No, I didn't get that kind of education, nor was it offered.
Where did you go to school, Neil? Do they still teach to that level?
Cromwell Architects Engineers
B.S. Northwestern University
--- Neil Moore <nmoore(--nospam--at)innercite.com> wrote:
> I'd take number 1 and I would look very carefully at his undergraduate
> curriculum - there are schools that do provide almost FOUR years of
> structural engineer related courses. I would also review who he has worked
> for and what type of projects he was able to work on. My office was never
> really able to afford "apprentice" engineers from the big colleges who gave
> the students "a bag of tools". For many years this was the attitude of at
> least many of the San Francisco bay area firms.
> A previous comment was that there wasn't enough time to learn how to do
> connections. My school taught this and we even had to learn how to detail
> them. The school also taught specifications, codes, estimating, and even
> overview type courses in heating and ventilation and plumbing; items that
> have to interface with real world structural arrangement problems. The
> school even taught timber design!
> If I remember correctly, we even had to take an ethics course. I remember
> our dean saying that our school wasn't really that good; it was just that
> the other schools were so bad.
> A few years ago I had a PhD working for me. He didn't have his EIT, but he
> was planning on taking the California S.E. He had never taken a timber
> course. I informed him that there was four hours of testing on this. He
> replied that he was never going to take a timber course and would
> substitute the bridge design questions instead. He left the firm I was
> connected with soon after. I was concerned the day when he tried to
> determine the values of a stucco wall for a shear wall in conjunction with
> a heavy concrete moment frame building.
> Going back to the importance of the engineering curriculum: By our junior
> year we had completed steel, concrete, timber and structural analysis. In
> the senior year, we took 15 units of structural analysis. One of the best
> courses, taken in my freshman year was a course in Building Construction -
> a great introduction of the basics of putting a structure together. Forgot
> to mention that we also learned how to draw - enough to command good
> salaries by the end of our sophomore year. The hand drafting required at
> that time really helps one produce good legible calcs! I wonder how many
> engineers are still doing hand calculations? Actually, the hand drafting
> carried over to being able to produce good, well organized CAD drawings.
> A plus was actually building some small exotic structures - I remember that
> the first Bucky Fuller geodesic dome on the west coast was built on our
> campus as a senior project. I was a lowly freshman that spent one Saturday
> with the rest of the class assembling this. We were intriqued with another
> project being constructed; a timber-steel Vierendeel truss; timber top
> compression chord, a threaded bar for the bottom chord and plywood gussets
> for the web. Later, one of our senior projects was a 16 foot square
> hyperbolic paraboloid made from 6" x 16 foot strips of plywood.
> Monday nights were mandantory attendence at Producer Council seminars for
> freshmen. I don't even think that we got any actual credits for this.
> But, each Monday evening, someone from the industry showed up and presented
> a lecture. People like the American Plywood Association and the AISC. I
> even remember a demonstration on plastered walls - the real stuff - mortar,
> mesh, mess and all!
> And I can remember the all night sessions - i.e. everybody at the lab.
> Sometimes, around midnight a couple of profs would appear at the doorway,
> taking mental roll call. We can remember the weekends tolling over our
> structural problem for the week - all had to be hand drafted and turned in
> on Monday morning and then a 3 hour structural quiz.
> Did your school do these kind of things? Maybe it's time to review the
> undergraduate curricum and see if the students are getting the proper basic
> tools. The curriculum that we had to take was for four years; many took
> five years or went to the summer school sessions.
> Enough of my rambling - I'm starting a vacation today and maybe I'll be a
> little more mellow when I come back. One of my pet peeves is how, with all
> of these bright people out there, they have not been getting the basic
> tools required in the real world.
> Neil Moore, S.E.
> By the way, I believe that everyone in my graduating class is a California
> S.E. and most have had their own firms.
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