In this issue

Regional Meetings Update

Exciting news: This spring, we are looking to establish a YOUNG MEMBER'S group in the Cincinnati area -- be on the lookout for additional announcements.  If you are interested in being involved, please send us an email.

– Cincinnati Team Leaders:

Mindy Barber, P.E.; Phil Niekamp, E.I.; Abby Lehmenkuler, E.I.


March 22nd - "Restoring of a Cleveland Icon" and "Coatings for Slip-Critical Steel Connections".  Click HERE for more info.

March 14th (non-SEAoO event) - IMI Storm Shelter Workshop ($50).  More info HERE.

Have a topic that interests you?  We are always open to your input, please drop us a line.  And look to this newsletter and your email for upcoming sessions.

– Cleveland Team Leaders:
Dave Ferencik, P.E.; Tim Gilbert, P.E., S.E.;  Jason Hoover, P.E., S.E.

SEAoO Columbus 

March 22nd - The Future of Welding: Integration of Next Generation Materials.  More meeting details to come.

– Columbus Team Leaders:

Dale Schiefer; Matt Inkrott, P.E.

March - nothing currently planned

If you have suggestions for an interesting topic or speak, please be sure to fill out the survey to let us know!

– Toledo Team Leader:
Dennis Birkemeier, P.E.

March 7th - Xypex Concrete Waterproofing.  Click HERE for more info.

March 29th - Being the EOR on a Metal Building Project.  Click HERE for more info.

If you have suggestions for an interesting topic or speaker, please let us know.

– Dayton Team Leaders:
Mark Remmetter, P.E., S.E.; Steve Mitchell, E.I., Peter Giesel


March 2018  

SEAoO Annual Conference

Save the Date

SEAoO's very popular Annual Conference will again be held at the Columbus Airport Marriott on Sep 6 & 7 (Thu/Fri).  Mark your calendars, and watch for much more info to come.  If you have ideas for speakers or topics, please let me know as our committee will be diving into this planning later this month. 

Jason Hoover
SEAoO Annual Conference Committee Chair
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SEAoO Education Committee

Scholarship Opportunities:

Exciting news!  We plan to release the 2018 SEAoO Educational Awards Application this month.  We're excited to again be able to offer a total of $7,000 to undergraduate students!  Once the application is available, we will post it to the Basic Education Committee Webpage.

Jobsite Tours:

Once the weather breaks, if you or someone at your company is interested in presenting or giving a jobsite tour to any of our student chapters, please send us an email!  

SEAoO has student chapters at: 

  • University of Cincinnati
  • Ohio State University
  • University of Toledo
  • Ohio University
  • University of Akron
  • University of Dayton
Thank you,
Bernie Kooi, PE, SE, LEED AP
SEAoO Basic Education Committee Chair
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SEAoO Young Members Committee

Calling all SEAoO Young Professionals in Cincinnati, we are excited to announce we will be having a social to kick-off our group in April.

We will be discussing the goals of the group and go over plans for future meetings. If you would like to meet other young professionals in Cincinnati and provide input for future events, make sure to join us for the social!

Please be on the lookout for an email with more details to follow. Contact Phil Niekamp with any questions or comments. 


We are also looking to grow this group in other regions, so if you would like to get involved please email Phil Niekamp at 


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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Ethical Perceptions

Gallup, the analytics and polling company, recently released the latest results for its assessment on honesty and ethics.  The results break down Americans’ perceptions of various professions in terms of their ethical performance.  Again, nurses are the highest rated profession with 82% of respondents indicating “very high” or “high” to:

Please tell me how you would rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in these different fields -- very high, high, average, low, or very low?

While engineers were not included in the latest poll; in 2016, the most recent for engineers, 62% rated them as “very high” or “high” in ethics.  This is notably lower than recent results for Military Officers (71%) and marginally lower than teachers (66%).  But it is significantly higher than elected officials who rated scores from 20% for governors to as low as 10% for members of Congress.  While it might offer some comfort to know engineers are far from the lowest ranking, it seems more appropriate that given our influence on and obligations to public safety we are better served by striving for the highest rank.

The 2016 score is a drop from our profession’s highest rating of 70% attained in 2012 and higher than prior findings.  The lower response might reflect impressions of all engineers, including those implicated with scandals such as GM’s ignition switches and VW’s emission testing.  The co-mingling likely stems from the public making little or no differentiation between unlicensed engineers working in industry and registered Professional Engineers.  In The Enigma of Engineering's Industrial Exemption to Licensure: The Exception that Swallowed A Profession, Paul M. Spinden of Liberty University provides a thorough review of events and history leading to the two very different practice regimes.  The paper also provides a rational analysis of the two regimes’ influences on efforts to promote licensure.

Effectively conveying the licensure status distinction is likely to be a key component of the work necessary to achieve structural licensure.  As with many other endeavors working to influence the public, this might require  work on several fronts with all stakeholders involved.  Please contact SEAoO to volunteer your efforts.

Regarding the “industrial exemption”, advocates of structural licensure are likely to find common ground with the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).  NSPE has, for many years, sought repeal of the industrial exemption laws. And while there appears to be little political will currently to make legislative changes in licensure provisions, opportunities to influence stakeholders are still open.  SEAoO welcomes your support toward achieving structural licensure, and we restate our request for your volunteer effort.

Your thoughts regarding the topic are welcome, and any other topic related to engineering licensure.   Please contact us if you would like to contribute to this column.

Thank you.

Timothy M. Gilbert, P.E., S.E., SECB
SEAoO Licensure Committee
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Nuts, Bolts & Washers

How to Alienate Clients and Customers #9 - Half-answers

We are frequently presented with multi-part questions or multiple separate questions at once.  This can present a challenge, particularly when the rationale underlying the series of questions might not be apparent.  Sometimes an engineer’s response addresses only one or part of an inquiry - this can be maddening to the person seeking a response.  Just picture how many times you have seen a politician’s response to a question complete bypass the point.

However tempting it might be to respond only to a selected portion of a question, we are better served by avoiding this practice.  Should you need to gain more background or have the question repeated, ask for it.  These are both fair responses and they show your interest in providing a response that recognizes the question.

A Thought on Leadership

Although this quote is frequently attributed to Thucydides, it is actually from Sir William Francis Butler (source)

"The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards."

Social Media Integration

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become part of our everyday lives - not just for personal items, but also for professional activities (SEAoO is present on several platforms).  Not surprisingly their use and influence has come under more scrutiny.  

In a recent episode of the “You Are Not so Smart” podcast, David McRaney examined social media’s leveraging effect on tribal psychology.  It’s well worth a listen if you’ve ever seen a debate that led to each side becoming even more entrenched in a position.  Also, the Harvard Business Review ”IdeaCast” discussed how leaders can more effectively use social media for internal interaction.  I recommend all leaders give this one a listen.

Thanks again

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Secretary


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