In this issue

Regional Meetings Update

On break for the summer, local meetings will start again in the fall.

– Cincinnati Team Leaders:

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


We are planning to start meetings again in late Oct.  

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 

Sep 6/7:  SEAoO Annual Conference - click HERE.

– Columbus Team Leaders:

Dale Schiefer; Matt Inkrott, P.E.

On break for the summer, local meetings will start again in the fall.

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

On break for the summer, local meetings will start again in the fall.

We're always open to suggestions for interesting topics or speakers, please let us know.

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


September 2018  

SEAoO Annual Conference

It's time!  SEAoO's Annual Conference will be held this Thu & Fri.  There is still time to sign up, click HERE for info.  Thank you to those that have registered already, attendance is looking very strong.  We'll see you in Columbus.

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SEAoO News

Call for SEAoO Board Nominations

We are still accepting nominations for this fall's annual SEAoO elections.  President-elect, Treasurer, and two Director positions will be on the ballot.  Volunteering to support SEAoO will provide valuable leadership and management experience for your career, we encourage you to consider it. 

Please email with names of those you think would be a positive influence on our organization and feel free to nominate yourself.

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Industry News and Notes

The Career-Technical Education Center of Licking County (C-TEC) is looking for local engineers to speak and has asked for SEAoO's help.

Seventh graders at Utica Middle School will learn more about various career options they'll have after high school.  As part of this process, students will be completing a unit on engineering that includes the design of a paper roller coaster, and it would be great for them to hear from experienced engineers on how real-world projects go from concept to reality.

If you're interested in speaking to this student group about your experiences in engineering, please contact Ashley Bauer at or 614-596-9505.

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SEAoO Education Committee

A reminder to students attending this week's Annual Conference that Friday will feature a dedicated student break-out session at 11am to discuss resumes, entering the workforce, networking, etc.

And if you haven't yet registered for the Conference, there is still time: click here for info.

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SEAoO Licensure Committee

Closer to Sunsetting Licensure

Ohio is now closer to subjecting all professional licensure provisions to a 5-year renewal cycle (aka sunset provisions).  In June’s newsletter, this column noted the legislative effort to apply sunset provisions to state licensing provisions.  Since then, Ohio Legislature Senate Bill 255 - Reform Occupational Licensing has passed the Senate by a vote of 24 in favor to 8 opposed.  The measure is now before the Ohio House.  If it should pass there and be signed by the governor, licensing boards would be required to demonstrate their compliance with Ohio’s official state policy on occupational licensing and regulation:

...occupational regulations must be construed and applied to increase economic opportunities, promote competition, and encourage innovation.

Where the state finds it necessary to displace competition, the bill requires the state to use the least restrictive regulation to protect consumers.1

The bill defines a spectrum of occupational licensing options.  Market competition is considered the least restrictive and state occupational licensing most restrictive.  In between (in order of increasing restrictiveness) are options such as private certification, civil actions, insurance and government certification.2

One of the objectives for professional licensure is to provide a degree of protection to the public from problems relating to asymmetric marketplace information.  Thus, when it is deemed unreasonable for the general public to have useful knowledge regarding how to differentiate the competitor qualifications, licensure can provide a degree of assurance that a licensee has met a minimum established standard.  This bill would subject that regime to routine repeated scrutiny, including the possible elimination of a licensure requirement.

Recognizing this bill was passed by the Ohio Senate by a significant margin, one might infer that implementing SE licensure (SEAoO Position Statement) has become more difficult.  As such, engineers could benefit by establishing various lines of communication with the public to convey the value of engineering licensure.  Conducting such a communication plan cannot be borne by one facet of the engineering community.  For it to be effective, individual engineers would likely need to share their perspectives with a broad audience - to members of the public, friends, neighbors and acquaintances.  Do you plan to take action?

Please share your thoughts regarding this topic and the questions raised.  We also welcome your input on 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


[1] From the Ohio Legislative Service Commission analysis of the bill -
[2] A more complete list of options is included in the bill and in its analysis.


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Nuts, Bolts & Washers

All content in this section of the newsletter reflects statements and opinons of the author and do not necessarily reflect any opinions sanctioned by the SEAoO Board of Directors. 

How to Alienate Clients and Customers #2 - Unexpected Fees

Scope changes present numerous challenges for consulting engineers.  Customers and clients might have expectations which differ from either or both the project manager and the design team.  An invoice for added services that a client does not expect is one of the possible problems, and it can lead to significant strains on the relationship.

This is where clear and coordinated communication is vital.  When the entire project team has a clear grasp of a client’s expectations the chance of unwelcome surprises is lessened.  Project managers, or those filling that role, have the difficult duty to serve as an effective conduit between the client team and the design team. Adequately performing this task involves the sometimes delicate work of conveying scope nuances to individuals who might be less than conversant with the role of a consultant, while also having a degree of control over the consultant’s contract or payments.  Building a good business relationship with all of the client’s stakeholders can strengthen the communication conduit so that an invoice for additional services does not lead to conflict.

Carbon Copy - Let’s Use it Less Often

The email address “cc”, which stands for “carbon copy” gets is name from a nearly obsolete method of document copying.  Before the advent of widespread inexpensive copying technology, one common method of creating a copy was to place a sheet of sheet carbon paper and a blank sheet under the blank original while it was being typed or handwritten.  The carbon paper would transfer its embedded ink or carbon black to the underlying blank, creating a functional copy.  The fact that at least three sheets were required to make on copy, and even more if multiple copies were needed, made its use selective.  Therefore when someone received a carbon copy of a document, there was generally a clear reason understood by the recipient.

Email systems adopted the idea of creating a copy along with the original, but as with many digital technologies the cost of creating the copy is drastically lower than with earlier analog technology.  This has transformed the selective nature of sharing communication, not always with the best results.  It seems that we are often copied on email with no clear rationale for one to understand whether we are being asked for a response.  All the while, we note the seemingly increasing time devoted to email, often with little clear benefit to our overall goals.

We can strive to remedy this overuse of digital copying.  Please take care and use the “cc” function carefully. Those who you do not include could benefit from the time savings.  And when it is appropriate to send a copy, be clear with your expectations for those copied.


Please consider volunteering for one of the SEAoO leadership positions.  SEAoO can help build both communication and leadership skills.  SEAoO relies on the contributions of our volunteers to provide you with some of the best in educational and network building opportunities available to structural engineers.  Volunteering can help both the profession and your career.

Thank you,

Tim Gilbert
SEAoO Secretary
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