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RE: Architects Doing Engineering -Enough!

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> the issue ... infiltrated by
>unqualified professionals who, by the current licensing acts are allowed to
>design structures.
Precisely. And the civil structural field is by no means alone. I heard 
tell the other day of an 'engineer' doing seismic analysis who didn't 
know the difference between a response spectrum and a time history. My 
point is that you don't sort out such people with a one or two day test. 
Especially a single problem test that cannot address all the things real 
engineers need to know. Passing a test is a first step, like a college 
degree-- no test or no degree makes a good engineer or a responsible 
engineer, and it doesn't distinguish an engineer who thinks 1 year's 
experience repeated 15 times equals 15 years experience. Constant 
exposure to new ideas and the experience of other engineers is the only 
answer. That's means real continuing education, not just paging through 
Engineering News Record in the men's room. 

>...specific engineering classification needs to be assigned
>to distinguish those who can prove competency
Classifications aren't the answer either--looks to me that all the 
squabbling over SE vs. CE is an outgrowth of trying to protect turf by 
making distinctions that don't exist in the real world. The 
criterion--the first and great commandment if you like, is thou shalt not 
practice in an area where thou art incompetent. My classification doesn't 
automatically qualify me for anything: whatever I call myself--if I don't 
understand the current standards of practice for what I'm about to do, I 
refer the work to someone who does. This is the law that needs to be 

>It seems ludicrus that those of us who use are registration to practice
>area's that we are competent need to further prove our skills simply to weed
>out the bad seeds.
Too true. Especially because a test has about as much diagnostic value as 
slamming the door of a used car. I learned how to take tests as a sprog 
undergraduate; the notion that someone can take a test and emerge as a 
fully formed, technically skilled, responsible, prudent engineer who 
knows the art as well as the craft of the trade--there's ludicrous for 

>HOWEVER, I would be willing to make the sacrifice if it meant that we can
>finally bar those who cross the line and prevent them from endangering the
How about sacrificing a few hours per year for continuing education ? 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)