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RE: A Farewell to Structural Engineering

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Good luck Bill.

D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, SECB
Structural Division Manager

Pennoni Associates Inc.
One Drexel Plaza
3001 Market Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office 215-222-3000 x7895 | Direct 215-254-7895
Fax 215-222-0789 | Mobile 908-309-8657
http://www.pennoni.com | mstuart(--nospam--at)pennoni.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Polhemus [mailto:bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 4:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
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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