If great responsibility comes with great power, what are you supposed to do with a great sense of humor?
Well, the wait is over. My last blog was posted around the time I took my Structural Engineer licensing exam, so I guess it's appropriate that this is my next post.
First, thanks to the well-wishers. I knew as I was taking the test that I had some people thinking about me, which is just one of the many great things about CBR.
And secondly, I didn't pass. I honestly didn't expect to. I wasn't prepared for it. Which isn't to say I didn't prepare for it, I just wasted a lot of time trying to find a good place to study and didn't find it until about 3 weeks before the exam. It is suggested that a candidate spend 14 weeks or 300 hours studying. Obviously, there are barely 300 hours left in 3 weeks after you take out work and the occasional trip to the loo, so I didn't quite put as much time into it as I needed.- read more
If my calculations are correct (and I really hope they are today), when this posts, I'll be sitting in a small room at Bismarck State College with around 30 other professionals taking an exam to earn my Structural Engineer license.
I earned my Professional Engineer license back in 2004 while I still worked in Kansas. I spent more than 200 hours studying that time, starting about over 2 months before the test and covering all the areas of Civil Engineering: environmental, transportation, geotechnical, water resources, and structures. I was earning my master's degree at the time, and I counted my time in class as study time. I had also taught half of my company's PE structures review for 3 years by then. The NCEES doesn't give a score for the test, just pass/fail, so I don't know how well I did, but the 8 hour, 80 question test took me roughly 5 hours. I felt good going in, and better coming out, but the test only had a 65% pass rate at the time, so I didn't do too much premature celebrating. I was pleasantly but mildly surprised when I got the results saying I passed, just in time for Christmas.
4 years later...
I had always planned on taking the SE exam within a year or two of earning my master's degree, so when my boss told me I should take it this fall (earned my MCE from KU in 2006), I didn't have to be signed up kicking and screaming. But then the late summer/early fall got away from me. We were involved in 3 weddings since the end of August, and we've both been busy with work and parent stuff. I tried studying at home. Didn't work. I tried studying at work. Didn't work. I finally got desperate and crashed the MSUM library to study, and wow, what a difference that made. I got maybe 40 hours of studying done there versus 30 at home. I could get more done in a 3 hour session than I could in a weekend at home. But I still didn't get to cover all the topics I needed to for this exam.
Hey all, since I can't seem to organize the comic book related blog entries I've got floating in my head, I thought I'd give you a brief glimpse into what I do, which is bridge engineering. In my last job, I was kind of specialized in design for 4 years, then construction inspection for 3. In my new job, I've done everything but forensic engineering (think: why did that bridge fall down?), and I enjoy all of it. Yesterday, I got to get up at 3am to inspect a deck pour.
The bridge is about 130' long and 60' wide, including a 14' wide pedestrian walkway. Here are some pics.
- read more
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