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RE: SE Tests

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Charlie-

Yes, it was a political decision here in CA.

After the Long Beach EQ in 1933, legislators noticed that, if schools
had been occupied during the event, the results would have been
disastrous. Lo, the Fields Act of 1935 creating the Title of "Structural
Engineer" who would be responsible for the structural portions of public
schools. At the time, 500 practicing Civil Engineers were grandfathered
as Structural Engineers and yes, a rigorous test was born. I took mine
in 1983 and got the results 7 months later. My number is 2607 which
means 2,107 passed before me during those 49 years, or less than 50 per
year.

IMO, as important or more so has been the creation of the Division of
the State Architect's Seismic Safety Division. This "bureaucracy" has
developed an outstanding QA/QC program including testing and inspections
which, IMO, has had a lot to do with the minimum amount of damage during
recent earthquakes. For me, it would make more sense to adopt these
regulations (at least for commercial and multi-family residential
structures) rather than bumping up the design forces.

Just my two cents.

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
V/F (949) 248-8588
San Juan Capistrano, CA
http://members.cox.net/ballense/

:-----Original Message-----
:From: Carter, Charlie [mailto:carter(--nospam--at)aisc.org]
:Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 9:48 AM
:To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
:Subject: RE: SE Tests
:
:>I was under the impression that the SE designation
:>in California and Hawaii came about because of the
:>feeling that additional qualifications were needed
:>for some type of building designs in these states
:>and that this was related to seismicity.  You can
:>design some types of buildings as a PE in California.
:
:California has a title act, which allows PEs to design buildings,
except
:things like schools and hospitals. Why are schools and hospitals
special?
:Well, schools and hospitals made major press in past earthquakes and
the
:public demanded answers. The answer, which was partly political in
origin
:(officials need to be viewed as doing something for their
constituents),
:was
:to institute and require an SE license for the design of those
structures.
:
:
:>I am not sure what is special about Illinois that
:>would require greater qualifications than other states.
:>I was told (by an Illinois SE) that it came about
:>because there are so many structural engineers in
:>Chicago, and certain design firms wanted a way to
:>distinguish individuals with additional qualifications.
:
:Illinois has a practice act, which requires an SE to design any and all
:buildings. It is one of the few states to be so restrictive. I'm not
sure
:why it came about, except the SE coalition in Illinois is and has
always
:been very strong and the license was implemented long before anyone
thought
:of opposing SE licensure. In other states where SE contingents have
tried
:to
:get separate licensure have more often failed than succeeded, which I
think
:is unfortunate. Interestingly, ASCE has been the prime opponent to
separate
:licensure of SEs.
:
:I'm not originally from here, so I can compare what I see in Illinois
to
:what I saw elsewhere. I can see a great benefit to public safety in the
:separate license as it is implemented here in Illinois. We do not have
:mechanical, electrical, or other non-building engineering PEs designing
:buildings. I also don't see civil engineers with little or no
background or
:experience in building structures designing buildings in Illinois. From
my
:perspective, these are good things.
:
:Charlie
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