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Re: PE Stamps on Drawings

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I agree with these comments. My concern is the requirment that the work be
performed under direct supervision of the responsible engineer. Does this
mean that the draftsperson or designer must work in the same office or does
it provide latitude for the responsible engineer to receive a design from a
contract employee or service, review and revise as necessary and stamp off
when complete.
Example 1. A job is performed in an area where the designer is not licensed.
He submits the work to an engineer who is known to be licensed in this
region who agrees to review the project, recommend (require) changes, and
stamps off the final approved plans (and calcs).
The engineer stamping the plans becomes the responsible Engineer of Record
however, he did not enter the project until after the work was contracted
and the work commensed.

Example 2. Engineer designs a number of buildings of the same type
throughout the state he is licensed. His client wants to build the project
in another state which he does not have reciprocity. He turns the work down
because he can not supply stamping.
The client hires another engineer who is licensed in the state the project
is to be built. The project is a major retail chain that is constructed
essentially the same in every state by the same team of contractors.
Consistency is important and the developer / contractor demands that the
same details be used for each project unless necessary to be changed for
local code compliance.
Therefore, the design package turns out to the the same package submitted by
the original engineer and the calculations are simply reviewed and copied
under the titleblock of the new EOR.
Assumption: The work of the EOR or the contracted EOR (with the original
engineer retaining his connection with his client) is essentially the same -
review and approve the work of the original engineer.

Example 3: A developer pays for the development of a set of drawings for a
residential or commercial design. He takes the package to another engineer
and asks him to review and stamp the plans for a fee - which happens to be
much less than the original engineers "redesign fee".

The three examples above point out three senerios - the first two, in my
opinion, show valid conditions where I believe that an engineer can be
contracted to justify and take responsiblity for a project developed in
another office.

The last example is a flagrant violation of the original engineers
Intellectual rights but is questionable as to whether the new EOR is simply
stamping for a fee or willing to assume full liability for the project.

This should be a starting point for the topics on Plan stamping since the
nature of the way we work is evolving into independent satillite type
practices where the developers of a design may or may not reside in the same
office as the responsible engineer. We need to evolve the process to reflect
the way we work and protect the public by insuring that the person stamping
the plans is doing so responsibly.

I don't believe that a blanket statment as Ron Hamburger suggested has
considered all sides of the issues and I believe that this needs to be
discussed openly before creating another potential liability for practicing

Dennis S. Wish, PE

----- Original Message -----
From: Sherman, William <ShermanWC(--nospam--at)>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 1999 12:13 PM
Subject: RE: PE Stamps on Drawings

> I agree with Robert Shaffer and offer another perspective: I work for a
> large engineering firm and I often assist with design of projects under
> direction of another Professional Engineer or have another Professional
> Engineer assist me with a design I am responsible for.  Sometimes the
> PE does a design or detail differently than I might recommend - in which
> case I point out my suggestion and its basis, but I then abide by the PE's
> final decision.  And I expect the same when another PE work's for me -
> should inform me when they would recommend an alternate design or detail
> should abide by my decision when I am the responsible PE.  If multiple
> were to stamp the same drawing, the lines of responsibility and decision
> making are blurred and could create a case where neither PE wants to stamp
> drawing because everything is not the way they feel is best; or if both
> stamp a drawing and there is a problem, they might try to pin the
> responsibility of the other PE.
> I strongly recommend that only one PE be responsible for each
> design/drawing.  (An exception could be where two independent structures
> shown on one drawing and each stamp clearly states which structure the PE
> taking responsibility for.)