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RE: Stamping Calculations

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Thank you all for your contribution to this thread. I agree
wholeheartedly with all the comments. I was very interested to hear what
you all thought about the compairson between structural engineers and
doctors. I've been arguing with my wife (an R.N.) for years that
structural engineering decision making is just as important as a
physician's. And to no suprise of mine, you all seem to agree. Even if
she never will......

         Monte Griffiths, S.E.

> ----------
> From: 	Bill Sherman[SMTP:SHERMANWC(--nospam--at)]
> Reply To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Sent: 	Tuesday, February 02, 1999 7:22 AM
> To: 	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject: 	Re: Stamping Calculations
> Monte Griffiths wrote: 
> > Are we still professionals if we need someone to always check our
> work? < 
> My question is "are we acting professionally if we don't have our
> calculations 
> checked?"  We shouldn't confuse pride with professionalism.  
> > I mean to say, perhaps the problem is not enough time (read money)
> to do 
> a proper job. < 
> This is also a concern of mine - but extra time for one person will
> not 
> necessarily prevent errors.  Rather extra time/money is needed for a
> proper 
> checking job.  
> > Do doctors or attorneys need their work independently checked before
> they 
> can do their thing?. Should they? Typically no, they are considered 
> professionals and as such, they are trusted to practice their
> profession
> with 
> the judgement and skill they supposedly are proven to have (by
> education and 
> exam). < 
> Professional Engineers must also exercise their judgement - but
> structural 
> analysis and design involves alot of number crunching and detail
> development 
> for each project.  This is where structural engineering differs from
> the 
> practice of law or medicine.  In calculations it is very easy to make
> an
> error 
> in units, or load factors, or miss a critical design case, etc.  The
> checker 
> should be responsible for not only checking the math but also the
> assumptions 
> and methodology.  But where there is disagreement on issues of
> judgement,
> the 
> responsible professional engineer should have the final say.   
> Regarding doctors, it is generally recommended that a patient get a
> second 
> opinion on critical non-emergency surgery.  And I would assume that
> detailed 
> written medical procedures are reviewed by more than one physician.
> In the 
> legal system, I the court system acts as a "check" on the attorneys.
> And on 
> large important cases, usually a team of attorneys handle the case. 
> > Are mistakes in structural engineering more critical than a
> physician in 
> surgery? In some ways I would say yes.  But really, if we (structural 
> engineers) cannot be trusted to competently design structures without
> needing 
> some else to perform a complete review of all that we did, I wonder if
> being
> a 
> S.E. (or a P.E. 
> for that matter) really means anything, or if structural engineering
> is 
> really a "practice". < 
> As others have pointed out, the work of engineers can affect the lives
> of
> many 
> people.  I would also point out that our work involves projects of 
> considerable cost and potential financial loss.  I think that as
> professionals 
> we owe our clients designs which have been confirmed to be without
> error to 
> the best of our ability.   
> If nothing else, engineering contracts should spell out whether design
> checking is required so that clients know what they are getting and 
> engineering fees can be set accordingly.