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RE: Offshore Design

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> I don't necessarily agree with outsourcing work overseas as being
> unethical.
> As a design engineer, I'm constantly sending sketches and design
> drawings by
> hand or in verbal format to my drafters who go through the detailed
> coordination and geometry necessary for a functional set of working
> drawings.
> Once the drawings are completed, I work through them and check them.  Red
> markups go back to the drafters for review.  After I while we
> develop a good
> working relationship, where I know the drafter's weak spots and
> he mine.  We
> feed off each other's strengths until the product is finished.
> Now whether the job is drawn up in house, by contract,  farmed
> out down the
> street or overseas is not as relevant.  At the end of the day, the design
> engineer has to satisfy him/herself that the work is done well and that he
> takes responsibility for it.  Public safety is not in question
> here, because
> the same registered engineer is taking final responsibility for
> the design,
> coordination and inspections for the job.
> An engineer that finds a way to outsource the expensive part of the job to
> be more competitive, even if that means outsourcing overseas is good
> business - and that is very American.

Well great.  Now to the real point.  What is the biggest problem we have
with non-registrants doing engineering work in this country?  Besides being
against the law and them not competent.  They take our work (and money) for
one, they undercut our fees, and they lower the standard our clients expect.
Why should they pay me $100 for a job when Bubba can get me a permit for
$20.  Now we are going to sub our design work to a guy that doesn't even
make the equivalent of minimum wage in this country.  Is that so we can make
more money?  No!!  What will happen is that we will see someone cutting
their fees to get the job by using out of the country "labor."  If this
happens too much, we will all have to cut our fees in order to eat.  Then we
will be working for minimum wage.

Brian K. Smith, P.E.

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