Blogs

April 25, 2011 - 14:06
An article in the April issue ofPEmagazine toldthe storyof 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...
April 1, 2011 - 12:17
Without strong infrastructure systems, our national economic position, including our workforce, production, health, safety, and overall welfare is at risk. Professional engineers play a key role in the planning, design, implementation, construction, operation, and maintenance of this infrastructure. So when the Department of Transportation requested public input on the efficacy of its regulations, NSPE sprang into action. (DOT was responding to President Obama’s January Executive Order, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” under which every federal agency must review its existing...
March 23, 2011 - 07:45
The Oklahoma State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors has proposed a novel approach to recognize the advanced qualifications of structural engineers who have passed the 16-hour structural engineering examination. The proposal and its rationale arepresented in detailon pages 2 and 3 of the December 2010 issue of the board’s bulletin. This proposal would allow an engineer to use the “P.E., S.E.” designation in Oklahoma if he or she has passed: the PE exam and the previous structural II exam; or the previous structural I and II examinations; or the new 16-hour...
March 22, 2011 - 10:05
The NSPE Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee has proposed that the NSPE Board of Directors and House of Delegates consider adopting a new policy regarding industrial exemptions. The rationale for proposing the policy is as follows: “In the forty years prior to the 1960s, 41 states adopted exemptions from engineering licensure requirements for manufacturing businesses or utilities, or both. NSPE’s policies and positions since that time have generally recognized theexistence of these exemptionsin many states. The American public at that time had faith that product liability...
March 1, 2011 - 12:08
Anearlier articleaddressed the often claimed myth in the engineering profession that 80% of engineering graduates work as engineers in industry. That article didn’t present any data, just a compelling hypothesis that engineering graduates go into many lines of work. Now, here is some more specific information. Two reports published in 2004 for the National Science Foundation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, MA, entitled, “The Education and Employment of Engineering Graduates”and “Engineers in the United States: An Overview of the Profession” present interesting data on the engineering...
March 1, 2011 - 09:16
Today’s blog posting is brought to you.... By Chris Knutson, P.E. With completion of the recent U.S. and China summit, increased media attention has been focused on the need for expanding bilateral links between the two countries. The shift from a strong linkage between the U.S. and Europe to one with the Far East is only a change in longitude. It has not changed the fact that to continue both growth and the ability to influence our nation’s future, the U.S. must be engaged in the world. And, we must actively accept the challenge to stay engaged outside our borders and embrace...
February 28, 2011 - 10:48
On February 24, NSPE announced that Vincent Sobash, P.E., an emergency management program specialist for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, was named the recipient of the 2011 Federal Engineer of the Year Award. Listen to this audio podcast report fromPEmagazine on the ceremony and this year’s winner. Video from the ceremony and interviews will be ready later this week on NSPE’s YouTube page.
February 16, 2011 - 13:41
Centuries before engineers like Joule and Carnot contributed to the early stages of modern engineering problem solving, monarchs were already using an ancestor of engineering analysis to defeat enemies and expand empires. The use of logic and rational thought has threaded across disciplines of mathematics and philosophy for centuries, when such endeavors were applied to analyze everyday phenomena. Engineering analysis can be expressed as the addressing of society’s desire for progress by decomposing a larger problem into its smaller, constituent parts. Consider Alexander the Great who...
February 7, 2011 - 11:49
When Dr. Lisa Fotherby, P.E., won NSPE’s2010 Federal Engineer of the Year Award, she was beside herself. She, out of the more than 96,000 engineers employed by the federal government according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was being recognized for her work “You have this feeling that there are so many other good people around you, but you’re astonished that you get to be recognized,” she says. Another engineer will soon feel that recognition. NSPE will name its 32nd Federal Engineer of the Year on February 24. This year’s finalists come from three branches of the military, the...

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