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Dear Colleagues,An excellent discussion indeed. Mr. Leketa, Mr. Morrrison, Dr. Dzombak and Dr. Puckett are making the case, in their own way, for the importance of safety in CE education. There is a difference in the unit of analysis, specifically as to where the jurisdiction of the CE lies based on roles and responsibilities. As a recipient of a civil engineering degree in 1993 that matches the current program criteria, and to some extent the new proposed one except for the DEI component, I can relate to all that has been shared. The safety we were taught related to structural safety of the designed facility. Safety was also related to the performance during intended use by occupants/users, and in times of failure as to allowing users time to evacuate to a safer alternative.
Mr. Leketa and Mr. Morrison are pointing to our responsibility during the construction phase when a CE is employed by a construction company or is assumed to be part of the construction team by mere presence on the site. This responsibility has long been assumed to be mainly a reference to OSHA regulations applicable to construction or practices for compliance with it and not our 'jurisdiction 'as CEs. My voice is with both Mr. Leketa and Mr. Morrison based on professional and educational experiences. I realize the debate on this will remain open.
I would add another perspective that is less considered because the concept is not as prevalent. I think that CE programs can do more to incorporate the concept of "Design for Safety" into the curriculum. This concept was introduced by Dr. John Gambatese (Oregon State University) and other researchers, where design features are intentionally mindful of the safety of the constructor(s) during the building process. The construction process is treated as an input to the design process. This results in safer and more buildable designs. The CE education needs this as an integral part of design competencies. The inclusion of 'safety' in the new program criteria as part of the "the professional attitudes and responsibilities of a civil engineer" is mainly reinforcing the traditional view and treatment that we have always had. I strongly urge the consideration of "Design for Safety" in the new program requirements.
Keep on Learning – Kind Regards, TSA
------------------------------Tariq Sami Abdelhamid, PhD, CM-Lean
Chief Lean Enterprise Officer
Office of the Vice President for Auxiliary Enterprises
Associate Professor, Lean Construction
School of Planning, Design and Construction
Adjunct Associate Professor of Construction Engineering
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824