E-news for the Construction Division Summer 2011

Introduction from 2011-12 PEC Chair

Tom Paxson, P.E., F.NSPE

At the July 14, 2011, meeting of the NSPE/Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC) Executive Board in Las Vegas, most of the meeting was spent addressing two questions:

1. Why does the Professional Engineers in Construction interest group exist?
2. What should we be doing?

As the incoming chairman, I wanted to step back and make sure that we, as the leaders of the PEC interest group, were committed to the very existence of the group and could identify the targets for our time and energy. We also needed to be able to articulate to the thousands of members of PEC why they should become more involved.
As I write this article, a subcommittee is reviewing the results of our “brainstorming” and preparing recommendations for our board, with both short term and long term goals and objectives. When these are approved by our board, we will be publishing them and soliciting the help of all NSPE members in accomplishing those goals.

We hope to work with the other interest groups to identify issues shared by all areas of practice in order to develop consensus solutions. PEC will continue to seek ways to mentor graduate engineers as they work toward licensure. We will also be working with members in all areas of practice to emphasize the importance of using sound engineering principles in the application of the means and methods of construction. Moreover, we will also be encouraging our colleges and universities to include more courses on construction means and methods in their curricula. By working together to clarify the idiosyncrasies peculiar to each area of practice, we hope PEC can make a larger impact on the practice of engineering. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to working with each of you.

A Field Guide For Inspection of Sewerage and Drainage Construction

 An inspector plays a crucial role in any construction project. The job demands knowledge, awareness, keen observation skills, and the ability to deal with contractors and project owners. “A Field Guide For Inspection of Sewerage and Drainage Construction,” published by the Professional Engineers in Construction, provides the inspector with the necessary knowledge to inspect sewerage and drainage construction projects.

The guide, specifically written to advance the mission of high-quality construction standards, provides a series of proven policies, established procedures and techniques, and helpful resources, including “Inspection Checklists,” that are applicable to construction projects on any size or scale.

NSPE members can download the guide at www.nspe.org/fieldguide for $9.95 Nonmembers can purchase the guide for $19.95.

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PEC Hightower Winner

Timothy C. Becker, P.E., is a Ph.D. student of civil engineering at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. With support from the Construction Industry Institute (CII), Tim is researching the application of lean construction to the management of certain indirect construction cost clusters. Tim's other research interests include virtual project management/tele-engineering and aspects of globalization of the design and construction industry. Tim also serves as an instructor at Iowa State University; teaching courses in engineering economics and engineering law. Prior to returning to construction engineering graduate school in 2009, Tim worked for 15+ years in the commercial design and construction industry, holding positions including project engineer, estimator, senior development manage r, vice president and others; much of this time spent in Arizona. Tim obtained a M.B.A. degree from Arizona State University in 2001. Tim has served on various boards and commissions, including the Iowa State University Alumni Association Board of Directors, City of Tempe Transportation Commission, FarmHouse Fraternity Iowa Association Board and two City of Phoenix Village Planning Committees. Tim and his family reside in Ames, Iowa.

To support the future of highly qualified construction minded engineers by contributing to the NSPE-PEC George B. Hightower, P.E., Fellowship Click here.

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Happenings on the Hill

In June, the General Services Administration announced the establishment of the Green Building Advisory Committee. Formed in accordance with the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (PL 110-140), the committee will review strategic plans, products, and activities of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings and provide advice and expertise on how the office can most effectively accomplish its mission.

NSPE supports high-performance building through its membership in the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition, a coalition of more than 100 associations and corporations that seeks to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about high-performance building issues, including new building technologies, enhanced U.S. economic competitiveness, and increased energy efficiency. The coalition provides guidance and support to the congressional High-Performance Buildings Caucus.

  • The NSPE Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee met at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to discuss the committee's goals for the coming year and determine NSPE's primary public policy agenda for 2011–12. Based on committee discussions and a recent survey of NSPE members, NSPE will focus on the following federal issues:
  1. Qualifications-based selection;
  2. STEM education;
  3. Good Samaritan protection for professional engineers;
  4. Energy;
  5. Licensure of federal engineers;
  6. Critical infrastructure and homeland security; and
  7. Infrastructure.


  • NSPE sent a letter with approximately 30 other professional and scientific organizations to the Office of Government Ethics supporting a proposed rule that would ease the way for federal employees to hold leadership positions in professional societies. The rule would clarify that serving in such roles was not a conflict of interest with federal employees' duties to the government, removing the legal concern that has prevented federal employees from holding leadership positions in the past.
  • NSPE sent a letter with the STEM Education Coalition to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee leadership recommending that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act be reauthorized with a focus on improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. NSPE is a member of the STEM Education Coalition, which supports STEM programs for teachers and students at the Department of Education, National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM-related programs. The coalition is composed of more than 1,000 diverse groups representing all sectors of the technological workforce.
  • In May, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-21) introduced the Engineering Education for Innovation Act (S. 969, H.R. 1951), which would provide grants to integrate engineering curricula and content into classrooms across the country. The bill's goals of increasing student achievement and interest in engineering, broadening the diversity of students participating in engineering, and developing a workforce prepared to teach engineering are critical to cultivating the next generation of engineers. The bill was first introduced in 2010 but failed to pass before the 111th Congress adjourned. NSPE sent a letter in February encouraging Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko to reintroduce the bill.
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In Tornado Alley, Civil and Structural PEs Search for Solutions

In the wake of this spring’s deadly tornado season, construction industry professionals have traveled to affected areas to determine how materials, construction methods, and weather patterns react and alter a storm’s effect.

The tornados of 2011 allowed scientists to study how strong winds affect structures. One of the shortfalls discovered is in the joining of walls, floors, and ceilings. Also, adequate fastening of door frames is essential to building stability and resilience during storms of such magnitude.

To learn more about structural impacts of tornados and how to improve for the future, visit www.nspe.org or check out the July issue of PE magazine.
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Get a Head Start on Your Fall Education

The NSPE Fall Webinar Series in taking shape. Already available for purchase are the Ethics Forum Webinars. 

Member price per Webinar is $99, for the series of three $165
Nonmember price per Webinar is $99, for the series of three $265

September 28, 2011 
Conflicts of Interest: Will Proposed Federal Rules Impact Engineering Practice? 

Newly proposed federal organizational conflict of interest rules could have a serious effect on the design and construction industry. The proposed rules make substantial changes to existing organizational conflict of interest requirements for engineering and construction firms doing business with the federal government.

This Webinar will examine these proposed requirements and related issues, and a panel of experts will examine a series of case studies relating to conflicts of interest, disclosure requirements, professional objectivity and bias, and other issues. 1 PDH

October 19, 2011
Confronting an Ethics Disaster: What Can Professional Engineers Do? 

What can you and your company or organization do when faced with an ethics catastrophe? How do you investigate the problem, prepare a response, manage and limit the harm, avoid similar problems in the future, and stabilize your company or organization in order to move forward? 

This Webinar will examine all of these and other issues, and a panel of experts will discuss case studies relating to objectivity and truthfulness, obligation to act as a faithful agent and trustee, avoidance of deceptive acts, and other issues. 1 PDH

November 9, 2011
Whistleblowing: What Are the PE’s Obligations to Report Misconduct? 

What should a professional engineer do when confronted with organizational wrongdoing? What are the appropriate steps to take and stages to consider when wrestling with your obligation of loyalty to your employer/client and your professional obligation to the public? 

This Webinar will examine all of these and other issues, and a panel of experts will discuss a series of case studies relating to knowledge of violations, duty to report and cooperate with the appropriate authorities, obligation to act as a faithful agent and trustee, public health and safety, and other issues. 1 PDH

Other Webinars planned for the fall include: 

·         Harnessing the Power of Change;
·         How to Get Your First Job;
·         How to Get Your Next Job;
·         Career Transitions; and
·         Project Management, Design, Construction Management and Ethics for Professionals.

Register today! [ return to top ]

2011-12 PEC Executive Board












PEC Young Engineer Representatives

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If you would like to sponsor the next edition of PEC Reporter, contact the Professional Engineers in Construction for more information.


For more information on how to become a PEC Sustaining Firm click here. 

Halverson Constuction Co Inc

Lloyd Consulting + Engineering Inc

Industrial Specialty Contractors, LLC

Frank Gurney Inc

Edward E Gillen Co

Allied Contractors Inc

Blitman Building Corporation

Buchart Horn Inc

Fagen Engineering LLC

Glynn Geotechnical Engineering

D'Annunzio & Sons, Inc.

Paric Corporation

Richard W Rauseo PE Consulting Engineers

Dalton Olmsted & Fuglevand

John N Puder, A Division of Moretrench

Zachry Construction Corp

Lecon Inc

Suberroc Systems SUBSYST

Paul J Gallo Contracting Inc

Stansell Electric Company Inc

Zep Construction

Trumbull Corp

Century Electric Inc

Rohde Soyka & Andrews Consulting Engineers PC

Rohde Soyka & Andrews Consulting Engineers PC

Sebastian Contracting Corporation

GECO Engineering Corp

KSI Professional Engineers

ADCOMM Engineering Company

Frederick Derr & Company Inc

LidCo Electrical Contractors Inc

McAbee Construction Inc

Mayberry Electric Inc

Judy Construction Company

AC Corp

Free Contracting Inc

Alber & Rice Inc

BEC Engineering LP

Henderson Electric Company

Drury South Inc

Abriola Co

KTA, Inc.  Consultinig Engineers

Stephen A Estrin & Co Inc

George Harms Construction Co

ABC Paving Co Inc

Ready Electric

Metromont Corporation

Tamrio Inc

Cogdell Spencer Erdman Company

The Rubicon Group

Doka USA Ltd

The Crom Corporation

Rice Lake Construction Group

Hamernik & Associates, Inc

CBD Design and Construction

Riverso Assoc Inc

Code Consultants Inc

S Seltzer Construction Corp

Harper Industries, Inc

Broaddus & Associates

Trade Construction Company LLC

Lundy Construction Co Inc

Big M Constructors Inc

Bridges & Co, Inc.

White Cloud Engineering and Construction Co

J Fletcher Creamer & Son Inc

Peter Basso Associates Inc

Five Oaks Associates LLC

Notch Mechanical Constructors

RB Construction Group

Construction Industry Advancement Program of NJ (CIAP)


Pembroke Construction Co Inc

Kerr Greulich Engineers Inc

Fuellgraf Electric Co

Fred Weber Inc

Project Development Services Inc



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