NSPE Gateway to Industry September/October 2009
In This Issue of PEI e-News...

PEI Seeks New Product Award Entries

Don’t miss an opportunity to get national visibility for your product by entering the 2010 PEI New Product Award competition. The competition recognizes any process, machine, or material developed in the U.S. that improves the public’s standard of living.

Winning products will be honored with the PEI New Product Award crystal and are entitled to use the coveted PEI New Product Award logo. Winners will also be recognized in a “Winners’ Circle” ad in PE magazine, through NSPE’s Web site and print communications, and through significant media coverage.

All 2010 PEI New Product Award entrants will have the opportunity to showcase their product during the NSPE annual meeting in July. Winners will receive two complimentary tickets to the PEI New Product Award presentation. Submit your entry by February 15, 2009! For an application and list of past NPA winners, visit the PEI New Product Award Web page.

New Software Licensure Exam

In a nearly 27-month effort, members of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) serving on the Software Engineering Licensure Consortium worked to promote establishing a licensure path for software engineers who are engaged in work that affects the public health, safety, and welfare. Their efforts paid off when the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) approved the development of a new professional engineering exam for software engineers during their Board of Directors meeting in August. 

This new exam validates the SELC’s position that software engineers—who have a significant role in designing, developing, and maintaining critical software systems, such as those for emergency dispatching services, information security, and electrical power grids—should be regulated by state licensing boards similar to other engineering professions.

“This accomplishment marks the first time that any new PE exam has met the rigorous standards enacted by NCEES in 2002, including garnering letters from 10 state licensing boards who support developing an exam,” said Dan Wittliff, P.E., F.NSPE, facilitator of the SELC. “The leadership of NSPE, and of all the partnering organizations, provided the continuous support of this multiyear effort that made it a success.”

The SELC also got a boost from practicing software engineers in the effort. Despite some expected resistance, an IEEE Computer Society survey showed nearly 63 percent of software engineers agreed they should be licensed if their work affects the public’s health, safety, or welfare. And almost 62 percent supported the development of software engineering licensure through NCEES.

“In my business, we consistently see that licensed professional engineers have a better grasp than programmers on the engineering principles necessary to design the software projects and applications we provide,” said Kathryn Gray, P.E., F.NSPE, president of GrayTech Software Inc. in Wheaton, Ill. “We rely on the PEs to ensure security, safety, and quality control of our systems that protect the public and are excited that software engineering graduates will soon have a dedicated path to licensure.”

According to NCEES, the software licensing exam could be offered in as little as two to three years, after undergoing a professional activities and knowledge study. This study involves a survey of a diverse sample of practicing software engineers to gather information about the importance of various knowledge components within the discipline. Information from the survey will help determine topics in the exam, and items will be written for initial exam administration. IEEE-USA will serve as the lead technical society, with NSPE, the IEEE Computer Society, and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers sharing the financial cost and providing subject matter experts.

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PEI History Request

The PEI History Task Force is proceeding with the goal of delivering a comprehensive history of the PEI and associated state PEI organizations. The PEI History Task Force is putting a call out for the following items that are essential to completing their objective. These items include

  • Professional Engineers in Industry newsletters from 1963-2000.   
  • Employment Practices newsletters prior to and including 1963.
  • Newsletters noting past chairs, governors, and award winners. Many times these publications are at a local or college library or your state office.
  • Citations of formal PEI articles, booklets, slides, and publications that can be noted. This would include NSPE publications of PEI-related subjects. We want to comprehensively identify as many of these publications that were formally submitted, and to procure as many as possible. If you have a PDF or hardcopy you’re willing to lend, please let us know that as well.
  • Old photos of social and business events related to PEI.

Any PEI documents that you may have and are unsure of our use, please contact us. As always, we will cover the cost of postage to mail items and we will return anything that you want back. Please contact Bob Becnel, PEI History Task Force Chair at bob@becnel.com.

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New NSPE Blogs

NSPE now has three new blogs, in addition to the presidents blog.


PE Licensing Blog: written by Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE


Sustainability in Engineering Blog: written by Brad Aldrich, P.E., F.NSPE


Young Engineers Blog: written by Austin Lin, P.E., the Young Engineers Advisory Council Representative to the NSPE PEI Executive Board


Sign up to receive an e-mail notification whenever a new post is made by entering your e-mail address under Email Notifications, which youll find on the left-hand side of any blog post.

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NSPE Fall 2009 Web Seminars Offer PHD Credits

NSPE’s fall Web seminars offer a wide variety of topics from ethics to social media to GNSS systems.  Earn one PDH for each of the sessions while sitting at your desk or in your conference room. The member price is $119 for each session. The price is per site, so get together with others in your office or chapter to participate.

October 14, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.D.T.),GNSS Capabilities for Engineering, Surveying and Mapping
Tim Kerr
Description: Satellite positioning technologies have become prominent in our daily lives. This Web seminar will provide an overview of the location technologies available today at various levels of precision. These range from pure autonomous navigation to sub-centimeter location for high precision monitoring and mapping projects. Emphasis is placed on selection the proper tool to meet the requirement of any project

October 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m. (E.D.T.), Solving the Risks in Green Design and Construction
George Dubose, Liberty Building Forensics Group
Description: The great irony of building green is that the very concepts that are intended to enhance a buildings performance over its lifetime are many of the same things that also make it highly susceptible to catastrophic moisture and mold problems during the first few years of operation.

This presentation will identify the specific reasons that green buildings are at increased risk for failures and what contractors and developers/owners must do to avoid problems— in short, what practices are being promoted as green but are also place the entire development team at risk.

October 20, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.D.T.),
A Sustainable Approach to Planning and Design
Paul Horton
Description: Have you been wondering how to make your projects more sustainable? Have your clients been asking for more sustainable planning and design? Paul Horton will provide an overview of the critical elements necessary in order to achieve a higher level of Sustainability in projects.  While we wont be able to make every project super green, we should nonetheless have a clear strategy (or approach) and a set of tools to allow us to make meaningful sustainable advances or improvements based on the specific situation and the current client conditions. [ return to top ]

Contact the 2009-10 PEI Executive Board Officers

Richard L. Buchanan, P.E.

John Nebbe, P.E.

Curtis A. Beck, P.E.

Immediate Past- President
John M. Wall, P.E., CCS, F.NSPE

Young Engineer Respresentative
Austin Lin, E.I.T.

Northeastern Region
Cullen M. Flanders, P.E.

Southeastern Region
Jorge L. Pardo, P.E., F.NSPE

Central Region

North Central Region
Stephen A. Hutti, P.E.

Southwestern Region
James Mathis, P.E.

Western & Pacific Region
Franklin Fong, P.E.



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