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The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of and should not be attributable to the National Society of Professional Engineers.

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...
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....
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 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...
October 24, 2015 - 16:55
By Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16 Abraham Lincoln famously stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” It is a familiar refrain that our Executive Director Mark Golden frequently uses when discussing our partnership with the state and territorial societies. The wisdom and truth in this statement is as old as humanity itself. One of the most important, if not the most important, concepts for NSPE’s Race for Relevance strategy is to bring clear, laser-like focus to an organization’s mission and purpose. Your NSPE leadership has been focusing on the very core value...
September 9, 2015 - 11:28
By Tim Austin, P.E., F. NSPE, President 2015–16 It is often said that business is about relationships. We do business with those we know and trust; and trust can only be developed through an investment in the relationship. I view my relationship with NSPE in the same way. Over the past 26 years, I have invested a lot into the organization, and it has been rewarding in countless ways. I have questioned but never regretted my NSPE membership. Interestingly, the things that I value the most in this relationship are also the most intangible. I value the relationships that I have developed with...
August 24, 2015 - 09:24
By Mark J. Golden, CAE, FASAE I love to travel. It’s important to get out of the office and engage with members on their own turf. And as a partnership of the national Society and 53 state and territorial societies, it would be impossible for NSPE to do its job if we stayed hunkered down in our Alexandria headquarters. But sometimes, the travel can get a bit brutal. In the past year, national officers visited 41 state societies during their annual meetings, making formal presentations and having countless side-meetings with state leaders and general members. Oh, yes, and there was the NSPE...
August 10, 2015 - 13:01
By Kathleen Hunter, P.E. "Who do you think would win in a fight, Lady Sif or Black Widow?" My nieces, aged nine and six, were having this very important conversation in the back seat of my car. We were returning from a day at the local convention of all things sci-fi and comic-book inspired. We saw a huge variety of superhero cosplay including many female versions of Captain America and Thor, but my nieces' single-minded focus was on one superhero: the deadly assassin with the morally ambiguous history—Black Widow. When offered to choose from the entire range of bobblehead figures...

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