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Re: STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING CERTIFICATION BOARD: What's The Deal?

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Bruce Holcomb wrote:

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!

 

 

BDH

 


Bruce,
I don't think I did after this response. The problem is that most states (and you seem to be part of this) understand what a title state implies. For the record, the majority of those who have designed the concrete portions of treatment plants in California that I had known (Andrew Skwara of the old EBBS was one who worked for the Metro Water District) were SE's.
In California the engineer can step over the line of expertise, but this is nearly impossible to control unless the engineer indicates what his limits are. 90% of the structural engineering work in California can be done by a CE (our basic license that covers land, wastewater, bridge, infrastructure as well as building design) and the only need for an SE license (besides to prove you can obtain it when the passing percentage is so low) is if you intend to design Schools, Hospitals and buildings generally over five stories in height. I intend to take my reciprocity in Arizona and I can waive the NCEES exam based on work experience and references from California engineers familiar with my work experience. When accepted, I can use the title of SE in Arizona but not in California.
I had an ex-associate who tried to advertise his services in California as an SE based on having the authority to use the title in other states, but was reprimanded for doing this since BORPELS does not find the registration equivalent. Still in Arizona I can do (as Joe Grill explained) structural design without waiving the SE-1 and SE-II exams or I can use the title of SE if I waive the exam's based on confirmation of the extent of my references and seismic ability in California as my ex-associate has done.
Bottom Line; I won't practice beyond that which I know best. I would be stupid to do it, but in Arizona there is less confusion as to what my services provide than there are in California.
I hope that helps you understand a little better why there is such confusion around the country as to what a PE in California and other title states are allowed to practice and why I fear the possibility that, as Willistan Warren III indicated; SE-II's will be able to determine what an SE-I will be allowed to design or limit their practice on based on setting up up the SE-I and II requirements. It is scary when our competition is in charge of deciding the limits of our practice and I am hoping that this was not the intent of the Certification Board group.

Dennis

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

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net


760.564.0884 (office - fax)

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