Advantages of Licensure
Reasons for Structural Licensing
Structural licensure is necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. While other professionals are also responsible for the safety of the public, they do not deal with potentially catastrophic design issues on a daily basis like the structural engineer does.
It is certainly understood that all engineering systems, if incorrectly designed, also have the potential to cause harm. However, structural components pose significantly more risk of loss of life or injury due to poor or improper design, as evidenced by the 1981 Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse in Kansas City.
We are attempting to guard against those professionals who, though knowledgeable, have not kept up with the ever-changing codes, specifications and guidelines that govern the practice of structural engineering. Above all else, we are attempting to minimize costly failures and the risk of injury.
How will changing the licensing rules and statutes help to protect the public?
- Reduce the number of unqualified engineers who are designing structures requiring complicated analysis.
- Ensure that those licensed to practice structural engineering have the knowledge and understanding to translate the academic theory into practice and do so on a regular basis.
Changing the requirements for the licensing and practice of structural engineering will help protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. The practice of structural engineering has become an extremely complex profession, and only those fully qualified by appropriate education, experience and examinations should be authorized to design bridges and buildings.