Letters to the Editor
I disagree with Carter Romero’s letter in the December 2004 issue of Structural Engineer. Romero said, Part of the outsourcing problem is that you don’t need to be smart anymore to be an engineer. With software programs simplifying designs, we (engineers) have essentially worked ourselves right out of a job.” Just because structural engineering software is getting easier to use does not mean that any untrained individual can design a safe structure. The designer has to understand all the underlying assumptions, boundary conditions, loading conditions, and combinations. The engineer does indeed have to be smart to realize if the data that the structural software spits out is correct. The old sayi n g, garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO), is true today more than ever. If your structural model does not mimic the actual structural behavior under load, then the design is indeed a huge pile of garbage.