Blogs

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...
April 4, 2012 - 10:53
The NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee has been charged with formulating an Engineering Body of Knowledge (BOK) applicable to all engineering disciplines. A Body of Knowledge is defined as the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to function as an engineer in a professional capacity, in our case as a professional engineer. The NSPE Engineering BOK builds on earlier work by the National Academy of Engineering in its two books,The Engineer of 2020andEducating the Engineer of 2020published in the last decade, and Body of Knowledge reports that have been prepared...
March 8, 2012 - 09:06
NSPE and MATHCOUNTS are sponsoring a 5,000-square-foot exhibition calledMathAlive!, presented by Raytheon and designed to show math at work as well as its endless possibilities. The world premier of the exhibit will be at the Smithsonian Institution’sInternational Galleryin Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 10 and will run through June 3. The exhibit is designed for families and students. It features interactive and immersive experiences that show the math behind video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more. After the exhibit completes its stay in Washington, D.C...
March 5, 2012 - 13:37
As engineers, we are trained to quantify the world around us to the extent that such analytical representations of our surroundings emerge comfortably, organically. Engineers quantify to innovate and improve: the structural stability of cantilevered bridges like the recentStonecutters Bridgein Hong Kong; the efficiency of a gas scrubber in a new chemical plant in Louisiana; the aerodynamic efficiency of a turbine in the latest globally accessorized jetliner. These are the quantitative fruits of tangible things, but how might one quantify happiness? For one answer, we turn to the world of...
February 6, 2012 - 07:55
Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of a possible O-ring failure that could lead to the destruction of the space shuttleChallenger, died on January 6 in Utah, according to theNew York Times. Nearly a decade after the disaster, Boisjoly shared his story with NSPE. Below is the complete article from the August 1995 issue ofEngineering Times. PE Perseveres, 10 Years After Challenger Explosion By Molly Galvin Associate Editor As filmgoers pack Apollo 13 and marvel at the story about a disaster that almost was, Roger Boisjoly tells the story of the disaster that NASA...
January 23, 2012 - 15:23
Performance statistics for theFundamentals of Engineering Examinationissued by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) are forwarded each year to universities and to state PE licensing boards that request them. These reports are an outstanding tool for programs to use in determining curriculum strengths and weaknesses, and formulating plans for improvement. More and more, university engineering programs are using FE exam reports as an outcomes assessment tool, which is one of the critical components of ABET accreditation processes. These exam results would...
January 18, 2012 - 10:46
California has a convoluted engineering statute that needs fixing. For many years, reasonable legislative initiatives proposed by the PE board, legislators, and other interests have failed due, in large part, to testimony and political influence from factions within the engineering profession in California with interests in maintaining the status quo. [Read arelated articleby Diane Spencer, P.E., vice president of the California Society of Professional Engineers.] California has a unique engineering licensure system. There are three “practice act” disciplines: civil, mechanical, and...
December 15, 2011 - 09:30
Of the many things Steve Jobs will be remembered for, his view on how design aesthetics, creativity, and technology should be closely interwoven has particular resonance for engineers. In expounding upon how the arts and humanities were closely bound to the technical engineering demands at Apple, Jobs emphasized the foundational attainment of innovation through the balance of technological mastery with design mastery. In Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple co-founder, Jobs shared this insight: “Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science....

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