News for the NSPE Community July 2011



Virginia PE Named Society President

Virginia structural engineer Christopher M. Stone, P.E., F.NSPE, was installed as NSPE's 2011–12 president during the Society's annual meeting in Las Vegas.

He is president of Clark Nexsen PC, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, one of the commonwealth's largest full service, international architecture, engineering, and interior design firms with a staff of more than 500.

Stone takes over the helm from Michael Hardy, P.E., F.NSPE, of Salem, Oregon. Stone will travel the U.S. advocating for professional engineers with President-Elect Dan Witliff, P.E., F.NSPE, of Austin, Texas.

Active in NSPE since 1989, Stone is a member of the Society's Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Finance & Audit Committee, and House of Delegates. He previously served as president of the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers and was named Virginia Engineer of the Year in 1997.

Fostering the next generation of innovators is one of Stone's top priorities. He has volunteered at the state level of MATHCOUNTS and volunteered as an engineering advisor to local high schools for programs such as the National Engineering Design Challenge. During his tenure as VSPE President, he visited all the engineering colleges and universities in Virginia to speak with students about the importance of professional licensure. Other outreach activities have involved serving with the Leadership Hampton Roads organization and on the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and volunteering with FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue.

Stone, who has over 30 years experience in the design and management of public, private, and commercial projects, is licensed in 25 states and has earned LEED® AP certification. He received his bachelor's of science degree in civil engineering from the Virginia Military Institute and a master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia. [ return to top ]


NSPE Honors 2011 Award Winners

When professional engineers provide outstanding service to the engineering profession and the public, NSPE believes that these contributions deserve praise. The Society recently honored several members  during the NSPE 2011 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas.


NSPE Award
Teresa Helmlinger Ratcliff, P.E., Ph.D., F.NSPE
NSPE's highest award was presented to Ratcliff, the executive director for the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina State University. The Past NSPE President also serves on the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Land Surveyors.

President’s Award
Craig N. Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE
Founder and president of CMA Engineers, Musselman has over 35 years of civil engineering experience. The New Hampshire resident has volunteered his services to numerous licensing committees, including NCEES and NSPE’s Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee.

Distinguished Service Award
George R. Knecht, P.E., F.NSPE
A former member of the U.S. Navy Seabees and officer of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Knecht has served as president of the Florida Engineering Society and as a national director for NSPE.

Young Engineer of the Year
Leslie A. Turner, P.E., BCEE
Turner is a senior project manager and client service manager for CDM. She serves as chair for MATHCOUNTS in both her regional and state divisions of the Florida Engineering Society.

Mentor of the Year
Jeffrey S. Russell, P.E., Ph.D.
Russell is chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is cofounder of the Construction Engineering and Management Program.

Sandra N. Knight, P.E., F.NSPE
Knight has served as county engineer for 15 years in Tennessee’s Bradley County. She is chair of the NSPE Professional Engineers in Government committee and serves on the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineer's Board of Directors. [ return to top ]


Latest PE Blogs

NSPE's blogs bring you thoughts and observations on professional issues, including licensure, young engineer issues, sustainability in engineering, and mentoring.

Check out some of the latest.....

Saving Yourself from the Quagmire
It's great to get a new job offer. Austin Lin, P.E., offers advice on how to decide if you are ready to commit to a new work environment and responsibilities that a fresh opportunity presents.

State's Rights vs. National Interest
The owner of Vermont's only nuclear plant is suing the state over the ability to get relicensed to operate past its current license which expires next year. How will this case play out in the courts?

FE and PE Examinations Set the Bar High
The FE and PE exams provide a higher bar than many people may fully realize. This blog takes a look at recent FE and PE exam pass rates.

NSPE Has a Higher Purpose
Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE, calls for increased advocacy for U.S. public policy on engineering matters to enhance public health, safety, and welfare.

Go to NSPE's PE Community Web site to read and comment on more blogs! [ return to top ]


Engineering Enrollments on the Rise

In fall 2010, college and university engineer programs experienced a 5.4% increase in undergraduate enrollments, slightly higher than the 3.9% average annual growth from 2005 to 2009, according to a recent report by the American Society for Engineering Education. The number of bachelor's degrees awarded in engineering also increased by 4,000 to a total of 78,347 in 2009–10 after five flat years.

Full-Time Undergraduate Engineering Enrollment

  • 2010—450,685
  • 2009—427,503
  • 2008—403,191
  • 2007—385,690
  • 2006—374,202
  • 2005—367,576
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Legal Beat Q&A: Age Discrimination

Question: My former company recently had a series of layoffs that included me and other engineers of varying ages and lengths of service. Several months after the layoffs, I noticed an advertisement that the same company would be hiring a number of engineers. The advertisement stated that the firm was interested in hiring entry-level engineers in several different departments with less than three years of post-graduate experience preferred. Am I a victim of age discrimination? (Florida)

Answer: Based upon what you have indicated, I do not see a basis to argue that the proposed requirement is illegal. While it may be true that this could have an adverse effect on older workers, that alone does not constitute age discrimination. Many companies have similar postings because they want to indicate that these entry-level positions will be paid entry-level salaries and not salaries typically paid to more experienced individuals, regardless of age. Also, the level of work may be more basic and not of interest to more experienced individuals.

At the same time, if you are interested in applying for the positions, there does not appear to be any reason not to apply. The term "preferred" does not indicate that having more than three years of post-graduate experience will keep you from consideration.

Responses are based on questions posed to NSPE Legal Counsel Arthur Schwartz. These questions and answers do not, in any way, constitute legal advice. Always consult your own attorney before reaching any conclusions or acting upon any information presented in this forum. Also note that legal precedents change. An answer based on a case from several years ago may have a new perspective today.

Are you an NSPE member with a legal question for this column? Send it to Arthur Schwartz, 1420 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2794; fax 703-836-4875; or e-mail [ return to top ]


Did You Know?

Art of Persuasion
As a young engineer, you need more than just good ideas; you also must be able to communicate that your ideas are worthy of attention, acceptance, or investment. NSPE members can access the Society's online course "Communicating Technical Ideas Persuasively" for free. Visit "Shop NSPE" to access the course and other free products.

Recent Graduate Discounts
Know someone who just graduated from an ABET-accredited engineering program? He or she may be eligible for up to 80% off of NSPE membership dues. Lesser discounts could apply up to four years after graduation. To verify that a graduate's state participates in the graduated dues program or to enroll, contact NSPE member services or call the department at 888-285-NSPE.

Insurance Savings
Looking to save on professional liability insurance?
Through NSPE's partnership with Victor O. Schinnerer & Co. Inc./CNA, qualifying engineering firms are eligible for an underwriting premium credit of up to 5% if at least 50% of the firm's professional staff are NSPE members. Get more details by contacting or calling 301-961-9861.

Legal and Legislative Update
Read about significant legal and legislative activities of note to engineers. These summaries are compiled several times a year by NSPE Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Art Schwartz.
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