Blog Posts

January 26, 2016 - 08:29
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Engineering licensure is often described as being a “three-legged stool,” with education, examinations, and experience as a basis. Much attention has been focused on the content of both the education and examination legs of the stool, to assure that professional engineers possess the minimum level of competence necessary to protect and enhance the public health, safety, and welfare. Far less attention has been paid to the equally important experience leg of the stool. Currently, virtually all licensing jurisdictions require experience that (1) is engineering...
January 7, 2016 - 13:49
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE After years of controversy and disagreement among engineering societies about a proposal to make additional engineering education a prerequisite for licensure in the future, it appears that the engineering profession may be ready to constructively discuss consensus-building. In August 2015, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) recast prior model law language as a position statement, advocating that state licensing boards consider requiring a master’s degree in engineering or equivalent for licensure in the future. NSPE and...
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 16, 2015 - 14:52
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The topic of discipline-specific licensure has been a lightning rod in the engineering profession for decades. The National Society of Professional Engineers has a long-standing policy advocating that engineers should be licensed only as professional engineers with a requirement that PEs practice only within their areas of competence. The rationale has been in part that the lines between disciplines and subdisciplines are in many cases blurred, and that individual PEs are the best judge of their individual competence based on their knowledge, skills,...
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...
October 24, 2015 - 16:55
By Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16 Abraham Lincoln famously stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It is a familiar refrain that our Executive Director Mark Golden frequently uses when discussing our partnership with the state and territorial societies. The wisdom and truth in this statement is as old as humanity itself. One of the most important, if not the most important, concepts for NSPE’s Race for Relevance strategy is to bring clear, laser-like focus to an organization’s mission and purpose. Your NSPE leadership has been focusing on the very core value...
September 15, 2015 - 12:43
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE In 2002, the National Society of Professional Engineers adopted a policy advocating consideration in the future of enhanced qualifications for engineering licensure. The education-related part of the old Professional Policy 168 (“PP-168”) read as follows: With the continuing rapid expansion of knowledge required to practice in the basic as well as the many specialized areas of engineering, NSPE believes that additional engineering education, beyond the four year ABET/EAC degree, will be required in order to meet the formal academic preparation necessary for...
September 9, 2015 - 11:28
By Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16 It is often said that business is about relationships. We do business with those we know and trust; and trust can only be developed through an investment in the relationship. I view my relationship with NSPE in the same way. Over the past 26 years, I have invested a lot into the organization, and it has been rewarding in countless ways. I have questioned but never regretted my NSPE membership. Interestingly, the things that I value the most in this relationship are also the most intangible. I value the relationships that I have developed with...
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...

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