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Re: WHO'S WHO? (Titles mean something!)

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The SEAs and ASCE have a lot of work ahead of them before this attitude will be
practical in anything other than a technical/legal setting.  To use medical
doctors as an example, most members of the general public have an understanding
(or at least a general concept) of the difference between an intern, a resident,
and a doctor.  They do not understand the difference between an EIT, a PE, and
an SE.  Unlike a medical doctor, the average person does not visit an engineer
even once in a life time, let alone every time they catch a cold.  There are no
high drama television shows about any sort of engineering;  no actors or actress
portraying fit, attractive engineers.  If someone in a casual setting asks you
what you do, and you say that you are "an engineering in training working in an
office that specializes in structural engineering and doing some tasks, under
the direct supervision of a licensed structural engineer, that resemble
structural engineering but differ from it for important legal reasons, and with
a little more experience will be a professional engineer again in the same
position, but a couple years after that will be a structural engineering," then
goodness, even the eyes of a technical professional would glaze over.  Certainly
this individual would be way out of line and disrespectful of the system to
describe themselves as an "SE" or a "Licensed Structural Engineer", but there
must be some happy medium.  This situation is not helped by the fact that most
other fields of engineering do not has as clearly established title/liscense
procedure.  I have friends who are aerospace and mechanical engineers who will
never have or need a license.  Even within our modern world (not needing to look
back at the historical founders of the profession), there are many fine
"structural engineers" who live and practice overseas and will never have any
sort of licensee because their nations do not require them.  How do the rules of
etiquette apply to them in the casual (not legally binding or stamped and
signed) discussions of this list?

Paul Crocker


Dave Adams wrote:

> This is EXACTLY why specific titles mean something. I don't want to rain on
> a person's parade, but if we begin attributing the label "Structural
> Engineer" to someone who is not licensed to do such (yeah, I understand the
> politics of licensing and am quite certain that there are probably many
> great individuals out there that have not taken the SE exam but are more
> qualified to design than some who have passed the exam), the qualifications
> of the title become fuzzy. When I was an E.I.T., I didn't dream of
> presenting myself as a "structural engineer" because I held the title in
> such high esteem.
>
> I love structural engineering and am always impressed by the achievements of
> my colleagues (many of you have impressed me over and over again with your
> posts) and there should be some sort of guideline to allow someone to take
> the title SE. Whether we agree with it or not, in California this is allowed
> only after passing the SE exam. Maybe there is more that SEAOC or ASCE can
> do to improve the reputation of the profession and, yes, there is much that
> we need to do ourselves.