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- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Re: Salary Survey
- From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
- Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 18:30:13 -0400
Actually, I would argue that you don't really disagree with my statement. Note that I said "Generally, no." That means for the most part they cannot do the same things we can. However, if you compare a architect JUST out of school with a civil engineer JUST out school, they will have structural skills that are rather similar. A lot of young engineers don't fully grasp concepts of load paths and cannot intuitively pick a member size. Much of what I know now I did not learn during my undergraduate education. I do agree that there are architects out there that do think they understand structural engineering when they actually don't (actually, in my experience it is architectural designers not architects that usually think they now more...or more to the point they may not care, just say "I'm sorry but I will only allow you to put in a 6" beam...you cannot put in your 24" beam...aesethics, you know"). But then, I am sure that there are structural engineers that claim to know more about architecture then they really do. I will also point out that I worked with someone who was an architect by training (as in an architectural degree and was a registered architect) but did structural engineering for a living...he was of the old school...don't forget that in the not too distant past, architects would tranditionally much of the work that we now do. I certainly agree with you that even though techinically I can practice any area of civil engineering, I won't. My expertise, so to speak, is structural...not to mention my desire/joy. Scott At 06:45 AM 9/30/99 -0500, you wrote: > > >Scott Maxwell wrote: > >> I would disagree with your comments about architects. Yes, for the most >> part an architect is not trained to do what we do as structural engineers, >> but they typically do have some minimal structural courses. Can an >> architect do what we do? Generally, no. But can we do what an architect >> does? >> > >I disagree with your statements. I've never seen nor heard of architect that >could do what we do; but I know a lot of them that think they can. Can I do >what an architect does? No, but I also don't pretend that I can. I repeatedly >sit in meetings or have discussions with architects about the size of >structural members. They always think that they can suggest the size for the >member; they are always very surprised when they here the size that is required >because it typically is substantially larger than they expect. > >Just because someone has had a course in structural engineering does not mean >that they understand engineering principles or are capable of making decisions >based upon the little knowledge they have of the subject. I had a course in >psychology once; I guess by your theory that means that I am qualified to make >reasonable assumptions that would be about the same as a qualified psychologist >would make. I can tell you this much, I wouldn't even be able to come close. > >I am licensed engineer - I took the civil exam. Therefore, I am technically >qualified to practice in any field of civil engineering. I only practice >structural engineering because I don't feel that I am qualified to practice in >the other disciplines even though I have the background in those disciplines. >Exposure to structural engineering doesn't give architects any idea of what it >really takes to design a structure. > >The problem is that the public perception is that all buildings are >"structurally designed" by architects. Architects give the perception that >they are responsible for the stability of the building and not just the >appearance. This is repeatedly enforced through the media. > >Our salaries will not escalate until the public becomes educated about what we >do. When buildings collapse due to natural causes, the media blames everything >on "shoddy construction". I'll admit poor construction is a large factor in >many failures, but what about the cases where it was poor engineering. These >cases don't seem to gain media attention. If the public new that the reason >the building collapsed and killed 50 people was because an engineer screwed up, >they might be willing to pay more for the best engineering services that they >can possibly buy. Until the perception changes about the importance of our >work, salaries will not escalate.
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