Kansas PE Brings Diverse Background to Presidency

July/August 2017

NSPE Today
Kansas PE Brings Diverse Background to Presidency

Tom Roberts, PE, FNSPE
TOM ROBERTS, P.E., F.NSPE, SPEAKS TO THE NSPE HOUSE OF DELEGATES AT THE 2016 PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS CONFERENCE IN DALLAS.

Tom Roberts, P.E., F.NSPE, whose engineering career has spanned the military, private practice, and education, will be installed as NSPE president on July 22 at the 2017 Professional Engineers Conference in Atlanta.

Roberts, of Manhattan, Kansas, has more than 40 years’ experience in planning, organizational development, and leadership training programs. He began his engineering career as a US Army chemical officer, helping develop laser guided weapons systems in the early 1970s. He became a licensed professional engineer in 1976 while employed by Black & Veatch, where he worked as a nuclear systems engineer and later became the firm’s director of human resources development. In 1993, Roberts was appointed assistant dean and associate professor for the College of Engineering at Kansas State University. He was responsible for engineering recruitment and leadership development programs at Kansas State for 21 years.

In 1989, he formed Upward Consulting to provide continuous quality improvement advice to manufacturing and service companies as well as educational institutions.

As a 42-year member of NSPE, Roberts has held, and continues to hold, numerous volunteer leadership positions, including membership on the NSPE Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Legislative and Government Affairs Committee. He is a past chair of NSPE’s Professional Engineers in Higher Education.

In addition to his volunteer positions for NSPE, additional key roles include  past president of the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers and past chair of its Government Relations Committee. Roberts also has served nationally as first vice president of the American Society for Engineering Education, and he is both a Life and Fellow ASEE member.

In his community, Roberts has served as vice president for strategic planning and programs for the Boy Scouts of America, Coronado Area Council.

He holds BS and MS degrees in nuclear engineering from Kansas State.