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I heard this excuse before (about universities not
being able to squeeze coursework in stuctural drafting
into the undergraduate curriculum).

I should have made it clear in my original post - I
think structural drafting should be a mandatory course
for engineering students seeking their Master's
degree.  This makes perfect sense to me. Students
seeking their Master's degree in structural
engineering are obviously specializing in structural
engineering. There would be no civil engineering
students "wasting" their time having to take this
"specialized" course that they might never need to use
in other fields of Civil Engineering.

Actually, I'm confused by the arguement that
structural drafting courses can't be "fit" into the
undergraduate curiculum. When I was a student I had
plenty of leeway to choose lots of electives both in
and out of engineering. Perhaps such a course could be
offered as an elective to undergraduates who know that
they are on a structural engineering track.

I suspect that academia does not look too highly upon
such low-brow stuff as "structural drafting" - that's
a shame.

Topics that are held in much higher esteem by academia
are articles such as those published in the December
2003 issue of the ASCE Journal of Structural
Engineering, pages 1707-1716 titled "Form Finding of
Sparse Structures with Continuum Topology

I challenge anyone to read the first page of that
article and translate for me in English ANY ONE
SENTENCE! I'm certain that I just set myself up for
this one, but who cares. When you (try to) read the
article you will get my drift about the point I'm
trying to make.

I'm not saying that seemingly obscure cutting edge
research is not important - it is very important. I'm
just saying that universities that can belt out
engineers who are "plug-and-play" in their first jobs
will rapidly gain the admiration and respect of
engineering community. As dinosaur who is responsible
for working with young engineers, I have a good handle
on which universities are doing a good job at
preparing engineers for the "real world" and which are
not. When I hear that new hire got his/her B.S. or
M.S. as "so and so" University I have a fairly good
sense about whether we're getting a Yugo or a Lexus.

(Boy did I wander off the original topic of this
thread or what?!)

OK, I guess I asked for it. Flame me.

Cliff Schwinger

--- Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)> wrote:
> Cliff:
> The universities can't find the time because the
> four years for a BSE
> degree is completely filled by courses require to
> meet ABET accreditation
> requirements.  This means lot's of "general" civil
> engineering courses
> that us structural types might never use again.

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