NSPE Gateway to Government October 7, 2008
In This Issue of PEG e-News...

Community and Media Relations Web Seminar Sponsored by PEG

Often large engineering projects (the design and construction of manufacturing facilities, sports arenas, highways, power plants, etc.) generate significant public attention and interest. This seminar is designed to support your efforts to deal with the communications challenges that can result. During this session, we will address the fundamentals of communicating effectively (even in the most difficult circumstances) and the realities of risk communication and how it effects public perceptions about important projects. During this session we will provide you with a better understanding of the questions and concerns that people have about large projects on which you may be working. Most importantly, we will help you address those questions and concerns.

Although often required by law, public participation and outreach may be disliked or dreaded by some government officials, especially on contentious issues or projects when the public is likely to be unreceptive or even hostile. However, a recent report by the National Research Council has affirmed the value of public outreach in aiding environmental policymaking. The report suggests that when done correctly, public participation usually improves the quality of government decisions about the environment and also increases the legitimacy of those decisions among those people who must live with them. This seminar will offer suggestions and tips for planning and conducting effective opportunities for public participation, including public meetings and public availability sessions, that maximize productive dialogue and minimize the likelihood of public outrage.

The seminar presenters are:

Gary Pendergrass, Manager of Enviornmental Compliance with City Utilitites of Springfield, Missouri

Gary Pendergrass is a professional engineer and registered geologist with over 30 years of experience in management of major engineering and environmental projects.  Pendergrass is an expert in enviornmental management and environmental public relations and has a wealth of successful experience in regulatory negotiations and environmental litigation. 

Marjorie Kruvand, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communications, Loyola University Chicago

Marjorie Kruvand joined the Advertising and Public Relations Program of Loyola University – Chicago in January 2008. Kruvand teaches public relations, public service communication, and other public relations courses. Her areas of research include health and science communication, public affairs and issues management, and the dynamics between journalists and public relations practitioners.
Kruvand has more than three decades of experience in journalism, public relations, and academia. She was a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; senior vice president and partner at Fleishman-Hillard, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies; and assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University in Boston.

Ken Fields, Senior Vice Preisdent and Partner, Fleshman-Hillard/St. Louis

Ken Fields combines a deep understanding of environmental issues with years of experience helping clients communicate with key audiences. Whether clients are preparing to deal with nationally known journalists or their own colleagues, Fields has helped them get ready to deliver key messages and address tough questions. During his career at Fleishman-Hillard (FH), Fields has prepared hundreds of clients for every type of communications opportunity — ranging from the toughest television interviews to one-on-one meetings with employees. In each of those situations, the principles of effective communications remain the same and Fields has helped FH clients tell their story.

October 14, 1:30–3:00 pm Eastern
$119 Member/$149 Non-member
Download a registration form


NeXt Generation of Leaders

D. Scott Wolf, P.E, LSIT

Age:  29

Title:  Transportation Engineer

Company: U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration

Been There:  1 year

Number of employees:  2800+

Previous Gigs:
• Project Manager – Senior Transportation Engineer, PB Americas Inc., Lexington, Kentucky
 February 2007 – October 2007
• CADD / Surveying Instructor, Spencerian College, Lexington, Kentucky
 April 2003 – Present (Part-Time)
• Project Manager – Transportation Engineer, Burgess & Niple, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky
 November 2001 – February 2007
• Civil Engineering Intern/CAD Technician, Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky
 June 2000 – December 2000
• Civil Engineering Intern/CAD Technician, Palmer Engineering Company, Winchester, Kentucky
 January 1998 – June 2000
• Student, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
 August 1997 – May 2001

How did you first get into engineering?
As a young boy, I was always fascinated with building and construction toys, such as Legos.  I also enjoyed working puzzles.  This fascination combined with my aptitude for math, science, and problem solving made civil engineering a natural fit.  It wasn’t until high school that I discovered the extent of the civil engineering profession and ultimately decided to pursue this career.

If you weren’t an engineer you’d be ….
Although a rather contrasting profession and the punch line of many jokes, if I weren’t an engineer, I would be a lawyer or perhaps a politician.  My position as a transportation engineer with the FHWA is surprisingly a mix of all three professions — engineer, lawyer, and politician.

What’s your peak experience as an engineer so far?
There are many experiences and projects that stand out in my mind thus far in my short career.  Seeing the construction and opening of a project that you spent years designing is a very gratifying experience.  Although there will almost always be some negative response to a project, it is extremely gratifying to hear from individuals with a positive response to a project and acknowledge the improvement in their daily lives.  A successful project serves as a tribute and fosters an appreciation for our profession.

Aside from specific project experiences, the highlight of my career to date would have to be obtaining my professional engineering licensure.  This milestone was both the culmination of years of hard work and a symbol of my dedication to my profession and society.

What do you value in the people you work with?
I value the commitment and dedication of those I work with in serving the public to deliver the multi-billion dollar Federal-aid Highway Program and Federal Lands Highway Program that we have been entrusted and in fulfilling the broad responsibility of ensuring the safety and mobility of our nation’s transportation system.

What do you think engineering firms need to do to attract younger generations into the engineering industry?
The engineering profession still carries with it the nerd stereotype/connotation and I think most of society does not truly understand exactly what engineers’ do as most of our work is performed behind the scenes and often taken for granted.  Public outreach to younger generations to educate them on not only the stability and benefits of an engineering career, but the numerous behind the scenes activities engineers perform for society.  Engineers essentially make the world go round and this needs to be demonstrated to younger generations more often than National Engineers Week.

What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is the ability or capacity to direct, motivate, or inspire others to accomplish a task.

The following statements are excerpted from an article entitled “Leadership Lessons Learned” from the May 2007 Edition of PE Magazine that I co-authored:
Lead by example
“A leader must serve as a role model to the team while setting high, but attainable expectations.  By demonstrating your own personal commitment to a task, you will set the standard by which others can follow.  A leader who leads by example is likely to command greater respect from coworkers. Leaders must display and live by those characteristics that they are trying to instill in a team.”

Appreciate different personalities, skills, and behaviors
“A leader must effectively organize teams consisting of individuals with varying backgrounds, skills, and personalities. The best chance for success comes with the ability to recognize and understand behavior patterns and skill sets, while inspiring individuals to work together toward a common goal. It is critical to understand behavior patterns, your own and others, to create a successful team of individuals who compliment each other.”

Leaders you admire?
Although this may sound cliché, I greatly admire George W. Bush.  Even if a person does not agree with the president of the United States on every issue and policy, one has to admire the leader of the free world.

Although I never intend on getting my hair styled quite like his, I must admit that I am a fan of Donald Trump.

Web site you can’t go a day without visiting:
Google of course….I always need to search for something.

Something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
Most people are surprised to learn that in addition to my full time position as a transportation engineer, I have taught CADD and surveying courses on a part-time basis at Spencerian College, a local technical college, for over five years now.  I am currently pursuing my professional land surveying license and teaching the surveying courses was a way to expand upon my resume and enhance my land surveying and public speaking skills.  Teaching has also enabled me to take my experience within the industry and passion of civil engineering into the classroom to help inspire and improve the quality of engineering/surveying technicians entering the workforce.  Seeing a student understand a new technical concept or gain a passion for the industry he/she is about to enter makes teaching an extremely rewarding experience for me.  While I began teaching for personal growth, I have found that it has allowed me to give back to both the community and my profession. 

You wake up tomorrow as CEO of your firm — what’s the first thing you’d change?
Very good question..as I mentioned with attracting younger generations into engineering, I think much of the work engineers perform, especially in transportation, is taken for granted.  I would make sure public outreach and awareness of transportation issues, such as funding, were more prominent in the public eye.  Many people take the transportation system for granted, but are quick to point out problems such as congestion on the daily commute.  Promoting transportation successes instead of only focusing on the negatives is important.  Enhancing the public knowledge of the processes, procedures, and regulations that must be followed to deliver a transportation project would help to foster better understanding.  Given the importance our transportation system to the quality of life that we have, public awareness of the current funding situation is paramount and should be a much more significant topic in the current election season.  Funding for transportation improvements at both the national and state levels is critical to maintaining the safety, mobility, and quality of life that the public has come to expect of our transportation system.

Finish this sentence: In 10 years, I will have… a new, bigger boat.

Book you can’t go a year without rereading?
I am not a big book reader.  The daily newspaper and professional publications, PE magazine of course, are about the extent of my leisure reading.

How do you strike a work/life balance?
One benefit of the engineering profession is generally an 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and 40-hour week work schedule.  Although I try to separate work and play, I often find that I am constantly thinking of ways to solve problems.  I am sure this is true for most engineers, but if an issue is left unresolved at the end of the work day, I will spend most of my evening thinking about the problem while attempting to relax at home.  When time allows, I enjoy the outdoors and like to spend my free time boating, fishing, golfing, etc.
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NSPE Education for You

 Fall Online Seminars 

October 14, 1:30–3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Community and Media Relations (1.5 PDH)
Presented by Professional Engineers in Government

October 15, 1:30–3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Slips, Trips, & Falls Part II (1.5 PDH)
Presented by Professional Engineers in Construction

November 5, 1:30–3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
Construction Phase Risk Management: Critical Issues in Construction Contract Administration
Presented by Professional Engineers in Construction

November 12, 1:30–3:00 p.m. (Eastern)
How to Gain Recognition for your Projects Through Public Relations
Presented by Professional Engineers in Private Practice

Download a registration form.

NSPE Education That Fits Your Schedule

Online, prerecorded sessions are available at a low member price of $89.00, including:
• Client/Consultant Relationships: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly 
• Building Information Modeling (1.5 PDH * NY State Approved)
• Earned Value Management: An Introduction
• Integrating Trenchless Technology (1.5 PDH * NY State Approved)
• Toxic Mold: Identification, Recognition, Measurement, Toxicity and Abatement (1.5 PDH * NY State Approved) 
• From Engineer to Manager to Leader: Tools to Advance your Career 
• Til Death Do us Part: Keeping Your Employees Engaged at Work  
• Introduction to Forensic Engineering (1.5 PDH * NY State Approved) 
• Ethics Forum: Engineering Ethics and the Law: PE as an Expert Witness (1.0 PDH * NY State Approved) 
• Ethics Forum: Engineering Ethics and the Law: Contract Documents and Procurement of Engineering Services (1.0 PDH * NY State Approved) 

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NSPE Seeks New Faces of Professional Engineering

Engineers Week’s New Faces of Engineering program strives to promote engineering as an exciting profession open to everyone. By highlighting young, diverse, talented engineers, their achievements, and the impact of those achievements on society, Engineers Week aims to put a face on the “stealth” profession.

Individuals selected from the various engineering societies will be featured in a full-page ad in USA Today during Engineers Week (February 16–21, 2009). Each photo will be captioned with the engineer’s name, the name of the engineering society providing the nominee, the employer, and a brief statement of that individual’s accomplishments as they relate to the public welfare.

What Engineers Week and NSPE are looking for is an excellent “poster person” to present to the public—someone dynamic and successful who has already made a contribution at a young age. NSPE can present up to five members to be considered for selection.

Circulation will include not only USA Today but also the engineering trade press, the individual’s local press, and the Web sites of Engineers Week and the sponsoring engineering societies, among others.

New Faces provides a unique opportunity to learn from new engineers. The top candidates selected may be asked to participate in an e-mail and/or online question and answer discussion forum with engineering undergraduates globally. 

If you’re an NSPE member and an engineer intern or licensed working engineer two to five years out of college or graduate school who could represent the up-and-coming in the profession, fill out the nomination form and be sure to provide us with a 200-word description of your achievements in design, research, construction, or management.  Focus on the details of the kind of work you do, its application, and its impact.  Also include information on what you do outside of work, including participation in society activities, EWeek, MATHCOUNTS, etc.  Send the completed nomination form and your 200-word description as Word documents attached to an e-mail to awards@nspe.org. If you are selected for further consideration, we will follow up for more information.

Nominating form


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Historic Drop in Highway Fatalities and Rate

WASHINGTON – The number of people who died on the nation’s roads dropped again last year, reaching historically low levels, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced on August 14.

Secretary Peters said that in 2007, the overall number of traffic fatalities fell to 41,059, the lowest number since 1994. In addition, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.37, the lowest fatality rate on record, she noted.

The completion of this article and other safety articles may be found on the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Web site
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Events Calendar

NSPE Calendar  This calendar lists NSPE and state society education offerings, meetings, award deadlines, etc.

Other events of interest to government engineers

10  Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day®,
18-22 WEFTEC Chicago
15–18  ASCE T&DI Pavement Conference Bellevue, Washington
21–23 2008  SWANA WASTECON, Tampa, Florida
24 NCEES PE Exam
25 NCEES FE Exam

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2008-09 PEG Executive Board Contact Information

Tim Madhanagopal, P.E., BCEE, F.NSPE
Plant Manager
Orange County Utilities

Immediate Past Chair
Russell G. Martin, P.E., F.NSPE 
Program Director
Maine Department of Human Services
Division of Health Engineering

Louise Carosi Doyle, P.E., F.NSPE 
Director of Engineering
Westchester Joint Water Work, NY



John Cardarelli II, Ph.D., P.E.
US Environmental Protection Agency US Public Health Service/Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response

Northeast Region Vice Chair
David Alan Janover, P.E.
Town Engineer
Islipp Terrace, NY

Southeast Region Vice Chair
Sandra Knight, P.E., F.NSPE, M.ASCE
Bradley County Engineer
Cleveland, TN

Central Region Vice Chair

Southwest Region Vice Chair
Todd S. Rastorfer, P.E.
Civil Engineer
US Army Corps of Engineers
New Mexico

Western and Pacific Region Vice Chair
Michael Simpson, P.E.

North Central Region Vice Chair
Gary J. Pendergrass, P.E., RG

Young Engineer Representative
D. Scott Wolf, P.E., LSIT
Transportation Engineer Project Delivery Team
Federal Highway Administration
Kentucky Division

Young Engineer Representative 


State Representatives:
Daniel G. Miller, P.E. - KS
Todd Rastorfer, P.E. - NM Richard W. Lenz, P.E.- NY
Robert B. Darby, P.E. - UT
Ali M. Mustapha, P.E. - LA
Diane M. Carlson, P.E. - MI
Richard Grossenbacher, P.E.
Richard H Nettleton P.E.- VA

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