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Re: Mechanical Engineer wants me to stamp his M sheets

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In the past, I have had the client delineate my details on his sheet (boxed off) and I sealed the specific detail(s) I sketched for their drafter to complete. Being in CA it's a bit different; in VA there are no SEs or CEs - everyone is a PE so it is less obvious when I might be sealing "out of discipline."

I don't see much of a problem if you seal the sheet and indicate on/under/around the seal that it is for structural connection details only. I'm not sure what the law states about such limitations on a seal, but it passes the smell test in my book, and I would certainly hope an expert chosen from my peers would agree with the clear meaning of my intent.

Gaines, David wrote:
Dig your heels in. You don't want to stamp any MEP drawings. They may need to hire you to create a structural sheet with those details on them. They could do the drafting work and create an "S" sheet for you to sign with just the anchorage details.

Dave Gaines, P.E.

Structural Project Engineer
HDR ONE COMPANY | Many Solutions
251 S. Lake Ave, Suite 1000
Pasadena, CA 91101
T: 626.584.4960
F: 626.584.1750
email: david.gaines(--nospam--at)


From: Gould, Diane [mailto:Diane.Gould(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 6:16 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Mechanical Engineer wants me to stamp his M sheets

I’m currently working with an ME who is telling me he cannot stamp “any plan containing seismic work based on calculations that have not been pre-approved by a state entity, such as pipe support systems, etc.”  He claims that the mechanical plan containing the “seismic details” needs to be double stamped with his (ME) and my (SE) license.  When I ask in what alternate reality is that true, he says, “well that’s what I always had to do with all the OSHPD work I did”.


The project in question is not an OSHPD job.  It involves adding 6 chilled air units on the ground floor of a State Office (EDD) building in Sacramento.  The scope of my involvement on this project involves doing the appropriate calcs and then marking up equipment mounting details for the ME and the Architect.  There are no S sheets on this job.  The Architect is not asking me to stamp his plans/details.


I’ve offered to stamp 8 ½ x11 versions of the 2 details I marked up for the ME.  Am I wrong in maintaining that it’s inappropriate for an SE to stamp M sheets?  The way I see it, to do so would imply that I was in responsible charge for all the information contained on those M sheets.  “Responsible charge” means it was prepared either by me or someone else under my direct supervision/review. There is much information on those M sheets that is neither within my scope of knowledge nor my supervision/review.


I’m digging my heels in on this one…just curious if others have opinion(s) to offer.





Diane C. Gould, S.E.

Senior Structural Engineer


Design Services Section

707 Third Street, Suite 4-105

West Sacramento, CA 95605

(916) 375-4219 phone

(916) 375-4916 fax



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