Wish PE
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard_Ranous/OES(--nospam--at) <Richard_Ranous/OES(--nospam--at)>
> To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
> Date: Friday, January 23, 1998 11:55 AM
> Subject: What a disaster!
> >
> >I orginally posed a very possible scenario to something that WILL happen in
> >California.  I got some very good suggestions on an approach to solving the
> >problem and will be pursuing those suggestions.  Suddenly, the discussions
> >have moved to the value of architects and some of you have taken quite a
> >firm stand.
> >
> >I guess you have given me the opportunity to get on my soap box and relay
> >the problems I have had with structural engineers (and I have been one for
> >a good number of years).  I came to OES after 16 years of structural
> >engineering with various consultants including two offices of my own.  My
> >major responsiblility was and is to organize the "design community" to be
> >able to assist local government when disaster strikes and they need safety
> >evaluations of buildings.
> >
> >Ever since Loma Prieta I have been conducting after action meetings with
> >the responding personnel to hear from them what worked and what did not.
> >Without exception the responding structural engineers have complained that
> >they were used improperly by the requesting cities.  Their complaints were
> >centered on evaluating the safety of houses, mobile homes, and minor
> >structurces.  This was a waste of their expertiese.  There request was that
> >OES had to do something to make sure that they were used "properly."
> >
> >In 1991 we opened discuscions with AIA about joining our safety assessment
> >program.  As a part of those discussions we looked at areas where they
> >could most effectively be used.  The architects were happy to do
> >evaluations of houses and apartments.  They were willing to do whatever was
> >asked of them.  They simply wanted to be involved and help.
> >
> >As a State representative I have no control over how individuals are
> >assigned to perform evaluations.  Until you have been in a building
> >officials shoes in organizing and performing a safety assessment response
> >you can not talk about how right or wrong their actions where.
> >
> >Now, some of you are telling us that architects have no business being
> >involved in safety evaluations at all.  Okay, answer this question for me:
> >
> >If SEs don't want to do homes, mobile homes, and small structures; and they
> >do not want architects to be involved in safety evaluations how do I get
> >the resources necessary to get people back into their homes and businesses
> >in a timely fashion?  Let's look at Northridge:  113000 structures were
> >evaluated!  86% of those structures were residential?  Under this
> >discussion who should have evaluated them?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >