designers failing at their job and its ok?

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iceworm

Curmudgeon still using printed IEEE Color Books
Location
North of the 65 parallel
Occupation
EE (Field - as little design as possible)
Strat - Just a few comments

1. You're kind of waffling. Tell us true what you think of PEs. Come on now, you can be straight with us.

2. Must be a bummer to work with mere mortals.

3. I'm glad to hear there are all these mere mortal PEs out there. Now I know why my customers are willing to pay extra to keep me around.

4. I like design engineers. If it weren't for them I'd have made a lot less money in my chosen career.

5. I like ECs. If it weren't for them I'd have made a lot less money in my chosen career.

...
I know what I don't know, and I know where to go to find it!
I can say honestly that you are way smarter than I am, cause:
I don't know what I don't know.

Some years back I had a manager ask the bunch of us to, (paraphrased quote) "I want a report on all of the things we don't know about that could hurt the project." If I had you to draw on I'd probably still have a job with them.

life is good :thumbsup:


The worm
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
Strat - Just a few comments

1. You're kind of waffling. Tell us true what you think of PEs. Come on now, you can be straight with us.

2. Must be a bummer to work with mere mortals.

3. I'm glad to hear there are all these mere mortal PEs out there. Now I know why my customers are willing to pay extra to keep me around.

4. I like design engineers. If it weren't for them I'd have made a lot less money in my chosen career.

5. I like ECs. If it weren't for them I'd have made a lot less money in my chosen career.


I can say honestly that you are way smarter than I am, cause:
I don't know what I don't know.

Some years back I had a manager ask the bunch of us to, (paraphrased quote) "I want a report on all of the things we don't know about that could hurt the project." If I had you to draw on I'd probably still have a job with them.

life is good :thumbsup:


The worm

No, I'm not waffling, and I don't dislike engineers. I just don't like "lack of attention to detail" from the person paid to create details. Of the examples I cited, I actually respect one of those Engineering firms and I like the other one personally. As far as the "mere mortal" thing, I tried to clarify this by stating I probably have high expectations. I will say, I am every bit as hard on myself as I am on others. And that does mean a regular flogging.
 

JoeStillman

Senior Member
Location
West Chester, PA
I am an electrical PE, but my degree is not a BSEE, its a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering). My school didn't offer a BSEE.

What school teaches what we do? I have never met a BSEE graduate who knew anything at all about the National Electrical Code. They know all about computers and radio antennas and HV transmission line impedances, but they don't know size 0 wire is bigger than size 1.
 

kingpb

Senior Member
I am an electrical PE, but my degree is not a BSEE, its a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering). My school didn't offer a BSEE.

What school teaches what we do? I have never met a BSEE graduate who knew anything at all about the National Electrical Code. They know all about computers and radio antennas and HV transmission line impedances, but they don't know size 0 wire is bigger than size 1.

And you won't find an engineering school that teaches the NEC; what would be the purpose, its a safety guide and has nothing to do with engineering, per se. Now, the information that is in the NEC came from somewhere, and there is a lot of engineering that went into those tables, charts, and minimum requirements, as well as manufacturing data.

My degree is a BSEE; EE as in power systems. I don't know squat about electronics, antennas, or computers. My classes were power systems and analysis, relay protection, control systems, motors, transformers, generators, and the like. But I went to one of 7 schools that still has that degree. Matter of fact the poor electronics guys had to have BSEL degrees (electronics) although that has since changed.

Some universities offer a few electives in power, but they can be pretty worthless. The individual has to want to learn this stuff, but honestly many of the best guys for commercial and light industrial come out of the field and took the initiative to learn to do ACAD, we call them technicians. But I still have to oversee and seal the documents ($$). Typically, the guys that know power, arn't going to be laying out plugs and switches and no we don't often even use the NEC because most of what we do is engineered and well above the NEC minimum.

I've run across many techs that have a disdain for engineers, and some are very, very good at what they do; but in the end, they have to lose the chip on the shoulder and accept that no matter how good they are (or think they are), they still need some crappy engineer to seal the documents. Life's a bitch sometimes, get over it.
 

Nom Deplume

Senior Member
Location
USA
In MA we don't always need an engineer. By law we are allowed to engineer our own jobs if we are doing the installation.
We cannot engineer for others though.
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
In MA we don't always need an engineer. By law we are allowed to engineer our own jobs if we are doing the installation.
We cannot engineer for others though.


In FL we can design up to 600A single phase, 800A 3 phase (or the other way around, I only look it up when I get close) and less than $5,000 fire alarm.
 

GoldDigger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Placerville, CA, USA
Occupation
Retired PV System Designer
In FL we can design up to 600A single phase, 800A 3 phase (or the other way around, I only look it up when I get close) and less than $5,000 fire alarm.
I can see all sorts of fun if you design and install a $4000 system and the inspector requires $1500 in corrections. :)
 

Strathead

Senior Member
Location
Ocala, Florida, USA
Occupation
Electrician/Estimator/Project Manager/Superintendent
I can see all sorts of fun if you design and install a $4000 system and the inspector requires $1500 in corrections. :)

That is a point, but this is wide open to manipulation anyway. Is that $5,000 in material, cost, cost plus, etc. It isn't the best thought out rule.
 

Pharon

Senior Member
Location
MA
I am an electrical PE, but my degree is not a BSEE, its a BSE (Bachelor of Science in Engineering). My school didn't offer a BSEE.
I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. At least as far as PE requirements are concerned. Both BSEE and BSE need 4 years, whereas a BSET needs 8. At least that's what it was when I was applying.


In MA we don't always need an engineer. By law we are allowed to engineer our own jobs if we are doing the installation.
We cannot engineer for others though.
This is news to me. Even for PV systems? I thought you at least needed a PE stamp to get through the utility interconnection process.
 

Nom Deplume

Senior Member
Location
USA
I'm pretty sure they're the same thing. At least as far as PE requirements are concerned. Both BSEE and BSE need 4 years, whereas a BSET needs 8. At least that's what it was when I was applying.



This is news to me. Even for PV systems? I thought you at least needed a PE stamp to get through the utility interconnection process.

The utility may have their own requirements, but in general we can design our own work.
MGL Chapter 112 Section 81R
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXVI/Chapter112/Section81r
 

Pharon

Senior Member
Location
MA
The utility may have their own requirements, but in general we can design our own work.
MGL Chapter 112 Section 81R
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXVI/Chapter112/Section81r
Interesting, and not that I'm arguing against it or anything -- but I just wonder under which circumstances PE-stamped and signed drawings would ever be necessary? Because this section seems to render them pretty much unnecessary, unless I'm completely misreading it:

Section 81R. Nothing in said sections shall be construed to prevent or to affect:?

(a) the practice of any other legally recognized profession including the practice of architecture as defined in this chapter and the practice of any trade, including, in connection with the practice of the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration and all other trades, the preparation of plans, specifications or shop drawings by any person, firm, partnership, corporation or association practicing any such trade, for work to be installed or being installed by the same person, firm, partnership, corporation or association preparing such plans, specifications or shop drawings;
 

Cow

Senior Member
Location
Eastern Oregon
Occupation
Electrician
In MA we don't always need an engineer. By law we are allowed to engineer our own jobs if we are doing the installation.
We cannot engineer for others though.

I'm glad Oregon is the same way. We do a TON of ag work among other things, so we are always building new services for different things. I can't imagine needing an engineer to sign off on something we already know how to do...
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
I'm not even up to ggunn's level - wouldn't matter if I knew and trusted the designer or not. The law says, " prepared by me or under my direction". Before my stamp goes on it, I completely understand the design and all the applicable regulations. .

If you were to review a design by someone else and exchange redlined documents until it is done the way you would have; would that satisfy the "under my direction" clause of the law?
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
If you were to review a design by someone else and exchange redlined documents until it is done the way you would have; would that satisfy the "under my direction" clause of the law?

I've contacted the NJ Board of Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors and posed this very question. In their opinion, this would indeed constitute "under my direction".
 

iceworm

Curmudgeon still using printed IEEE Color Books
Location
North of the 65 parallel
Occupation
EE (Field - as little design as possible)
If you were to review a design by someone else and exchange redlined documents until it is done the way you would have; would that satisfy the "under my direction" clause of the law?

I reviewed what I said: and it does sound like I was slapping at you. My bad. I could have phrased it better. I agree what you suggest would satisfy me. In fact, doesn't even have to be "My Way" - Just sufficient to meet code minimum, satisfy customer expectations, and not be dangerous - oh yeah, also no felonies.

My dad, general contractor (un-named speciality market) commented once (paraphrasing his words), "We aren't any different than evening workers. If the customer has money, we generally have time." He thought a bit and then added, "No felonies though".

ice
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
I reviewed what I said: and it does sound like I was slapping at you. My bad. I could have phrased it better. I agree what you suggest would satisfy me. In fact, doesn't even have to be "My Way" - Just sufficient to meet code minimum, satisfy customer expectations, and not be dangerous - oh yeah, also no felonies.

My dad, general contractor (un-named speciality market) commented once (paraphrasing his words), "We aren't any different than evening workers. If the customer has money, we generally have time." He thought a bit and then added, "No felonies though".

ice

Oh, I didn't take what you said as a slap at all and I didn't mean what I said as a challenge to you. I have recently become unemployed and therefore out from under an engineering firm's umbrella. I am considering going independent and it's a real question for me (one of many, of course). I want to be sure I do not violate the rules as they are interpreted by my peers and the AHJ's. No worries.
 

iceworm

Curmudgeon still using printed IEEE Color Books
Location
North of the 65 parallel
Occupation
EE (Field - as little design as possible)
Oh, I didn't take what you said as a slap at all and I didn't mean what I said as a challenge to you. I have recently become unemployed and therefore out from under an engineering firm's umbrella. I am considering going independent and it's a real question for me (one of many, of course). I want to be sure I do not violate the rules as they are interpreted by my peers and the AHJ's. No worries.
That's good. I always try to not be a complete ass.

As for going independent, I would take a look at my Dad's comment. I try to keep in mind exactly what my real job title is.

edit to add: I also keep in mind: I can be bought - I'm just not cheap.

ice
 

jumper

Senior Member
I reviewed what I said: and it does sound like I was slapping at you. My bad. I could have phrased it better. I agree what you suggest would satisfy me. In fact, doesn't even have to be "My Way" - Just sufficient to meet code minimum, satisfy customer expectations, and not be dangerous - oh yeah, also no felonies.

My dad, general contractor (un-named speciality market) commented once (paraphrasing his words), "We aren't any different than evening workers. If the customer has money, we generally have time." He thought a bit and then added, "No felonies though".

ice

It's only a felony if you get caught, otherwise it is just "doin' bidnez".:D
 

ggunn

PE (Electrical), NABCEP certified
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer - Photovoltaic Systems
That's good. I always try to not be a complete ass.

As for going independent, I would take a look at my Dad's comment. I try to keep in mind exactly what my real job title is.

edit to add: I also keep in mind: I can be bought - I'm just not cheap.

ice

From the old joke: We have already agreed as to what you are, now we are just dickering over the price. :D

I played in a cover band for many years, playing for weddings and corporate parties. I did not care at all for the music but it was a fairly lucrative gig. My philosophy was that if I was going to be a prostitute, at least I was going to be a well paid one.

Peace,
Gordon
 
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