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RE: Certification of Structural Engineers[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: Certification of Structural Engineers
- From: "Yousefi, Ben" <Ben.Yousefi(--nospam--at)ci.sj.ca.us>
- Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2000 14:42:39 -0700
Definitely an idea whose time has come. I wish the NCSEA utmost success in accomplishing this. I just have a concern regarding the two-tier registration that is being proposed. As noted earlier by Jeff Coronado the cleanest way to accomplish this is by just having an SE registration rather than SE-I and SE-II. I like a program similar to the ones states of Illinois and Washington have in place. SE registration would be required for the design of all but simple (i.e. 3 stories or less with some limitation on the occupant load) structures. My two cents Ben Yousefi, SE San Jose, CA -----Original Message----- From: Ron O. Hamburger [SMTP:ROH(--nospam--at)eqe.com] Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2000 7:50 AM To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org Subject: Certification of Structural Engineers Here's some more info on the recent press release by NCSEA. NCSEA had previously adopted a resolution to work towards obtaining separate structural engineering registration in all 50 states. The fact is, as indicated in the paper by Shipp, Warren and Castle, currently, only 6 states register structural engineers, as such, and require such registration as a condition of the right to design structures. Four more states have "civil" registration, that includes structural engineers as well as other branches of civil engineers. The remaining 40 have generic PE registration. In most such states, to obtain registration, you must qualify by education, experience and testing, in a particular branch, for example "civil", but are permitted to practice in any area in which you are competent and qualified. Who determines if you are competent or qualified? You do - or at least you do until someone disagrees, and brings proceedings against you. Of all the various engineering disciplines, structural engineers are the persons with the most direct responsibility for protecting the public safety. If a structural engineer performs negligently, buildings, bridges and other structures they design and have responsibility for fall down, and kill people, a lot of people, in the process. In fact, most structural engineers, over the course of their careers, are responsible for protecting more lives than most MDs. An MD may see a few thousand patients in their life times. SEs design buidlings and other structures that tens of thousands will reside in. Yet in most states, there is no separate recognition of structural engineering as an identifiable and important profession, worthy of independent registration. It would be highly desirable to have a uniform practice of separate registration of structural engineers, in all 50 states, using criteria that are sufficiently rigorous that the registration is meaningful, and sufficiently uniform that comity and right to practice across state lines is assured. NCSEA and the member organizations of NCSEA (now 32 different SEAs) should and will seek to pursue this. However, this will require working with 50 different state legislatures and wending through the hurdles put forth by other interests. It will take a long time to acheive this. It can not be done on a national (federal) basis, because the U.S. Constitution precludes the federal government from this activity (not expressly - but by not reserving to the Federal Gov't the right to do this - it becomes a State's Right). Certification, provides our profession with the opportunity to begin self-regulation, to estabilish meaningful continuinig education and professional development criteria, to transport rights to practice across state lines, and most important to build value in the title Structural Engineer. In essence, it permits SEs to begin to build a "brand" behind the title that is worth something. Would you go to a dentist who is not ADA certified? Why should a developer or architect go to an engineer who is not SEA certified? Certification should be something by which we identify ourselves on business cards and advertisements. Note that what NCSEA has resolved to do is to form a committee to propose a certification program to the membership. An initial study was conducted last year, and was positively received by the membership. The membership voted nearly unanimously to proceed and see what would be involved in establishing the certification program. At this point, representatives from the various states will begin to meet, and see if we can find common ground in identifying what the certification would look like, and how it would be administered. This program is without doubt, the most ambitious project that NCSEA has ever undertaken. Stay tuned for more information.
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