Blogs

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...
June 23, 2011 - 09:55
A number of years ago, NSPE reinvented itself, as most organizations do periodically, and adopted a new set ofmission, vision, and goal statements. At that time, based on the specific verbiage of NSPE’s goals, my thought was that NSPE had “turned inward,” focusing on cooperation with state societies and service to individual PEs. NSPE’s historic public health, safety, and welfare advocacy role on behalf of the engineering profession and within American society seemed to me to be absent from NSPE’s goals. It’s present in the vision statement (“licensure advocacy”), and it’s the first of the...
June 20, 2011 - 13:50
The NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice (L&QP) Committee was recently asked to provide an opinion on the appropriateness of a proposal by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers to certify environmental scientists. AAEE has historically provided a post-licensure certification of environmental engineers requiring documentation of environmental engineering education, additional experience beyond licensure, passing of either a written or oral examination given by AAEE, and documentation of continuing professional development. AAEE is considering expanding its...
May 13, 2011 - 15:17
Engineering students at the University of Maryland may not walk away with the Sikorsky Prize, but they’re still excited about their accomplishment Thursday. Their two-year project, Gamera, a human-powered helicopter, appears to have lifted pilot Judy Wexler several inches into the air, the first time a woman has piloted a human-powered helicopter, according to university officials. Officials from the National Aeronautical Association were reviewing video of the attempt as of this blog post to confirm whether she indeed lifted off. Despite the milestone Thursday, the motivation for...
May 10, 2011 - 16:05
They’re emblematic. They’re sources of pride. They’re personal 3.5” x 2” flags that summarize company, title, and contact information. The business card: If this piece of pocket sized card-stock were a piece of real estate, your reputation would be its tenant. Every castle needs its monarch. In the age of kings and feudal lords, the King’s Champion was the representative of the monarchy—king, queen, royal family, regal reputation. The Champion would represent the royalty in tournaments, feats of daring, and sometimes, even for certain rights to a kingdom in dispute. Regardless of the...
May 10, 2011 - 09:11
Licensure among engineering faculty members has been on the decline in many institutions for decades. There are a number of reasons for this, some of which are as follows: Blurring of engineering and science. Many faculty members with Ph.D.s in engineering have academic backgrounds in science rather than engineering. The need for interdisciplinary backgrounds will likely increase in the future. Differences in engineering disciplines. A higher percentage of civil engineering faculty are typically licensed engineers in comparison to certain other disciplines, such as mechanical...
April 25, 2011 - 14:06
An article in the April issue of PE magazine told the story of NSPE member Mark Johnson, P.E., who proved that there’s not one standard path to earning the PE license. Johnson first took the FE exam in 1987, five years after he graduated, and last December, at age 50, he passed the PE exam. After the article was published,PEmagazine received the following letter: Dear Editor, I just wanted to let you know what a good job I think you did on the Mark Johnson article about how some people just don't get around to being licensed until later in life. I too took the "nontraditional"...
April 13, 2011 - 11:32
What’s the difference between science-based advocacy and advocacy-based science? And what does it mean for professional engineers? In the April issue ofPEmagazine, Anthony Ingraffea, P.E., addresses these questions as they relate to the timely topic of hydraulic fracturing, or fracing. Ingraffea, who is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University with a background in rock fracture mechanics and hydraulic fracturing, says there is a crucial ethical distinction between science-based advocacy and advocacy-based science. “In the former...

Pages