NSPE's Gateway to Private Practice September 2005 

Sound Engineering to Rebuild New Orleans
Editor Randolph W. Rakoczynski, P.E.

I am sure that we all have seen more than an ample amount of the destruction that Hurricane Katrina has brought to the New Orleans metropolitan area and the surrounding gulf coast communities of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. We, as engineers, may often times feel like the Rodney Dangerfields of the professional community, and Hurricane Katrina, in certain ways, has reinforced the Rodney Dangerfield stigma.

Why did the levee system fail?

The levee system failed because it was not designed to withstand a Category 5 storm. Designing the levee system to withstand a Category 5 storm may very well have been cost prohibitive. Additionally, certain maintenance funding for the levee system, which had been recommended with probably very good engineering judgement was not provided to the U.S. Army COE.

The bright side of the events following the Hurricane Katrina disaster is that numerous contractors with solid field engineering expertise have successfully begun the task of dewatering the inundated areas of New Orleans.

As events continue to unfold in the clean-up and rebuilding of the New Orleans areas and the other gulf coast communities affected by Katrina, one can rest assured that engineers and the expertise of sound engineering judgements and decisions will be at the forefront. After all, it was only through some very sound engineering that took place many years ago that the City of New Orleans was developed.

Natural disasters, such as Katrina, continually serve to remind engineers and all members of our community that there are powerful forces over which we have very little control, regardless of the degree to which our technology has advanced.

Our prayers and compassion go out to all those who have been affected by Katrina. Certainly, as professional engineers, we stand ready to participate wherever necessary to assist in the efforts to deal with this disaster and the tragedies it has caused.

NSPE Creates Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund
NSPE has established a Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund of $50,000 to provide assistance as needed to our NSPE state societies and their members in the hurricane affected gulf coast region. The fund will be administered through the state engineering societies. We would like to grow this fund to at least $100,000 or more through individual matching donations.

If you would like to help NSPE in this effort, donations can be made online or by check. Checks can be made payable to

NSPE Hurricane Relief Fund
P.O. Box Dept. 855
Alexandria, VA 22334-0001

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NSPE-PEPP Honors Albert Miller, P.E., Through Annual Scholarship
The 2005 recipient of the NSPE-PEPP Albert H. Miller, P.E., Memorial Scholarship Fund is Jessica N. Keahey, E.I.

Jessica was a stellar applicant who graduated from the University of Arkansas in May 2004 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Jessica was the Engineering College Senior Honor Student, the Commencement Speaker, and the Departmental Senior Honor Engineer in Civil Engineering.

Jessica is now working on a Masters of Science in Civil Engineering, with an Environmental emphasis, at the University of Arkansas. Her special topics research paper will be the compilation of research and information regarding the new post-tensioned parking deck located across from Bell Engineering, the largest parking deck in the state. This paper discusses the process of post-tensioning as well as the problems and issues encountered during construction. Jessica's thesis work will involve installing a respirometer at the Fayetteville Wastewater Treatment Plant, monitoring performance and results, providing suggestions for improvements, and processing conclusions.

You can help make Al's enthusiasm for educational excellence and professional development an NSPE legacy. Support educational excellence through this PEPP scholarship program.

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Procurement Strategy for Public Projects Seminar
The Procurement Strategy for Public Projects seminar will be hosted on October 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Cobb County Water System Lab and Training Center (662 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, GA 30060).

The topics to be discussed include
accurate project pricing on the front-end; 
less effort and cost to administer contracts; 
lower total cost; 
procurement strategies that allow contracts to come in on time and within budget;
opportunities for ideas, innovation, and improvement; and
legal hurdles and challenges.

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Interviewing Skills—What Works? What Doesn't?
Are you being asked to interview candidates for positions with your department or organization? Do you fumble over questions, or do you struggle with how to find out if the candidate will have the right skill set for the job or fit the culture of your organization? Do you want some advice and feedback on what works during the interviewing process—both from the interviewer's perspective and the interviewee's perspective?

Join Barbara Irwin from HR Advisors Group, LLC to learn how to excel as an interviewer and as an interviewee on October 6 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern).

NSPE and SAME members: $149
Non-member: $189

To sign up, fax in this registration form.

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Continuing Education Online Opportunities Maintain Edge
NSPE is offering many new and popular online web seminars for professional engineers to obtain their continuing education units before the year’s end.

Indemnification and Risk Allocation—Reaping the Benefits of the EJCDC Contract Documents

This Webinar will take place on October 18 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. (Eastern).

For more information and to register, visit the NSPE Web site

NSPE and SAME members: $149
Non-member: $189

Engineering the Government: A Grassroots Primer on Lobbying
October 27, 2005 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Presenters: Zoran Novak, P.E. and Dan Tanksley, P.E.

What does it take to become a successful grassroots lobbyist for local engineering issues? Join two NSPE members who have had success at the local level who will discuss the success they have had using the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers legislative model. Learn how the model lends itself to successful lobbying efforts and how it can enhance the lobbying effectiveness of your state PE society.

For more information and to register, visit the NSPE Web site.

NSPE and SAME members: $149
Non-member: $189

NSPE Fall 2005 Ethics Forum: You Be the Judge
October 5, November 2, and December 7

The NSPE Ethics Forum is an opportunity to learn more about engineering ethics and professional practice issues. The fall 2005 series topics include professional competency, conflict of interest, and public health and safety.

For more information and to register, visit the C2Ed Web site.

NSPE and SAME members: $149 each session or $399 for the series.
Non-members: $189 each session or $475 for the series.

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NSPE Sponsors Pan American Convention of Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers represent the United States in UPADI and have joined together to present XXX Pan American Convention of Engineers, UPADI 2006.

For more information on this international focus, visit the UPADI Web site.

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Contact the PEPP Executive Board

Larry Britt, P.E.
Oxford, MS
Immediate Past Chair
Fred Palmerton, P.E.
Springfield, MO
Steve Theno, P.E.
Anchorage, AK
Pete Koval, P.E.
Syracuse, NY
Vice Chair, Northeast Region
Randy Rakoczynski, P.E.
Buffalo, NY
Vice Chair, Southeast Region
Dan Dawson, P.E.
Wilmington, NC
Vice Chair, Central Region
Mark Davy
La Crosse, WI
Vice Chair, North Central Region
Kevin Skibiski, P.E.
Springfield, MO
Vice Chair, Southwest Region
Mark Martin, P.E.
Fayetteville, AR
Vice Chair, Western and Pacific Region
Steven Dyrnes, P.E.
Portland, OR
Young Engineer Representative
Eric West, P.E.
Midland, TX
SSEC Representative
Pat Christians
Birmingham, AL

PEPP Staff
Kim Granados
1420 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
tel: 703-684-2857
fax: 703-836-4875

PEPP Executive Board July 2005
top l-r (Davy, Rakocynski, Koval, Dawson, Skibiski, Palmerton, Theno)
bottom l-r (Britt, Granados, West, Christians, Dyrnes)
missing (Martin)

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