Blogs

May 19, 2010 - 08:05
Dear Recently Minted Engineering Graduate, I use the term “minted” not lightly, but as an indication of value and of stability. Just as the strength of a currency defines the economic stability of a country, the strength of your skills, having successfully completed an engineering program of study, defines the stability of our important profession. Congratulations. Graduating with a degree in engineering is no easy feat. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you have joined the only 1.6 million total working Americans who hold engineering degrees. In a country...
May 5, 2010 - 14:19
At its April 2010 Board of Directors meeting, NSPE adopted a new position statement advocating that certain engineering education outcomes be attained by engineers of all disciplines who become licensed professional engineers. These outcomes, listed below, are not currently required by existing accreditation criteria, and thus are not commonly included in engineering curricula. 1. Apply principles of leadership; 2. Account for risk and uncertainty in the solution of engineering problems; 3. Apply principles of project management; 4. Explain where and how public policy is developed...
April 19, 2010 - 16:12
In March of 1970,Chemical & Engineering News(C&EN) presented the concept of a CORElator: certain scientists with the technical background to expand and apply their skill-sets across multiple disciplines. In 2003, then editor-in-chief of C&EN Madeline Jacobs revived the concept in the wake of the dot-com crash. She reintroduced the CORElator in a contemporary context as an individual who, “related his or her core knowledge to other specialists and to the broad questions facing society. The challenges that faced humanity in 1970 were profound—and they are no less profound today...
April 9, 2010 - 14:30
The NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee has been investigating the Body of Knowledge reports that have been prepared for several engineering disciplines and considering what outcomes that are critical to engineering practice addressed in those reports are not currently incorporated in engineering curricula. The evaluation of risk and uncertainty is one of those critical components. The adequate protection of public health, safety, and welfare is dependent upon professional engineers’ ability to appropriately evaluate risk and uncertainty in engineering planning and design...
March 29, 2010 - 16:06
The National Society of Professional Engineers, through its Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee (L&QPC), has been considering what knowledge, skills, and attributes are important in the education and training of professional engineers, focusing on those which currently are not part of the education and training of most engineers. One of those areas of critical importance is leadership. Leadership is hard to define. It is a quality that I think all of us can relate to, but it is difficult to describe in a broad context in a way that is applicable to all professional...
March 19, 2010 - 09:33
When former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan coined the phrase “irrational exuberance” in the mid 1990s, he was referring to the seemingly irrational behavior that the markets were exhibiting with regards to general consumption. The S&P Index had been climbing to record levels even as the economic environment suggested that a more conservative consumer response would have been more prudent. In the 1990s, this exuberance ended in the infamous dot-com bust at the turn of the millennium. However, acting irrationally can sometimes produce beneficial results where self improvement...
February 16, 2010 - 09:24
One of the charges to the NCEES Engineering Education Task Force (EETF) this year was to formulate and evaluate alternatives to be considered to add to the “master’s or equivalent” requirements provided in theModel Lawbeginning in 2020. As NSPE’s representative to the EETF, I can report that the task force has completed that task, and is in the process of preparing a report that will be considered by member licensing boards at zone meetings this spring and likely at the NCEES Annual Meeting in August 2010. Two alternatives have been formulated and evaluated as follows: Alternative 1...
February 8, 2010 - 16:38
This is the fourth in a series of four articles prepared by a subcommittee of the NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee examining the various impacts of the additional engineering education initiative. This summary was drafted by Paul D. Schmidt, P.E. Comments are welcome. How will the implementation of a “master’s or equivalent” pre-requisite for licensure impact the profession of engineering? It is often asked whether the increased educational requirement will result in a shortage of engineers and licensed professional engineers. The additional requirements...
February 1, 2010 - 08:31
In the present economic straits, even some of the most robust corporations have just now begun to start climbing up out of the embers. Of the many books on the subject that have appeared, Jim Collins’sHow the Mighty Fall, captures the act of collapse from a systems point of view. Written actually before our present recession, Collins and his team discretized corporate collapse into distinct phases, some survivable, some irrecoverable. Many of these underlying principles have analogous examples to our careers as engineering professionals. In comparison, Collins’s five stages overlap very...
January 25, 2010 - 09:45
This is the third in a series of four articles prepared by a subcommittee of the NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee examining the various impacts of the additional engineering education initiative. This summary was drafted by Paul D. Schmidt, P.E. Comments are welcome. The fundamental goal of the “Masters or Equivalent” initiative is to require additional education to provide an improved base of knowledge for those wishing to practice at the professional level. This will both require and cause changes in engineering education in the U.S. The current proposals...

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