Professional Engineer’s Role on Application of Artificial Intelligence and Technology


Technology is dramatically and rapidly changing the role of the professional engineer. Not only the tools to design, collect, analyze, operate, maintain and decommission are being transformed but the systems themselves are changing faster with more technology embedded into our infrastructure, buildings, roads, environment, natural resources, manufacturing facilities, logistics, homes, offices and automobiles to name a few. Dealing with the transition and future technologies for the public’s health, safety, security and environment has been a responsibility of professional engineers with massive benefits in our analog systems for the public. Our world adapted to the industrial mechanics with increased efficiency, new innovations and safety to the public. The road to digitization is already occurring and the role of the professional engineer must adapt and proactively lead as before.  The principles that govern professional engineers are more than appropriate with the technology revolution and warranted for the public’s best interest. The public looks to the profession to guide them as before. Accidents and fatalities have already occurred with improper fundamentals. We can no longer ignore the impact of technology.

Session Description

Data has become a valuable asset to corporations and the public. It is changing how we live our lives and the quality of life for many global citizens. Professional engineers have to be Future Ready professionals where technology is dramatically changing how they work and how their services safely and pragmatically create cost efficiencies, create new products and services, and better serve the public. And now more top-performing CEOs now have engineering degrees than MBAs. This is a trend that grows as the systems continue to get complex. Technology is changing the profession and the new systems that are network platforms integrating physical and digital systems in artificial intelligence, data sciences, blockchain, autonomous vehicles and robotic process automations. The convergence of these technologies holds the promise of creating safer, efficient, and more secure systems. This presentation describes the disruption for the professional engineer, patterns that are surfacing rapidly. successful designs as well as gaps between externalities and internal changes. The gaps in scaling and making existing technologies readily available are hindered in the areas of governance, integration and openness of the architectures rather than the algorithms and design models. Where the algorithms and models are readily available in open source libraries, open research, and collaboration of experts for many years, the gap in integrating disparate proprietary databases, removing bias in models, organizing and cleaning data across multi-cloud platforms and open integration standards to bring together hybrid architectures is the chasm first to be crossed where professional engineers have to change as well as the systems that are directly affecting the public and our everyday lives. Ignoring the digital transformation as professional engineers is ignoring our commitment to our constituents and public.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcome will illustrate that the adoption and application of technology is coming at a faster rate than ever before. We will cover some of the primary skills that professional engineers are finding most critical in their own work and the systems they are working with. We will cover the important opportunities where professional engineers are taking a more proactive role and the changes that are being discussed in professional engineering communities in the Americas. Discussions will cover our proactive positions we should take as a profession, what are the major challenges, and why.

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Dr. Ben Amaba, PE, CPIM®, LEED®AP BD+C: IBM Corporation
Dr. Phillip A. Laplante, CSDP, PE: Penn State University

Dr. Phillip A. Laplante
Dr. Phil Laplante is Professor of Software and Systems Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S., M.Eng., and Ph.D. from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Colorado. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and SPIE and has won international awards for his teaching, research and service. From 2010-2016 he led the effort to develop the national licensing exam for software engineers.

He has worked in avionics, CAD, and software testing systems and he has published 37 books and more than 250 scholarly papers. He is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a Certified Software Development Professional. He is also a frequent technology advisor to senior executives, investors, entrepreneurs and attorneys.

His research interests include safety critical systems, software testing, requirements engineering, and software quality and management. Prior to his appointment at Penn State he was a software development professional, technology executive, college president and entrepreneur.

More information can be found at


Dr. Ben Amaba
Dr. Ben Amaba holds a PhD. degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering, a M.B.A./M.S. degree in Engineering and Operations, and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Amaba is a registered and licensed Professional Engineer in several states with International Registry; certified in Production, Operations, and Inventory Management by APICS ®; LEED® Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design); and certified in Corporate Strategy by Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Amaba is the Chief Innovation Officer for the Industrial Sector – North America for the IBM Watson and Cloud Division. Dr. Amaba holds a copyright for Process Activity Flow Framework®, for requirements, design, architecture, simulation, and application development techniques. Dr. Amaba is prominently featured in “Giving 2.0,” by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen with Stanford Business School, which details contributions to bolster and promote STEM education and careers, and is an Alexis de Tocqueville Society/United Way Member, which recognizes local philanthropic leaders. Dr. Amaba holds positions as Industry Council Advisor to Project Production Institute, Board of Director of Whoop Wireless Corporation, UCX Corporation, and RANCS Group LLC, Executive Board Member of Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) and Editorial Board Member to IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) IT Professionals.

Number of PDHs: 
Type of Event: 
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Start Time: 
2:00 p.m.
End Time: 
3:00 p.m.
Time Zone: 
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