NSPE Blog

February 25, 2016 - 11:14
By Michael S. Ellegood, P.E. By now, all America is aware of the water crisis in Flint Michigan. The city, under management by a state-appointed official, changed the water supply from Detroit to the Flint River. The change in the water source caused lead and iron oxides to leach from delivery pipes and create a health hazard for thousands of Flint residents. A man-made disaster! Since Flint is largely African-American, the situation has racial overtones. Since Flint is Democratic while under the management of a Republican governor’s administration, the situation has political overtones....
December 20, 2015 - 08:02
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE The process of becoming a professional engineer requires mastery of both the technical knowledge and skills related to the discipline of practice and the so-called “soft skills” of ethics and professionalism; communications; planning and organization; problem solving and conflict resolution; decision making in an interdisciplinary team environment; risk assessment; economics; business processes; law; government processes; and others. (Although I always chafe at the characterization of these skills, which are exceptionally hard to teach and to master, as in any...
November 11, 2015 - 11:10
NSPE President Tim Austin, P.E., F.NSPE, has submitted a letter to the editor in response to an article by Ian Bogost in The Atlantic that says computer programmers who call themselves “engineers” are undermining “a long tradition of designing and building infrastructure in the public interest.” The article, “Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers,” says, “When it comes to skyscrapers and bridges and power plants and elevators and the like, engineering has been, and will continue to be, managed partly by professional standards, and partly by regulation around the expertise and duties...
August 24, 2015 - 09:24
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE I love to travel. It’s important to get out of the office and engage with members on their own turf. And as a partnership of the national Society and 53 state and territorial societies, it would be impossible for NSPE to do its job if we stayed hunkered down in our Alexandria headquarters. But sometimes, the travel can get a bit brutal. In the past year, national officers visited 41 state societies during their annual meetings, making formal presentations and having countless side-meetings with state leaders and general members. Oh, yes, and there was the NSPE...
August 10, 2015 - 13:01
By Kathleen Hunter, P.E. "Who do you think would win in a fight, Lady Sif or Black Widow?" My nieces, aged nine and six, were having this very important conversation in the back seat of my car. We were returning from a day at the local convention of all things sci-fi and comic-book inspired. We saw a huge variety of superhero cosplay including many female versions of Captain America and Thor, but my nieces' single-minded focus was on one superhero: the deadly assassin with the morally ambiguous history—Black Widow. When offered to choose from the entire range of bobblehead figures...
June 15, 2015 - 13:09
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE Author and consultant Seth Kahan writes about three stages of evolution in associations: Transactional: Dues and the sale of products, services and publications generate the revenue to fund activities that advance and protect the profession as a whole. From the individual member’s perspective, however, it is still pretty much a WIITFM (“what’s in it for me?”) proposition. “Do the direct benefits I receive worth more than the money I am spending with the association?” The danger for organizations is this can degenerate into an effort to find and offer anything...
May 27, 2015 - 18:10
By President Harve Hnatiuk, P.E., F.NSPE It has been said that feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. That being said, I want to say thank you for the opportunity to serve as the 76th president of NSPE. My thanks to my fellow NSPE officers, our board of directors, committee and task force members, House of Delegates members, state leaders, and everyone who has volunteered their time, talent, and treasure to move NSPE forward this year. Many, many thanks to the NSPE staff for its outstanding work. We are blessed with so many great individuals...
May 22, 2015 - 09:24
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE NSPE was formed in 1934 for the express purpose of enacting professional licensure laws in each of the 50 states. Forming an integrated partnership with state organizations, NSPE accomplished that goal by 1947. We picked up the District of Columbia and the US territories by 1960. Which raises the question: Do we need NSPE anymore? Can’t we just declare victory and go home? Unfortunately, no. Putting aside for the moment the valuable work that NSPE and its state societies perform to support, promote, and strengthen the license and support the licensed engineer...
May 22, 2015 - 09:12
By President Harve Hnatiuk, P.E., F.NSPE Early last year, I learned that it is many times wise to throw away preconceptions about certain things and try something different. I was having shoulder problems along with neck stiffness, coupled with back pain and an elbow that was very tender to the touch. Recently, it occurred to me that this experience has similarities to the pains that NSPE and many other organizations feel. I recalled going to my general physician a little over 20 years ago with a litany of minor issues for which I needed some relief. He admitted to me at the end of our...
September 10, 2014 - 10:44
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying recently filed a “friend of the court” brief with the Supreme Court in a case that could have significant implications for state licensing boards. The case began with a complaint filed against the North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners by the Federal Trade Commission for sending cease-and-desist letters to nonlicensed teeth whitening providers. The board claims to be acting as a state regulatory body, ensuring patient safety; the FTC claims the board, comprised mostly of dental professionals competing against nonlicensed teeth...

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