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RE: SE Tests

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Scott,
I am not sure when this came about in Illinois as I was an architectural
student at U of I Chicago Circle Campus (which used to be U of I at Navy
Pier). This was in the very early seventies and I was working for a
Civil Engineer (the father of a friend of mine) who practiced both
architecture and structural engineering. My boss left Illinois when he
retired and moved to Mesa Arizona when it was still all sand. He built
his own home and moved his two horses onto the property where he loved
to ride and enjoyed a semi-early-retirement while continuing to build a
new area of Scottsdale - providing both structural engineering services
as well as architecture. At this time a Civil Engineer could seal
structural drawings as long as it was not out of his level of experience
such as dealing with high-rise buildings. Most of our work was small
commercial and custom residential buildings. He had a young man who was
his apprentice (graduate from an engineering curriculum) who took over
his practice, but I don't know if he obtained his SE in Illinois by
grandfathering if the rules had changed or if he was forced to take
additional exams. 

I don't see the benefit of the practice act or the title act if it
interferes with what a PE is qualified by education or apprenticeship to
practice. What I mean is that qualifications in one state should not
prevent an engineer from practicing in another unless there are certain
requirements that make it necessary to obtain additional education such
as lateral seismic design requirements.

As my granddaughter might say; "This is messed up!"
Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 1:50 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: SE Tests

Gail (and Andrew):

As others have point out, I would "argue" that your comment should be
reversed.  An SE license is necessary/required in Illinois, but is more
"political" in California (but then it is all political to some degree,
something that you should be used to being from DC).

As Charlie pointed out, the SE license in Illinois is due to a practice
act.  Thus, you _MUST_ have a SE license in order to practice structural
engineering in Illinois (i.e. call yourself a structural engineer,
sign/seal drawings, etc).  There are some exceptions to this, the
biggest
being architects can seal/sign structural drawings.  If you want to do
structural engineering in Illinois, a PE license is essentially
worthless
(unless you also want to do other civil engineering tasks).  If memory
serves me correct, there is a minor exception that a PE can do
"incedental" structural work on a civil project (i.e. like a single
retaining wall on an otherwise civil project).

The SE license in California, OTOH, arises from a title act.  Thus, in
the
eyes of the licensing board, all you need in order to practice
structural
engineering is a PE license.  In the eyes of the board, the SE license
gives you the right to call yourself a structural engineer.  But, then
it
gets messy.  There are other laws/ordances/rules that cause the SE
license to have little more "bite".  As Bill pointed out, you must be an
SE to design the structural systems for schools and hospitals.  Also
some
local jurisdictions require it for buildings over a certain height (Bill
mentioned LA, but I thought there was at least one other local
jurisdiction that required it).

There are other states that have SE licenses...Oregon, Washington,
Hawaii,
Nevada (I believe), Utah (I believe) and Idaho (I believe) and maybe
Montana.  To be honest, I am not nearly as familiar with when you need
or
don't need a SE license in those states, but I have a vague memory that
Illinois is the only state where it is a practice act.  I do know that
Washington is to a large degree like California in that for most
situations you only need a PE license.  I believe that Arizona is also a
little different in that they have a PE (Civil) and a PE (Structural)
license (but not a SE license).

As to the tests, to my knowlege, all of the above states with SE
licenses
require that you take and pass the NCEES Struct I and Struct II exams to
get your license with the exception of California and Washington.
Washington requires the NCEES Struct I and Struct II exam _PLUS_ their
own
Struct III exam (each 8 hours long).  California requires the Western
States exam (16 hours long), plus you must also already have your PE
license which means you have taken and passed the NCEES 8 hour PE exam
(don't know if you can do either the Struct I or Civil exam...probably
must do the Civil exam), a 2 hour surveying exam and a 2 hour seismic
exam
(the last two Bill seems to have forgotten to mention...still rather
easy
from what I understand).

FWIW, I believe that there is a "push" to have a seperate SE license in
Alabama similar to what Illinois has.

I believe (Roger correct me if I am wrong) that you take the NCEES
Struct
I exam to get your PE (Structural) license in Arizona...but you may also
have to take the Struct II exam.

As to other requirements such as experience and education, the
requirements are very similar.  Most states require the 4 years of an
ABET
accredited undergraduate degree and 4 years of work experience
(typically
you can get 1 year of work exp credit for a Masters and another 1 year
for
a PhD [even though it will likely take you 3 to 7 years to get that
PhD).
The big exception (as Bill pointed out) is California.  You only need 2
years of experience to get you PE license, but then need an additional 3
years beyond that to get your SE license.  Illinois is a little
different
as well in that you need to have a certain minimum number of structural
classes in during your education to be able to test for the SE license,
plus your work experience is supposed to be structually related (I
believe...memory gets a little fuzzy).  All the others are in line with
the typical requirements with some small minor variations possible.

As to a little history...as I understand it, Illinois' SE license was
the
first in the country.  It was shortly following by a western state (if
memory serves me)...like Idaho or Montana.  California put their in
place
not too much later as a result of the quake in the 30's and the
resulting
Field's Act (see Bill's post...I am sure he knows this better than me).
>From what I understand, the Illinois SE license was a result of the more
complex, more "demanding" structure that were becoming prevelent in
Chicago (i.e. high rise buildings)...that and the SE community is
relatively strong there (but they still could not "exclude" architects
from designing such structures).

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Tue, 4 Nov 2003 GSKWY(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:

> Out of curiosity,  when you take the SE I / II / III exams,  do you
get an SE designation?
>
> I was under the (perhaps false) impression that only California,
Hawaii and Illinois actually had an SE designation.  And that it was a
necessary thing in California and Hawaii, but a um, political issue in
Illinois.
>
> Gail Kelley
>
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