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Offshore Design - Part 2 of 3

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[Part 2 of 3 -- Continued from Part 1 posted separately]

The communication and understanding required among the engineer, owner,
contractors and other design professionals in order to ensure the
incorporation of all program requirements, and in order to ensure the
coordination of the engineered design with the materials, means and methods
utilized to perform the work, requires a presence and interaction that
simply cannot be performed over the "information dirt highway" (a.k.a. the
Internet).  I've performed professional engineering design both domestically
and internationally, from New York to California, and from Mexico to the
Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  Guess what?  Those
international projects weren't offered to us because we were a cheaper
"offshore" engineering firm.  It costs us a great deal more money to perform
these projects, which the clients are willing to pay because they perceive
and want the quality of our engineering services.  We visit and research the
sites.  Not just principal figureheads, but our people who actually perform
the engineering work make frequent trips to communicate and coordinate with
the clients and the contractors.  We research and learn local codes and
practices.  We put the proper people there during the proper phases of
construction.  And when it makes sense for the project, from an engineering
standpoint not just for political expediency, and almost never because it's
cheaper (it's often more expensive), we engage local qualified engineering
consultants or joint venture partners.  And we work with them.  We don't
just hire them and wait until the product arrives.  When they haven't
measured up, we didn't simply stomp our feet and wash our hands of it.  We
took over their responsibilities and made sure the project was completed the
way it should be -- even when it cost us a lot of money.  It's our
responsibility and reputation, and we expend the effort required to make
sure it meets our professional standards.  We aren't in the commodity
service business, and won't hire offshore engineers who are.

This is another major distinction between a "profession" and a general
business.  Companies don't practice professional engineering, only
individual licensed engineers do.  A company may only be the business
vehicle by which the professional engineering services are offered.  Under
such circumstances, additional constraints and obligations are placed on the
company beyond that which are imposed on a mere general business company.
Again, a higher standard of care and performance is expected from a company
that provides professional services, and the licensed professional who
enables the company to offer such services is personally responsible for
ensuring that the company complies with the additional requirements.

Mr. Masroor, I'm concerned about your statements, "My last boss used to sign
drawings after first glance through them.  He was the only licensed engineer
in the company, and his only other contribution was dealing with the
clients.  But, this was supposed to be his direct supervision, since we were
working in his office instead of remote and getting salaries instead of
payment on job basis."  I don't understand what difference it made in how
you were paid by your boss.  With respect to exercising direct supervision,
this requires much more than him simply predominately being on the premises
where the work is performed.  That is only one test, albeit an important
one, which may or may not be considered by a regulating board, to determine
whether or not direct supervision was actually provided by a licensed
engineer.  Guidelines and definitions of direct supervision vary among the
boards, but they all generally intend the same thing.  California's board
has one of the better and more comprehensive explanations under the meaning
of "responsible charge".  Your admission that your boss "used to sign
drawings after first glance through them" clearly indicates that he was
probably simply practicing in-house plan stamping with inadequate
participation, supervision and review.  This would be entirely unacceptable
here, and your own admission makes the argument for not using "offshore"
engineering.  Furthermore, your failure to recognize this makes your
judgment and qualification to practice professional engineering suspect.  Do
you really want to convince me to use you for offshore engineering?  OK,
assuming for the moment that you are technically qualified, provide me with
your full name and address, the full name and address of your last boss, the
legal name and address of the firm for which you both worked, the clients'
full names and addresses, the project descriptions and dates to which you
refer, and the jurisdictions for which your boss signed the drawings.  If
they were projects in an American jurisdiction, I pledge to you to
personally report your boss' actions to the appropriate engineering boards.
Well, what do you say?  Come on, you said that you guys are better than us
at engineering, didn't you?  Well, let's prove that you have the
professional judgment and integrity required to practice professional

[...continued under separate posting as Part 3 of 3...]

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