Georgia’s Structural Engineering Proposal Draws NSPE’s Concern

Friday, January 27, 2017

NSPE is urging the Georgia licensing board to carefully consider a proposed amendment to a rule on structural engineering that could negatively impact the practice of engineering in the state.

The amendment would require any applicant for engineering licensure who designates the branch of structural engineering to take the 16-hour NCEES Structural Engineering Exam. If an applicant will “engage in the design of structural elements” but not “structural engineering,” the applicant will be directed to take the eight-hour Civil Breadth and Structural Depth Exam.

In a public comment to the Georgia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, NSPE President Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, urged the board to further review the proposal before proceeding with the administrative rulemaking process.

Specifically, NSPE notes that “structural elements” is not defined, leaving “all engineering disciplines questioning what the Georgia Board will consider qualifies in this category.” Additionally, the proposed amendment does not explain how PEs who currently perform what the proposed rule defines as “structural engineering” would be affected. “It is not clear from the proposed rule if these individuals would be grandfathered in (and allowed to continue their practice) or would be required to be approved, and sit, for the 16-hour NCEES Structural Engineering Exam,” wrote Verhalen.

NSPE recommends that the rulemaking be reissued for a new comment period to address these issues. View NSPE's letter to the Georgia State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.