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RE: Schooling

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I fully agree that fees and schedules have changed dramatically in the
engineering profession - engineers keep finding ways to cut corners to
reduce costs and meet budget, but the profession is suffering as a result.
Training of young engineers is one area where corners are being cut. My own
pet peeve is how corners are being cut relative to quality assurance and
design checking. In either case, our profession is being hurt as a result. I
don't think that the engineering societies are doing enough to stop this
trend - or even perhaps to give the trend official recognition. It seems
that things won't change unless something catastrophic happens, i.e. it may
take more structural failures to effect change, if we can't get our own
profession to start making changes. But no one wants to turn down work, even
when fees and schedules are not realistic. 

It is interesting that you say that engineers "are just asking for some help
from academia to better prepare new engineers for the workplace". In
contrast, ASCE's proposal for a "Masters Degree or equivalent" for
professional engineers seems to have met a lot of resistance. As engineering
becomes more complex and if we want better trained engineers out of school,
an extended education seems like a necessity but many engineers are opposed
to this. And yet, I must admit that the proposal would garner more support
if it more clearly demonstrated how engineers would obtain the type of
education that would make them more productive in the workplace. 

William C. Sherman, PE
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Clifford Schwinger [mailto:clifford234(--nospam--at)] 
> Things have changed dramatically in the structural
> engineering profession - at least the segment of the
> profession that I work in.  Engineering fees, project
> schedules and the methodology by which consulting
> structural engineering firms design projects no longer
> affords the luxury providing "training camps" for new 
> graduates.  Granted, some training will always be required, 
> but it appears that many engineering graduates today seem 
> LESS WELL prepared when they enter the marketplace than were 
> engineers entering the profession 20 years ago.
> We engineers in the trenches are just asking for some
> help from academia to better prepare new engineers for
> the workplace.  If the answer from academia is "No,
> that's not our job..." then so be it. I was just
> pointing out a problem and offering what I thought was
> a good suggestion.  I'm surprised at the resistance
> that I'm hearing.

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