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  • 1.  Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-06-2022 10:20 AM
    Good morning from Buffalo, NY! I am a junior engineer who does not yet need to earn PDHs, but I am on an email list from the PVC Pipe Association/Uni-Bell and noticed they offer a lot of seminars and continuing education materials. What is the general impression in civil engineering of such seminars? Are the industry groups considered neutral and reliable places to obtain professional development resources?


    Catherine Goerss-Murphy A.M.ASCE
    Williamsville NY

  • 2.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-06-2022 07:57 PM
    Hi Catherine, a very discerning question.

    Q. "Are the industry groups considered neutral and reliable places to obtain professional development resources?"

    A. It depends.

    Given such sources are in business to make profits, and to do so they compete against others with similar products and services:
    1. Request what you wish from a few in the same line of work, service, product.
    2. Within our sister technical professional societies, e.g., ASME, IEEE, etc., as well as within our own ASCE-Buffalo section and similar groups,
    run your thoughts by them.
    3. I also find the UB Library access and their services excellent sources for research.

    And then, we all have access to our pal, "Google Scholar."
    By rewording your entry, its amazing the related and divergent sources that provides.

    p.s. Your preventative strategy is admirable!

    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880

  • 3.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-07-2022 10:05 AM
    PDH seminars are necessary whether you need them for licensure or not.  I don't really think I have encountered one that has not been insightful, even the ones that do not relate to my field of practice help me stay well rounded.  PDH credits offered by industry groups and manufacturers are OK.  It is up to you as an audience to consider if any bias or marketing is taking place and discern if it is a problem or not.  So when is an anchor bolt, joist, or deck manufacturer trying to promote their own product?  In general, they cannot, the product needs to meet industry standards -standards often result in the same or similar designs across all manufacturers.  Safety standards are what make all SUVs on the road look the same.  If there is a propriety product being discussed, you will typically know.  One anchor manufacturer requires the holes to be cleaned with a proprietary vacuum.  They would be remiss if they did not warn you about certain propriety systems.  Anchor bolts strength is often controlled by the strength of concrete and thus not really dependent on manufacturer.  You will often find that selection of a product is most often driven by price and availability.

    Chad Morrison P.E., F.ASCE
    Professional Engineer
    Greenville RI

  • 4.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-07-2022 10:24 PM
    I also like the thought that you put into this question. To keep it simple, I would say that there is usually something worthwhile that you can get out of most webinars/seminars. The more you watch, the better idea you will have of when you're hearing about someone's personal experience in what the best practice for something is, vs when they're doing some low-key product or service promotion.  

    For example, I have seen a few modeling software companies that host webinars essentially to showcase what their product is capable of. This can be educational even if it is doubling as advertising for the company's software. 

    Explore a few different places that host these webinars and perhaps you too will start to get different vibes from each one.

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 5.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-14-2022 06:34 PM

    Hello Catherine,

    the idea of PDH's are extremely helpful not only to your LIFE as in your selected AREAS that you wishes to develop in the CE Profession. It is really important, so that you can open your mind over different possibilities while improving Engineering Profession Activity - which is always changing from time to time. It also a good material to reinforce your specialty field of study. 

    Albert Einstein once said: "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."  So Einstein was a massive advocate of self-learning. He learned from smart minds on his own and engineered his own learning and working life. He learned a lot from solving and proving theories on his own.

    This is the basic ideaof PDH is within the introduction of the CEBOK - Civil Engineer Body of Knowledge that they are developing here in ASCE, as well in the ASCE Policy-465 for the next decade, so training better Engineers for the half period of the 21st Century. 

    In my personal studies I had accumulated maybe more than 300PDH's from an diverse providers since it starts! (I might say that in STRUCTURAL field you would have some good ASCE/SEI webinars (asce.org), NSCEA, SG&H, ACI (concrete.org) / AASHTO Infrastructure webinars, PCI (pci.org) , Simpson Strong & Tie (Wood), STI.org (Steel). Remember that in US , those are good sources. Additionally you can have some extra curriculum in edX.org like the professor Bridges course of  STRUCTURAL ENGENEERING ART and other programs that also include a several numbers of PDH's.  - but in other cases there also MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course like in Australia National University for Astrophysics scenarios. Conventions are recognized as a Combo fix for PDH as well :)

    Think by yourself, it is always good to participate in those experiences because might have something interesting for you.

    You might be surprised! :) thanks!

    Andre Newinski S.E., A.M.ASCE
    Engenheiro Estrutural
    Santo Angelo

  • 6.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-15-2022 03:53 PM

    Yeah, I like when Einstein Quotes are made. I wonder whether Einstein had to report PDH to keep his professorship.

    • Interestingly when one rearranges PDH somewhat, it becomes PHD – the highest degree a university offers. But, according to NYT and other leading newspapers, PhD holders are the least beneficiaries of all the higher degree holders. Perhaps, one can dare to suggest – by the dint of Correspondence Theory – so does, may or would happen to PDH earners.

    • No. No, I am not suggesting that PDH or PHD is not required. On the contrary, they are needed – only we don't know how to utilize them. The system only figured out how to give degrees and courses (or may be they do, only as one of the items in the checklist of qualifications!).

    • The businesses of seminars/conferences, of certifications . . . etc etc have learned how to facilitate learning (but in this age of internet, one can even learn more through cyberspace). But, perhaps these businesses would say – they know what must be learned – it must be their way (dictatorial tone! wouldn't you say). Thus the freedom of learning Einstein was suggesting – goes down the drain.

    • I wonder, whether Bill Hayden's Human Engineering is included in the PDH envelope. Does it Bill?


    Dr. Dilip K Barua, PhD


    Google Scholar

  • 7.  RE: Educational seminars/PDHs from industry groups

    Posted 09-15-2022 04:43 PM

    Thanks Doctor Dilip. 

    You have multiple viewpoints on the issue - every point you touched has is significant!

    I think professional activities can be complemented by PDH learning style - it can help engineers to amplify their knowledge. it might display some control over a small part of their professional careers when operating in a licensure level.  But it can also be done by the individual itself in a distinct way of thinking as well, experience will reveal that, if your work enable innovation, always created by the engineer, so a good work will emerge, appearing by a progress in his or her evolutionary work. 

    As being a Structural Engineer, you always have to create something new, there is no joy on just replicate works! (in my view)

    Maybe we should teach more philosophy in Engineering School as well, this can help enable engineers to perform better in profession.  

    In Academia, I see you have a lot of experience in your sentences, so in a way we have the opportunity to be free as well! since our minds are great source of innovation.

    there is no Art and Science where freedom is lacking or restrained! right?

    thank you! 

    Andre Newinski S.E., A.M.ASCE
    Engenheiro Estrutural
    Santo Angelo