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RE: A Farewell to Structural Engineering

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I have enjoyed your contributions to the list over the years, and I will certainly miss seeing them. I know others that are also leaving the profession, and it saddens me to see so much talent and experience leaving prematurely. I do not think our profession will be the better for it. On a personal level, I wish you all the best on this exciting new adventure in your life.

Dmitri Wright, PE
Cascade Engineering, Inc.
245 SE 4th Ave, Suite B
Hillsboro, OR  97123-4033

From: Bill Polhemus <bill(--nospam--at)>
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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