Building for Professional Growth: A History of the National Society of Professional Engineers

Building for Professional GrowthBuilding for Professional Growth: A History of the National Society of Professional Engineers, 1934-1984, is now available as an e-book on Amazon for $2.99.
by Paul H. Robbins

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In May 1934, renowned bridge engineer David Steinman called together four engineering organizations to discuss the formation of a new national engineering society. Representatives of those organizations—the New Jersey Association of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and the Connecticut Society of Professional Engineers—met at the Columbia University Club in New York City on May 25 and decided to form a new, nontechnical organization that would be dedicated to the interests of licensed professional engineers.

A little over three months later, on September 3, the National Society of Professional Engineers was officially formed. In a keynote address, Steinman, who had been elected president, spoke of protecting engineers from unqualified practitioners, building recognition for engineers, and standing against unethical practices and inadequate compensation.

"Through membership and active participation in NSPE," Steinman said, "the individual engineer renders his contribution toward making engineering a better and more satisfying profession than he found it."

The Professional Engineering Century (PDF) June 2007, PE
A century ago, anyone could work as an engineer without proof of competency. In order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, the first engineering licensure law was enacted in 1907 in Wyoming. Now every state regulates the practice of engineering to ensure public safety by granting only Professional Engineers (PEs) the authority to sign and seal engineering plans and offer their services to the public. >>

75 Years of Professional Excellence
Watch this twelve-minute anniversary presentation or download a PDF (16 MB).
©2009 Published by the National Society of Professional Engineers
NSPE Celebrates 75 Years (March 2009 PE)
A look at some other engineering news from the year NSPE was founded. >>

In 1934 ...
A look at some other engineering news from the year NSPE was founded. >>

Through the Years: An NSPE Time Line 1934–2007
Review what NSPE has done over the years from 1934 to 2007. >>
What the National Society of Professional Engineers Can Accomplish
(January 1935, The American Engineer) >>
By D.B. Steinman, P.E., NSPE Founding President

75th Anniversary Guest Book
Leave your thoughts on NSPE's years of service to the engineering profession. >>

Writings of D.B. Steinman (PDF) >>

From the Video Archive
Watch this five-minute video on NSPE's history, produced in celebration of the Society's 60th anniversary in 1994.
High quality video (400 kbs) | Lower quality video (100 kbs)

NSPE Past Presidents (From 1935 to present) >>

Congratulatory Letters

LetterSenator Edward Kaufman Congratulates NSPE
"As the only serving Senator who has worked as an engineer..." Read more.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen Sends NSPE Greetings
"On behalf of the State of Tennessee, I would like to congratulate you for your 75th anniversary." Read more.