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RE: Evaluate drafters' reliability

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Mark,

You raise good points.  While I believe that to some degree there are
benefits from having engineers do the drafting, I also believe that it is
a waste to have an engineer do ALL the drafting.  There is a lot of
"mundane" setting up of CAD files and drawings of simple/basic things like
floor framing and foundation plans that can be a waste of a more
"expensive" engineer's time.

For myself, it was generally more efficient and quicker for me to use CAD
to "sketch up" a detail or section than to draw it by hand to give to a
drafter to "CAD up".  It was, however, typically much more productive to
have a drafter setup the files in general (attach sheet borders, fill-in
such information, etc) and create/generate most of the floor/roof framing
plans, foundation plans, and other plans.

I also found that it was HIGHLY dependent on what you had available in
terms of those who could draft stuff for you.  A good drafter or decent
drafter could really make a BIG difference.

As others have pointed out, the big difference is someone who
understands how the building will go together and can visualize things.  I
will point out that many engineers cannot "see" these things either.  And
very few just graduated engineers can "see" such things.  This is where I
will differ from some out there...it is generally NOT the Universities
responsibility to teach all the "seeing" of these things...a LOT of this
responsibility lies which us the practicing engineers that these young
engineers will work for.  After all, part of the licensing process is 4
years of experience, which is essentially an apprenticeship.  In
otherwords, the licensing process assumes that you are not fully
trained/educated UNTIL you complete that 4 years of
apprenticeship/mentorship.  Yet, I have seen far too many companies just
dump those newly graduated engineers (in training) on repeatitive tasks
like shop drawings or designing beam after beam after beam and NOT spend
anytime mentoring them.

I admit that this is a pet peeve of mine, but attitudes like I have seen
from some (i.e. that seem to expect fully productive engineers to be
graduating from schools) cause me to believe that a lot of engineers out
there don't want to take the time to live up to our reponsibility to young
engineers.  I see this also in the push for ASCE policy 465 (what was the
whole Master's degree as the first professional degree [i.e. need a
Master's to get licensed]).  In my opinion (for what ever it is worth),
there are too many in "industry" that expect schools to produce a fully
productive engineer that they don't need to spend ANY time dealing with
other than to just hand off another assigment/project.  If that were the
case, then personally, I think engineers could get their license upon
graduation JUST like doctors do (since doctors get their mentoring/"on the
job education" as part of their last two years of medical school).

But, hey, that is just my opinion.

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Thu, 7 Apr 2005, Mark Gilligan wrote:

> Regarding the question of the engineer using CAD we
> need to remember that the ultimate goal is to leverage
> our resources to get the get the job done.  When you
> have the engineers doing all of the drafting you solve
> one problem but you limit your ability to take full
> advantage of the engineers skills because he is
> spending much of his time drafting.  I agree that
> engineers need to be comfortable with CAD so that they
> can use it when appropriate, but I believe the
> desirable solution is to have drafters who can do much
> of the drafting, and deal with many of the mundane
> tasks associated with producing drawing.  This is
> possible, you simply have to expect it and work to
> make it happen.
>
> You also have to work with some of your engineers to
> control their obsessive tendencies that make it
> difficult for them to delegate and frustrate drafters
> and engineers who have to work with them.
>
> I have seen some of the the best drafters and some
> poor drafters.  If you tolerate the poor ones that is
> what you will get.  You have to give them feedback and
> support, and when appropriate you need to help them to
> move on.
>
> Mark Gilligan
>
>
>
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