NSPE Gateway to Industry Fall 2011
In This Issue of PEI e-News...

Message from 201112 PEI Chair Curt Beck, P.E.

At the National Society of Professional Engineers Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this past July, I took on the Professional Engineers in Industry (PEI) Chairmanship from the very able Jonn Nebbe, P.E.  Here we are in October already! I wanted to touch base with our PEI interest group members by introducing myself. I currently work as an electric utility company manager for Hawaii Electric Light Co. I look forward to leading PEI in the development of new programs for members as well as working on initiatives PEI is currently involved with and will continue to work on in 2011–12.

One issue that is important to our PEI members is industry exemption. NSPE recently revised their policy statement on Industrial Licensing Exemption
. Working with the Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee and others in NSPE on strategies to promote this policy at the state society level and with state licensing boards will be a key initiative for PEI this year. 

In parallel with this, Rick Buchanan, P.E., is leading a subcommittee within PEI that is currently developing a new, informational brochure for young engineers promoting engineering registration in industry. Peter Pisasale, P.E., and Austin Lin, EIT, are doing related work with PEI Young Engineer Advisory Council
 in the Career Engineering Roadmap project. Among other things, the project guides the Young Engineer in the advantages and benefits of licensure and pursuing an engineering career. 

Since 2007, PEI members Frank Fong, P.E., and Bob Becnel, P.E., F.NSPE, have served as representatives to the Software Engineer Licensure Consortium, which is also led by members of IEEE-USA, NCEES, and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. SELC has worked to promote licensure in software engineering and these efforts have finally paid off. Currently, NCEES is embarking on the development of a Software Engineering Principles and Practice Exam.

Of course we have many other programs in PEI that need and want your participation, including New Product Awards, PEI Scholarship, and Innovative Engineering Awards. Please do visit the PEI Web site, and contact the regional vice-chair closest to you to find out how you can get involved!

2011 New Product Award Winners

The 2011 New Product Award winners were recognized at the NSPE Annual Meeting in July during the Celebrate Excellence Awards Lunch.

The winners are: 

Small Company Category
W.J. Castle, P.E. & Associates, P.C.
Hainesport, NJ

Medium Company Category
Not awarded this year.

Large Company Category
RQ Series of high efficiency rooftop units
Tulsa, OK 

Mega Company Category
Eaton Corp.
Marshall, MI

The deadline to enter the 2012 competition is February 15th. For more information on this year's winners and information on entering the competition, visit www.nspe.org/npa.

[ return to top ]

U.S. Automakers Advancing Affordable Smart Technology

Steve Storts

Engineers representing the U.S. auto industry have always had that special distinction in bringing cutting-edge vehicle designs and advanced engine technologies to the forefront of manufacturing. But now they can also claim the unique pleasure and satisfaction of delivering smart, intelligent innovations that were once reserved only for luxury vehicles to a new growing popularity—economy class models. 

Recognizing the value of bundling selective vehicle options with standard equipment for the average motorist, domestic automakers are now playing it “smart” with their marketing campaigns by promoting affordable intelligent car amenities in three main categories: pleasure, convenience or ease of driving, and safety. 

Of course, no one manufacturer spurred the evolution of intelligent vehicles—luxury, sport utility, or economy. The initiative began decades ago with multiple companies, with assistance from numerous private and government research and transportation agencies. Based on a wide range of stand-alone information and communication technologies, the list of smart car creations is impressive. Some are already in use or are being introduced into the market, such as anti-lock braking systems and electronic stability control, while others are not yet commercially available or are in the prototype and road-testing phases. 

Ford Motor Co. offers some of the newer smart systems, including adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, keyless entry, trailer sway control, terrain management, inflatable rear safety belts, cross-traffic alert, and speed alert, just to name a few. Ford’s current media blitz is targeting economy-conscious drivers by touting the intelligent aspects of the new Focus and Fiesta models, in addition to their 40 miles-per-gallon mileage standard certification. 

The Fiesta, a renaissance compact vehicle of Ford originally launched in 1976, is not only known for its performance and design, but also for its smart safety enhancements, including passenger sensors that determine occupant weight and seat belt status to optimize airbag deployment force, plus additional sensors that use pressure pulses from a side impact to deploy up to 30% faster than traditional airbags with acceleration-based sensors. 

Other smart systems newly on the market or under development by vehicle manufacturers include adaptive headlights, driver drowsiness monitoring and warning, dynamic traffic management, electronic brake assist, gear shift indicator, lane departure warning, local danger warning, night vision, obstacle and collision warning, and intersection assistant.

OnStar, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors Co., recently announced a navigation enhancement to its RemoteLink mobile application allowing subscribers to search for a destination on their smartphones and send it directly to their vehicle, where the route can then be accessed audibly through OnStar Turn-by-Turn or via an in-dash navigation system. OnStar and Chevrolet announced the auto industry’s first mobile app at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. Since then, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac have expanded the use of OnStar technology in launching additional mobile apps for newer model years.

Another GM smart innovation will be unveiled in the 2012 GMC Terrain featuring the industry’s first crash-avoidance system that exclusively uses a single camera to help drivers avert front-end and no-signal lane departure crashes. Terrain’s new active safety system uses a high-resolution digital camera mounted on the windshield ahead of the rearview mirror that looks for shapes of vehicles and lane markings. The system uses audible warnings and a high-mounted visual display to warn the driver if he or she is following another vehicle too closely or is departing a lane without signaling first, or when a collision is imminent.

Chrysler is keeping pace with intelligent technology, too. In 2009, the company became the first U.S. automaker to offer live, mobile television in its Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge car and Ram truck vehicles, with up to 20 channels featuring college and professional sports, breaking news, children’s entertainment, primetime network shows, reality TV, and daytime dramas.

A year later, the 2010 Chrysler Sebring (replaced with the Chrysler 200 in 2011) and Dodge Avenger models introduced several new smart accident-avoidance features, including responsive steering, brake assist and anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control with all-speed electronic traction control. Other smart amenities were an enhanced accident response system, remote keyless entry and remote start, and tire pressure monitoring.

Today’s Avenger now affords ambient interior lighting and the new Dodge steering wheel with integrated controls that allows drivers to operate the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone communications, and other vehicle functions without taking their hands off the wheel. Drivers also can stay connected via an available media center with voice command that is easy to use, featuring SIRIUS Satellite Radio, a 30-gigabyte hard drive, iPod connectivity, streaming music capability, and a navigation system.

Smart safety innovations still remain the mainstay for most vehicle consumers, though. When the newly designed 2011 Dodge Charger was unveiled, more than 65 enhanced security and safety features were touted. The most popular were electronic stability control with segment-exclusive ready-alert braking and rain brake support, both aimed at improving overall vehicle handling and performance, in addition to adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, and a ParkView rear backup camera with grid lines.

[ return to top ]

Industrial Exemptions: NSPE and NCEES Take Clear Action

At annual meetings in 2011, both NSPE and the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying took action on policies regarding the existence of industrial exemptions from engineering licensure requirements in state statutes pertaining to manufacturing businesses and/or utilities.

Industries were successful prior to the 1960s in enacting industrial exemptions in most states. At the present, all but nine jurisdictions have industrial exemptions for manufacturing businesses, and all but 16 jurisdictions have exemptions pertaining to utilities.

To read about these policy changes and learn more about what NSPE is doing about industrial exemption, visit the NSPE blog "Industrial Exemptions: NSPE and NCEES Take Clear Action" written by Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE.

[ return to top ]

Happenings on the Hill

1. NSPE cosponsored a Congressional Research & Development Caucus briefing on small modular nuclear reactors. Speakers included R&D Caucus cochair Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL-13), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID-2), Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy Peter Lyons, Nuclear Energy Institute Vice President of Policy Development for Planning and Supplier Programs Richard Myers, and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. Vice President of Strategic Affairs Sandra Byrd.

2. The NSPE Board of Directors approved revisions to the Nuclear Electric Power position statement at the July meeting. The statement now reflects NSPE's position that professional engineers should be required to have direct supervision over all engineering design, operations, and maintenance decisions at nuclear power plants.

3. The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 674, which would repeal a requirement set forth in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PL 109-222) that federal, state, and local governments must withhold 3% of all payments to engineering firms and other vendors as tax. If the requirement is not repealed, the tax will take effect on January 1, 2013. The bill next will move to the House floor for consideration.

NSPE joined members of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition in sending letters to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4) supporting H.R. 674. Read NSPE's letter here. NSPE is a member of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition, a group of more than 140 organizations that share the goal of repealing the 3% withholding law.

The Withholding Tax Relief Act (S. 164) in Senate Republicans' "Real American Jobs Act" also contains a repeal of the 3% withholding tax. Supporters of H.R. 674 hope strong bipartisan passage of the House bill will spur similar Senate action.

4. NSPE attended the Alliance to Save Energy's annual Summit on Capitol Hill, "Driving Energy Efficiency as the 'Next Big Thing". Panels of government and private-sector representatives from across the globe discussed issues including how governments are investing in energy efficiency, implementation and finance of energy efficiency technologies, and the connection between water conservation and energy efficiency.

Among the speakers were General Services Administrator Martha Johnson, Department of the Navy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Installation and Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA-50), New York Power Authority Acting President and CEO Gil Quiniones, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates cofounder and Chairman Daniel Yergin, Best Buy Senior Vice President and General Manager of New Business Customer Solutions Group Neil McPhail, Coca-Cola Co. Director of Energy Management and Climate Protection Bryan Jacob, and Citigroup Global Markets Director Alfred Griffin.

[ return to top ]

University of Wyoming Student Recieves $2,500 PEI Scholarship

This year's PEI Scholarship winner is Gretchen Heberling. Gretchen is an architectural engineering junior at the University of Wyoming (UW). She has worked as a teaching assistant at the University Honors Department and completed a competitively-awarded 2010 research grant on facility upgrades for small manufacturers. Gretchen discovered her love of engineering while volunteering as a Design Apprentice at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Her academic emphasis is on structural analysis, and sustainable “green” building design and fabrication. She has a particular interest in building information modeling, improving building thermal efficiencies, and increasing recycling in the construction trades. Gretchen plans to pursue an M.S. in high performance buildings and LEED certification.

Every year PEI awards a $2,500 scholarship to an exemplary undergraduate engineering student. For more information on how to apply for the scholarship, please visit the PEI Web site.  

[ return to top ]

NSPE Fall Online Webinars

NSPE’s fall Webinar lineup covers everything from ethics to career development. Check out the list below to find the course you are looking for and fulfill your PDH requirements. Visit the NSPE Web site for the full course description.


Whistleblowing: What Are the PE’s Obligations to Report Misconduct?
November 9, 2011, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price 

Business Development

IT Solutions for AEC Professionals
November 3, 2011, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price

Harnessing the Power of Change
November 15, 2011, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price

How to Conduct Effective Meetings
November 29, 2011, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price

Strategic Planning
December 13, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price


Designing for High Winds
November 1, 2011, 12:30–1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$149 / $99 Member Price

Career Development

How to Get Your Next Job
October 25, 2011, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) 1 PDH
$49 / $25 Member Price

Career Transitions
November 10, 2011, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (E.S.T.), 1 PDH
$49 / $25 Member Price

Visit the NSPE Web site for all other Web seminar Listings.

[ return to top ]

Contact the 201112 PEI Executive Board Officers

Curtis A. Beck, P.E.

Stephen A. Hutti, P.E.

Austin Lin, EIT

Immediate Past Chairman
Jonn Nebbe, P.E.

Young Engineer Representative
Peter E. Pisasale, P.E.

Northeastern Region
Thomas J Kesolits P.E.

Southeastern Region

Central Region
Howard R. Jones, P.E.

North Central Region
Donald W. Mitchell, P.E.

Southwestern Region
Neerali J. Desai, P.E.

Western & Pacific Region
Franklin Fong, P.E.

[ return to top ]

NSPE Home Page
Archived Newsletters
Contact Us
Printer Friendly
Forward to a Friend

Is your company interested in reaching more than 5,000 engineers? If so, contact PEI Manager Erin Garcia to learn about sponsoring the next edition of PEI e-News.


Participate in PEI today!

PEI has a variety of programs to become involved in. If you are interested in serving your fellow industry engineer, visit the PEI Web site or contact PEI Manager Erin Garcia.

For more information or to contact us directly, please visit www.nspe.org

please reply to this e-mail pei@nspe.org with your full name and nine-digit NSPE member number
(or full address, if you don't have your member number handy), putting E-mail Change in the subject line.

If you wish to subscribe to "PEI e-News" by email, please click here -