Blogs

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...
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...
May 17, 2012 - 14:02
State societies of NSPE have been requesting that NSPE provide detailed information on the rationale for initiatives to remove decades-old industrial exemptions from state engineering statutes. The case of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is in the news again, this time with the arrest of an unlicensed engineer on charges of destroying evidence. The news release from NCEES is reprinted below in its entirety—it speaks for itself. Licensed professional engineers are obligated to practice ethically and to hold paramount the protection of public health, safety and welfare....
May 10, 2012 - 16:46
Arecent blog postingdescribed the adoption by theUnited Kingdom Engineering Councilof a master’s degree or equivalent as the educational qualification required for the chartered engineer title. This process has evolved over the past 15 years as the U.K. has raised the bar for engineering education required, as has NCEES with the Model Law 2020 changes in the U.S. There is an interesting twist in the U.K. Engineering Council qualifications requirements. In addition to specifying the educational qualifications for chartered engineers at the same level as the U.S. Model Law 2020...
May 2, 2012 - 09:11
“Success is not an entitlement. It has to be earned every day.” -- Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz uses a single word to capture the momentum that propelled the growth of his company from a small coffee roasting business to a global brand: onward. The principles that Starbucks applies to how it runs its business is just as applicable to the engineering world. Consider what Schultz refers to as the “touchstones” of Starbucks: Respect and dignity, Passion and laughter, Compassion, community, and responsibility, and Authenticity...
April 17, 2012 - 16:02
Flyover is one of many ways for public to reconnect with engineering. Residents around the Washington, D.C., metro area got a rare scientific treat Tuesday morning as the Space ShuttleDiscoverywas ferried on the back of a 747 from Florida to its new, permanent home at the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center. It’s not every day so many people outside of Central Florida get to see a space shuttle soar through the air. (Watch the video.) That kind of exposure is the kind of event that stays with impressionable young people despite being the end of a technologically important era, says NSPE...
April 11, 2012 - 14:52
In February, 2012, the United Kingdom Engineering Council raised the bar with respect to engineering education requirements to become a chartered engineer. The new requirements are as follows: Underpinning Knowledge and Understanding The knowledge, understanding and skills to underpin performance are an essential component of competence. The requirements for each registration category shall be exemplified by particular educational qualifications, as follows: Chartered Engineer An accredited Bachelors degree with honours in engineering or technology, plus either an appropriate...

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