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RE: SE Tests

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Bill:

Never thought you were talking SEs vs. CEs.  You never seemed to be the
type that bought into that particular bias.

As to detailing steel or concrete...I would be at least a little careful
with the "fairly easy" description.  Steel moment frames are not the only
complex steel detail issues...things like eccentrically braced frames can
get a little "hairy" as well.  And ductility in concrete is _ALL_ about
the detailing.  You mess that up and your R/C concrete won't be very
ductile at all.

All this is not meant to imply that steel or concrete is any more or less
difficult than wood.  Each has their own challenges.  The definite
difficulty that I _CAN_ see in wood is all the different "propeitary"
hardware that is typically used for connections.  This means that you must
be much more familiar with all the various connection hardware options
available to make a good choice.  Steel and concrete don't involve too
much "non-standard" "generic" stuff.  You just typically deal with good
ol' regular bolts and rebar.

Regards,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI




On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Bill Allen wrote:

> Scott-
>
> Yes.
>
> How's that for a concise answer :o)?
>
> Of course detailing is important in ANY structure. I have always
> contended that providing a continuous load path from roof to foundation
> is more important than the accurancy or magnitude of the design loads.
>
> My scenarios were hypothetical (although I'm sure it's happened).
>
> One other point. I don't want you, Keith or anyone else to have the
> wrong impression that I'm talking about SE's vs CE's. I'm not. When I
> say Civil Engineer I'm referring to what my wife calls Civil/Civil, not
> Civil/Structural. I know many, many CEs who do great structural
> engineering work and I know some SEs who I wouldn't trust on any type of
> project. My comments apply equally to CEs and SEs.
>
> My scenario was more like your last case, where the designer doesn't
> think detailing is important in a residence or doesn't have a clue about
> all the connection hardware.
>
> Personally, I think detailing in steel is fairly easy with the exception
> of moment frames in high seismic areas. Of course, being out of the
> industry for a while, I'm sure some of my colleagues will disagree. I
> also recall from my concrete years that concrete detailing was pretty
> easy, once you got all the bars to pass through the same space and had
> them all tied together :o). When I first started doing timber design, I
> was blown away by the amount of detailing that was required for such a
> "simple" material. After it all, it's just a stick house, right?
>
> 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: Scott Maxwell [mailto:smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu]
> :Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 1:31 PM
> :To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> :Subject: RE: SE Tests
> :
> :Bill:
> :
> :Not to belabor the point since I figure your are out enjoying the nice
> :weather but...I have a slight issue with your example.
> :
> :Please explain to me how someone who designs "complex steel" projects
> :during the day (presumambly in a high seismic zone since your mention a
> SE
> :license) would fail to realize the importance of connection details and
> a
> :good load path from roof to foundation.  Are you implying that such
> things
> :are NOT important in complex steel projects?  I would doubt it.  Thus,
> :this theoretical SE that designs complex steel projects during the day
> :knows full well the importance of such things and would realize the
> same
> :would apply for a wood structure.  Or said SE doesn't realize it for
> wood
> :cause he/she also doesn't realize it for his/her steel projects and has
> :just copied other people's work at the large A/E firm without really
> :understanding, which would mean that said SE is NOT competent and make
> me
> :wonder how he/she passed the California SE exam.  Or said SE
> understands
> :such items importance for both steel and woods design, but just figures
> :"ah, it is just a wood residential structure...it is not important
> enought
> :to worry about such things"...in which case, he/she is not what I would
> :call ethical.
> :
> :The point is that things like importance of ductile detailing,
> :connections, and proper load paths are basically indepentent of the
> :structural material.  The difference is how to achieve those things in
> the
> :different materials...that is where someone not familiar with a
> particular
> :material can get tripped up.
> :
> :Regardless, you point is still received...
> :
> :Regards,
> :
> :Scott
> :Ypsilanti, MI
> :
> :
> :On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, Bill Allen wrote:
> :
> :>
> :> 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!
> :>
> :
> :
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