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One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer
3

One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

First note that this battle is specific to Illinois.  Second, I can name more than a dozen jurisdictions around the world where "engineer" is protected, and this individual would have been discovered proactively.

With that level of experience, I am sure that an equitable solution involving the waiver of confirmatory examinations in lieu of experience could be arranged.  And a payment of fees to the board, of course...

Seems mighty-opinionated for a technical magazine's Editor-in-Chief to be writing, mind you.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Editorials are essentially opinion pieces written by editors, are they not?

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

I thought this dead horse was made into hamburger meat and finally sold at market.

However in this case I can see how the disgruntled customer has a case.  Because "Engineer" was in the title of the business, that there was a PE on staff (at the least), but it turned out it was not the case. Kind of what fraud is defined.  In the US it is understood that if the title of the company had the word Engineering in it that there was a licensed and insured engineer on staff.  If not, other legit companies' / customers can not use them due to legal and liability reasons.

From the two last paragraphs of the article, I actually find pompous and small minded.  If anybody can use the word engineering in their company title, this will be the beginning of the end of our profession (or has it started already).  Before we know it we will see titles like McDonald's Engineering (we build burgers), Smith's Car Repair Engineering (engineering care for your car), and my favorite Janitorial Engineering (where mopping is an engineering wonder).  To my understanding in England, the word engineer has not been regulated, thus being abused by other professions that have nothing to do with engineering, which brings the true Engineering profession down.  
 

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

up here, north of the 49th, "engineer" is a protected job title, but "engineering" isn't; though it is a stupid title.  I haven't heard that companies are limited in the use the word "engineer"; i know the company needs to be licensed to offer engineering services ... in my case my company needs a CofA to offer my services as an engineer (so the local association gets two fees !) ... sigh, it was ever thus.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Two questions here, and maybe someone licensed in Illinois can answer them:

1.  When, in Illinois, did it become legally mandated that one had to be licensed to practice engineering?  FYI, this happened in Washington in the late 60's, with most of the engineers I was working with at the time either taking the test, or being grandfathered in.

2.  That being said, if it is really so important to him now, why did he not take the time to solve the problem simply, rather than grandstanding now?  Personally, I do not know the individual or his reputation, have to question his judgment.  If he had really been an "Engineer" as he states, he should have been aware of the engineering ethics laws with which we all must comply.  It's not all technical competence that qualifies you for the licensing.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

(OP)
If the IL laws are like my state (MO), then he is prevented from using variants of the word "engineer" in the name of the company and prevented from offering engineering services (such as product design) without a liscense.  He would not be prevented from offering an engineered product for sale which his company designed internally, even if it was cusom engineered, as long as he didn't charge for the engineering service, and not subject to any ethics laws or such associated with the P.E. profession.

While I don't share the editor's opinion, I can sympathize somewhat with the guy in question (although he should take the "engineering" out of his company name).  Most manufacturers are providing engineering to their customers in the form of product design, but are not required to have any liscense as long as they don't charge directly for the service.  

I can see a lot of arguments on both sides for requiring PE's in manufacturing...

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

The editor is apparently unaware that almost every state in the US has, and has had for years, similar language.

This is actually a subtle attack on the engineering laws in that they take a very highly talented individual who has a splendid career and use his "poor" situation in an attempt to trash the state laws.

The other linked website even begins to imply that the rules prohibiting the use of the term engineer is only promoted by a "private group" and are not actually state law.

I'm very much in favor of engineering licensing laws.

I'm also very much in favor of industrial designers, within their own company, not needing to be licensed.

But this guy who was charged was apparently promoting himself to the public as an engineer, selling consulting services, and that was simply against the law.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

I have to wonder a bit about the motives of the client however.

Regards,

Mike

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Based upon what I read about this, the client believed he was hiring a professional engineer  based upon the advertisement in the Yellow Pages (Engineers - Professional) and was charging $125/hr for engineering design.

He hired the engineer to do some design work.  Unfortunately, the design did not work as planned.  The client eventually sued the engineer for Fraud and later the State of Illinois investigated when they heard about the lawsuit.  

I think I read somewhere that the engineer was not carrying any insurance.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

(OP)
If liscensing is all about protecting the public, then why is it okay to sell an engineered widget but not the engineering for a widget without a PE?  

I reckon they have to draw the line somewhere, and defining, requiring, and enforcing liscensed engineering in manufacturing would be a nightmare for all concerned.  100 HP mooring winches and red rubber balls both require engineering to manufacture, but the safety and complexity spectrum in between is vast.  

But some concrete examples from recent news:  Toyota no-stop'em cars and lead painted toys from China.  From the very complex and inherently dangerous to the very simple and seemingly harmless.  Would these problems have been less likely to occur if there were mandated PE's in the loop?   

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

MikeMech - not sure but maybe you know - I suspect that widgets tend to be tested by the company that sells them to ensure control of risk/liability.  Also in the states there is UL testing/approvals.  

 

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

No offense to the OP, as the article is interesting, but this subject has been beaten to death on these fora.  It has almost reached the level of politics and religion.deadhorse

"Good to know you got shoes to wear when you find the floor." - Robert Hunter
 

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

I'll pray for you ewh.

 

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

JAE:

The subject HAS been preyed upon.   

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

"I thought this dead horse was made into hamburger meat and finally sold at market."
I ate that hamburger meat....it was OK on the way down, but it took a while to settle. pipe

peace
Fe

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

...and what if an airplane "hull" was built to ASME pressure vessel code?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

" If anybody can use the word engineering in their company title, this will be the beginning of the end of our profession"

Many countries don't have the title/word  'engineer/engineering' protected; it hasn't caused the end of the profession.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

The day when you tell somebody that you're an engineer and then they associate you with Janitorial Service Engineering, you will have the same sentiments as we do.

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

BS.

I was in the UK before this where the term engineer isn't really protected and I have reservations over some of the rules/effort made in the US to protect the term.

So, I'm inclined to think you might be making stuff up to be more dramatic.

People here in the states have no more or less an idea of what an engineer does than they did in the UK from what I've seen.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

In the UK the title 'engineer' is not protected. You can earn more money as a train driver, used car salesman, store manager, police officer and the list goes on. If the title 'engineer' was protected it may become a more sought after career! Most insurance companies don't even list the job title 'engineer' in the 'proffesional occupations' category.

Chris
www.value-design-consulting.co.uk

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Thank you Chris9, case in point...

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

There are many handy folks that can fix pipes, but to offer services as a "plumber' and expect to get paid, one becomes a licensed plumber.

There are many clever folks that understand wiring and can trouble shoot and repair a circuit; but to offer services as an "electrician" and expect to get paid for that, one becomes licensed as an electrician.

There are many fabricators that understand the strength of materials and how to put things together; to offer services as a fabrication designer, and expect to get paid for that, one should not advertise (and a company name is considered advertising) engineering.

Seems simple enough to me. Perhaps that the author of the story does not understand this is evidence he is not an engineer (?)  

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Obviously chris9 thinks he isn't paid very much, perhaps he'd be better off doing some self-education or looking for another job rather than whining on eng-tips.

Engineering isn't a protected word in Australia, our grads start at about 100% of the median full time wage for Australia,

http://www.britzinoz.com/info/wages.htm

which admittedly is about the same as the AVERAGE engineer in the UK.

and people like me are on twice that. Is that good? I don't know. If some bloke sells cars and he is good at it, should he be paid more than me? I don't know. I know I couldn't sell cars. Or at least I very much doubt I'd enjoy selling them as much as I enjoy 'designing' them.
 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

For sure you should be paid more than some bloke that can BS all day.
If it weren't for people like you, his job would not exist to say the least...  

peace
Fe

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

engineer's pay in Oz

http://www.eabooks.com.au/WebRoot/engineersmedia/Shops/eabooks/49C0/8378/E65F/64FF/9081/C0A8/D218/9DA0/survey_sample_2009.pdf

I should point out that EA is the nearest we have to a professional engineers association in Oz, they have no practical effect so far as I can see. (well that might get a response)

 

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies  http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Response...agreement.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Last time I checked you don't need a degree to be used car salesman! I am quite well paid for an engineer but not compared to other proffesions.   

Chris
www.value-design-consulting.co.uk

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

"compared with"

Oops, wrong forum.

- Steve

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Nice link Greg, what is considered private and public?

Tobalcane
"If you avoid failure, you also avoid success."  

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

So Chris, as has been asked on other forums where similar subjects come up, what are these awesome jobs we could walk into with our current engineering education - or equivalent - and make much better money with similar employment conditions (hours worked, pressure, environment etc.) & effort required etc.?

Obviously you're not talking about Doctors or Lawyers/Solicitors/Barristers as they generally take extra education and, at least in the early stages of their careers, long sometimes unsociable hours, oh and maybe a bit more stressful than the average engineering job - not that some aren't stressful enough.

One assumes you aren't talking about financial 'City/Wall street' type jobs since while it will probably recover to some extent right now that field isn't quite the 'green grass' it was often perceived to be.  Plus I understand there is a little bit of pressure in the highest earning of those jobs etc.

Maybe you're talking about IT jobs, though I don't think that's quite as lucrative as it maybe was a few years back though I haven't really kept track.

Several of the jobs you mentioned originally have somewhat different employment conditions, hours, schedule etc. which partially explains the apparently high pay.   Pretty sure when I was an engineer in the UK I was making more than a PC with similar experience.  Used car salesman is one of those jobs that while some folks excel and make loads, many fall by the wayside.


So, what are these jobs?   

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

I just find it interesting that I can offer "Mechanical Design Services" as a "Mechanical Designer". I can do that with and Mechanical Engineering degree or without one. And I can still charge $200/hour doing it. As long as nothing goes wrong, no one says a word because no one knows any better.

The second you mention the word engineer, all hell breaks loose.

I think people should be liable for the work they do. Period. Ever heard of "buyer beware"?

I'm a decent mechanical engineer (oh sh*t, can I not say that?), but when I decided I wanted to vault the ceiling in my house, along with doing my own calcs, I hired a structural engineer. I asked to see jobs he had done in the past, along with his credentials.

I met with him and decided he was good to go. I can't be the only person smart enough to do due diligence on a prospective service person.

I completely understand the necessity of the various PE tests as a matter of protecting the public, but I can't for the life of me figure out why we bicker about this stupid term.

If you don't have a PE license, then you shouldn't be able to have the title PE. Why shouldn't I be able to call myself an engineer, when I graduated from an engineering college, hold and engineering job, and have an engineering title?

It seems silly.

V

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

No, you can't.  At least not in Wisconsin.  They are pretty specific about services, no matter what you call them.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Tick-

My point, as I'm sure you understand, is that there's always a way to get around wording and "titles".

The entire patent litigation industry is based on that.

V

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

hahaha. Here we go again.
Most who are PE (or PEng) are one one side, whereas most who don't have a PEng are on the other.....typical humans pipe

peace
Fe

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

FeX32

I think you'll find that many of those on the 'other side' are those who live where the terms 'engineer/engineering' are NOT protected, and somehow still manage to make a reasonable living as a professional engineer.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Is there a website or database where the rules/regulations are compared from state to state for what is engineering/who can be called an engineer? Is the big difference just between: your company can do "engineering work" (ie design/make widgets) but that you cannot custom design a widget for somebody and charge them consulting fees?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Interesting discussion but, as some commented, its been beaten to death. However, as an old Professional Engineer, it got me wondering how old an useless I have to become to be no longer authorized to offer engineering services.

HAZOP at www.curryhydrocarbons.ca

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

I have a degree in mechanical engineering.  I should be able to call myself an engineer, or a mechanical engineer.  I should not be able to use those terms if I do not have a degree in mechanical engineering.  (I know there is some slack in this because I didn't say accredited, and an unaccredited degree could range from a printout from a website to a good engineering school that is working towards accreditation, but I digress)  I should not be able to use the term Professioanl Engineer unless I have passed the PE test.  This is what logic and common sense dictate.  Everyone else and the law is wrong.  As for the term engineering in a buisness name I'm not as sure.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

No it's not common sense - which isn't so common.  

As I've shared before, several of the best engineers I've worked with didn't have a degree.  They'd come up through apprenticeships, with some vocational schooling - maybe equivalent to an AA or something but in the UK was HNC/HND.

These were folks that did extensive analysis, one of them was the chief stress engineer at a smallish (well small office) defence company, signing of Certificates of Design for flight equipment.  

Myself and colleagues with our fancy degrees would go an ask these folks technical questions or in some cases have them do the complex analysis for us.

By your definitions Kirby these folks aren't engineers, which I'm sorry to say, is nonsense.

However, I may as well talk to the wind since I don't think anyone's ever changed their mind on this topic all the times it's been discussed.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

People who don't have degrees but have extensive experience can still get Chartered but if they already hold a position like 'Chief Stress Engineer' then why bother?  

Chris
www.value-design-consulting.co.uk

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Don't forget that the phrase "passing the PE test" means nothing to many people.  In some parts of the English-speaking World the "P" could easily stand for "Premature".

- Steve

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

Kenat,

You're right.  I guess I'm facing the same dilema the professional societies are facing.  I want some benchmark so I can say that this person is qualified to do such and such, but there are many people who have the knowledge and ability without any formal way of recognizing their ability.  I was avoiding that issue with my statement about the fluidity of what a degree can mean.  

There is no rock solid way of seperating the wheat from the chaff, and what I'm suggesting is just a coarse way (though slightly less coarse then what the professional societies are suggesting) of proving that someone has met some standard of proficency.

My main point is just that reserving the word 'Engineer' only to people with a PE is wrong.  Let them reserve 'Professional Engineer', and let that have some specific legal meaning and let me use the term Engineer or mechancial engineer.

-Kirby

Kirby Wilkerson

Remember, first define the problem, then solve it.

RE: One Engineer Fights for the Right to be called Engineer

And to comment further on the title of this string, no one has a "right" to be called an engineer.  It is a privilege -something earned by an individual, not owed to him.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering
Motto:  KISS
Motivation:  Don't ask

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