Blogs

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...
January 28, 2011 - 13:37
During President Barack Obama’s recentState of the Union address, engineers might have been encouraged by some of the important words coming from the president’s mouth. “The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations’.” “And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.” “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair...
December 21, 2010 - 08:02
As Thinking Engineers, we declare that we will apply the engineering thought process not just to technological advancement, but to the overall betterment of the Self. We are individual contributors to the greater public good to which we all belong. Engineering is a way of thinking. We are observers of the world, a unified body of critical, analytical thinkers, applying the knowledge diversity of the profession toward improving the quality of life for everyone, everywhere. This is to be done without a sense of feigned superiority or exclusivity, but instead with compassionate drive and...
December 2, 2010 - 09:24
Several years ago a friend who had majored in industrial engineering, or “IE,” at one of the discipline’s premier institutions, Georgia Tech, mentioned to me how irritating it had been when other engineers would refer to his major as “imaginary engineering” because of the perceived lack of analytical rigor relative to other engineering fields. Back then, the two of us had been occasional karaoke tag-teamers who sang a mean cover of “Tonight, Tonight” bySmashing Pumpkins, and during our jam sessions, we’d often openly commiserate on how different engineering disciplines were at ends and...
November 30, 2010 - 14:17
In the United States, medical doctors are licensed by state medical boards to practice medicine. That is all that is needed for state medical boards to be able to carry out their statutory mandate to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by assuring that those who practice as physicians have the requisite education and experience to practice medicine. New physicians are examined through the United States Medical Licensing Examination (similar to the PE exam). State medical boards do not license medical specialties, recognizing advanced qualifications in medicine. If a physician...
November 8, 2010 - 13:36
About 40 engineering licensure jurisdictions in the U.S. now require continuing professional development for renewal of PE licenses, and most professional engineers are now regularly accumulating professional development hours, or PDHs. The rules in almost every state are flexible, and purposely so. Flexibility is required in terms of content, format, and providers because engineering practice is so different among engineering disciplines, practice areas, and specific work roles that anything other than great flexibility would place restrictions that would limit the usefulness of...
October 13, 2010 - 09:01
Saint George clearly meant business judging by the size of his spear. From any other angle in the courtyard where I was standing, this gigantic statue appeared to simply represent the classic tale of Saint George slaying the dragon—except that upon closer inspection, where I was expecting scales or a writhing pointy tail, the dragon’s body was instead formed from the colubrine segments of a dismantled nuclear missile, suspended in frozen disintegration. This is "Good Defeats Evil” by sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, given to the United Nations as a gift from the Soviet Union in 1990. Two...

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