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Sue Davis wrote:

>>You know, I can't help but think that the answer is very simple,
engineers don't sell themselves as well as other professionals. It is a
nice idea to educate others about our worth, but lets face it,
architects and owners like the low fees that engineers are currently
asking and they aren't going to raise them voluntarily. Maybe the answer
is educating engineers to negotiate for larger fees along with awareness
to the general public.

Sue Davis, PE<<

Do these "other professionals" sell themselves well or is it that their 
services are *needed* by an individual?  A person in trouble or who wants to 
stay out of trouble seeks out a lawyer to protect him/her personally, the 
individual, nobody else.  A person ill or injured seeks out a doctor in order 
to cure what is causing pain and suffering to *that* person.  A person with a 
backed up sewer seeks out a plumber because the backed up sewer impacts on 
the individual personally.  The *individual* is being *protected* by these 
professionals and service people.  What they do impacts on the individual 
directly.  The client/customer is the individual.  It is a one to one 
relationship.

Who are engineers' clients?  Architects, government, other engineers, 
contractors, lawyers, but rarely individuals.  Most of the time individuals 
will not know that an engineer is involved, or if they know that an engineer 
is involved, they will rarely know what the engineer is doing.  We have no 
direct contact with the ultimate beneficiary of our work.  Contractors tend 
to tell the individual that an engineer is not needed, or that the work was 
"over engineered" and this is why it cost so much.  Don't we (engineers) also 
have this problem, say, when we see a Broadway production, and remark about 
how talented the actors and actresses were and how beautiful the production 
and the set was?  Who produced the set?  The set designers.  Do we demand 
that they get as much recognition as the actors and actresses on stage?  Do 
we demand that the set designers get paid as much as the actors and actresses 
on stage?  I doubt that we do and why?  I think that it is because there is 
no direct contact between these behind-the-scenes people and the audience.  
The actors and actresses performances impact on the individual directly, the 
efforts of the behind-the-scenes people do not.

We structural engineers are support people and our participation is not 
recognized until something falls down.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona