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RE: A Farewell to Structural Engineering

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Go for it Bill!  Your decision reminds me of my own trivial dilemmas along
the way, as I'm sure many of us also experience.  

Since our strength is squarely in our own hands and each of us can only help
ourselves, I wish you well. 

If you are going to do (engineering) history, the occasional post from you
about the (engineering) things you study will surely find interest with
some, if not all, the list participants.


Thor A. Tandy P.Eng, C.Eng, Struct.Eng, MIStructE, MCSCE
UNISOL Engineering Ltd
Structural Engineers
Unit 7 - 625 Hillside Ave
Victoria, BC, V8T 1Z1
Tel/Fax: (250) 382-9115
Email: vicpeng(--nospam--at) 
Please consider the environment before printing out this e-mail

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 1:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: A Farewell to Structural Engineering

Hello, SEAINTers. Long time since I've checked in personally.

I am now going on the sixth month of my current spate of unemployment. 
The phone does not ring. Such employment openings as I do see 
advertised, are for entry-level positions, or require expertise that I 
do not have (such as offshore platform design).

I have also been struggling, not entirely coincidentally, with one of 
the worst bouts of depression with which I've ever had the misfortune to 
deal. No one's fault, really; it is what it is. But it has forced me 
into self-examination at an uncomfortable level.

I haven't been happy or fulfilled as an engineer in years. I think the 
profession and I simply grew apart. If you are not a world-class expert 
- as I am not - in any particular subfield, you must perforce be content 
with "management" or some-such. And I am not that either.

I have made up my mind to drop out altogether. In fact, I am changing 
course radically - something I probably should have done years ago but 
was too caught up in the practicalities of earning a living to realize it.

I have decided to apply to graduate school with the aim of earning a 
Ph.D. in History, and remain in academia for the remainder of my life. 
It's not exactly entering the monastery, but it's almost as radical a 
departure. I have always been fascinated with all aspects of history - 
especially that of engineering and technological progress. I will 
probably focus on that, perhaps even civil and structural engineering 
history. Wouldn't that be something.

At any rate, I just felt it incumbent upon me to write a brief swansong 
in this vein. Not that I expect any of you to really care, but it might 
be of interest to one or two, and so it would serve a purpose.

Thank you all for services rendered in the fifteen-plus years that I've 
participated on this forum, and I wish all of you the very best of good 
luck in all you do.

William L. Polhemus, P.E.
Katy, Texas 

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