Blogs

October 26, 2012 - 09:03
"Is engineering dying? It isn't clear, but in developed countries around the world young people would rather go to the dentist than go into engineering,"writes Dave Goldbergin the October issue ofPE. "Law, business, and medicine—just about anything but engineering—seem to be the preference of today's youth." Goldberg, a former professor of entrepreneurial engineering and president and founder of ThreeJoy Associates Inc., says the future needs more capable engineers, but something happens to students on their way to becoming engineers. He sees three reasons engineering may be dying:...
October 17, 2012 - 09:29
Prepared by the NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee In the past 40 years, the world has changed, and the nature of the practice of engineering at a professional level has changed with it. The planning, design, and implementation of engineering projects now takes place fully in a societal context, requiring extensive public and stakeholder input in project decision-making and heightened consideration of economic, environmental, public policy, code compliance, legal, and regulatory matters. More than ever before, this requires advanced professional practice skills on the...
October 10, 2012 - 09:39
The desk in the hotel room was bathed in the glow of a Cracker Barrel sign. This nearly ubiquitous restaurant chain had its sky-scraping signs located throughout most of the major highways of the United States and its promise of a wholesome country-style meal undoubtedly comforted many a weary traveler on lonely night drives throughout the American interstate system. I imagined that the parking lots of RVs and minivans, the back-lit gift shop windows and the rows of rocking chairs of Cracker Barrel stores would be modern day subjects for the artist Edward Hopper were he still alive, as...
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 of PE magazine told the tale of Emma 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, the Washington Post has 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...

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