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SE Tests

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The word "political" with reference to an Illinois SE license was used in the sense that there doesn't seem to be a logical reason to require an SE license for many of the designs where it is required in Illinois.  These same (and much more complex) designs are done just fine by PEs 50 ft across state lines.  I don't have any opinions on the matter - feel free to substitute whatever word you want.
I would note, however, that an SE designation means one has the skills tested for on the SE exam.  It does not necessarily mean that one is any more qualified than a PE in certain types of construction, for example post-tensioning.
On a related matter,  there was an interesting letter to the editor in Structural Engineering Magazine.  The letter, by a Robert E. Stoller, SE, PE, stated:
"It is common for foreign students to study engineering in the United States.  Upon graduating, many want to stay and work in the country.  They become an easy pool for companies to hire through the H-1B visa program.  In a few cases, these workers became naturalized US citizens and started their own practices.  They then became registered as disadvantage minority businesses and received preferences for government work.  This seems absurd and a real abuse to this system."
There seems to be a thread here - the same companies seem to: 
-  justify their H-1B hires as "a few foreign born individuals who got their MSCE in this country"
-  pride themselves on their promotion of minority businesses
-  pride themselves on getting their work by holding fund raising breakfasts for politicians.  I can see being proud of this if one were in the restaurant business.  How it relates to one's qualifications for site development is unclear and is what the majority of Americans would probably describe as "distasteful."
Gail Kelley