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Re: Structural Engineers becoming isolated from the design team

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> From: Lynn H <lhoward(--nospam--at)>

> > From: "SEConsultant" <seconsultant(--nospam--at)>

> > verbal abuse. Most come in the form of comments suggesting that engineers,
> > as a whole, aggressively over design structures at the expense of the

I can accept statements of over-design and incompetence coming from
steel erectors or GCs while I'm standing on-site to deal with their
concerns, directly. It is the comment made in private, to a third party,
that is undefendable and damaging. 

> > public. Every contractor touts his ability to construct a building that has
> > never been damaged, but stipulates that even the best engineer will not be
> > able to assure performance in a large magnitude quake.

> trip.  I was personally "attacked" (verbally) by the
> steel erectors (the guy shooting the studs on the

I'd be worried if this didn't happen everytime I set foot on a site! ;-)
On the other hand, I learn a lot from those same people. Also, the steel
erector is usually willing to listen and learn but the GC can be more
difficult (something about estimating based on the way that other
projects were done - i.e. the way that we have always done it - rather
than what was on the drawings in hand).

> o.c. if I remember right).  The Contractor was
> building it and complaining the whole time about how
> we had over designed the Nuclear Power Plant.  Doing

The design engineer is the only person who knows the specific design
criteria and, therefore, the only person who can determine the level of
"over-design" that is inherent in an assembly. Anybody else is blowing
in the wind. It only really becomes non-trivial when the statements are
made by another professional engineer, who should know better, or made
in a way that injures my credibility and prevents me from defending the

> This is nothing new.  Some things will never change.

Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
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