NSPE Blog

May 13, 2011 - 15:17
Engineering students at the University of Maryland may not walk away with the Sikorsky Prize, but they’re still excited about their accomplishment Thursday. Their two-year project, Gamera, a human-powered helicopter, appears to have lifted pilot Judy Wexler several inches into the air, the first time a woman has piloted a human-powered helicopter, according to university officials. Officials from the National Aeronautical Association were reviewing video of the attempt as of this blog post to confirm whether she indeed lifted off. Despite the milestone Thursday, the motivation for...
April 25, 2011 - 14:06
An article in the April issue of PE magazine told the story of NSPE member Mark Johnson, P.E., who proved that there’s not one standard path to earning the PE license. Johnson first took the FE exam in 1987, five years after he graduated, and last December, at age 50, he passed the PE exam. After the article was published,PEmagazine received the following letter: Dear Editor, I just wanted to let you know what a good job I think you did on the Mark Johnson article about how some people just don't get around to being licensed until later in life. I too took the "nontraditional"...
April 13, 2011 - 11:32
What’s the difference between science-based advocacy and advocacy-based science? And what does it mean for professional engineers? In the April issue ofPEmagazine, Anthony Ingraffea, P.E., addresses these questions as they relate to the timely topic of hydraulic fracturing, or fracing. Ingraffea, who is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University with a background in rock fracture mechanics and hydraulic fracturing, says there is a crucial ethical distinction between science-based advocacy and advocacy-based science. “In the former...
April 1, 2011 - 12:17
Without strong infrastructure systems, our national economic position, including our workforce, production, health, safety, and overall welfare is at risk. Professional engineers play a key role in the planning, design, implementation, construction, operation, and maintenance of this infrastructure. So when the Department of Transportation requested public input on the efficacy of its regulations, NSPE sprang into action. (DOT was responding to President Obama’s January Executive Order, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” under which every federal agency must review its existing...
February 28, 2011 - 10:48
On February 24, NSPE announced that Vincent Sobash, P.E., an emergency management program specialist for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, was named the recipient of the 2011 Federal Engineer of the Year Award. Listen to this audio podcast report fromPEmagazine on the ceremony and this year’s winner. Video from the ceremony and interviews will be ready later this week on NSPE’s YouTube page.
February 7, 2011 - 11:49
When Dr. Lisa Fotherby, P.E., won NSPE’s2010 Federal Engineer of the Year Award, she was beside herself. She, out of the more than 96,000 engineers employed by the federal government according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was being recognized for her work “You have this feeling that there are so many other good people around you, but you’re astonished that you get to be recognized,” she says. Another engineer will soon feel that recognition. NSPE will name its 32nd Federal Engineer of the Year on February 24. This year’s finalists come from three branches of the military, the...
January 28, 2011 - 13:37
During President Barack Obama’s recentState of the Union address, engineers might have been encouraged by some of the important words coming from the president’s mouth. “The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations’.” “And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.” “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair...

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