NSPE Gateway to Industry Winter 2014
In This Issue of PEI e-News...

NSPE Brings Exclusive UPS Savings to its Membership

NSPE is excited to announce the UPS® Savings Program for our members! Make the most out of your membership and take advantage of some of the most competitive rates available on shipping services with UPS. Whether you need your documents or packages to arrive the next day or are looking for the most affordable shipping option, UPS understands the importance of reliability, speed, and cost. See how UPS discounts can help your bottom line:

Up to 35% off UPS Air letters including UPS Next Day Air®*

Up to 31% off UPS Air packages (1 lb.+)*

Up to 33% off UPS International imports and exports

Up to 19% off UPS Ground shipments

Savings begin at 70% on UPS Freight® shipments over 150 lbs.

You can receive these discounts even if you already have a UPS account. Plus, the more you ship, the more you can save with UPS. To enroll and start saving, visit savewithups.com/nspe.

*Discounts exclude UPS Express Critical® and UPS Next Day Air® Early A.M.®

PEI Distinguished Service & New Product Awards

New and improved products stimulate the life and growth of our country. These benefits result from research and development to which engineers make their unique contribution. The New Product Award competition recognizes the results of those efforts and the foresight of the companies whose aggressive policies bring new products to the marketplace.

The PEI Service Awards are presented to licensed professional engineers who have made an outstanding contribution or contributions to advance the causes of the individual "engineer in industry" and/or specifically to the Professional Engineers in Industry interest group of NSPE.

For more information on the PEI New Product Awards and PEI Service Awards, visit the
PEI website.
[ return to top ]

NSPE Legislative Affairs News

For all the latest NSPE legislative activities visit the NSPE website

NSPE Endorses Veterans Licensure Legislation
On December 5, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE, sent a letter of support for S.1579, the SCRA (Servicemembers Civil Relief Act) Enhancement and Improvement Act of 2013, to Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Rockefeller (D-WV). S.1579 ensures that our nation's service members are recognized for their invaluable contributions to our nation and for their personal sacrifices. NSPE particularly commends S.1579 for acknowledging the need to protect the professional licenses of uniformed services members. 

NSPE strongly supports Section 104 of the legislation, which states that if a professional license issued by a state or local licensing authority to a service member would otherwise lapse during a period in which such service member is eligible for hostile fire or imminent danger special pay, the state licensing authority shall delay the expiration of the license at least 180 days. NSPE further endorses Section 104 of the legislation for applying the 180-day cushion to continuing education requirements. While NSPE believes strongly that state licensure requirements are vitally important, NSPE also believes that state licensure authorities should show a reasonable level of flexibility toward those defending our nation. You can read the press release, with a link to the letter.

NSPE Urges US Office of Personnel Management to Strengthen Qualification Standards
On October 18, NSPE sent a letter urging the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to strengthen its qualification standards for filling federal professional engineering positions. OPM recently issued a proposed draft revision to the current qualification standards that would add ABET-accredited engineering technology bachelor degrees as qualifying for professional engineering positions. While NSPE greatly values the important role of the engineering technologists as part of the engineering team, the "professional engineer" is a protected term in all 50 states. 

The existing individual occupational requirements for a professional engineering position in the federal government do not meet the requirements for PE licensure. In a letter to OPM Deputy Associate Director Kimberly Holden, NSPE President Robert Green, P.E., F.NSPE, writes, "Licensed professional engineers have always and continue to play a critically important role in designing innovative solutions to societal challenges and in protecting the public health, safety, and welfare. At a time when the federal government is seeking to promote broad economic prosperity and to enhance our national security, all federal agencies must show leadership and establish and maintain high engineering qualifications and standards for employees in the federal workforce." NSPE strongly urged the OPM to instead revise the qualification standard for professional engineering positions to require a PE for professional engineering occupations. You can read the press release, with a link to the letter [ return to top ]

2013 PEI Scholarship

The Professional Engineers in Industry Scholarship is a $2,500 award. Applicants must be sponsored by a NSPE member. Students who are children, dependents, or relatives of NSPE members are given preference in the scholarship selection process. Students must have completed a minimum of two semesters or three quarters of undergraduate engineering studies (or be enrolled in graduate study) in a program accredited by the ABET.

For more information, please visit the
PEI Scholarship website [ return to top ]

Green Energy Project Development Shows Steady Increase

Steve Storts

As the Obama administration deliberates on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline crossing the US border from Canada, the industrial pursuit of domestic green energy—hydropower, wind, and solar projects—continues at a modest pace, with hydroelectricity generation still leading the renewable pack. North American hydroelectric consumption, however, did see a slight decline of 6.3% in 2012, according to Plunkett Research Ltd., attributed to a below-average year due to widespread droughts.

The U. S. Energy Information Administration reports that renewable energy sources provided about 12% of total US utility-scale electricity generation in 2012, up slightly from 11.83% in 2011, and 10.7% in 2010. The largest share of the renewable-generated electricity derives from hydroelectric power (56%), followed by wind (28%), biomass wood (8%), biomass waste (4%), geothermal (3%), and solar (1%). Coal (37%), natural gas (30%), nuclear power (19%), and petroleum (2%) remain the other primary sources of domestic energy production.

Wind power in the United States has grown dramatically from 11,187 megawatts of electricity in 2003 to 140,089 MW in 2012. Nationwide, investors directed $25 billion into wind energy in 2012, with US wind farms reaching 60 gigawatts of capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In 2013 alone, construction began on wind projects across 13 states, slated to generate more than 2,300 MW of electricity. Texas remains firmly entrenched as the leader in wind power development, with seven of the 10 largest wind farms in the nation, according to the US Department of Energy, followed by Iowa, California, Minnesota, and Washington, with additional projects in Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and South Dakota.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission recently voted in favor of an offshore pilot wind project that, hopefully, will lead to commercial scale, floating offshore wind farms. Pending with the project is a $46 million DOE grant aimed at creating large offshore wind farms that can produce power at competitive rates. Farther south, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is deciding whether to approve a 25-MW demonstration wind project about three miles off the coast of Atlantic City, the state’s first offshore wind venture and the forerunner of a more expansive wind farm in federal waters.

In Missouri, Element Power US, owner and developer of the Mill Creek Wind Farm, and Kansas City Power & Light’s Greater Missouri Operations recently entered into a power purchase agreement for the 200-MW wind energy facility being constructed in Holt County. Once operational, the wind farm will be the largest in Missouri. And in the Blue Mountains of Utah, construction began in early December on an 80-MW wind facility, a project that qualified for $42 million of investment tax credits.

Utilities are poised to invest in more wind power because “it’s the smart thing for their ratepayers and their bottom lines,” says Emily Williams, AWEA senior policy analyst. “Xcel Energy, Detroit Edison, Austin Energy, Omaha Public Power District, and American Electric Power’s Public Service Company of Oklahoma have all pursued contracts in excess of their initial requests for more wind power generation because wind is saving their consumers money.”

On the solar energy front, both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power/thermal plants are experiencing significant technological innovation, including the use of polymers leading to more flexible solar panels and advanced nanotechnology. In 2012, CSP-generating units were the main source of electricity at 12 power plants in the United States—11 in California and one in Nevada.

According to the Solar Electric Power Association’s annual megawatt production rankings, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in northern California led all utilities nationally in 2012 and installed more than 800 MW, an 80% increase over 2011. Its portfolio included nearly 630 MW of large-scale projects of which 50 MW were utility-owned. PG&E also interconnected more than 17,500 net metered systems in 2012. Southern California Edison ranked second with more than 190 MW of new solar power generation, driven primarily by 15,000 residential and nonresidential projects accounting for more than 150 MW. Public Service Electric and Gas Co. in New Jersey rounded out the top three utilities, and along with Jersey Central Power & Light and Progress Carolinas, was one of three utilities from the East Coast in SEPA’s top 10 rankings.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the only municipal utility to gain a national ranking, secured the ninth spot with nearly 70 MW of new solar power generation. Its portfolio was backed by the utility’s procurement of more than 50 MW of large-scale photovoltaic projects. Other utilities in SEPA’s top 10 rankings for 2012 included the Arizona Public Service Co., NV Energy, Tucson Electric Power Co., and the Hawaiian Electric Co. Utilities in the megawatt category were generally large, with a median of 1.1 million customers, compared to the median size of 300,000 for the top 100 utilities that participated in the survey.

With hydropower facilities generating 100,000 MW of renewable energy from coast to coast, the United States is the fourth largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world after China, Canada, and Brazil. The Grand Coulee Dam remains the fifth largest hydroelectric power facility in the world, and another six US hydropower plants, including Hoover Dam, are among the 50 largest in the world. The top 10 hydropower-generating states continue to be Washington, Oregon, New York, California, Alabama, Idaho, Tennessee, Montana, Arizona, and North Carolina.

The US Army Corps of Engineers also recently identified 223 potential sites for additional hydro development nationwide, based on criteria that a site must be capable of generating 1 MW or greater of hydroelectric power. According to the USACE study, the sites could combine for a cumulative output potential of 6,256 MW, although the Corps noted that only 2,818 MW of those would likely be economically feasible under assumptions made in the report.

To further bolster hydropower production, two bills were signed into law last August: the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act (H.R. 267) and the Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 678). The former promotes the development of small hydropower and conduit projects and aims to shorten regulatory time frames for some low-impact hydropower projects, such as adding power generation to existing non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped storage. H.R. 678 authorizes small hydropower development at existing US Bureau of Reclamation-owned canals, pipelines, aqueducts, and other man-made waterways.  [ return to top ]

Save the Date

Join professional engineers from around the country for networking, continuing education, and a fantastic Fourth of July celebration in the nation's capital!

Conveniently located in the heart of Washington, DC, with easy access to museums, the National Mall, and all Independence Day festivities, the NSPE 2014 Annual Meeting is one you and your family won't want to miss.                        

Watch www.nspe.org for future details.

[ return to top ]

NSPE Releases Engineering Body of Knowledge

NSPE has released the first edition of its Engineering Body of Knowledge (PDF) that outlines the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to shape the future of engineering, across all disciplines of practice. The document is intended for a broad audience, including engineer interns, practicing engineering supervisors and mentors, employers, engineering students and faculty, licensing boards, engineering societies, accreditors, and specialty certification boards.

The EBOK is the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills, and attitudes appropriate to enter the practice as a professional engineer in responsible charge of engineering activities that potentially impact public health, safety, and welfare. It addresses three basic topics: guiding principles and trends that will shape the practice of engineering in the future; the key requisite attributes of professional engineers; and the broadly described capabilities and abilities necessary for the professional practice of engineering.

13 Key Attributes of a Successful Professional Engineer

  1. Analytical and practical;
  2. Thorough and detail-oriented in design;
  3. Creative;
  4. Communicative;
  5. Able to apply mathematics and sciences;
  6. Knowledgeable in a selected field of engineering and conversant in related technical fields;
  7. Skillful in management;
  8. Able to provide leadership;
  9. Professional and positive in attitude;
  10. Aware of societal considerations in an increasingly global context;
  11. Aware of laws, standards, and codes;
  12. Ethical in practice; and
  13. Dedicated to increasingly critical lifelong learning.

The EBOK also contains 30 capabilities that address basic or foundational knowledge, technical knowledge, and professional practice knowledge. The capabilities include mathematics, design, engineering economics, safety, sustainability and environmental impact, communication, ethical responsibility, and leadership.

NSPE is seeking feedback on the first edition of the Engineering Body of Knowledge from members in all engineering disciplines and employment sectors. Please review the EBOK document (PDF) and send your comments to NSPE General Counsel Arthur Schwartz at aschwartz@nspe.org
[ return to top ]

Contact the 201314 PEI Executive Board Officers

For a complete list of PEI Executive Board Officers, visit the PEI website
[ return to top ]

Body text here. [ 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 -