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RE: scab structural engineer??

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David,
I have run into this problem as well - in fact, I recently lost a
project (fortunately after only 12-hours of time was invested which I
was paid for in the retainer) because the client found another engineer
who promised a more economical design. While the specifics are not
particularly important, the issue is that others who are not
professionals and those who are and wish to obtain the contract can not
be prevented from voicing their opinions that we have "over-designed" or
in some cases "under-designed" a project. 
I believe that there are no (or very few) contracts that will commit to
the "most economical" or "best performing" structural design. These are
terms that can always be challenged in court, but have not bearing in
the world of design. An engineer is hired to use his or her judgment as
to what constitutes the most ideal and safest design for his client.
Many of us choose to be a bit conservative and while this may be
questioned, it can not be used against us as a potential liability. 
The client is always welcome to hire another engineer to recreate the
project, but I am not obliged to release my work for his or her review
or use. We provide a service, and our work product is protected by
Intellectual Property laws. 
I am currently in a situation where the client is asking for my work
product as proof of the hours I invested in the preliminary design he is
being charged for. Many of these hours are mental and can not be
produced on paper. Others are modification to proprietary tools that I
do not wish to provide that may be misinterpreted or re-created for use
by others. 
What it boils down to is that no engineer can be penalized for designing
based on his use of professional judgment as to what constitutes the
most appropriate solution for the project. There are those who will
challenge this - my response is to charge hourly for additional services
if they wish for me to seek an alternative solution that differs from
what I have provided. 

Dennis S. Wish PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Narayanan, Ram [mailto:rnarayanan(--nospam--at)varco.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 7:03 AM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
Subject: RE: scab structural engineer??


It was a pleasure to read thru your post!..

I could see how frustrating the scene can get  an enjoyable technical
problem being turned into an identity crisis betwen two engineers.

I had suffered this agony in the past as a reviewer ... and as an
engineer with a bias to Structural Optimization .. I am always conscious
code requirements reflect as structural weight more by the engineers
perspective of the very cause of loads rathjer than how design meeets
code requirements !

My two cents to your excellent analysis .

Dr Ram S Narayanan
Tuboscope
Houston, TX 

-----Original Message-----
From: dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com [mailto:dfisher(--nospam--at)fpse.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 8:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: scab structural engineer??


Ladies and Gentlemen:

My office is often approached to provide "second opinions" and peer
review services on projects performed by other structral engineers, due
to our fantastic reputation, no doubt.

But seriously, based on my experience, the need for these services is
usually the result of two things:  

1)   slow response by the original EOR to RFI's, field problems, etc.

(not the situation in George's case, it seems...)

2)   percieved "over design" by someone who typically has no
qualifications
     whatsoever to make such a judgement (owner, contractor, sub,
etc....)


Like the vast majority of the engineers on this list and in general, we
all have enough of our own problems on a daily basis to take on someone
else's headaches...


What's even worse is when this "second opinion" stuff is taken to the
nth degree, i.e., it becomes a "contest" between the EOR and the
"reviewing engineer"...

who can produce the most economical (cheapest) design?

The EOR, who knows the most about the project and is trying to do his
best while being constantly second guessed and the other guy, who's
trying to justify HIS fee.

(and double the engineering costs...)

ugh...

Anyway, while we have done this for ESTABLISHED client referrals, we do
NOT seek out this kind of work...i HATE IT.

If we are forced into it, we keep it a low profile as possible, make
some recommendations (if any) and be on our way.

I call it the "glass houses" doctrine.


The problem is, with the economy remaining stagnant, underworked
"ambulance chaising design professionals" are out there...ready to
pounce on an unsuspecting firm that takes too long to respond to an RFI.



On another, more morbid topic, we are getting BURRIED (bad joke) with
requests for porch insections...again, i turn these down with the
exception of those for ESTABLISHED clients...

If anyone's office is slow, i suggest relocating to Chicago...there are
enough sh*tty porches here to keep someone busy for years.

Regards,


David L. Fisher
Chicago











Original Message:
-----------------
From: Stuart, Matthew mStuart(--nospam--at)schoordepalma.com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 09:19:13 -0400
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: scab structural engineer??


In most states as long as another engineer is working directly for the
same client as the EOR, the Owner/Client is not legally required to
notify the EOR that another engineer is reviewing his work. Your use of
the term scab is very derogatory for this or any other situation in my
opinion.

D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., P.Eng
Senior Project Manager
Schoor DePalma Engineers and Consultants
Manalapan Structural Department
200 State Highway Nine
Manalapan, NJ 07726
732-577-9000 (Ext. 1275)
908-309-8657 (Cell)
732 -431-9428 (Fax)
mstuart(--nospam--at)schoordepalma.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Kester [mailto:andrew(--nospam--at)baeonline.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 9:22 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: scab structural engineer??

George:

The more experienced members of the list should be able to tell you the
legal ramifications, but to me this is downright illegal to have another
structural engineer performing Construction Admin on a project you
engineered. This is equivalent to plan stamping in my mind, depending on
the amount of his involvement. Is he authorized to make changes and
modify details? This is scary. How does he know all of your design
assumptions and intentions? How does he know the intimate details of the
building? If we were approached to be the SCAB engineer I would tell
them that is unethical, why it is a bad idea, and refuse to perform
those services. I don't usually even answer an RFI on a project for
another engineer in our office unless I am familiar with the job and
have his calcs in hand. Even then I would not make any big decisions
without consulting the original design engineer. I would also thing most
building departments, at least the ones that require a signed letter or
detail to be stamped for changes would even allow such a change. I am
further shocked by the architect, a fellow professional who should
understand very well your role, allowing such a substitution.

I may be way off here, but this seems very wrong. It may be something,
if you cannot resolve in any other way, to report to the Board because I
really see something wrong with this. But again, I am assuming the SCAB
engineer takes on full CA duties that I would normally perform on a
building, which
includes: shop dwgs, RFIs, field visits, resolving conflicts, detail
revisions, plan changes, modifications, etc.

I definitely would not stand silently by...

Sincerely,

Andrew Kester, EI
Longwood, FL



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