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OHBridgeGuy

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1. Structural System for Lateral Resistance

I agree with damascus generally. The only issue is that the second option is irregular and angle of attack would have more impact, but yes it would have more torsional capacity due to J. From a design perspective, you would likely have the same L condition as in 2, but with walls on each of the 4 corners - that would be the best
2. Column design with eccentric beams

When dealing with seismic design one of the things to note is that stiffness is one of the key components determining the distribution of forces. One of the things that I have found is you can get yourself into a loop by increasing the size of a column which then attracts more load and increases the plastic moments - thereby causing an overload and throwing back into the loop. Particularly when calculating plastic shear minimums this can be a problem, which is what it sounds like in your case. I'm not sure what you are detailing, but have you thought about changing out one of the beam connections framing into the column from a fixed connection to a pinned condition? This would probably distribute some of the forces away from that column and into other members. Looks like particularly in the East-West direction if you kept columns 12 and 19 fixed, then 13 and 20 could be fixed in N-S and pinned or quasi-pinned (low rotational stiffness) in E-W then you could relieve some stress. This is of course also dependent on your structure type - if using moment-frame as primary seismic resisting this is going to take more thought. Another thought is to move the north and south walls of the northeast quadrant to be in line with the other E-W walls. Right now it seems like E-W seismic forces would induce column torsion due to out of plane moment in the N-S "header" beam running between 13 and 20. Adjusting this would make the system more regular, and would probably make the detailing simpler as well. Just some suggestions.
3. What state to get SE license?

Update, received MLSE status from NCEES today, 7/7; it was ordered 6/21 so about a 2.5 week turnaround on that.
4. What state to get SE license?

Update - Just received my SE license (provisional on next board meeting) today! Originally sent 6/14, received 7/5 so Nebraska was a 3 week turnaround. Will update with MLSE timeline when I get it back.
5. Decoupling experience from taking exam

It is not about what state you took it in, but about the way the law is written for the experience requirement. Some state laws require that 4 years must be obtained before taking the test. So even if you have more experience beyond 4 years you still would never meet the requirement. You can take it anywhere as long as you wait until you hit the 4.
6. Decoupling experience from taking exam

I don't know of anyone who has had to retake, but I do know one who had to go do an in person interview with the a board. Some states still put up warnings, for instance Louisiana: http://www.lapels.com/Appindiv.html "If you ever apply for professional engineer licensure in another jurisdiction, you MAY be required to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination again. Some jurisdictions may not honor the “early taking” of the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination prior to obtaining the requisite progressive engineering experience."
7. What state to get SE license?

I sent my NCEES to them last week with the rules and regs test, will let you know when I hear back. I sent in for NCEES MLSE review at the same time so will let you know on that too. They said it usually takes about 2 weeks.
8. SE RESULTS ARE OUT

Probably a 7/10 or 8/10, I think they could provide more homework problems and particularly afternoon examples but it is a tough test to prepare for as there is so much material that can be tested. Any way you go, there is no substitute for working problems on your own. I also recommend getting any sample tests you can find (NCEES has one, it's ok) and setting aside a day to take it as if it is the real thing a couple weeks or a month prior to the test to identify any problem areas and get in the testing mode.
9. What state to get SE license?

This is exactly my thought. I have passed the SE exam but live in a state that does not license or regulate it, however I am still not going to put it on my card or email signature until my Nebraska acceptance or MLSE review come back in - just wouldn't feel right about using the post-nominal until I am official with a board or NCEES. My thought process is that all SE's are structural engineers but not all structural engineers are SE's. I guess you are ok then sayed, if I may ask, you seem to really want to use the post-nominal S.E.; Why not just put your title of "Structural Engineer" under your name? It seems like you have thoroughly vetted with your board, but if I were you it would concern me that the use of the post-nominal SE implies that you have passed the 16-hour exam and/or are licensed in one of the states that has a title or practice act, and that can stray into other ethics issues in terms of marketing qualifications. At the end of the day, if your board allows then I guess you are ok; I just wouldn't feel comfortable myself.
10. Lateral Bridge help

I forgot to leave you a note, but I thought your book was a great primer for morning bridge problems - speaking as a bridge person. I think a buildings engineer would get a lot of value from it, and it was good practice for me even if not a lot new. I've now passed it on to one of the younger engineers in my office to help her study for the PE structural afternoon. A few items if you are looking to put out another addition would be a problem on a retaining wall with a crash loading at the top (say TL-3) as I think that would be a good primer on crash/railing loads and how the other extreme event cases might govern. Another could be determining the stiffness of an elastomeric bearing, could frame it as for input into a computer model. The trick with those is not counting the internal laminates, just the elastomer hrt, and backing into the stiffness from the main equation. Those aren't really from the test, just something I could see them doing as a 6 minute problem to test knowledge.
11. SE RESULTS ARE OUT

I took the School of PE for SE lateral for the last round in April. I failed the first time I took the test with no prep course, then used School of PE on my 2nd try and passed. I have also heard good things about EET but have no personal experience.
12. What state to get SE license?

I think something that should clarify my statement, if you have not taken the SE exam but work in structural engineering I think this would be perfectly appropriate: John Doe, PE Structural Engineer XXXXX Firm In fact before my PE I often put my name, EI then "Project Structural Engineer" below. My state allows the use of the term "engineer" for anyone who has an ABET BS degree in engineering, but even that can be a state by state difference - in some you must be a licensed PE to use the term. What I don't think would be allowable is this: John Doe, PE, SE XXXXXX Firm The "SE" designation after the name is commonly understood to mean the test and associated license, and I think invites inquiry. I agree, sometimes it can seem illogical or overly anal regulating these designations but until all the states get on board with passing legislation to normalize all the language, it is what we have to deal with.
13. What state to get SE license?

I would definitely not go that far. Putting an SE next to one's name without taking the test could easily be construed as misrepresenting your qualifications as having passed and could open you to board action. Once you have passed the test that may be ok, but I'm waiting until I at least have a license in a roster state or MLSE designation from NCEES before I put SE on anything.
14. Lateral Bridge help

I had a very similar experience OMWP, I was able to pass PE structural and SE vertical bridges on my own first try without too much issue, but after taking and failing the SE Lateral with mid 20s morning and A,A, NI for afternoon I decided to do a review course - school of PE and just passed lateral bridges. I had pretty much the same references as you BSE. I did think the class really helped on my morning, then I tried to come up with and solve my own afternoon ones as practice after my first go, but there were still surprises. PM me for more in depth discussion due to NCEES CA.
15. Decoupling experience from taking exam

I've posted before on this, and a word of warning - you may want to think about future comity/reciprocity which can be problematic. Some state laws require that you complete the 4 years of experience prior to the test, and it could go to the point of making you retake the tests if you wanted to get registered in them.
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