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RE: Should Structural Engineering be Separted from Civil Engineer ing

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Structural Engineering should not, in my opinion, be further separated from
the practice of civil engineering as it exits today. For a person to become
a licensed engineer in the discipline of civil engineereing he/she must take
the NCEE exams or special exams (e.g. California Seismic/Survey) to
demonstrate a wide range of knowledge in the field to include structural
engineering.  In fact, the majority of the problems on the civil exam are
structural.  Currently many states allow engineers to take the 2 part NCEE
structural exam to become specifically licensed in the branch of structural
engineering vs. civil.  This may be one method for encouraging the idea of
specialization and designating certain structure types as requiring the
stamp of a licensed SE.  I disagree with the statement that structural
engineers and civil engineers have little in common.  All civil engineering
university programs require courses in structures/hydraulics etc. which
would be the basis for further study/specialization once the engineer began
practicing.  The practice of civil engineering requires a broad range of
knowledge in many areas (environmental, transportation, structures,
surveying, etc) which affect the built environment.  Similar to an
architect, (but with greater technical knowledge) who should have a general
knowledge of all components of buildings (mechanical, electrical,
landscaping, structures, etc.), a civil engineer has a general knowledge of
many aspects of the built environment, and can choose to specialize in a
certain area once entering the work force.  The idea of restricting civil
engineers from practicing in the area of structural design of buildings,
foundations and/or bridges is not reasonable given the current state of
educational and licensing programs in the profession.  Should a "structural
engineer" be limited in his/her practice to that particular area and
prohibited from intruding into the areas of architectural design and layout
of roadway cross sections (e.g. all bridges, dams, arenas, etc, will be laid
out by architects and have designs validated by structural engineers)?  I
suggest that the present licensing system be broadened into all 50 states to
include the disciplines of civil and structural engineering as separate
branch specializations, but give individual states the option of restricting
the engineering of certain structure types to either civil or structural
engineers as they deem appropriate (e.g. California - only schools &
hospitals need structural - civil can do all else).

Joseph Baltar P.E. (civil)/Architect 

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Milo Ketchum [SMTP:mketchum(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Tuesday, March 02, 1999 05:19
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	Should Structural Engineering be Separted from Civil
> Engineering
> Structural Engineering Should Be Separated From Civil Engineering
> If structural engineering is ever to be a real profession with the
> highest standards, it must
> have control of it own destiny. Structural engineers and civil engineers
> have little in
> common. Environmental engineers have already proclaimed their separate
> identities
> because most departments are now civil and environmental engineering. 
> The present
> courses of study leaves out much that the structural engineer badly
> needs, for example he
> should have some knowledge of architecture, he is a graphical
> illiterate. Undergraduates
> should have continuous contact with design professionals, and not just
> PhD's as they are
> now.  The only way to get any change is for the National Association and
> the state 
> associations to take the lead, and  members be directed to this goal.
> The latest suggestion is to make the Master's Degree the starting
> degree.  I do not think
> this is in any way a cure or a solution of our problems, and many see to
> agree.
> This problem needs a lot of discussion
> Milo Ketchum
> mketchum(--nospam--at)