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Re: PE Stamps on Drawings

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Bart Needham wrote:
> One insight this issue has given us, is our preoccupation and propensity for
> recrimination and assigning responsibility.  Perhaps we're not that different
> from attorneys after all.  Perhaps it becomes easier to see how the regulation
> of  engineering practice has turned into a litmus test for culpability.
> Interpretation of the building code has always rested on the shoulders of those
> who use it and enforce it.  In a similar manner, interpretation of the
> construction documents is incumbent upon those who use them and enforce them.
> As engineers it is sometimes easy to lose site of the idea that engineering is a
> system of objectively valid principles based on theory and research which most
> of us were exposed to during our education.
> While there may be different ways of achieving these principles, the  violation
> of these principles always gives poor results.
> Many engineers have devoted their time and careers, at great expense to
> themselves, to developing some of  the objective norms that constitute our
> codes, leaving the responsibility of interpretation to the practitioner.
> In the final analysis, being preoccupied with who stamps what, and who informs
> us of legislative changes etc., is of small matter compared to the quality of
> our engineering judgment and the precision with which our documents are
> interpreted.

Engineering does not exist in a vacuum.  Legislative and code changes
have dramatic impacts on what you say are "objective engineering
principles".  Has the code change from '94 to '97 UBC affected you?  How
will you feel when the IBC comes around?  I agree that pointing fingers
is the easy way out.  All members need to spend a small part of their
time (one or two phone calls a year) talking to representatives to find
out what is going on.  I am lucky in that the principles (and mentors)
at my firm are extremely active in local code and legislative politics. 
This does not eliminate the need to have a lea son from SEAOC (or SEAU)
with the state legislature.  Anything that affects you or me (and many
things that don't) I want to know about.  If someone else is assigned
the task to tell me, I will count on that person to do his or her job.

Jake Watson, E.I.T.
Salt Lake City, UT