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RE: SE Tests[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
- Subject: RE: SE Tests
- From: "Bill Allen" <T.W.Allen(--nospam--at)cox.net>
- Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 07:34:27 -0800
You’ve either misunderstood me or we seriously disagree.
Yes, I’m aware that once one passes a civil exam, s/he is legally allowed to design anything within the realm of civil engineering.
I totally disagree that, just because one passes an exam, one is deemed competent. There’s evidence of that all over the place. I’m a good example. In my civil exam, I solved the surveying question using math, not surveying principles. I have NO CLUE of which end of a transit to look into. Yet, I’m legally allowed to sign grading and drainage plans. So, if I take on a project, is it legal? Yes. Is it ethical? In my opinion, no.
You’re wrong about someone who spends their apprenticeship in hydrology practicing structural engineering. They CAN here in CA. THAT’S the scary part.
I have no problem with someone acquiring the necessary competency to engage in a particular field of practice. I support that approach totally. Using the example above, suppose I decided that (gasp) I wanted to do grading and drainage plans or just plain old surveying. So I decide to take a refresher course in surveying principles, agree to take on a position as an apprentice for a surveying firm, etc. until I (as well as others( think that I have the necessary background to do it on my own, then I think it would be not only legal but ethical to take on such projects.
With regards to legislating competency, I agree that’s similar to legislating morality. Can’t be done. But that doesn’t mean negligence can’t be prosecuted after the fact. Consider this example. Suppose I went to a fine university, got good grades, then went immediately to work for a large firm designing steel structures. I pass the P.E. exam the first time, and the S.E. exam the first time. Suppose I’m approached by an architect who needs some plans of a residence stamped and signed. The architect says he is going to do the structural drafting, but he needs beam sizes, foundation sizes, shear walls and hold downs. Timber seems simple enough to me. After all, I’ve read Breyer’s book. Pretty straight forward. Much simpler than the complicated projects I do during the day. No problem. Fifteen hundred bucks for some simple wood design? You’ve got to be kidding. Cha-Ching! I’ll do that on my kitchen table. Of course, I don’t realize the most important part of wood design is the connections and I fail to provide a load path from roof to foundation (straps, etc.). If something goes wrong with this structure and I end up in court, you probably don’t think I’m negligent but I do!
So we agree or disagree, I don’t really care at this point.
T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)
V/F (949) 248-8588
San Juan Capistrano, CA
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