Structural Engineer or Civil Engineer or Professional Engineer?

March 1, 2015

For many, and even myself when asked to explain them, the terms are somewhat confusing and often used interchangeably. In my post below I will try to help clarify the services I offer and what each term means.


I am a licensed Civil Engineer. I am a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). I am a Registered Engineer. I am not licensed as a Structural Engineer (SE), but I can perform structural analysis within my expertise, education and training. I used to be a EIT, Engineer in Training, after having passed the FE or Fundamentals of Engineering exam.  4 Years of training later I was able to sit for the PE or Professional Engineering examination. From this point on I can pay a fee to each states registration board and obtain a license in additional states except Florida and California whose boards require additional testing. 


At present my work has only had the need to be registered in Indiana and Kentucky. But if your project is in another state I could, in theory at least, pay your states board and become registered there too. 


Civil Engineer is a broad field and is contrasted with other broad fields of engineering such as Chemical, Computer or Mechanical Engineering.  Within Civil Engineering are more specific disciplines such as hydrology, structural, transportation, environmental, and geotechnical. 


As a licensed Civil Engineer I am able to practice my professional engineering services in any Civil Engineering sub disciplines based on my personal experience, education and local legislation.


For me these disciplines are Construction Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, and Geotechnical Engineering in Kentucky and Indiana.


For more specifics on each discipline I have provided the followng general ouline of services: 


Construction Engineering is a type of construction project manager typically associated with buildings, bridges, and road projects. Construction engineers are problem solvers that apply engineering knowledge with site conditions to acomplish the project scope and maintain the project budget, schedule and quality. 


Structural Engineering ensure that buildings and bridges are built to be strong enough and stable enough to resist all gravity, wind, snow, rain, seismic loads. 


Transportation Engineering involves layout/design, construction, maintenance, and operation of transportation facilities such as roads and bridges. This includes determining a maintainence schedule, life cycle costs, and a construction schedule. 


Environmental Engineering is typically used to protect sensitive assests from contamination like streams, soils, watersheds, and air. It can also be used to protect species like the Indiana Bat or fish spawning. Certain deadlines in accordance with legislation in the spring and fall in Indiana are used in construction contracts to limit the human impact on these species. I specify and coordinate the work schedule accordingly. 


Geotechnical Engineering is the study of soil mechanics. Based on this analysis slope stability can be studied to steepen slopes and thus minimize retaining wall sizes. I can determine soil type then the soil bearing capacity to minimize footing sizes and therfore reduce cost. I can limit foundation settlement, and protect pipes or utilities burried in the ground. 


To discuss if I can handle your project please give me a call or email today. 





















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