NSPE Blog

June 28, 2012 - 10:53
The November issue of PE magazine told the tale of Emma Cardini, P.E., one of two professional engineers who inspected the Washington Monument after it was damaged by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake last August. Cardini and her colleagues rappelled down the monument to check for damage. Now a few other…squishier…people have joined their efforts. Or should we say, peep-le. For the last six years, the Washington Post has sponsored its Peeps Show, an annual contest that asks participants to submit dioramas using the marshmallow candy shaped into chicks, bunnies, and other animals. The...
June 1, 2012 - 10:56
Graduate engineering programs at U.S. colleges and universities aren’t giving enough attention to the teaching of engineering ethics, according toan articlefrom U.S. News. The article refers toNSPE’s Code of Ethicsand the engineer’s obligation to “hold public safety ‘paramount,’ be truthful, and only perform services in their areas of competence.” While some of the article’s sources point out that ethics courses aren’t getting the attention they deserve, the article notes that “engineering faculty say graduate engineering programs are starting to focus more on ethics, particularly...
April 17, 2012 - 16:02
Flyover is one of many ways for public to reconnect with engineering. Residents around the Washington, D.C., metro area got a rare scientific treat Tuesday morning as the Space ShuttleDiscoverywas ferried on the back of a 747 from Florida to its new, permanent home at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center. It’s not every day so many people outside of Central Florida get to see a space shuttle soar through the air. (Watch the video.) That kind of exposure is the kind of event that stays with impressionable young people despite being the end of a technologically important era, says NSPE...
March 8, 2012 - 09:06
NSPE and MATHCOUNTS are sponsoring a 5,000-square-foot exhibition calledMathAlive!, presented by Raytheon and designed to show math at work as well as its endless possibilities. The world premier of the exhibit will be at the Smithsonian Institution’sInternational Galleryin Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 10 and will run through June 3. The exhibit is designed for families and students. It features interactive and immersive experiences that show the math behind video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more. After the exhibit completes its stay in Washington, D.C...
February 6, 2012 - 07:55
Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of a possible O-ring failure that could lead to the destruction of the space shuttleChallenger, died on January 6 in Utah, according to theNew York Times. Nearly a decade after the disaster, Boisjoly shared his story with NSPE. Below is the complete article from the August 1995 issue ofEngineering Times. PE Perseveres, 10 Years After Challenger Explosion By Molly Galvin Associate Editor As filmgoers pack Apollo 13 and marvel at the story about a disaster that almost was, Roger Boisjoly tells the story of the disaster that NASA...
December 14, 2011 - 13:52
The National Academy of Engineering’s final reporton the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster from April 2010 does not specifically list oversight from professional engineers as a potential safeguard for future rig operations. It does, however, call for independent oversight from qualified parties on many aspects of rig safety, equipment, and operations. The offshore drilling industry should also establish an effective safety culture to prevent future potential disasters. Paul Bommer, P.E., a member of the Academy’s panel, said that, because each state licenses engineers and the...
December 2, 2011 - 09:19
The holidays are a time of reflection and thoughts of how we all can help our fellow human beings. The most important professions include not only those who excel at the technical aspects of their craft, but who also measure their impact on society. We were reminded of that when we spoke with the heads of four engineering societies in November. When asked what gift they would give to engineering this holiday season, their wishes may as well have been identical: Share your engineering expertise outside the lab or construction site to make our world a better, safer place. Listen to Carl...
November 17, 2011 - 13:19
The House last night passed the Senate-amended version ofH.R. 674by a vote of 422 to 0, ending a protracted battle to repeal an onerous tax-withholding mandate that would place significant financial and administrative burdens on engineering firms that contract with the government. The bill now heads to the president's desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. (Note: H.R. 674 was later signed into law by President Obama on 11/21/11.) H.R. 674 would repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222), which requires federal, state, and...
September 27, 2011 - 15:12
On September 26,Sesame Streetlaunched its 42nd season with a new focus: science, technology, engineering, and math. The show will teach preschoolers about STEM to help prepare them for school in areas where the U.S. is falling behind other countries. Throughout the season, the show’s loveable characters will use scientific inquiry on challenging problems—from experiments on “what worms like to squirm on best” to engineering a boat for Zoe’s pet rock—to get kids thinking like engineers and scientists. While once students were lucky if they got any exposure to engineering before they hit...
August 26, 2011 - 15:24
By Benjamin Roode Staff Writer My dad you used joke that, when he grew up, he wanted to be a cowboy. It was a joke because he’d tell young children this while he was performing his duties as chief of police in our home town. To the kids, dad was the obvious grown up in the room. It’s not so much of a stretch, though. Dad grew up in the 1960s, when cowboys, astronauts, and any other of the traditional dream jobs were featured heavily on television. Note: There were not, and are not now, many engineers in those career outlook-shaping shows. Some groups, however, are...

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