Letters

Engineers raise the bar I've seen the landscape change much for the worse over the past 25 years when it comes to the influence the design community has on the quality of built projects (Editor's Viewpoint, 07/02 CSE, p. 9). In reality, it's a mixture of money pressures and short-sighted visions, whether it's the A/E looking for work or the owner's representatives looking to get it built.

08/01/2002


Engineers raise the bar

I've seen the landscape change much for the worse over the past 25 years when it comes to the influence the design community has on the quality of built projects ( Editor's Viewpoint , 07/02 CSE , p. 9). In reality, it's a mixture of money pressures and short-sighted visions, whether it's the A/E looking for work or the owner's representatives looking to get it built.

We do need to raise the bar, but it is not easy: Competition is vicious; money has a louder multitude of voices. But the pressure must be exerted. The engineering—and architectural—community must step up and insist on higher quality final products and resist the cheapening of our work.

Finally, there should be a forum for opinions about issues facing the engineering community—political or not.

Jim Munsell, Sr. Mechanical Engineer McClier Corporation

Serve your community

July's editorial was excellent and I agree with its premise. Often new ideas or applications require us to step out from the crowd. In fact, I often find they require me to do some of the design on my own time to meet the budget. However, I have the satisfaction of seeing something that benefits to my client and the community.

At the same time, many engineers who are stifled in their job use community service to allow their talents to flourish. There may not be room for greatness in their jobs, but they live greatness in their lives.

Ed McCorkle, P.E. Lake Roeder Hilliard & Assoc.

Diverse thoughts

I agree with your desire to express political opinions within the magazine. The philosophical and political views of a society direct the course of architecture and engineering more than we'd like to admit.

But your opinion article got me thinking, so here's my two cents: I'm tired of hearing about "diversity" in the work place. Everywhere I look, the diversity banner is being held up and I'm being told that success is almost wholly dependent on a diverse work force.

But it's fuzzy. I can't determine if it's just true in this day and age or if it was always true. If the latter, then how were we successful in the past?

Two final questions: 1) To what standard or authority do we appeal in order to confirm that the premise is a correct one? And 2) whatever happened to "unity"?

Dale F. Warford, Senior RFE General Motors Corporation

Stick to Engineering

The reader you referenced in your last editorial was correct: stick to engineering. But since you opened Pandora's Box, here is my opinion on diversity: During the past three decades, the universities of this country have instituted programs to encourage diversity. During this same period, according to data published by the National Society of Professional Engineers, diversity has flourished, but the quantity of graduating engineers has declined. NSPE data from several years back indicated that some 47% of undergraduate students, and over half of graduate students enrolled in engineering/sciences were from foreign countries.

Diversity is a sociological concept that has nothing to do with accomplishment, excellence or greatness, for that matter. It isn't politics, it's social engineering.

Ron MacDiarmid, Goetting & Associates

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"Letters to the Editor"

c/o Jim Crockett

Consulting-Specifying Engineer

2000 Clearwater Drive

Oak Brook, IL 60523

Or email: jcrockett@reedbusiness.com





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