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Re: Update: Dallas Cowboys roof Collapse

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I can only assume that the journalist does not understand how common it is
to be licensed in multiple jurisdictions - even extra-nationally.
Apparently, nobody knows (or is willing to acknowledge) if any person
accepted EOR responsibility for the building. This is a systemic issue at
the level of the building authority more than a licensing issue of the
manufacturer's employee*.

When it shakes out, there will be issues about personal skill, knowledge,
experience, commitment, marketing and financial motives, etc. Licensing will
be used as a big stick in the media, but it will be trivial to the reality
since it is probable that any engineer involved would have been licenseable
in the site jurisdiction.

Having recently communicated with a person quoted in one of the Dallas News
articles about this fiasco, it appears that there have been considerable
liberties taken to enhance the "crash and burn" value of the writing.

*It is not clear to me, from the Dallas News, whether the supervising
engineer was an employee or a contracted supervisor for the purposes of
supporting a company's provincial engineering registration. The registration
is required for companies providing engineering services to the public,
regardless of the existence of professional engineers as employees. Some of
these missing tid-bits are not sexy enough to make it to print without
boring the casual reader.

Paul Ransom, P.Eng.
ph 905 639-9628
fax 905 639-3866

> From: "Daryl Richardson" <h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)>
> Paul,
> I generally agree with everything you have said.
> The term "Saskatchewan Engineer" seems to come up repeatedly in
> discussions regarding this particular building failure.  In fairness to the
> Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan
> (APEGS) there are some things I would like to point out.  I have recently
> retired from APEGS and taken life membership after being a member for more
> than forty (40) years.  APEGS has the highest standard for registration as a
> Professional Engineer of any province where I have ever been registered.
> They have a two tier system: ordinary members; and members offering services
> to the public.  The second is known as Permission to Consult.  The ordinary
> members must have an engineering degree from an accredited university plus
> four (4) years of documented experience to gain membership.  To acquire
> "Permission to Consult" they must have a masters degree or accepted
> equivalent plus seven (7) years of documented experience in the specific
> area of expertise they wish to offer to the public.  These fields are very
> narrow; there is nothing so general as "Civil Engineering"; in my case it
> was for "Civil and Structural Engineering as Related to the Design and
> Construction of Petrochemical Facilities".  In addition, members must  make
> a new application complete with all documentation including references (who
> must all be Professional Engineers for "Permission to Consult") every five
> (5) years.  And furthermore, in most, if not all, Canadian Provinces
> companies employing engineers must also be registered; this registration
> includes the names of all professional engineers responsible for overseeing
> the performance of all engineering work.
> I don't know anything about the "Saskatchewan Engineer" involved in
> this project; but, in view of the horrifying things I have read on this list
> and on the links provided I would suspect there may be some significant
> "areas of non compliance" with the Saskatchewan engineering registration
> requirements.  For anyone interested this could probably be done on line at
> .
> Regards,
> H. Daryl Richardson
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Paul Ransom" <ad026(--nospam--at)>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
> Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 11:12 PM
> Subject: Re: seaint Digest for 28 Jun 2009
>> Daryl, your comments are very correct.
>> We, on this list, have frequently discussed the poor engineering depiction
>> in the media when "design" and its consequences are described by a person
>> who is not typically in responsible charge of structural design. The
>> uninformed vomit from the commenters below the article on the Dallas News
>> web page are doing a marvelous hatchet job of everybody and everything
>> without even touching the real issues (e.g. questioning the ability of a
>> Canadian engineer to be licensed in Texas; attributing all blame to some
>> owner-lead conspiracy). Some of the comments on this list are not far
>> removed. Great PR.
>> I have mentioned this frequently on this list but I think that you need to
>> keep it in mind when reading these articles. It applies equally to
>> manufacturers of pre-engineered fabric covered buildings as well as
>> pre-engineered metal buildings:
>> -  The manufacturer, or their design engineer, in general, is not the
>> structural EOR and CANNOT act as EOR. The designers are employees of a
>> company that manufactures an engineered product;
>> -  Manufacturer's designers are frequently licensed in the jurisdiction of
>> the site but situations vary depending on the manufacturer and the
>> contractual obligations of the manufacturer to the project;
>> -  the project civil/structural EOR is responsible to define the loads,
>> quality and performance requirements of the manufactured product in the
>> specifications or tender documents that are provided to the manufacturer
>> at
>> the time of quote/design;
>> -  Design/Build contractors may not provide an EOR to specify and monitor
>> the pre-engineered building supply but they can get sealed drawings from
>> the
>> manufacturer. Situation is worse if the GC is buying from a building
>> broker
>> that may not know their a$$ from a whole in the ground with respect to
>> building codes, design standards and manufacturer's procedures or
>> abilities;
>> -  Building Authorities don't understand, nor do they want to know, the
>> contractual and professional liability obligations and assume that the
>> manufacturer's engineer (seal on drawing submitted) is the structural EOR.
>> The Dallas News stories are interesting but they will likely only shed
>> light
>> on individuals, companies, building officials and processes. We will
>> likely
>> never hear the real engineering post-mortem results from 2 (two)
>> design/reinforcement efforts on this project. The owner may have gotten
>> what
>> they paid for - no more, no less.
>> The pre-engineered building industry has grown from modest roots: from
>> metal
>> garages and fabric covered farm sheds to large, complex buildings. _SOME_
>> manufacturers have simply scaled up their commercial and design practices
>> without adequate recognition of the change in tolerable and controlling
>> influences. The manufacturer's have entered new markets that are as
>> unprepared to deal with pre-engineered buildings as SOME of the
>> manufacturers are unprepared to deal with the escalated requirements and
>> expectations.
>> A project, especially a large structure, must have an independent
>> civil/structural EOR - the building authority must ensure that the
>> individual accepting responsibility is clearly identified and acknowledges
>> the obligation. The EOR must ask questions of the manufacturer and ensure
>> that they understand and are satisfied with the engineer designer's
>> responses. If you are the EOR and could not comfortably design a similar
>> structure, find a professional that is capable, to provide that support.
>> If nothing else, read the Preface to Newman's book.
>> My brain hurts and my fingers are growing numb.
>> Regards
>> Paul
>> -- 
>> Paul Ransom, P.Eng.
>> ph 905 639-9628
>> fax 905 639-3866
>> PRansom(--nospam--at)
>>> From: "Daryl Richardson" <h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)>
>>> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
>>> Subject: Re: Update: Dallas Cowboys roof Collapse
>>> Bill,
>>> How do you interpret this article as someone "screwing up"?  I think
>>> you're being too gentle.
>>> I read the article as suggesting one or more persons not identified
>>> in the article as being
>>> a)  utterly incompetent,
>>> b)  extremely (maybe criminally) negligent,
>>> c)  greedy to the point of completely ignoring the safety of others, or
>>> d)  all of the above.
>>> Regards,
>>> H. Daryl Richardson
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)>
>>> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
>>> Sent: Sunday, June 28, 2009 9:05 PM
>>> Subject: Re: Update: Dallas Cowboys roof Collapse
>>>> How sad that the only time we get to read a "cool" article about our
>>>> profession, is when one of us screws up.
>>>> William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
>>>> Via iPhone 3G
>>>> On Jun 28, 2009, at 12:11 PM, Stan Caldwell <stancaldwell(--nospam--at)>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> There is a new and disturbing structural engineering article on the
>>>>> front page of the Dallas Morning News today.

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