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RE: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)

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You have clarified the point I actually made. I am not implying that
people (including Ron Hamburger) are very intelligent people. For the
most part, they all have proven their intelligence. However, the result
of the code that has missed so much in residential construction implies
a lack of understanding of the practical application of the code for
residential design and construction. Because of this, these intelligent
men and women are simply out of their league and are making decisions
based on their personal belief that all materials can be designed in the
same manner without ever investigating their assumptions. This placed us
in a very difficult and potential liablous position.
Intelligence does not insure knowledge in all areas of structural
engineering. This brings up an excellent point that ties the suggestions
from SEAOSC's members like Bill Warren, John Shipp who have been working
on proposals and within committees for NCSEA to suggest redefining our
profession into multi-tiered licensing. Bill Warren had written a
proposal about two years ago that suggested that the SE-II (what
California refers to as an SE under the Title-Act) would have
full-authority to design while the SE-I would be restricted to low-rise
"regular" type structures. He suggests that the SE-II have total
autonomy in all issues of structural engineering including education and
licensing issues.
If anything, the release of this code clearly indicates that SE's (using
California's title act definition) HAVE NOT proven their competency in
all fields of structural engineering design - especially in the area
associated to residential wood design. This is a field almost dominated
by Civil Engineers in California and PE's which would be associated to
SE-I's in other states.
This also reflects an egotistical view by committee professionals who
have assumed total automony over the members of SEAOC to decide within
the committee the course of action that the members should be required
to review and decide for themselves.

We fall back on Apathy - the lack of caring by professional engineers as
to what free-decisions SEAOC committee members are allowed to make which
are suppose to be representative of the members not autonomously of the
committee volunteers alone.

This is a big flaw in our profession. What if, instead of simply
requiring CEU credits for renewal of our license, we allowed members of
professional organizations to invest their personal time in reviewing
and commenting on those areas of structural engineering that they claim
competency? Would this force more members to participate and take an
active interest (albeit forced compliance) in reviewing potential codes
to review the practicality of the application of the code before it is
voted on and adopted?

These are important concerns, but going back to your initial
observations, we can revere our educators and mentors - but we should
never be blind to their limitations and need to point out when they have
stepped out of their league.

Dennis S. Wish, PE
Click on this link to join the Residential list: 
http://64.119.172.143/mailman/listinfo/residential_structuralist.net 

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, PE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)attbi.com] 
Sent: Friday, September 27, 2002 2:57 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: IBC "Oops" (Was Residential Design Discussion)


Dennis,

Maybe I should say more talented than myself. I don't claim to be TY Lin
by any means, and the person on the seismology committee that I worked
with was a very smart man and a great engineer.

I'm sure others on the committee are smart guys (are their any gals?),
but I do wonder how many of them:
1) care about work outside their niche
2) have the ability to question their colleagues (some of whom have
large reputations and egos) and stand up for what is right 
3) admit to their mistakes or oversights 
4) are truly committed to what is best for all engineers rather than
their own firm's benefit
5) think designing a house or wood structure is all BS.


-gerard
 


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