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RE: Definition of Structural Engineering for High School Students

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That was awesome.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gerard Madden, SE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)maddengine.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:00 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: RE: Definition of Structural Engineering for High School Students
>
>
> THIS ONE IS ABOUT AS EFFECTIVE IN RECRUITING HIGH SCHOOLERS....
>
> ***
> CAREER PROFILES
>
> CAREER: STRUCTURAL ENGINEER (REVISED BY YOURS TRULY)
>
> A DAY IN THE LIFE
>
> Structural Engineers are primarily employed in the United States by
> small private firms with 1-30 employees with lousy benefits. Some firms
> have many more employees and are spread throughout their state or the
> country. Structural Engineers are responsible for the life-safety aspect
> of the supporting skeleton of the structure. They typical design the
> roof framing, floor framing, foundations, and sometimes the walls of a
> building. These framing members support the structure for gravity loads
> including the weight of people, the contents of the building, the
> self-weight of the building, and equipment. The engineer then designs
> these same members to resist forces from short term loads like wind,
> earthquakes, soil pressures, vehicles, impacts, and on occasion blast
> loads. Structural Engineers work with people in related professions such
> as Architects, Developers, Construction Managers, Home Owners, Insurance
> Companies, and a non-english speaking laborers. The greatest joy for a
> structural engineer is working with Building Officials and responding to
> plan check comments. A close second, is fixing field problems that
> result from incompetent trade workers like plumbers who cut holes in
> beams. A typical day may involve a field visit to a site where one will
> be escorted by your new best friend, the site foreman. The foreman will
> kiss your backside and praise your drawings, then proceed to show you
> how great a job his crew is doing while spitting tobacco into the
> plywood floor diaphragm every 45 seconds. When you discover
> discrepancies, he will then say it wasn't in the drawings. After a 30
> second reprieve to collect your thoughts, you get to tell him all the
> mistakes, and then for the next 2 hours you get to walk him through the
> plans to show him where things are wrong. Your new best friend will then
> say "can't you just write a letter sayin it's good?". You must resist
> this temptation even though he will bad mouth you to the owner and
> architect. Expect a call from either or both when you return to the
> office. Your office space will usually include some folding tables, a
> computer 2 years outdated, a phone with a complicated voicemail, hold,
> and transfer system, and plans of old projects you're just waiting to
> file, but know the phone will ring with a question forcing you to go
> back to the file room anyway to dig it up. "If we don't do our jobs, we
> get sued" one SE wrote. "people just assume that the structural
> engineer's work is a necessary evil to get a permit" another SE wrote.
> The structural integrity of a building is based upon sound engineering
> judgement built by the lowest bidder employing illiterate workers who
> never even read the prints that are not produced using ammonia.
> Engineers must be above reproach, even though the client will chose a
> cheaper and less dutiful engineer on the next project. An unusual aspect
> of structural engineering is that he/she must understand the timing of
> the project. Usually, projects were to be completely designed 2 weeks
> prior to getting the phone call to "bid" on the job. Random inspections
> and unsupervised tours never occur unless the building inspector doesn't
> like the contractor and wants to get you involved. Builders are not
> honest and is best summed up by Ricardo Montablon at the end of The
> Naked Gun when Pricilla Pressley asks him "how could you" in reference
> to his plot to assassinate the Queen of England at an Angels Baseball
> game. His response: "You forget my dear, I spent 2 years as a building
> contractor". If a structural engineer conducts inspections, he can
> expect a complaining phone call about the fee. The building inspections
> are best left to an Independent Special Inspector who will gloss over
> the plans and sip coffee and bullshit with the foreman for a few hours
> each visit. "You've got to expect that the company building the
> structure will cut corners and do the best you can to be there 24/7 so
> you can hold there hand while they load their nail guns" one SE wrote.
> An interview with the construction manager offsite will generally make
> it plain to the SE that he understand nothing you are saying and is
> basically a glorified secretary with a boiler gut, loud voice, and a
> plethora of dirty jokes. There are exceptions of course, so when you
> find them, kiss their ass in return. Structural Engineers need to posses
> a keen eye for detail, a comprehensive understanding of building
> standards and materials and that their job is difficult, important, and
> a rewarding one in a S&M type of way.
>
> PAYING YOUR DUES
>
> Structural Engineers must have a college degree in engineering, either
> Civil, Mechanical, or architecture. Fewer than 70 colleges offer and
> undergraduate major in structural engineering for obvious reasons.
> Courses include physics, mechanics of materials, mathematics, material
> science, traffic design, water resources, technical writing, economics.
> Possible courses also might include drafting/cad. You usually leave
> undergraduate school thinking you know everything. You soon learn you
> know nothing except hopefully what questions to ask your boss when you
> get to the task at hand. A structural engineer must be familiar with all
> the pieces of construction, including possible toilet and sewer line
> penetrations through structural members that the laborer will determine
> after inhaling a burrito from the roach coach. One state requires that
> structural engineers have 2 years experience in the construction
> industry to sit for a CIVIL engineering exam that has 4 parts. Then if
> you pass, 3 years later you can take another exam to use the title
> "structural engineer". Most states do not have a S.E. designation, but
> you can use the title legally if that is your area of practice, pass the
> exam, and have 4 years of experience. Expect very low pay initially with
> minimal increases as you gain licensure and experience. You will be
> making about the same amount of money as a used car salesman or an Arena
> Football player should you choose this as your life path. Candidates
> should have job experience that demonstrates a significant level of
> maturity, patience for the inept, and some outlet for stress buildup
> like shooting animals in the wild or develop a drinking problem. One
> should not be a narcissist seeking glory or praise for their work, the
> architects do that for you.
>
> ASSOCIATED CAREERS
>
> Many structural engineers have a construction background and they return
> to this field because their fathers told them "that's where the money
> is". They become construction managers if they can talk, material
> purchasers if they can use a phone, architectural assistants if they
> have no pride, and consultants to worksites if they can't do math or
> draw anymore. Their analytical abilities make them well suited to many
> professions yet to be determined, but the majority of them suffer along
> until they die with a house, kids who still mooch off of them, and an
> extra large coffin because they sat on their ass all day working on a
> computer sucking down cokes and McDonalds.
>
> WISE UP and BECOME A ROCK STAR !
>
> ****
>
> Now off to coach 7 five year old girls in soccer!
>
> -gm
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 1:08 PM
> To: SEAINT Listserv
> Subject: Definition of Structural Engineering for High School Students
>
> I thought that many of you would be interested in this unfortunate
> description of our beloved profession:
>
> http://www.princetonreview.com/cte/profiles/dayInLife.asp?careerID=151
>
> The Princeton Review is where many/most American high school students
> turn for career guidance.  It sickens me to think that even one student
> might have read this description and then pursued a different career.
> If any of you are motivated to correct this travesty, here are the
> people to contact:
>
> The Princeton Review
> 2315 Broadway
> New York, NY 10024
> Telephone: 212-874-8282
> Fax: 212-874-0775
>
> Suellen Glasser
> Ombudsman
> The Princeton Review
> 212-874-8282 ext.1336
> SuellenG(--nospam--at)review.com
>
> Harriet Brand
> Director, Public Relations
> The Princeton Review
> 212-874-8282, ext.1091
> HarrietB(--nospam--at)review.com
>
> Robin Raskin
> Director, Communications
> The Princeton Review
> 212-874-8282, ext.1647
> RobinR(--nospam--at)review.com
>
> Best regards,
>
> Stan R. Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE, F.AEI
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> MISTAKES:  "It could be that the purpose of your
> life is only to serve as a warning to others.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
>
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