Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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


[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

I think you may have picked up on something that I wrote and took it the long way around the barn.  I was talking (writing) about being able to show that you are qualified in a state which does not have separate SE licensure.  In Missouri, since any engineer can design anything (within the limits discussed below and in the statutes, etc.) why would an owner choose an SE to design their new multi-story hotel (or other building)?  The SECB would be one way to show qualifications that can be verified.  Is a Civil Engineer who has only designed water treatment plants since college able to design the same structure… maybe, but what assurance does the owner have in his abilities? 


I am definitely not wanting to say anybody is or is not qualified for structural design… I don’t want to open up that can of worms!





-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis S. Wish, PE [mailto:dennis.wish(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2005 2:41 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)


Bruce Holcomb wrote:

From what I understand, the SECB was created by NCSEA… there is information and links on the NCSEA website regarding it. 


Seems like a move in the right direction to me, but I don’t want to fork over $350… especially since I already have my SE registration, so I haven’t really tried to understand the SECB.  As I understand, for engineers licensed in states without SE licensure or who haven’t taken the SE 1 / 2 exams, this is a way to show clients you are qualified to practice structural engineering and not some other engineer who has little structural experience, but is legally allowed to design structures.  In Missouri, you are licensed as an engineer… of course you are required to practice in your area of competence.


National licensure is a long way off (if ever) but, as I understand, this is a national certification separate from state governments and will show that engineers anywhere in the nation have met requirements set by a national group of structural engineers, without state / local / national government rules, etc.  I believe they are going to recommend education and experience requirements in an effort to continually improve the structural engineering profession.



Bruce D. Holcomb, PE, SE

Structural Engineer & Vice President

Butler, Rosenbury & Partners

319 North Main, Suite 200

Springfield, MO 65806




Sorry - I might have misunderstood your comments so let me print what I think you meant and please correct me. In your second paragraph you state: "
this is a way to show clients you are qualified to practice structural engineering and not some other engineer who has little structural experience, but is legally allowed to design structures." Are you suggesting that because you are qualified to practice structural engineering that you are competent in all areas of structural design?
Also, (since MO is not a title state) are you suggesting that Civil Engineers in California who are more than competent  to design any structure other than Hospitals, Schools and Highrise buildings which is covered under our title state requirements to have an SE registration is any less qualified to practice on similar structures than the SE's in Missouri (or any other state)?

When you isolate your specialty as you suggest here, without understanding that if I sought reciprocity in another state I might be issued an SE license while I would not be able to advertise it in California as only four or five states in the US have Title requirements, you attack an engineers ability to practice if the "advertisement" of these skills is made a nation wide issue. There are too many interpretations of what we can and can not practice on a state by state basis and because of this we must be careful about discrediting others who may not be allowed to carry the SE designation while being fully qualified to practice in that field.

Additionally, a title is not proof of competency (notice I did not use the I word) in the field of structural engineering. Each of us has a limit that we restrict our ability (if we are smart) to design based on experience and professional intuition. As a contract plan checker I can say that more CE's in our state are competent in light-framing than SE's and the reason is simple - SE's tend to avoid light framing projects and work on more challenging and profitable projects that require their additional skills.

I'm not angry - please don't misunderstand. We have this discussion from time to time and it appears to be that time again 8-)



Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant


760.564.0884 (office - fax)

This e-mail is intended to be delivered only to the named addressee(s) and may contain information that is confidential and proprietary. If this information is received by anyone other than the named addressee(s), the recipient(s) should immediately notify the sender by e-mail and promptly delete the transmitted material from your computer and server. In no event shall this material be read, used, stored, or retained by anyone other than the named addressee(s) without the express written consent of the sender or the named addressee(s).