Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NCSEA Annual Conference

Posted by Will it stand? at 6:00 AM
The National Council of Structural Engineering Associations (NCSEA) serves to advance the practice of structural engineering and, as the national voice for practicing structural engineers, protect the public’s right to safe, sustainable and cost effective buildings, bridges and other structures. The group's annual convention kicks off this Thursday, October 15 in Phoenix, AZ.

Engineers representing societies from across the nation will be in attendance. I'm making my first trip to the conference, because I recently accepted a nomination to the NCSEA advocacy committee. I hope to make a contribution on Media, Education and Outreach topics.

While many structural engineers hope to grow the prestige of the profession, they face a public that is increasingly unaware of what it is exactly that they do. On the other hand, people seem to attribute many of the structural engineer's roles to architects. Over the past 75 years, these two professions have begun to separate in a way that the public has just not kept up with. The challenge for structural engineers is to educate the public about the added value they provide to building projects. We also ought to highlight how better designs result from the complimentary application of two quite different skill sets.

In an early assignment for the Media sub-committee, I attempted to research non-traditional media outlets discussing the building industry. I quickly arrived at dozens of architectural blogs, but only a handful of sites touched on structural topics. Many of those were published by material suppliers or manufacturers of proprietary products. There we very few independent opinions about engineering. View my list on Google Docs.

This discovery led in part to my desire to launch Will It Stand? I hope that this blog will fill that noticeable void in cyberspace and address those questions highlighted above. The NCSEA conference will be my first opportunity to pitch Will It Stand to a group of highly regarded structural design professionals. Wish me luck.

Ken Maschke, P.E., S.E., LEED A.P. is editor of Will It Stand? Do you agree with his view of the difference between architects and engineers? To what extent should the engineering community utilize 'new media' outlets like blogs to educate the public about the profession?
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1 comments on "NCSEA Annual Conference"

Nkonye Adaikpoh said...

Hi Ken,

I came across your blog via your post on LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=8191157&gid=143956&trk=EML_anet_qa_ttle-0Rt79xs2RVr6JBpnsJt7dBpSBA.

I'm currently a graduate student and I was very glad to see that you started this blog in response to the online void on things structural engineering from an engineers standpoint. Personally I have been looking for more online presence of engineers on twitter, facebook and so on and it was quite disappointing to not find any. I will bookmark your blog and hopefully contribute to filling the S.E. void in cyberspace. You can catch me on twitter at www.twitter.com/archiwiz.

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