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RE: SE Tests

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And how is a customer being a guinea pig or not a licensing issue?  I
thought the intent behind licensing in a life safety issue, not an "are
you getting the best person for the job" issue.  There is a big difference
between not being efficient and wasting your customer's money as you
"figure things out" and producing designs that put people's lives at risk.
An engineer's license is not meant (at least as I understand things) to be
"consumer's reports best buy" seal of approval, but rather the building
won't fall on your head acknowledgement.  To me, if a customer wants to
make sure that they are getting the best person suited for the job, they
should interview past clients of the engineer, review past projects of the
engineer, and many times not take the lowest bidder.

>From your comments, I would have no problem with you doing steel design or
concrete design.  If I wanted to spend my money "wisely" would you be my
first choice for such projects...not likely.  But, could you do it?  Would
you be competent?  From the limited information that I have about you, I
would say yes.  From your own comments it sounds like you could do steel
or concrete, it is just that YOU would feel like your are either wasting
your client's time/money or wasting your own time/money while not making
any profit (assuming "ate" some things to get stuff done).

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003, Bill Allen wrote:

> My point exactly.
>
> The license doesn't really matter in this case. Competence does.
>
> And yes, I would go out on a limb and suggest that someone shouldn't be
> designing in materials they're not familiar with. Why should a customer
> be the guinea pig?
>
> Just because one is licensed to practice doesn't make them competent.
> The obvious examples are civil engineers (real civil engineers) doing
> structural engineering and architects doing structural engineering. But,
> I also believe that there are not so obvious examples such as special
> foundation design for specific soils conditions, hurricane design,
> seismic design, frost heave, snow design, as well as material specific
> projects. I'm sure there are others.
>
> People taking on projects they're not qualified to do hurts us all. We
> all know why they do it. Work is light. Can't say "no". The problem with
> working in a new material, region, project type, etc. is quantity of
> "unknowns" due to lack of experience. This lack of knowledge tends to
> drive the fee down (again, hurting us all) and problems in the field up
> (again, hurting us all). I can't say I've never done it, but I don't
> plan to do it anymore.
>
> I spend so little time designing steel that, every time I have a moment
> frame, I have to spend more time researching "state of the art" than I
> do designing the damn thing. Personally, I won't do structural concrete
> (structural slabs, etc) even though I did quite a bit of it in my
> previous life. I just haven't kept up. I would rather bring on a
> colleague to assist if I couldn't turn the job down or wanted to do it
> anyway. There are other types of projects and materials I won't touch
> for the same reason. I'm not an expert in anything (actually, I'm not an
> expert in anything), nor do I have to be nor do I aspire to be.
>
> Regards,
>
> 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: Keith De Lapp [mailto:keith(--nospam--at)kdlengineering.com]
> :Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 5:34 PM
> :To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> :Subject: RE: SE Tests
> :
> :Give me a break Bill!
> :
> :You wrote the following:
> :
> :"This includes designing wood structures if
> :you've spent your whole professional life designing steel and concrete
> :structures. That's one of the problems with the Civil license; it's so
> :broad."
> :
> :Do you mean that a structural who spent their entire career designing
> steel
> :and concrete should also be precluded from designing wood structures?
> :
> :What difference does the license make?
> :
> :Keith De Lapp, P.E.
> :KDL Engineering
> :
> :
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