Blog Posts

August 24, 2016 - 08:34
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE There are currently eight jurisdictions in the US that license multiple engineering disciplines separately. The longstanding policy of the National Society of Professional Engineers is that engineers should be licensed as professional engineers, with the obligation on the part of the individual to practice within his or her area of competence. That policy notwithstanding, there is a trend over recent decades for jurisdictions to consider changing to licensing engineers in a discipline-specific fashion. The Model Law and Rules of the National Council of...
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...
June 20, 2016 - 16:04
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying is widely used for two basic, equally important, yet independent purposes. First, it is one of two examinations, along with the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam (PE exam), that is a prerequisite for obtaining a license to practice as a professional engineer. Also, it has become extensively used by university engineering programs as an outcomes assessment tool because it is an effective way to identify programmatic...
February 25, 2016 - 11:14
By Michael S. Ellegood, P.E. By now, all America is aware of the water crisis in Flint Michigan. The city, under management by a state-appointed official, changed the water supply from Detroit to the Flint River. The change in the water source caused lead and iron oxides to leach from delivery pipes and create a health hazard for thousands of Flint residents. A man-made disaster! Since Flint is largely African-American, the situation has racial overtones. Since Flint is Democratic while under the management of a Republican governor’s administration, the situation has political overtones....
February 23, 2016 - 09:08
By Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16 Over the past three years as an elected officer, I have had the privilege to visit many of the state societies. I am always humbled by the dedication, passion, and commitment of our members. I frequently reflect on the many people I have met, the many events I have attended, the many times I was privileged to represent NSPE and you. I have learned much and hopefully along the way have shared a bit of wisdom as well. Speaking of wisdom, a favorite quote of mine is by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church. Do all the good you can....
January 26, 2016 - 08:29
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE Engineering licensure is often described as being a “three-legged stool,” with education, examinations, and experience as a basis. Much attention has been focused on the content of both the education and examination legs of the stool, to assure that professional engineers possess the minimum level of competence necessary to protect and enhance the public health, safety, and welfare. Far less attention has been paid to the equally important experience leg of the stool. Currently, virtually all licensing jurisdictions require experience that (1) is engineering...
January 7, 2016 - 13:49
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE After years of controversy and disagreement among engineering societies about a proposal to make additional engineering education a prerequisite for licensure in the future, it appears that the engineering profession may be ready to constructively discuss consensus-building. In August 2015, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) recast prior model law language as a position statement, advocating that state licensing boards consider requiring a master’s degree in engineering or equivalent for licensure in the future. NSPE and...
December 20, 2015 - 08:02
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE The process of becoming a professional engineer requires mastery of both the technical knowledge and skills related to the discipline of practice and the so-called “soft skills” of ethics and professionalism; communications; planning and organization; problem solving and conflict resolution; decision making in an interdisciplinary team environment; risk assessment; economics; business processes; law; government processes; and others. (Although I always chafe at the characterization of these skills, which are exceptionally hard to teach and to master, as in any...
November 16, 2015 - 14:52
By Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE The topic of discipline-specific licensure has been a lightning rod in the engineering profession for decades. The National Society of Professional Engineers has a long-standing policy advocating that engineers should be licensed only as professional engineers with a requirement that PEs practice only within their areas of competence. The rationale has been in part that the lines between disciplines and subdisciplines are in many cases blurred, and that individual PEs are the best judge of their individual competence based on their knowledge, skills,...
November 11, 2015 - 11:10
NSPE President Tim Austin, P.E., F.NSPE, has submitted a letter to the editor in response to an article by Ian Bogost in The Atlantic that says computer programmers who call themselves “engineers” are undermining “a long tradition of designing and building infrastructure in the public interest.” The article, “Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers,” says, “When it comes to skyscrapers and bridges and power plants and elevators and the like, engineering has been, and will continue to be, managed partly by professional standards, and partly by regulation around the expertise and duties...

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