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RE: SE Tests

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I'm stuck in Oregon, sandwiched between Washington and California, and
all three states have different requirements to obtain the SE title.
That's bizarre and illogical in my opinion.  Sure, CA's near-fault
issues are a little more severe, but we're still all designing in Zone 3
or 4, and building similar buildings.  This is just one more symptom of
the lack of national leadership for the profession.  Add that to the
H1-B problems, inconsistent "jurisprudence" by building officials as
already discussed ad nauseum in the last few weeks, and weak business
skills, and you have a sick profession that underpays considering the
massive amount of learning required for the SE license.

Ooh, I just had to get that off my chest.

Ed Tornberg, PE
(working on that SE thing :))
Aumsville, OR

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net]
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 8:36 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: SE Tests


Andrew,

The California SE exam is referred to as the Western States exam.  It
has
always been a two day 16 hour event with an all or nothing passing
basis, no
way you can pass in "parts".  Yes the exam is quite difficult and there
is a
distinct time factor.  Basically if you have to look for the sections
and
info you require you will not have time, you need to know the sections
and
info you require.  The passing percentage is typically low, both the
required percentage to pass and the actual percentage of people passing
( I
believe it was 9% passing when I took the exam).  The required score
ends up
low because few people have the time to actually thoroughly complete all
the
required sections, which can be demoralizing during the exam.

The Washington SE III exam came into being when Washington switched from
the
Western States exam to the NCEES format.  The State board did not feel
the
NCEES SE I and II format combined was rigorous enough to be comparable
to
the Western States exam and created the SE III to make up the
difference.  I
believe the move to the NCEES format was to become more compatible with
the
rest of the country.  There has been talk of California moving to the
NCEES
format similar to Washington, but I have not looked at the requirements
for
a while and do not know where the current policy stands.


Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Andrew Kester" <akester(--nospam--at)bbma.com>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 6:52 AM
Subject: SE Tests


> Michael:
>
> Sorry to hear aboot your frustrations up der in Minnesota, oh yah.
NCEES
sounds like a bunch of real hosers, yah. But what do you expect from the
land of Goldern Gophers and Vikings :)..... (Just some friendly ribbing
from
a former cheesehead, I have family in Minnesota too...)
>
> In Florida, amazingly, for the SE I , they still have enough common
sense
enough to let us use any calculator without QWERT alpha pads. So I
brought
my trusty HP 48G which is only good to me for the stack method, not
because
I know how to program it. Also, it is what I have been using for a
number of
years so I am quick with it. I don't see a big advantage to a
programmable
calculator in an open book test, but then again I am not to fluent with
those capabilities of my calculator so maybe I am missing out.
>
> Also, the NCEES SE I exam sample book that I ordered was amazingly
similar
and helpful for the actual exam. I brought the UBC 97 but never had to
crack
it once, since any seismic or wind loads were pretty much supplied to
us.
Also the SE Ref. Manual by Williams was extremely helpful, and was a
real
time saver.
>
> So my one complaint about the NCEES test, which is really a licensing
issue, is that bridge and buildings should be separate exams. Besides an
occasional pedestrian bridge, I do not know many engineers are building
structural consultants who also design bridges , or vice versa. I would
think separate exams would be a logical solution. Since the test was
about
20% bridge, I think the real disadvantage would be for bridge engineers,
having to learn or relearn masonry, wood, and basic building stuff....
>
>  However, in fairness to NCEES, the bridge problems were not so bad
even
for an engineer who picked up AASHTO for the first time a couple of
months
ago. Also, the seismic wasn't too bad either which is good for us wind
guys
down here in FL. But I am glad I was forced to get into some seismic for
when we do projects in low seismic areas, which is pretty much anywhere
but
FL nowadays...
>
> So which states/jurisdictions require a SE II and SE III? I know Scott
tried to explain it to me once before but my brain was fried from taking
the
test I think. So does CA have their own SE test completely unrelated to
NCEES? One of my previous bosses took the CA SE exam a couple of times
back
in the early 80s, and it was amazingly difficult, and you were very
short on
time. It was all show your work and get partial credit. I saw some of
his
example tests, and it made my brain hurt.
>
> So, finally, off topic, can anyone beat Oklahoma this year? I am FSU
alumn
and I don't think I want to see us play them in New Orleans, could be
ugly... Figure some of you CA/ USC guys would have an opinion. Hope you
guys
are ok out there with all the fires.
>
> Andrew Kester, EI
> Longwood, FL
>
>
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