NSPE's Gateway to Private Practice November 2006 

NSPE Presents Webseminar on USDA/RUS EJCDC documents


EJCDC Contact Documents: Using and Understanding the EJCDC Engineering & Construction Documents- Funding Agency Edition
December 12, 1:303:00 PM EST

Learn best practices to better use the only pre-approved construction and engineering services contract documents for use on water and wastewater projects financed by the USDA/Rural Utilities Service. Register here.


Visit our Web site for more information on education programs.

Top Ten Ways to Communicate and Connect with Employees
Herbert M. Cannon, president of AEC Management Solutions Inc.

In the course of my consulting practice, I am called upon to conduct a human resources audits. The audits consist of confidential employee and owner surveys, one on one interviews, a written report and an oral presentation to the owners.

One of the consistent complaints by employees in every human resources audit is the perceived lack of communication from the owners or top management. On the surface, it would seem that the use of e-mail, voice mail, intranet, internet, virtual workspaces, cell phones, blackberries would make communication a no-brainer. However, the reality is that most employees feel more disconnected than ever.

It would seem that we are mistaking the constant noise of information for meaningful communication. Here are some simple steps you can take to improve communication and make employees feel more connected.

1. Ask for their opinion.
Employees want to share their ideas, but many are unsure how to approach the boss. Relieve them of this burden by asking their opinion.

2. Send a Monthly E-Mail to the Staff
A monthly "state of the firm" e-mail is an easy and effective tool for communicating employees. Topics can include project highlights, new employees, software tips…

3. Quarterly Meeting
Every 3 months take an hour to have an employee meeting. The owners can talk about any topic they choose. The history of the firm, plans for expansion, ideas for new services. Be sure to include time for a question and answer.

4. Announce New Projects
Every new project should be announced to the entire firm by e-mail. Employees want to be kept informed by the company and not word of mouth.

5. Project Presentations
Allow employees to give project presentations to the company. It keeps everyone informed and provides the opportunity for junior staff to improve their presentation skills.

6. Provide In-House Seminars
Employees want the opportunity to learn and improve their skills. An in-house seminar allows everyone to hear the same information. It is much more effective than send a select few employees out to an outside seminar.

7. Do Something Just for Fun
Whether it is the annual barbecue, museum tour or baseball game, employees appreciate the opportunity to socialize at a company-sponsored event.

8. Recognize Employees Publicly
Be sure to recognize outstanding achievements publicly. Whether it is winning a new project, passing their licensing exam or winning a design award – be sure to recognize them in the monthly e-mail and quarterly meeting.

9. Hold Annual Reviews on Time
Nothing can make an employee feel more disconnected from the company than not having their annual review on time. I know it is last on your list of favorite things to do – but do it anyway

10. Conduct a Human Resources Audit
Employees appreciate the opportunity to express their concerns to an outside 3rd party. The mere fact that a company takes the time and makes the investment in a human resources audit goes a long way in improving the feeling of connection with the company.

Herbert M. Cannon, president of AEC Management Solutions Inc. and publisher of AEC Managing Partner Newsletter, is a management consultant, seminar provider and speaker exclusive to the A/E industry. He is available to speak at company meetings and conferences. For more information, contact Herb via e-mail . Or visit his Web site. 

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NSPE offers Hot Construction Webseminars

January 23, 2007 12:30 -- 2:00 EST
Sustainable Design -- Advantages of LEED Certification
Tom Hicks, Vice President of LEED, US Green Building Council

February 21, 2007 12:30 -- 2:00 EST
Green Building -- Where's the ROI and Marketing Advantage
Gary J. Saulson, Head of Corporate Real Estate, PNC Financial Services

March 21, 200712:30 -- 2:00 EST
Brownfields Sites -- Grants and Incentives to Cleanup and Redevelop
John A. Sartor, P.E.,P.P., Senior Vice President, Paulus, Sokaloski, and Sartor, LCC (PS&S)

April 18, 2007 12:30 -- 2:00 EST
Through the Roof -- Escalating Construction Costs
Michael Kennedy, Principal, Stantec Consulting Inc.

For more information on these topics, the sessions and the speakers please visit the PEC website. Or register here for one or all today!

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Professional Liability Insurance Resource Published

Engineers and engineering firms now have an updated resource on professional liability insurance carriers and the coverage they provide. In the December issue of PE magazine, readers will find the 2006 Directory of Professional Liability Insurance Providers and selected responses from the annual survey of insurance providers.

The directory and survey are produced annually by the Professional Liability Committee of the Professional Engineers in Private Practice, the American Council of Engineering Companies, and the American Institute of Architects.

In an accompanying article on trends in professional liability rates, Professional Liability Committee member Neil Van Dyke, P.E., wrote: "Even though most carriers predicted that premium rates will be flat to lower next year, insurers are continuing to focus on more stringent underwriting of the risks for each of their potential insureds. That means that if you are a high risk due to poor claims history, or you work in a high risk sector such as condominiums/multifamily, you could continue to see higher rate increases or difficulty in finding coverage."

The directory and complete survey can be found on the NSPE Web site.

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Erosion Certification Raises Questions

A certification program for people working in the field of erosion and sediment control is drawing opposition from NSPE state societies and raising the question: Should licensed professional engineers have to earn additional certifications to carry out engineering work? For NSPE, the answer is an emphatic no. NSPE Position Statement 1737 on Licensure and Qualifications for Practice says PEs may voluntarily have their expertise in a specialized field recognized through certification; however, “Professional engineering licensure is the only qualification for engineering practice.” But still the Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control program is making headway in at least three states: Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio.  PEPP members have also recently become involved in the issue in Wisconsin as well.

In Georgia, beginning December 31, PEs and others who prepare sediment control plans will be required to take a two-day training class and pass an examination. The additional requirement for PEs was opposed by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. GSPE Executive Director Tom Leslie, P.E., says that a PE is qualified to prepare erosion and sedimentation control plans just as much as a CPESC and, “additional mandatory certifications are not necessary and should not be required.” Governmental entities should accept the work of both groups, he asserts.

Read more about this issue in the October PE.

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New York City Adopts QBS Procurement

New York City’s Procurement Policy Board recently switched to the qualifications-based selection of design professionals for city construction projects. The implementation of QBS became effective December 1.

Previously, the city’s procurement involved a set percentage for design, and firms could opt to bid on a project based on that fixed fee. If the firms were closely ranked, the city would choose the firm based on the lowest bid.

The change may have been swayed by recent projects where Mayor Bloomberg’s Design and Construction Excellence Initiative worked closely with QBS advocates along with the Office of Contract Services and the Department of Design and Construction to develop a series of procurement demonstration projects to test QBS and related techniques. These projects led to an improvement in design quality and an increase in the number of design firms bidding for city projects.

Today, 46 states have some form of QBS or “mini-Brooks” law and 22 states have QBS laws that apply to local units of government, according to the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

NSPE/PEPP supports and recommends a qualifications-based selection procedure for procurement of consultant and subconsultant engineering services. NSPE argues that QBS allows engineers and firms to be considered for a job on their merits. Under the QBS process, professionally qualified engineers or firms are ranked on the basis of ability to provide the service. The rankings are followed by negotiations with the best-qualified engineer or firm to determine a mutually satisfactory agreement for the scope of services and price.

NSPE/PEPP and ACEC yearly honor those public-sector entities that voluntarily use QBS methods to procure professional services of consulting engineering firms at the state and local levels with the QBS Award. Candidates are from jurisdictions that do not mandate qualifications-based procurement systems.  In addition, NSPE/PEPP in partnership with ACEC, The American Institute of Architects, and the American Public Works Association provides funding and program support for states seeking to promote the use of QBS by state and local agencies.

Read NSPE's issue brief on qualifications-based selection.

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Companies Compete for National New Product Award Honors

The 2007 NSPE New Product Awards program is now inviting entries for exemplary new products that demonstrate the innovative use of engineering principles and provide overall benefits to society through February 15, 2007.

Now in its 25th year, the program was developed and is coordinated by NSPE’s Professional Engineers in Industry in an effort to recognize new and improved products that stimulate the life and growth of the U.S.

Any new product, machine, process, or material that has been developed or manufactured only in the U.S. may be entered provided that it was first placed on the market between 2002 and 2006. Entries are judged on annual sales and economic impact, innovative use of engineering principles, and improved function.

For further information and nomination forms, contact Erin Garcia at 703-684-2884.

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Contact the PEPP Executive Board

Steve Theno, P.E.
Anchorage, AK
Immediate Past Chair
Larry Britt, P.E.
Oxford, MS
Kevin Skibiski, P.E., F.NSPE
Springfield, MO
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, P.E.
La Crosse, WI

Vice Chair, North Central Region 
Kevin Nelson, P.E.

Vice Chair, Southwest Region
Eric West, P.E.
Midland, TX
Vice Chair, Western and Pacific Region
Steven Dyrnes, P.E.
Portland, OR
Young Engineer Representative
Dawn Edgell, P.E.
Chicago, IL
SSEC Representative
Pat Christians
Birmingham, AL

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


PEPP Homepage

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PEPP is now  taking registrations for the 2006 listing. 

Join your colleagues and competitors. List your firm on the NSPE Web site and link more business to your future.             

A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc.

A.C.T. International

Acoustic Sciences Corporation

Adcomm Engineering Co.

Administrative Controls Management

AEC Engineering Design and Construction Services, PLLC

Alan W. Kramer, P.E Consulting Engineers

Allen & Shafiff Corporation

Alpine Engineering, Inc.

AmcGurr, Ltd.

Anderson Engineering of New Prague, Inc.

Anderson Engineering, Inc.

Antioch International, Inc.

Appledore Engineering, Inc.


Ayres Associates

B & E Jackson & Associates, Inc.

Bain Medina Bain, Inc.

Baird, Hampton, Brown, Inc. Engineering & Surveying

Barr Engineering Company

Bartel, Rudolf & Associates

Basic Systems, Inc.

BBFM Engineers Inc.

Beardsley Design Associates

Becht Engineering

Becker Morgan Group, Inc.

Bernard R. Berson, P.E., L.S., P.P.

BJLJ Engineering & Architects, P.C.

BMJ Engineers & Surveyors

Booth & Associates, Inc.

Borton-Lawson Engineering, Inc.

Brown & Mitchell

BTI Consultants

Bucher, Willis & Ratliff Corporation

Bureau Veritas/Berryman & Henigar

Burns & McDonnell

Bury & Partners, Inc.

C. Allan Bamforth, Jr., Engineer-Surveyor, Ltd.

Carroll Engineering Corporation

Champagne Associates PC

Charter Oak Environmental Services, Inc.

CME Associates

Coad Engineering Consulting

Code Consultants, Inc.

Coffman Engineers, Inc.

Commonwealth Associates, Inc

Consolidated Consulting Corporation

Cosgrove Computer Systems, Inc.

Cowen & Associates

Cowhey Gudmundson Leder, Ltd.

Criterium Liszkay Engineers

CRW Engineering Group LLC

CSA Consulting Engineers

CT Consultants, Inc


Davy Engineering Co.

Design Alaska, Inc

D'Huy Engineering, Inc.

DL Engineering & Controls

Drilling Technical Services, Inc.

Dwyer Engineers, Inc.

E.P. Ferris & Associates

Edison Aviles Deliz, Ingenieros, CSP (DG3A Group)

Elrod & Company, LLC

EMCS, Inc.

Engineering, Tech, P.A

Environmental Design International, Inc.

Eustance & Horowitz, PC

Exponential Engineering Company

First Choice Consultant Company

Foehringer Enar, Inc.

Fogel & Associates, Inc.

Forcier Aldrich & Associates, Inc.

Forcon Intl.

Foth & Van Dyke

FRA Engineering

Friber Associates, Inc.

Garver Engineers

George Butler Associates

Gordon L. Brown and Associates

Gredell Engineering Resources, Inc.

Grotto Engineering Assoicates, LLC

H2L  Consulting Engineers

Hacker Engineering

Haley & Aldrich, Inc.

Harrington & Cortelyou, Inc.

Hillman & Miley Consulting Engineers, P.L. L.C.

Horner & Shifrin, Inc

Ingenium Engineering Services

Irick Engineering

J&Y Engineering Services, Inc.

Jahnke & Jahnke Associates, Inc.

James J. Mallett, P.E., PA

Jenkins Survey & Design, Inc.

JK Consulting

Keith B. Higgins Associates

Kellard Engineering & Consulting, P.C.

Kelly Engineering Services

Kelsurvyes, Inc.

Kilmer Engineering PA

Kimley-Horn & Associates



Klingner & Associates, PC

KS Associates, Inc.

KSI Professional Engineers

Kuhlmann Design Group, Inc.

Kurtanich Engineers & Associates, Inc.

L. Robert Kimball & Associates

Liebergott Engineering Company

LNV Engineering

Loiederman Soltesz Associates, Inc

Lutz, Daily & Brain, LLC

Martinez, Wright, and Mendez, Inc.

Matrix Consulting Engineers, Inc.

McCombs, Frank Roos Associates

McGuire Engineers

Mead & Hunt, Inc.

MEP Engineering, Inc.

Michael Baker Corporation

Michael Ernst P.E, P.A.

Michaud Cooley Erickson

Midwestern Consulting, LLC.

Morris Knowles & Associates, Inc.

Mr. Electrical Safety, P.C.

ms consultants


MSCW, Inc.

Norris, Kuske & Tunstall Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Nortech, Inc.

Northwest Engineering, Inc.

Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc

O'Brien, & Gere Ltd.

O'Malley Engineers, LLP.

Palmerton & Parrish, Inc.

PARC Engineering Associates

Parsons Brinckerhoff Constructio Services


PDC, Inc. Engineers

Peratrovich, Nottingham & Drage, Inc.


PFS Corporation

Phillips Engineering Group P.C.

Potesta & Associates

POWER Engineers, Inc.

R.S. Scott Associates, Inc.

R.S. Scott Associates, Inc.

Ramey Kemp & Associates, Inc.

RBA Engineers, Inc.

RHT Engineering, Inc.

Richard W. Rauseo, P.E.

Ridge & Associates, Inc.

Robert H. Fuller & Associates

Roger L. Boyell, Forensic Analyst

Roth Hill Engineering Partners, LLC

RQBD Engineering Consultants

RSA Engineering

Safety Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Santangelo & Lindsay, Inc.

Schkeeper, Inc.

Schoor DePalma

Sebesta Blomberg  & Associates, Inc.

SKG Engineers

Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.

SSOE, Inc.

Standard Testing & Engineering Co.

Sterling Engineering Co, Inc.

Steven B. Kushnick, P.E., Inc.

Steven Feller, P.E. Inc.

Strand, Inc.

Strang, Inc.

Strickland Engineering, LC

Sundquist Engineering, P.C.

Teague Nall and Perkins, Inc.

Tectonic Engineering & Surveying Consultants, P.C.

The Boyce Consulting Group, LLC

The EADS Group, Inc.

The Louis Berger Group, Inc.

The Newton Engineering Group, P.C.

Traffic Planning and Design, Inc.

Tri-State Engineering

TVG Environmental, Inc


Van De Wiele Engineering, Inc.

Van Note-Harvey Associates, P.C.

Vollmer Associates LLP

W.C. Cammett Engineering, Inc.

Wantman Group

Widseth Smith Nolting & Assoc., Inc.

Wink, Inc.

WSB & Associates, Inc.


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