Blogs

November 17, 2011 - 13:19
The House last night passed the Senate-amended version ofH.R. 674by a vote of 422 to 0, ending a protracted battle to repeal an onerous tax-withholding mandate that would place significant financial and administrative burdens on engineering firms that contract with the government. The bill now heads to the president's desk, where he is expected to sign it into law. (Note: H.R. 674 was later signed into law by President Obama on 11/21/11.) H.R. 674 would repeal Section 511 of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222), which requires federal, state, and...
November 17, 2011 - 08:44
Around me was a backdrop of pirate ships, crystal-clad dancers, and LED arrays lighting the glass facades of steel towers sparkling with the reflections of taxis, storefront signs, and digital camera flashes. One couldn’t have hoped for a more visually energetic scene, hued in reds, blues, purples, and incandescent yellows, to talk the depth and breadth of the influence of the engineering profession and the multifarious career paths within it that made such sensory spectacles possible. The reach of engineers was further emphasized by the ubiquitous proliferation of every day experiences...
November 9, 2011 - 09:08
In recent years, tremendous strides have been made in engineering licensure in the U.S. to promote mobility and expedited comity licensure for individual PE licenses. In many states, a PE who meets the definition of a Model Law Engineer, and has an up to date “Council Record” through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, can obtain a license in a new state in less than a week. This is all well and good, and works like a charm, but only if that engineer’s firm can also meet that state’s requirement for firm certifications in a similar time frame. That same level...
September 27, 2011 - 15:12
On September 26,Sesame Streetlaunched its 42nd season with a new focus: science, technology, engineering, and math. The show will teach preschoolers about STEM to help prepare them for school in areas where the U.S. is falling behind other countries. Throughout the season, the show’s loveable characters will use scientific inquiry on challenging problems—from experiments on “what worms like to squirm on best” to engineering a boat for Zoe’s pet rock—to get kids thinking like engineers and scientists. While once students were lucky if they got any exposure to engineering before they hit...
September 6, 2011 - 16:45
At annual meetings in 2011, both NSPE and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying took action on policies regarding the existence of industrial exemptions from engineering licensure requirements in state statutes pertaining to manufacturing businesses and/or utilities. Industries were successful prior to the 1960s in enacting industrial exemptions in most states. At the present, all but nine jurisdictions have industrial exemptions for manufacturing businesses, and all but 16 jurisdictions have exemptions pertaining to utilities. At the NSPE Annual Meeting in...
August 26, 2011 - 15:24
By Benjamin Roode Staff Writer My dad you used joke that, when he grew up, he wanted to be a cowboy. It was a joke because he’d tell young children this while he was performing his duties as chief of police in our home town. To the kids, dad was the obvious grown up in the room. It’s not so much of a stretch, though. Dad grew up in the 1960s, when cowboys, astronauts, and any other of the traditional dream jobs were featured heavily on television. Note: There were not, and are not now, many engineers in those career outlook-shaping shows. Some groups, however, are...
August 16, 2011 - 10:34
The slow and steady decrease in the number of credits required for a baccalaureate degree in engineering at U.S. universities continues. Each year for the last seven years, Jodie Bray Strickland, P.E., of Hampton, New Hampshire, hasmaintained and updated a spreadsheetshowing the number of semester or quarter credits required for a B.S. degree in engineering, as reported on the Web site of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) for the period from 1998 through 2010. This database does not include all U.S. universities that offer engineering programs, but it is a significant...
August 1, 2011 - 14:02
A trend among states to allow early taking of the PE exam is accelerating. For many years, California has allowed candidates to take the PE exam in preparation for licensure after only two years of engineering experience. In recent years, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico have allowed candidates to take the PE exam after receiving a BS degree from an EAC-ABET accredited program, and having passed the FE exam. Now, in the past year, Illinois has instituted the same practice, allowing the early taking of the PE exam. In these states, the licensure candidate still needs to accumulate the requisite...
July 13, 2011 - 11:57
With the Department of Labor announcing last week that the national unemployment rate for June was 9.2%, interviews that convert to real job offers might be one of the most highly sought after things out there in the marketplace. It’s great to get a new job. What’s not so great is that after you start your new job, you realize you hate it. While being extended a face-to-face interview is itself a motivating outcome, when interviews evolve into formal job offers, they can be difficult to turn down, particularly if one has already been in transition for months or more and has already...
June 29, 2011 - 08:31
The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) examinations provide a higher bar than many in the public, and in the engineering profession, might think. Based on the data and estimation procedures below, it is estimated that some 30–40% of civil engineering exam takers, anda similar percentage of electrical engineering exam takers, are unable to pass one of the two examinations. A recent paper(Musselman, Nelson, and Phillips) shows pass rates (available from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying) for the FE exam for a...

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