Blogs

September 13, 2012 - 11:00
About 15 years ago, the idea was hatched within the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying to enhance mobility of licensed engineers among states through what was termed “expedited comity.” This involved providing quick licensure for an engineer with a current “Council Record” from NCEES indicating that the engineer’s qualifications were consistent with the requirements for a “Model Law Engineer.” The success was nothing short of amazing. It used to take three to six months to obtain a PE license in a new state. In many states now, a Model Law Engineer with a Council...
September 12, 2012 - 09:30
This is the first in what will likely be a series of pieces addressing issues related to the licensure of structural engineers in the U.S. This article addresses how we currently license structural engineers and what initiatives are underway by various engineering organizations to maintain or change current licensure practices. Future articles will address the questions posed herein and alternatives that might be considered. This is a controversial topic within the engineering profession at the moment. This article, and those in the future, are not intended to be controversial but rather,...
August 21, 2012 - 09:19
San Diego is full of superheroes. Some superheroes were found at Comic-Con International, whose annual convention of sci-fi, fantasy, comics, and gaming fan culture also happened to be taking place concurrently with the NSPE Annual Meeting this past July. On account of the Comic-Con goers, the streets of San Diego’s Gaslamp District were definitely more energizing and colorful than usual—it’s not every day that you get to stand in line between a Storm Trooper and Where’s Waldo while waiting for a slice of pizza. Others were superheroes of eras past, like Thomas Edison and Charles...
August 1, 2012 - 14:00
“Raise the Bar” is a catchphrase coined for the initiative to increase the qualifications required for licensure as a professional engineer after 2020. There is a recently craftedeight-minute videoavailable on You Tube. If you haven’t yet seen this presentation, spend eight minutes of your time and watch it. The words below of Chris M. Stone, P.E., F.NSPE, the immediate past president of NSPE, aptly describe the rationale behind the Raise the Bar initiative and the Model Law requirements for licensure as a professional engineer after 2020: “At the beginning of the 1900s, a four-year...
July 17, 2012 - 08:12
Here's an opinion piece from the July issue ofPEmagazine that argues that engineering schools place too much emphasis on engineering research by faculty at the expense of real engineering experience. What do you think? Leave your comments below. By Paul R. Munger, P.E., F.NSPE and L.G. "Skip" Lewis, P.E., F.NSPE From time to time, the subject of faculty licensure generates a lot of discussion, both pro and con. It is periodically discussed by engineering licensing boards and by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Seldom is there a consensus of opinion...
July 9, 2012 - 08:21
Engineering aesthetics in technical design and construction can often re-emerge in the physical, observable world in new, startling ways. This miraculous cycle emerges each time a new structure , piece of equipment, or personal device emerges from concept to fully matured reality. What’s produced is the result of an inspiring act of creation that blurs the line between traditional sciences and the arts. Last autumn I was at the Phoenix Art Museum and there was an exhibit by the photographer Jamey Stillings on the construction of the new Hoover Dam Bridge. The vast scale of what he was...
June 28, 2012 - 10:53
The November issue ofPEmagazine toldthe taleofEmma 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, theWashington Posthas 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 finalists...
June 7, 2012 - 11:31
Anexcellent viewpoint articlewas published recently inEngineering News-Record, authored by Daniel A. Groves, P.E., regarding the need for licensed professional engineers to be in responsible charge of the design of control systems software for critical infrastructure facilities that potentially impact public health, safety, and welfare or the environment. More and more, our water treatment facilities, which provide safe drinking water, and our wastewater treatment facilities, which protect water quality, are operated by monitoring and control systems that increasingly perform automated...
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...
May 30, 2012 - 15:26
An April 2012court decisionin the Cook County, Illinois, circuit court provides insight regarding the challenges of protecting the use of the title “engineer.” This was a litigated case regarding disputed payment of a $350 invoice (!!) for engineering services from an unlicensed engineer to a manufacturer. The court decision hinged in part on whether an unlicensed engineer could call and advertise himself as an engineer in the context of Illinois’ engineering statute and its exemption for manufacturing businesses. This decision applies only in Illinois but provides insight on some of the...

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