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I Weep For The Future....

Discussion in 'SAFETY ISSUES & EQUIPMENT' started by great white, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    I especially like the last point. If the professors are required to be P.E.s, it seems more likely to turn out valid degree holding engineers, and head them in the direction to get their own license as well. Although, I'm sure there will be backlash from employers when it comes to the cost of employing at least one P.E. in each firm. I know lots of engineers who do hold valid degrees, up to MS at least, and are not working in the field where they hold the degree and have the formal education. But they have top jobs making very good money. And they are good at their jobs, even though they learned from experience rather than school. I guess some play a little loose with the rules, but it may be changing, albeit slowly.
     
  2. CraigB1960

    CraigB1960 United States New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The engineering field is becoming more "protective" and licensing is how it is being done. No different than the medical, legal, and many craft jobs as well. If the professor has his MS or PHD, than taking the PE exam should be a piece of cake. The problem I see though with the teaching profession requiring a PE is the requirement to work for 4 years in acceptable, progressive, and verifiable work experience in the industry.

    I often hear the argument for the PE for the public safety, which you do have to set some bar of accreditation. But, I've met many engineers with PE's that should not be allowed to practice engineering.
     
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  3. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    Yes, I know what you mean. I know of a couple of PhD's who should not be working engineers.

    The problem I see is that someone who has worked under all the requirements to acquire a P.E. license probably won't be willing to take a teaching position. Just finding someone who has the qualifications would be tough enough, and the real drive it takes to get to that level of engineering is based on a love for the work, and that personality is rarely found alongside a honest desire to teach. And that's not even getting to the subject of compensation.

    At the time I was checking to see if we could get one of our engineers to qualify as a P.E. in order to make the state happy was to actually have a published peer-reviewed paper based on the field in which the engineer held his degree. Is that no longer applicable? Or am I remembering incorrectly? It wouldn't be the first time.
     
  4. CraigB1960

    CraigB1960 United States New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That's were old retired folks like me start to teach!

    Not that I know of, but each State sets their own requirements for qualifying to take the PE test, though the test itself is a standardized nationwide one. The key is how the State wants to define the "acceptable, progressive, and verifiable work experience in the industry". My State required it had to be 3 years working under a supervising PE, which in my case was not a problem. I also had to have 3 PE's willing to sponsor me.

    Edit: A good friend and co-worker of mine had his PE and was one of the best transmission protection engineers I ever met. The only reason he got his PE was to shut-up the other engineers that had their BSEE degrees. His degree was mathematics. When he went to take the PE exam, you had 4 hours in the morning for general knowledge and at that time 4 hours in the afternoon that consisted of electrical specific essay questions. He turned in his exam after about 1 hour in the afternoon. The monitor told him not to give up so fast, he still had plenty of time. He said, quit? the hell you say, I am done. He passed his first time....and was an official "Engineer".
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  5. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    That's how it is in Texas.
    I was self-employed before I landed my current job.
    I called myself a "Field Service Technician" because my attorney told me that in TX you cannot legally bestow upon yourself the title of Engineer without a PE stamp, and you can't get a PE stamp without a degree.
    My work was 50% troubleshooting PLC systems and 50% designing & installing AC drive retrofits and PLC retrofits for automating aging manual production equipment.
    As I learned later I was in direct violation of the law by "doing the work of Engineering" for hire without a PE stamp, and didn't know it. I thought I was safe by shying away from the title.
    It pays to do your own research and not rely on an Attorney. Or I guess it pays to pay a better Attorney.

    One of my clients wanted me to come work for them and I said I would do it if they gave me the Engineer title. They told me it wasn't legal so that is when I really did the research.
    In TX you CAN legally be given the title by your employer, without a PE stamp. You just have to keep your engineering work in-house and not offer it as a service to clients.
    I showed my prospective employer the law and they consulted their Attorney, and now here I am.

    The one thing that really surprised me is that, even if you have an Eng degree, you can't offer Engineering services unless you have a PE stamp.
    Any degreed Engineer who offers Engineering service without a PE stamp is violating the law just as bad as I was.
    An no, it isn't just limited to work that could affect the general public. It's any time you're designing anything at all for someone else. At least that's how I interpret the TX law.
    I don't know how many people know that fact, but I imagine there are probably a lot of illegal things going on that nobody is aware of.

    I hate to be a buzzkill, but if any of we hobbyist machinists are designing things for other people, we are technically breaking the law (in TX, probably elsewhere too).
    The loophole (again, as I, a law-layman interpret the law) is if you design and build something yourself and then sell it as a finished product.
    It's the service, the act of "doing the work of Engineering" (those are the buzzwords) that is the gotcha.
    Selling retail goods (that you happened to have designed and made yourself) is not illegal <----heavy disclaimer on that sentence. I am not an Attorney and this is not legal advice, yadda yadda. Consult an Attorney (a GOOD one).
     
  6. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    I guess I have been operating illegally for about the last 50 years. But I don't call myself an ''engineer''. Just a guy who says ''Yeah, I can do that'' ;)
     
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  7. Tony Wells

    Tony Wells United States Vice President Staff Member Administrator

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    When I designed water filtration equipment for produced and flowback water, as well as reclaiming completion fluid, and many other fluids processes (including hydrocarbon cracking) I called myself a Senior Technical Consultant and that was on my business cards and on the company books even during a case of litigation. In court it was not questioned, but it was not germane to the issue addressed in the lawsuit. I'll tell that story sometime, after the SoL runs out. I was an employee of the company, we had about 6 engineers with degrees, none of them P.E., but no Engineering in the company name.

    Before that company morphed into the filtration business, I was bequeathed the title "Special Projects Engineer", simply because of my job function. But that was all in house. I wonder how far reaching this law (or regulation) really goes. Manufacturing Engineers? Quality Engineers? There are all sorts of engineers.

    LOL....somehow I think we have gotten way off the topic, although it's interesting. Trying to cure the cause of the "weeping for the future"?....not so sure we are doing it.
     
  8. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    I did go to college for 1 year. I quit my job as a maintenance tech in a plant to go to college full time to get my Electrical Engineering degree. (I had the post-911 GI bill for a free ride, plus housing allowance)
    That is when I started my LLC, so that I could do side jobs for my ex-employer for extra cash.
    One of the courses for 1st year Eng students was "Introduction to Engineering," taught by guy probably 70+ years old.
    He told us his story; boiled down, he graduated college, went out and worked with a team designing containment systems for fluid tanks for a few years and then went back to college as a professor, all before I was born.
    He used to teach physics but got tired of that and wanted to teach the newbies who still had sparkles in their eyes.

    One day I brought in a device that I had made for my previous employer, before dropping it off later that day.
    I tried to engage him in discussion about things that he had designed, and he had nothing to offer.
    He said that his participation on the one Engineering team he had ever been a part of, was limited to basically busy work; crunching numbers, drafting, etc. He had no patents, nor anything that seemed like an original idea.
    He, or rather that discussion that we had, is part of the reason why I left school.
    I felt like I was being taught by people with no real-world experience. The blind leading the blind..

    After that I started to reevaluate the path I was on.
    I informed myself of the salary of a degreed Engineer upon graduating. A rookie Engineer's average salary was less than I was making as a Maintenance Tech before I quit.
    And, by that point I had other customers and figured out that the salray was less than I could make self employed, working 20-30hrs per week (not including health ins.).
    That was all the motivation I needed. I didn't feel that FREE college was worth my time.

    Maybe if they had a more qualified person at the gate to welcome in the newbies, I wouldn't have been scared away.
    But there probably wasn't any more qualified person to be had, because as you point out, the qualified people are not willing to take a teaching job.
    The qualified people have the passion for the jobs they're qualified for. Teaching is a totally different passion.
    There's a maxim for that: "those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." <- a little harsh and not applicable 100% of the time, but it's a maxim for a reason.
     
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  9. CraigB1960

    CraigB1960 United States New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yep, no one can call themselves an engineer unless they have a PE. And no one can perform the work as an engineer that is not a PE or have the oversight of a PE. This is "work for hire" as I stated in one of my posts above.

    I had to deal with this on a daily basis when I was Director of an Engineering Services division.

    Any employer can call you anything they wish! Look at the title Sanitation Engineer! However, the work must be contained within house. Utilities are a good example of this.

    Yep, you are not an engineer until the State says you are! This is to protect the public.

    The company I retired from was a very large manufacture of electronic equipment that could impact public safety. They could care less (and the law) about PE requirements being the manufacture of equipment. That was for the enduser that designed the use of their product into the final system to worry about. It was only when they started an Engineering Service division that it became apparent PEs were needed. And then the requirement of having a licensed PE for each state we did work in was necessary, as well as the proper discipline for the work being done.....Electrical, Civil, Mechanical. (Practice within one's scope of practice).

    I now product finished electrical products for sale. I have not kept up my PE, but it is legal for me to provide this product. It is not legal for me to practice engineering for hire unless I renewed my license AND got licensure in my current state. Like I said earlier, my stamp is a great paper weight! And if you notice, I do not sign with the (PE) anymore, simply I'm a retired PE.
     
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  10. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    Here's what the law says, if you're interested. Pay close attention to:
    • 1001.002. Definitions (2): “Engineer”
    • 1001.003. Practice of Engineering
    • 1001.004. Legislative Purpose and Intent; (c)
    • 1001.051. Limitation on Exemption
    • 1001.057. Employee of Private Corporation or Business Entity
    • 1001.301. License Required
    • 1001.302. License Eligibility Requirements
     
  11. CraigB1960

    CraigB1960 United States New Member Liaison Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Most engineers or for that matter anyone in the technical field (this includes medical, legal, etc) rarely invent or achieve that individuality that sets them apart in their field. They simply go through the paces like any other job. This is not to say they are not important or the work they do is not important, it is just a fact.

    I was very fortunate that I got exposure to a wide range of engineering and was able to excel in both designing large systems as well as embedded systems.

    A lot of folks make more than degreed engineers, even within the same company. Senior Technicians, administration (management), etc... A lot of engineers look for stability that a job provides (benefits) versus pay. Everyone must pick their own career path and weigh the pros and con's.

    Perhaps, a good motivating teacher does inspire. BUT, one must remember all college does is provide a paper that states you have achieved a certain level of knowledge, not that you know anything in a real-world application. (Just like the PE exam)

    It simply teaches where to look and how to gain the answers when you are confronted with real-world problems to solve. College does not prepare you for performing the work in a real-world application...that would be the job of a tech college. This is why employers like experienced applicants, otherwise they must do on-the-job training regardless of your degree.
     
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  12. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    I can't get your website to load and I haven't closely followed the nature of your posts on here, but I think as long as you're selling products and not services you're in the clear.
    If you are selling services, perhaps a simple & clever restructuring of your affairs would put you in the clear.
    For example, when I go back into business for myself, I won't sell "engineered upgrades." I'll sell upgrade kits (that I happened to have designed) and install them.
     
  13. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    Good points. I have in the past year come back around to the idea of getting that paper. I think that performing for the past 2 years with the Engineer title will really help my mobility, but with all the automation in the HR machines these days, your really need the paper to get the job. With no check-box for your degree, your online application (and they are almost ALL online nowdays) gets automatically file-13'd before a human ever sees it. I will be limited to small operations like the one I'm with currently.
     
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  14. JimDawson

    JimDawson Global Moderator Staff Member Director

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    I need to move my website to a new host, I am having nothing but trouble with the current host.

    That is exactly what I sell. But I also do a lot of other stuff that is mostly just word-of-mouth referrals. I don't ''engineer'' things, I just solve problems!;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
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  15. dlane

    dlane Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I weep for the future , due to the political choices (crooks) of these times "all of them"
    along with all the other ripoff , government, company's, Wall Street, hackers, just plain bad greedy people, Unfortunately it's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    " I fear the day that technology will surpass
    our human interaction
    The world will have a generation of
    Idiots.
    Albert Einstein "
     
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  16. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    In my business, I work as an "Design Consultant". Even though some of the stuff I do involves "engineering" of sorts. My clients know this, and have no issues with this or the work I do for them. It's never been a concern in the court of law in any ligations I was partially involved in. If there ever is an concern, and it does come up occasionally, we have a PE licensed engineer available to us when needed. We also use their services for third party validation of the products I have designed over the past few years, too.
     
  17. Superburban

    Superburban United States Active Member Active Member

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    No wonder there are no Sanitation Engineers anymore.

    The Army said I'm an Engineer, I even have several pieces of paper and a flag to prove it. Honestly, I spent more time destroying stuff then designing things. :chunky: Much more gratifying.
     
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