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RE: SEA (was Sick Profession

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I know we have had this discussion, but I think that the people who read
this understand the hierarchy.
(From bottom to top) 
SEA Chapter
SEA State Chapter (where more than one local chapter exists such as in
SEI & CASE (added representation with their own members)
NCSEA - Representing the representation from each SEA state Chapter, SEI
and CASE. 


"The Council is comprised of Member Organizations, each representing
structural engineers within a state or group of states. Each Member
Organization names one individual, and one alternate, to serve as a
voting delegate at any NCSEA meeting."

"Sustaining Members... are structural engineering firms, firms that
employ structural engineers and individual structural engineers that are
not attached to a Member Organization [assumed to mean Independent

"Associate Member are nationally recognized bodies that are associated
with the practice of structural engineering, who are invited and
approved for this status by the NCSEA Board of Directors."

"Affiliate Members are all other interested parties invited and approved
by the Board of Directors."

The point is that there is a hierarchy. If you need a professional to do
the job, then advertise at each state level SEA or each local chapter of
SEA (SEAOC is the state chapter, SEAOSC is Southern California, SEAoSD
is San Diego chapter, SEAoCC is Central California chapter, and SEAoNC
is the Northern California Chapter). 

Scott, as a representative or National Council for all SEA chapters,
NCSEA will unite to create standards for which they believe should
become the rules or laws that Engineers must follow. For example, Craig
Barnes, SE published a "Basic Education for certification as a
Structural Engineer" on their website at . I can't believe that at
some time in the near future, NCSEA will be the national voice for all
of the SEA chapters and for each of the members of SEA chapters through
their representation.

In a way, this is similar to starting an Electoral College. The
Electoral College represented members who did not have a means of
communicating with congress except through their elected representative.
This is an outdated concept as we have the means electronically, to
communicate ideologies and methodologies so that the members have an
independent voice. Why? Because the issues are much more complicated
today and one person can not possibly represent the beliefs of
individuals on every topic or issue. I don't understand how anyone today
can vote a party rather than a conscience. Similarly, there is more
demand upon us as individual members to become involved in the issues
and to take a stand on individual issues.

If you are interested in the history of the political Electoral College,
here is an excellent link to read: 

Personally, I think that there is too much information coming through
many sources that we lose track of what is most important to us
structurally. I believe that we each focus on the issues that most
directly affect our practices and vote our conscience on the issues that
most directly affect us.

To do this, we need the issues, drafts of codes (which is rarely
available to us without some cost) and a means to review the methodology
in as convenient a manner as possible. It also means that we need to be
able to trace back in the methodology to understand the intent of each
section of code. I believe this is possible since we have been using
electronic documents for more than ten years now. We should be able to
track back the UBC on the West side of the Rockies and others may have
suggestions for how to clearly document the codes they use.

Scott, I hope you understand what my ultimate intent is. Each member is
a voice and we don't need a generic representation who represents all
issues - some of which we don't agree with. One person can not possibly
represent the combination of needs that each one of us has and this is
why the individual member is the key and the Internet is the tool.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 8:31 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: SEA (was Sick Profession


Who is SEA?  Do you mean NCSEA?  Do you mean SEAOC?  Do you mean SEAMi?
Do you mean SEAoT?

I have raise this issue with you before.  You continue to refer to SEA
"chapters" when you refer to organizations like SEAOC, which is

In your other message, you advocate researching the issues (which I have
done with regards to the H1-B visa...I tend to preface my statements
"so I understand" etc because that is exactly what it
understanding of the issue based upon visiting various sites and reading
various sources of information...and I don't want someone to mistake my
understanding as being anywhere near an "expert"
I might not fully comprehend all the issues)...I suggest you follow your
own advice regarding "SEA".

There is no such thing.  There is NCSEA which is an organization of
organizations.  SEAOC, SEAMi, SEAoT, etc. _ARE NOT_ chapters of NCSEA.
NCSEA has (virtually) no control over what SEAOC, SEAMi, SEAoT, etc do.
SEAOC, et al, do _NOT_ derive their "power" from NCSEA.  In fact, it is
the other way around.  SEAOC, et al, are MEMBERS of NCSEA.

To be honest, this is a minor issue that does not really much deserve a
message about it.  But, you should realize that our profession does not
really have a national organization that DIRECTLY represents individuals
for the purpose of promoting the profession, like AIA does for
or ASCE does for the entire civil engineering profession.  NCSEA
represents a bunch of STATE (or area) organizations, not individual
engineers.  CASE represents ENGINEERING COMPANIES, not individual
engineers.  The closest is SEI, which does represent individual
engineers' interests, but is then to a certain degree "subservient" to
ASCE.  Now, each STATE organization (such as SEAOC, SEAMi, etc) do in
represent individual engineers.

My point in the post it to try and get you to realize that when you
advocate "SEA" to do something, that you are advocate something that is
not really possible.  You want "SEA" to support something, implying that
you want some national entity to step forward to represent the "common"
structural engineer.  Well, that national entity does not really exist.
NCSEA serves the wishes of its members, which are state organizations.

So, what I am try to say is that it is not a simple as you make it out
be.  In many ways, there are little differences.  To proceed down the
road(s) that you advocate you have to convince the members of NCSEA (if
you want NCSEA to do something).  This means rather than just getting a
large number of engineers to actively push for something, you really
to get that large number of engineers to push their STATE organizations
(who are members of NCSEA...not all are) to then push NCSEA to do


Ypsilanti, MI

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003, Dennis Wish wrote:

> Excellent, Gail - you see the light behind the H-1B issues. Make the
> work undesirable and at low wages. This justifies the government
> requirements to satisfy application for H-1B employees and there is no
> shortage of H-1B staff.
> You got the nail on the head - congratulations. I only hope the rest
> the community does not think you are nuts or a zealot or one of us
> bigots.
> Now the work needs to start. We need to organize committees within our
> own profession to establish working relationships between firms where
> everyone may benefit. It won't yield the same profit margins on all
> that we want and we may be working for another firm at a percentage of
> what we advertise our rates, but it does insure consistent work
> firms who are known to produce good work.
> Look, this is not an easy solution - it requires rules and it requires
> work ethics, but it certainly can be done.
> So who is willing to take a lead and will SEA support it. If SEA takes
> stand on protecting jobs for engineers in the US by establishing
> relationship between firms, I'll rejoin and pay dues.
> Dennis S. Wish, PE
> -----Original Message-----
> From: GSKWY(--nospam--at) [mailto:GSKWY(--nospam--at)]
> Sent: Monday, November 10, 2003 5:11 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)
> Just some opinions - I can only speak for the DC area,  but structural
> engineers tend to earn must less than other "professional
> Within the structural engineering industry,  there are certain firms
> that are known for paying very low wages, or not providing very good
> benefits,  or not providing very good training, or having pretty
> undesirable working conditions.
> Although there are certainly exceptions, it is generally these firms
> that have to resort to H-1B hiring. Since their wages and benefits
> office cleaning expenses) are lower than other firms, they are often
> able to underbid other firms, at least on the surface.
> I can look at the databases, and knowing what certain offices are
> I know why they need to hire H-!B personnel. You can create a shortage
> for any kind of worker, simply by making the work undesirable in some
> way.
> None of the various databases I have seen are very complete (or up to
> date), but they do point out the trends.
> Gail Kelley

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