Explain Structural Engineer License

Articles gives an overview of the licensing requirements for Structural Engineer’s (SE) in the United States.

Engineering professionals of all disciplines (electrical, civil, mechanical, structural, etc…) in the United States are charged with “protecting the safety, health and welfare of the general public.” Because of this responsibility, all 50 states currently require a PE licensure to practice engineering within their geographic bounds. In the last decade, there has been a movement across the nation to better the life safety of our structures by requiring a separate licensure for structural engineers.

Practicing structural engineering carries an inherently large risk. A failure in a structural system, as evidenced by the recent parking deck failures at South Park Mall and 6100 Fairview, can result in fatalities and incur substantial rehabilitation costs. Over the years, engineers and code officials have learned from these failures and implemented more rigorous structural design procedures.

Advances in understanding the impact of natural forces on buildings have also led to more complicated requirements for structural analysis. The failures of buildings due to earthquakes (i.e. California Northridge earthquake, 1994 and Japan’s Kobe earthquake, 1995), hurricanes, and tornados have resulted in new approaches on how we design buildings to respond to seismic and wind events. Engineers now incorporate these lessons learned in the design of structures to prevent catastrophic failures under extreme events; some structures such as hospitals and police and fire stations must remain operational even after an event.

Due to the risk involved and the increased complexity of structural design requirements, ten states (see attached table) have begun to recognize structural engineers separately from professional engineers and increase their licensing requirements. Because each state has its own licensing board, there is a large variation in the requirements to obtain an SE license and the significance an SE license carries. An effort is underway to develop a national SE certification, but is years away from being implemented.

Provided by:
Structural Innovations Engineering & Consulting, PC
201 North Tryon St
Charlotte, NC


Licensing Requirements

License Provisions

California Passing NCEES PE & SEII Exams, CA state Civil & Seismic Exams (29hrs) Requires SE license for schools and hospitals.  CE license required for all other types of structures.  CA Building Design Authority
Hawaii Passing NCEES Civil or SEI & SEII Exams (16hrs) Requires SE license for anyone practicing structural engineering.
Idaho Passing NCEES Civil PE + 2yrs, SEI & SEII Exams (24hrs) Does not specifically require SE license to practice structural engineering.  Selected Laws & Rules
Illinois Passing NCEES SEI & SEII Exams (16hrs) Requires SE license for anyone practicing structural engineering.  Structural Engineer Act
Nebraska Passing NCEES SEI & SEII Exams (16hrs) Does not specifically require SE license to practice structural engineering.  NE Board of Eng FAQ
Nevada Passing NCEES Civil PE, SEI & SEII Exams (24hrs) Requires an SE license on specialty structures such as radio towers and signs over 100ft in height and buildings more than three stories or 45ft in height.  Nevada Administrative Code
New Mexico Passing NCEES PE + 4yrs of structural experience (8hrs) or NCEES SEI & SEII (16hrs) Does not specifically require SE license to practice structural engineering.
Oregon Passing NCEES PE & SEII Exams, WA state Seismic Exam (24hrs) Requires an SE license for hazardous facilities, special occupancy structures, essential facilities over 4,000sq ft in ground area or 20ft in height, structures with irregular features, and buildings over 4 stories or 45ft in height.  Oregon Revised Statutes 672
Utah Passing NCEES Civil PE, SEI & SEII Exams (24hrs) Requires SE license for buildings and other structures representing a substantial hazard to human life, essential facilities, and buildings requiring special consideration.  Utah PE and PLS Licensing Act
Washington Passing NCEES PE & SEII Exams, WA state Seismic Exam (24hrs) Requires an SE license for hazardous facilities, special occupancy structures, essential facilities over 5,000sq ft in ground area or 20ft in height, structures with irregular features, and buildings over 5 stories or 100ft in height, bridges with spans over 200ft, piers with surface area greater than 10,000sq ft and structures where 300 people or more congregate.

• Requirements above are in addition to passing NCEES (National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) FE Exam (8hrs)
• Requirements are in addition to years of service mandated by each state for licensure (typically 4 yrs)

We are thankful to Sir Jason Harris for submitting this very useful information to us.

10 Steps for Building Design

General building design procedure:

Step 1: Plan the approximate layout of the building .
Step 2: Calculate dead and snow load.
Step 3: Design steelroof decks:
Step 4: Select owsj’s
Step 5: Design beam.
Step 6: Design column.
Step 7: Design steel column bore plates.
Step 8: Design footing
Step 9: Create engineering dreawing.
Step 10: Final check and submission.

We are thankful to J. Vijayganth (third year civil engg ) miet engg college trichy-07 tamilnadu for submitting this information to us.

Is Civil Engineering Suitable For Girls?

This question has been raised again and again whether girls should do civil engineering or not. I am still not able to understand why people think girls are not suitable for civil engineering. In fact, in my opinion girls can and should do civil engineering. Many people say Civil engineering is field engineering and girls would have difficult time in working with labor class and would face numerous other site problems. But why those people forget that civil engineering is not limited to only field engineering, in fact its one of the broadest field of engineering. Girls can opt for office jobs like analysis, designing, tendering, managing projects and many other office jobs.

So if you think you have the will power to enter this male dominant engineering, just do it. Don’t let others decide your future, if you want to be a civil engineer just go for it. In future you surely can opt for off-site jobs if you think on-site jobs are a bit difficult due to surroundings or circumstances.

On a personal note, I did my civil engineering and in my class also we had 3 girls who opted for civil engineering. Two out of three are well placed in office jobs where as third one has opted for a project management in construction diploma. So if you have the right attitude and strong will power just join this branch and prove to this world that girls are no less than boys and can do wonders if provided with right kind of opportunities.

We at wish best wishes to all of you and hope to read your success stories in near future.

Ductal- A Stronger Concrete

What is Ductal?
Few Years back in 2006; researchers at Iowa State University have developed a new type of concrete that is much stronger than conventional concrete. It can withstand pressures up to 595,000 pounds — more than the weight of seven semi trucks.

A new kind of concrete called Ductal that might allow bridges to hold more weight and last longer. Although it is 10 times more expensive than traditional materials but stronger and virtually impermeable, helping bridges become more durable.

The researchers conducted a load-bearing capacity test using a 71-foot beam made out the new concrete. They applied increasing amounts of hydraulic pressure to the top of the beam to see how much it could withstand before breaking. It finally broke with a loud pop at 595,000 pounds. The ultra-high performance concrete is made from sand, cement, water and small steel fibers. Standard concrete uses coarser materials. The new concrete is specifically engineered to include finer materials and steel fibers, making it denser and stronger.

We are extremely thankful to Dr. Varenyam Achal for sharing  this research on our site and thus helping civil engineering students.

What is Biocement?

It’s safe to say that without microbes, biotechnology would be an extremely limited science. Microbes are microscopic organisms such as fungi (which include yeasts), bacteria and viruses. They not only provide the foundation for much of the basic research involved in biotechnology, they help to create durable building materials and structures.

The early scientific study of microbes concentrated on their effects, such as causing disease. Eventually, scientists discovered microbes could be used for the study of processes which are common to all living organisms. An innovative alternative approach lies in the combined use of microorganisms, nutrients and biological processes naturally present in the subsurface soils to effectively improve their engineering properties. Considerable research on carbonate precipitation by bacteria has been performed using ureolytic bacteria. These bacteria are able to influence the precipitation of calcium carbonate by the production of an enzyme, urease (urea amidohydrolase, EC Calcium carbonate precipitation occurs as a consequence of bacterial metabolic activity that raises the pH of the proximal environment.

Recently I discovered and improved few bacterial species which were able to precipitate calcite at higher rate and eventually this process lead to improved compressive strength, reduced permeability and low corrosion rate of reinforcement.
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