PE Licensing Blog

December 9, 2014 - 09:11
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Engineering licensure has always been on the basis of the so-called three-legged stool of education, examination, and experience. In recent decades, most licensure jurisdictions have enacted continuing professional development requirements necessitating that practicing professional engineers accumulate a prescribed number of hours in acceptable topic areas every several years in order to renew their PE license. Due to the increasing importance of lifelong learning in professional practice, we are approaching the point where one might refer to a “four-...
November 24, 2014 - 08:50
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE In October 2014, a group of 90 practicing licensed professional engineers attending a New Hampshire Joint Engineering Societies (NHJES) continuing professional development conference participated in session exercises on the NSPE Engineering Body of Knowledge. The results are enlightening regarding the development of engineering capabilities. The NSPE Engineering Body of Knowledge (EBOK) characterizes the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the practice of engineering at a professional level in responsible charge of engineering activities that...
November 5, 2014 - 15:20
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Some believe that civil engineering is significantly different from other disciplines of engineering from both education and practice perspectives. Civil engineering education continues to require significant technical breadth. In addition to the foundational knowledge in mathematics, sciences, the humanities, and social sciences, and applicable topics in engineering science, including laboratory experiments that are common to all engineering disciplines, the civil engineering accreditation criteria require basic knowledge in at least four different civil...
October 16, 2014 - 09:32
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE At the 2014 Annual Meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), a workshop was held for attending PE board members from around the country to hear a presentation on the NSPE Engineering Body of Knowledge (EBOK). Of the 60 attendees, 37 participated in a detailed workshop session to consider how the 30 different capabilities identified in the EBOK are attained, and of those capabilities which they felt were critical to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare in engineering practice. The results of...
September 16, 2014 - 16:26
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE At the 2014 Annual Conference of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), there was an outstanding presentation by Arthur Schwartz, Esq., the general counsel of NSPE, and Thomas Smith, P.E., Esq., the general counsel of ASCE (and ASCE’s next executive director effective January 1, 2015) regarding the codes of ethics adopted by 16 different engineering societies that are members of the American Association of Engineering Societies. Perhaps for the first time in the engineering profession, Schwartz and Smith presented a summary...
May 19, 2014 - 09:20
The National Society of Professional Engineers recently published the first edition of the Engineering Body of Knowledge (EBOK), which describes the capabilities and abilities deemed necessary to practice engineering in responsible charge at an early point in an engineer’s career. When this first edition was completed and summarized, I was struck by its implications for lifelong learning in the practice of engineering. The need for lifelong learning in one’s engineering career is accelerating, for a number of reasons. Change is one of the certainties in life and in practice, and the pace...
February 10, 2014 - 11:21
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Examinations have historically been used as a means to confirm an applicant’s engineering capability at the level of minimum competence required to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Coupled with the education and experience requirements, these examinations play a significant role in the licensure process in the US, as many applicants are not able to pass one or the other. The current exams contain almost exclusively technical content, and do not address the full breadth of the...
February 3, 2014 - 09:57
For the past five years, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has been considering how to structure an alternate pathway to licensure after 2020, based on input received largely from mechanical and chemical engineers who contend that post-graduate advanced learning in their areas of practice is predominantly industry- and practice-based, and not academic in nature. This article presents an idea that might help all parties move forward. Background In 2006, NCEES adopted modifications to its Model Law encouraging jurisdictions to consider revisions after...
November 19, 2013 - 09:16
The National Society of Professional Engineers has released the first edition of “The Engineering Body of Knowledge” (EBOK), a first effort on behalf of the profession in defining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for the practice of engineering as a professional engineer in responsible charge of engineering activities that may impact public health, safety, and welfare. The EBOK is intended to apply to all disciplines of engineering. The 60-page document is intended for a broad audience—engineer interns and practicing engineering supervisors and mentors, employers,...
October 3, 2013 - 09:43
Unlicensed Practice of Engineering A few years ago, an NCEES survey of state professional engineering licensing boards requested information from each board on the categories of violations indicated for cases opened during a two-year period. Responses were received regarding data on several thousand disciplinary cases. The frequency of categories of violations reported in that survey was as follows, beginning with the most frequent: incompetence/negligence; unlicensed practice/offer; ethics/professional conduct/misconduct; fraud, deceit, misrepresentation; and...

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