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April 29, 2019 - 10:21
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE There was a time when, even if they didn’t understand the scope and nature of professional licensure, the general public understood it was important that engineers were competent, ethical, and accountable. When they sent their children to school, entered an elevator, or crossed a bridge, they understood the importance. They felt they could trust that there was a system in place to ensure that the person they never met who designed the gas utilities into the school, designed the control system and mechanics in the elevator, and designed that bridge had the right...
February 25, 2019 - 18:43
By Michael Aitken, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2018–19 As I move into the final months of my presidency, I reflect on the hard work and dedication of all of our Society volunteer leaders. I say “hard work of our volunteer leaders” because you are the ones doing the work. You look to the NSPE Board of Directors for guidance and motivation, and we rely on our volunteers to help accomplish the required task. According to the NSPE Leadership Orientation Guide, effective leadership means: Development of vision and strategies; Alignment of people with the strategies; and Empower...
December 27, 2018 - 13:12
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE It always seems to happen. NSPE is able to report a positive development in its efforts to promote and protect professional licensure. Like when, in response to a fatal pipeline explosion in Massachusetts, the National Transportation Safety Board recently urged elimination of the exemption that allowed the pipeline to be designed, built, operated, and maintained without the involvement of PEs. It even happens when members of the profession get into discussions about some detail in the terms for earning and maintaining the PE, such as the role of continuing...
October 29, 2018 - 13:30
By Michael Aitken, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2018–19 As I completed my first three months as president of this great Society, I asked myself what aspect of trust—the theme of my July/August column—I wished to expand on. While I was considering the question, I had the opportunity to visit Boston, a city so full of history it’s effectively impossible to ignore all the stories. In this city embedded within revolutionary history, one figure stood out for me: Paul Revere. Revere’s contribution, at least the one that most people remember, is not one of force, diplomacy, or invention, but rather his...
August 29, 2018 - 20:15
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE Paradigms are the frames of reference that filter our view of the world. They govern how we see things … and can blind you to realities that don’t fit your governing paradigm. Take professional licensure. It’s a no-brainer, right? Some form of professional licensure has existed in America for lawyers since 1763, for physicians and dentists since the mid-1800s, and for engineers since 1907. After all, if people are going to entrust their safety, liberty, property, health, and general welfare to you, they have a right to expect you to be competent and ethical....
July 5, 2018 - 09:07
By Michael Aitken, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2018–19 As we approach the dawn of another NSPE year, we are invited to look back upon the year we are about to leave in order to celebrate our success, reflect upon our challenges, and move into the future with a renewed sense of value. In my own self-reflection on our great achievements as a Society, I see a renewed opportunity to build trust among one another at all levels, from the national board to our eminent state chapters, to our more than 26,000 dedicated members. But trust is not something that is to be requested; it is something to be...
May 1, 2018 - 09:14
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE NSPE was saddened to learn of the pedestrian bridge collapse at Florida International University on March 16, 2018, and the tragic loss of life. NSPE immediately offered its deepest condolences to the victims, their families, and Miami’s citizens. We are closely monitoring the investigation into the collapse. By determining the root cause, PEs can help prevent crises like this from occurring again. Just four days later, there was another fatality—this time, a pedestrian in Arizona was struck and killed in the first fatal crash involving a fully autonomous...
February 26, 2018 - 08:54
By Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, President 2017–18 Charles Darwin studied change in the 19th century and upended humankind’s view of itself and of the world. Albert Einstein studied math and physics in the 20th century, created what may be the world’s most famous equation, and changed our understanding of light. Licensed engineers toil in the 21st century conceptualizing, planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining global infrastructure, striving to protect the public health, safety, and welfare in an ever changing, complex world. Darwin is quoted as having said, “It is not the...
February 22, 2018 - 07:58
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE This is typically a time to take stock of the past year and make resolutions for the new year to come. But the first of January (at least in the modern calendar) also marks the birthdate of American patriot Paul Revere. Revere is best remembered for his midnight ride in April 1775 to alert the colonial militia of the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord. This singular event, immortalized in the Longfellow poem, overshadows Revere’s long and distinguished military service as a member of Massachusetts’s militia throughout the...
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...

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