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Re: Colorado PE... Continuing Education

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You make a good point, but I will respond with the comment that it is VERY
easy to meet the CE requirements without really gaining anything.  For
example, in most states, I could attend a local ASCE dinner meeting that
discusses the issues of state of the art storm water retention on a
project and that will likely count as a PDH or so.  Yet how does that make
me a better engineer in my area of practice when I don't do storm water
retention design, have no desire to ever do so, and thus will likely never
design a storm water retention system.  Did I learn something?  Yes.  Is
it something that I will ever likely use in _MY_ role as a
professional/structural engineer?  Nope.  But, hey it would count towards
my CE requirements in most states.  Yet, sitting down and reading the 3rd
Edition AISC LRFD manual and learning from it most likely won't...yet it
is something that I will more than likely use in _MY_ role as a
professional/structural engineer.

My point is that you cannot force someone to learn something if they
really don't want to.  The current CE requirements that most states have
don't really do much in my opinion.  Should every engineer go out and
learn new things?  You bet.  But THEY have to believe that and want to do
it.  Just forcing people to do CE will not necessarily mean that engineers
will be better at what they do.

Personally, I attend seminars.  I have attended AISC and ACI seminars.  In
general, I have found AISC seminars to be rather well done and worth the
money.  Unfortunately, I have found that ACI seminars have not been as
useful.  Don't get me wrong...I have learned things at ACI seminars, but
they did not offer as much "bang for the buck".  The absolute BEST seminar
that I attended (warning: shameless plug) was one offered by Bob Shaw on
welding.  Well worth the money...even though it was the one of the few
seminars that my employer (at the time) paid for rather than me paying for
it myself.  I also attend conventions/annual meetings.  I have been to ACI
conventions (while a staff engineer), AISC conference, ASCE/SEI Structures
Congress, and TMS Annual Meetings.  I cannot say that I attended much
other than committee meetings at ACI conventions, so I cannot comment on
their sessions.  AISC's was pretty good.  It certainly helped that they
also offered some of their good seminars at the conference.  The
Structures Congress has some interesting stuff, but most of it was
presentation of not-so-practical (as of yet) research papers...and I was
mostly there for committee meetings anyway.  TMS' meetings had some
decent and interesting stuff, but again I was mainly there for MSJC

But the point is that _I_ find attending such seminars or
conventions/meetings to be benefitial to _ME_.  I don't attend cause
Illinois requires 30 PDHs of me every two years...but it so happens that
because I attend I can fulfill those CE requirements with ease (not to
mention that teaching some college courses helps fulfill those


Adrian, MI

On Thu, 2 Dec 2004 GSKWY(--nospam--at) wrote:

> A flip side to the complaint that requiring continuing education in remote
> areas is an excessvie hardship is the fact that engineers in those areas would
> be unlikely to attend many seminars / courses/ etceteras unless it is required,
>  because of the expense.
> Neither DC nor the states around DC have any requirement for continuing
> education for their licenses, but I can't think of any year within the eight that I
> have lived here that I wouldn't have had at least 30 hours.  That is partly
> from attending a lot of conventions, but also the random breakfast
> presentations and dinner meetings.
> No matter how bad a convention or presentation is, I have always learned
> something;  if nothing else, it is a chance to find out that someone I've heard
> about is a good (or bad) speaker.   I have never walked away from a presentation
> and thought "that was a waste of eight hours."   That is partly because I do
> presentations  and sitting through a bad presentation teaches me a lot.
> But then again,  I find jury duty kind of interesting.  At least as long as
> I'm not actually picked to be on a jury.
> For those who need credits,  PCI is starting an on-line continuing education
> option.
> Gail Kelley

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