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Re: SE Tests

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I would tend to look at it the other way...the person who is a PE 50 ft
across that state line that is "licensed" by way of the PE to do
structural work may not really be qualified to do such structural work
because they specialize in environmental engineering work.  How does
someone else know this if they go to hire this person?

In otherwords, my PE license in Michigan basics gives me the license to
practice civil engineering...any area of it because there is no
SE/speciality licenses in Michigan.  Now, since I have only done (and only
have an interest) in structural work, I would not do somethig in another
area of civil engineering.  But, I could.  Now, someone will say that
ethics rules (assuming that there are some in place in the state and they
are enforcable) would stop someone.  But, then maybe not.  After all, I
have a civil engineering education and took the civil engineering exam, so
would I really be violating any ethics to practice in another area of
civil engineering.  After all, I am not required (nor expected) to get a
seperate "set" of 4 years of experience in wood design before I could
ethically do wood design, am I?  So, why would I need 4 more years of
experience in another area of civil engineering to practice in that area?

Now, let me be clear...I personally would not "practice" in another area
of civil engineering mainly cause I have no desire to do so, but also
because I would not have a comfort level that satisfies MYSELF.  But, it
seems to me someone could do so and still be ethical.

That is why I like the idea of a seperate SE license.  Are they lots of
PEs in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and other neighboring states of Illinois
that are likely more than qualified to practice structural engineering in
Illinois but don't have a SE license there?  You bet.  But there are just
as many, if not more, PEs in those states that aren't qualified (not
because they aren't smart, but rather just don't specialize in that
are) but can legally practice structural engineering in there own state.

>From my experience, most that practice structural engineering rarely do
work outside of that area.  Thus, it makes a lot of sense to have a
seperate SE license.

Now, you can debate whether the required exams are overkill or underkill
or just right for the Illinois SE.  Personally, I think that the PE level
NCEES exams (Civil or Struct I) don't really "cut" it.  Basically, to a
large degree, either the Civil or Struct I exam could (and to a large
degree should) be able to be passed by someone who just graduated from
school with no work experience.  They mainly cover basic "theory"
problems, and have rather limited "real" world exposure (i.e. code
application).  I personally feel that the Struct II exam is a more
appropriate exam.  It requires a more detailed knowledge of specifics that
come from code application PLUS theory, while not being overly intensive
(nor time constraint can actually finish the problems in
plenty of time).  But then that is just my personal "geeky" opinion.


Ypsilanti, MI

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003 GSKWY(--nospam--at) wrote:

> 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.

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