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October 26, 2017 - 09:49
By Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2017–18 Sixty years ago, NSPE founder David B. Steinman, P.E., Ph.D., was recognized as the world’s foremost bridge designer, designing hundreds of bridges on five continents. At the pinnacle of his career, he wrote, “A bridge is more than a thing of steel and stone: it is the fulfillment of human dreams to link together distant places. A bridge is more than a problem in stresses and strains; it is a challenge and an opportunity to create the beautiful.” In July 2017, in Atlanta, our NSPE legislative body, the House of Delegates, voted 81-10 to...
August 29, 2017 - 19:25
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE As NSPE ends one fiscal year and starts a new one, the typical focus for this column would be to talk about the past year’s activity. That is worth doing: We have a good story to tell, and NSPE’s 2016–17 accomplishments are something we can all take pride in. But that would be repeating a story that you have already been told, as it was happening. (See NSPE Year in Review: 2016–17.) So, for this final column of the program year, I’ll focus on a higher level, on a significant cultural change the Society is embarking upon. Culture is defined by values:...
August 7, 2017 - 16:09
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE We certainly live in turbulent times. Politically, economically, socially, culturally, every aspect of our personal and professional lives faces disruption. The potentials within those forces are grounds for a sense of optimism and opportunity; however, they also contain potential threats, sometimes leading to a feeling of loss of control over our own futures and a dismaying sense of uncertainty. Technology continues to advance at a dizzying rate of speed, and often the growth in what technology can do seems to outpace the thought given to how it ought to be...
July 21, 2017 - 13:33
By Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2017–18 We have an opportunity! However, to quote a famous cartoon character Pogo Possum, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” In the 1970 Earth Day poster, Pogo was referring to polluting the environment and how humans have contributed to it. I’m writing about a different environment—about civility—about collaboration between NSPE national and the state societies, about collaboration within the PE community, about David Steinman’s founding objectives for NSPE, which included the following: To organize, coordinate, unite, and extend the...
February 22, 2017 - 09:10
By Kodi Verhalen, P.E., ESQ., F.NSPE, President 2016–17 It is a bit strange writing my last column as NSPE president when there are still five months before my term and the NSPE fiscal year end. This timing, however, has provided me a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished this year and to remind myself all there is yet to complete in the coming months. This year we set out to strengthen NSPE advocacy efforts, increase the number of NSPE publications, increase awareness of NSPE, provide additional value to our members, and focus on the future of the profession....
January 12, 2017 - 15:25
By Kodi Verhalen, P.E., ESQ., F.NSPE, President 2016–17 NSPE membership comes with a long list of benefits, and it’s getting longer thanks to input we’ve received from you. In early 2015, NSPE solicited survey responses from approximately 25,000 current and former NSPE members for whom we had a valid e-mail address. There were many purposes to this survey, but one was to find out from respondents what activities should be the primary responsibility of the national, state, and local tiers within the NSPE membership structure. Of the 2,000 respondents to the survey, 82% wanted to see research...
December 22, 2016 - 13:59
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE PE licensing laws were enacted to ensure that the men and women in responsible charge of engineering projects are qualified to carry out that work in a manner that protects the public safety, health, and welfare. In some states, tragic loss of life due to engineering failures was the necessary catalyst for passing such laws. It is impossible to know how many engineering failures were avoided thanks, at least in part, to the licensing requirement that a competent and accountable individual be in charge. Unfortunately, one of the outcomes of the very effectiveness...
October 24, 2016 - 11:20
By Kodi Verhalen, P.E., ESQ., F.NSPE, President 2016–17 NSPE Executive Director Mark Golden, CAE, and I have taken the opportunity over the last two issues of PE magazine to discuss the Future of the Profession Task Force and the accompanying themes from the book The Future of the Professions. Additionally, the last issue of PE magazine provides a deeper dive into the concepts and the work of the task force through the cover story “End of an Era?” by Danielle Boykin. The article included interviews with Adam Stodola, P.E., the chair of the task force, and me. You will even find information...
August 29, 2016 - 08:41
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE What does it mean to be in a profession? Even if you don’t buy their arguments about what lies ahead, Richard and Daniel Susskind’s provocative recent book The Future of the Professions does a good job of defining the basics. Whether you are talking about engineering or the law, financial services or medicine, they posit, professions share the following characteristics: Members of professions possess specialist knowledge, experience, skills, and know-how that they make available to others who don’t possess such expertise; Members’ livelihoods...
June 30, 2016 - 11:13
By Kodi Verhalen, P.E., ESQ., F.NSPE, President 2016–17 Change. Innovation. Shift. Something made different. An alteration. Every July brings change to NSPE. We swear in our new officers, directors, and delegates. We review and approve a new budget. We set out new goals and charges for the Society and our committees, interest groups, and task forces. But, no matter what change we see in these activities, there are core principles that hold true year after year. We are committed to advocating for and protecting the professional engineer’s license in every state and territory in the United...

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