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Cooperation Between Structural Engineering Organizations

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The next issue, Winter 1998, of STRUCTURE magazine will contain an article
that discusses this subject in greater depth than I will here in.  The
article invites comments as well as explains how the three principal
organizations representing structural engineers in the United States, the
National Council of Structural Engineering Associations (NCSEA), the
Council of American Structural Engineers (CASE) and the Structural
Engineering Institute (SEI) of ASCE, have been working together to aid and
assist each other and to eliminate wasteful duplication of effort.  This
issue of STRUCTURE magazine will be the first joint issue of the three
organizations.

The efforts, over the last four years plus, to establish cooperation have
resulted in partnering agreements between the organizations.  For those
SEAOC members who are not aware of these efforts, SEAOC has been a
prominent participant, both through their presence in NCSEA and on the Task
Formation committee for SEI.  All three organizations have the same basic
goal "serving the structural engineering profession".  But each
organization has different purposes and membership requirements.

The Trial Designs that Marc Barter posted on this list are another example
of this cooperation.  The lead in this activity is through the SEI Business
and Professional Activities Division.  This divisions executive committee
and sub-committees have balanced representation from all three
organizations.  The results of the trial designs could be published as
useful information to both practicing engineers and to building officials. 
Also the results could be passed on to the NCSEA Code Advisory Committees 
(CAC) for possible code changes.

The NCSEA-CAC is structured somewhat similar to the SEAOC committees,
please see the article "A Unified Voice-Development of the International
Building Codes", in the Fall 1998 issue of STRUCTURE.  The need for a
unified national voice for practicing structural engineers has never been
more apparent than in the development of the IBC.  SEAOC is a strong
participant in the NCSEA-CAC.

The NCSEA web site, ncsea.com, is currently under redesign to include
e-mail addresses for structural engineers, or others in related fields, to
be able to provide their input to code issues as well as many other issues
(i.e. professional licensing, continuing education, advocacy of the
structural engineering profession, practice guidelines, etc.).

The current Design Guidelines being prepared by SEAOC and to be published
by ICBO do not conflict with the national cooperative effort.  This
particular publication is to be reviewed form a national prospective by
NCSEA.  There are also many other state structural associations who produce
publications that could be of interest to those beyond their local group. 
The national cooperative effort is targeting the broader dissemination of
these publications as well as those of SEI and CASE to members of all three
organizations at reduced prices.

There are an enormous amount of efforts continuing to provide for
cooperation.  The leaders of the three organizations hope to keep all
concerned more informed of these activities through the joint publication
of STRUCTURE.

Thanks for listening,

Rawn