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Re Pearl Habour
>I detect some cynicism here.  No one is trying to be rude, we're just
>an open discussion on relevant issues, and hopefully in the process become
>better engineers.
>Although the above examples are cause for concern, I don't think it's fair
>to put the responsibility of all future usages of our product as our sole
>responsibility.  If you design a building to be used for a furniture
>warehouse, you would apply your skill and service to the best of you
>for your client.  If in 20 years the owner sells the building, and the
>building is now used as a warehouse to store illegal drugs and shoot
>porn films, is it your responsibility that the intended use of your product
>has changed?
Re Bad trading partners>
>I couldn't agree more.  I would go further and look into the company's
>history, as well as the country's history to see what it's human rights
>situation is.  Added to not being a good trade partner, I would have a hard
>time giving work to people who have bad child labour legislation and
>implementation for example.

Re shop the work out to someone without our qualifications not
under our direct control is unethical.
>I still don't see this.  How far do you take it.  Does every person in your
>office need to be an S.E. in order to do any work, drawings, coordination,
>shop drawing review, calcs, design, analysis?
>I would rather an engineer doing this to
>>pocket the money saved than to lower his prices, because that puts
>on others in the same field to do the same.
>I would consider pocketing money in this manner to be unfair to your
>Someone has found a way to complete the job in a more economical manner, if
>the client has hired you, he deserves the all the benefits of the decision
>to choose your firm.
>I find the argument "if you check it,
>>it's OK" to be weak--there are too many places to make a mistake, to make
>>incorrect assumption, to not factor in something that should have been if
>>were knowledgeable of the local conditions.
Re checking work
>Most engineers check work every day.  If my skill level and talent are
>sufficient to seal work that is outsourced through whatever review process
>see fit, why should I not be rewarded for that skill.  Why should I  lower
>the bar to match other less talented engineers.
>I don't worry about the errors I
>>catch...I worry about the ones that slip by.
>Every ethical engineer has the same concern.  Well said.
Re Maine - Texas consultants>
>It is a standard practice in my experience for some of the big equipment
>suppliers out of Europe, to lay out the process, give reactions and other
>important loading conditions and hand the whole thing over to local
>engineers to perform the detailed engineering for all disciplines including
>structural, mechanical, electrical and site services.  If you meant that
>owner was expecting to have 100% working documents from the Maine
>consultants, then I agree, that is unethical.  But otherwise contracts are
>typically set up with everyone knowing that the local consultants will bear
>responsibility for the bulk of the work.
re "well, nothing bad has happened yet."
>The people who outsource, myself included, simply do not practice
>engineering this way.

Re errors delivered to the client resulting from outsourcing
>I respectfully disagree.  If my seal is going on the drawings or the spec.
>make sure the work suits my local conditions here, or I make sure that the
>engineer I've hired for the foreign work I need to get completed, is fully
>of aware of my concerns and design intent.  With email, there is simply no
>excuse for lack of communication anymore.  I don't use a disclaimer as you
>have mentioned above.
>>In order to become a PE, we must be supervised by a PE skilled in our
>>order to stamp off on a plan or other document, we have to have done the
>>ourselves OR directly supervised it.  Yes, you can supervise someone in a
>>location...but I submit it is far less reliable than someone in your
>I agree with you on this for sure.  Just because it is hard doesn't mean it
>can't be done though.  We're engineers after all.  If it's not hard, why
>up in the morning.  Challenge is what we live for.
>>ESPECIALLY if it is someone you have never met, reviewed their
>>reviewed their work process.  Through in some language and cultural
>hurdles, its
>>even more challenging.  Its up to the PE to "bet their stamp" and make
>The same argument applies to hiring a new employee.  It takes a good 3
>in my view to get someone up to speed with how things are run in our
>Over time the relationship developed with a new employee or someone
>will develop until it becomes efficient.

Re casual stamping
>This is a good point.
>>This is not an "isolationist" issue, it's a "public safety vs. dollars"
>>If a client is unaware of a firm's use of overseas (or even out of state)
>>resources, it could also be a issue of "truth in advertising/false
>>representation."  If you're NOT telling your client how you're saving them
>>money--Why not?  Are you worried about their perception of work done by
>>when they perhaps thought they were paying you?
>It is not necessarily the whole world's business to know how I choose to
>my operation.  Sometimes I fire people or lay them off.   Do I phone up all
>my clients and tell them I'm one guy less now? - No.  Clients buy services
>based on my firm's reputation.  Whether in house or outsourced, it is still
>my firm's reputation and fee that get's the job.
>If I outsource a job, and it gets screwed up, I damage my reputation but
>more importantly the safety and quality of product is the issue.  If I
>choose to outsource, I make sure the job doesn't get screwed up.
>Just remember competition forces creativity and will result in a better and
>safer end product to society.  As we see dangers in design we improve them,
>just look at the amount of new code that has come out in seismic design
>alone over the past 10 years.  Building envelope and fire safety issues
>also improved tremendously.  Code upgrades are primarily reactive in my
>and so they had their developments had hiccups too.  I'm confident that as
>ethical engineers, as I sense you are, we will move and improve over time.
>If outsourcing proves to be one problem after the other, we will find ways
>to regulate it or throw it out all together.
>Hans E. Boge, P. Eng.

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