Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Misc Opinions

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
I do not agree that Gail has been astute, she has shown  typical American myopia and lack of thorough thinking. The reason that buildings fail in third world are not because the engineers are incapable of designing earthquake resistant buildings but for the following reasons.
  • the majority of the building stock is old and therefore built before engineers trained in earthquake design were available.
  • lack of enforcement of codes and quality assurance standards in new buildings because of corruption or ineptitude of Government Agengies responsible.
  • Many clients will not use the better engineering firms because of cost and will use firms incable of Seismic resistant design.
  • Lack of knoweledge of the regions seismiscity. Many countires do not have properly prepared seismic hazard maps. Poorer countries often do not make such research a priority.
  • And yes the value put on human life is lower.
If the maximum considered earthquakes ( MCE) as per NEHRP/IBC2000 were to occur in many of the Eastern Cities of the USA, clean clothes would not be the only urgent requirement.
The is no such thing as the greatest country in the world, there are many born Americans ( including my wife and mother in law) who migrate to Europe, the Caribbean in fact all over. I visit America every year, it is a fascinating country with each city providing something different. I have benefited from my memberships in the ACI and AISC and attend engineering conferences every year. I however have no intention of living in North America because I prefer where I am.
I have been to China and there are magnificent well engineered structures being done by the Chinese. Gail you should visit projects in Shanghai, Beijing and the Three Gorges Dam where most of the engineering is being done by the Chinese. Travelling outside America with an open mind can be very educational.
As engineers we should let our emotions be tempered by logic, this is fundermental to our training.
Mark Francois
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 6:08 PM
Subject: RE: Misc Opinions

Pretty astute, Gail?


To paraphrase what Steve Grodin said, places like Iran, Russia, India and China have little, if any regard for human life.


Pure and simple.


That is why these 3rd world engineers (and doctors, for that matter) some here to get educated and never leave?

We live in the greatest country on the planet, dammit, which is why everyone else hates us but wants to live here.


Heck, even Mohammed Atta loved our bars and strip clubs!!!!!




Where else can you own a company that obtains a no-bid government contract, operates in an area over the world?s

largest oil reserves and charge the US taxpayer $5.00 for a gallon of gas?






David L. Fisher, SE, PE


Head of Design and Construction


Cape Cod Grand Cayman Holdings Ltd.

75 Fort Street

Georgetown, Grand Cayman

British West Indies


-----Original Message-----
From: GSKWY(--nospam--at) [mailto:GSKWY(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2003 3:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Misc Opinions


I am obviously not as smart as alot of other list members,  because I don't think all of the issues involved in  out sourcing,  or visas or government health care can be summarized in neat one paragraph statements.

In my opinion outsourcing has only a very minor effect on engineering compensation.  At least in the areas where I work:  concrete repair, slab on ground construction, and post-tensioning, the compensation is low because this is work that "any idiot can do".  And lots of idiots do.  For low prices that I can't compete with.  I can't compete with companies whose staff is high school and college students, for example.  

And I appologize for what is probably an untimely comment, but it is something I have been thinking about for a while.  There was a post a while back that asked why,  when there was an earthquake in India or China,  only the number of dead were reported,  while in the US much was made of the fact people were unable to get clean clothes.  

I thought that was a pretty good question,  but there were no answers.  Where are all the Indian and Chinese earthquake experts?  I've not been to India or China,  so I will take a wild guess and say perhaps at least part of the problem is the vast numbers of Indian and Chinese engineers that have come to the US to go to school and never gone home.   They have their asses parked in jobs they describe as "well-deserved and satisfying."   Meanwhile, the problems in their countries are blamed on Bill Gates and Jack Daniels.  

Immigration to the US is essentially available to anyone whose parents can afford college tuition and a plane ticket.  Just look at graduates of the engineering schools at places like the University of Kansas and University of Nebraska.

Gail Kelley