President’s REPORT by Nathan Schwartz, PE
Engineering: It’s Everywhere R
emember the Titans. Song. Rudy.
Brian’s The Longest
Yard. Friday Night Lights. We Are Marshall.
These are some great football movies. When my wife told me we were going to watch a movie called August Rush, I figured it would be another football flick. If you haven’t seen it, it is about a young boy that has a gift for music. He hears music everywhere and wants to share what he hears.
In the movie, the main character tries to tries to achieve his dream but meets adversity.
help from a variety of people. Each person shares a little bit of their gifts helping him to become better. He grows throughout the movie and in the ends says, “Music is all around us, all you have to do is listen.”
What does this have to do with engineering?
it appears that is has nothing to do with engineering.
From the outside, I beg to
differ. I think the movie is about engineering, but they use music as a metaphor.
Undoubtedly, engineers start off as young boys and girls that have a talent for math or science. They
4 I L L I N O I S E N G I N E E R • Winter 2012
grow and realize they like to solve problems. Throughout school and their careers, they run up against obstacles. Some they can overtake on their own. With other obstacles they need help. Every time a teacher guides them, they get a little better. Every time a team member helps them to complete a project, they grow a little.
Some engineers share their
knowledge and experience by teaching or mentoring others at their offices. Some share their talents by designing infrastructure the public can use safely. I believe everyone should share their gifts. It makes for a better community.
In the early days, if you had a green thumb, you were a farmer. If you could stand the heat, you were the blacksmith. If you had a steady hand, you were the seamstress. If you had no skills but people thought you were funny, you were the entertainment. The world still functions in the same manner, just on a different scale.
I know that if everyone contributes what they are good at, we can make this a pretty good place to live.
became an engineer because I wanted to make the world a better
don’t know if I can ever quit. The world is far from perfect.
If I’m going to do that, I What
helps me from going crazy is that I know everyone reading this is also working on the same goal. The Engineer’s Creed sums it up nicely:
As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare. I pledge: To give the utmost of
performance; To participate in none but honest
enterprise; To live and work according to
the laws of man and the highest standards of professional conduct; To place service before profit, the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations. In humility and with need for Divine Guidance, I make this pledge.
Let me say thank you to everyone I know and those I haven’t yet met. Because of engineers like you, this is a pretty good place to live. Keep up the good work.
Engineering is all around us, all you have to do is look.
Executive VIEWPOINT by Kim Robinson, CAE
The Continued Evolution of Licensure S
everal years ago, professional engineers in Illinois were asked
to state the most critical issue they faced in their practices. While they had the option to choose from a wide variety of potential responses, including homeland security, decline
in student engineering
program enrollment, the job market, and the U.S. competitive edge in the global market, engineers said that their most critical issue was unqualified individuals performing engineering services.
The licensure of professionals providing critical health, life and public safety services has a long history in the world, in the United States and in Illinois. The concept of ensuring competency
back to 1800 B.C. when the ruler Hammurabi established a death sentence
for any builder who
constructed a house that collapsed and caused the death of the owner. The first effort to establish a formal process for ensuring competency before offering services occurred in 1140 A.D. when Roger of Normandy required physicians to pass an examination and be certified by their peers.
In the United States, Wyoming was the first state to license engineers in
1907 when its state engineer realized that many of the state’s engineers lacked the training to carry out their duties. By 1947, every other state had followed suit.
In Illinois, engineers plans. have been
licensed since 1945. Only licensed engineers may prepare, sign and seal engineering
employers and owners are relying on a PE license as an indication of competency for higher level engineering positions and positions of authority. Engineering graduates who pursue licensure, in addition to their engineering degrees, are best able to make career transitions and also offer a competitive advantage in the workplace. The professional engineering license not only offers assurance to the public
practitioner is qualified, it also opens the door to career opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach if an employer or client determines that they their needs require a PE.
In the 21st century, the engineering
profession will become increasingly complex. Emerging areas of practice such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, new energy development and advances in nuclear engineering are leading experts to re- evaluate engineering education and
licensure. The American Society of Civil Engineers have suggested that a four-year degree, even with the ongoing professional development required by many states, may no longer be enough to prepare PEs of the future for the practice of engineering.
ASCE and other organizations
support more stringent requirements for licensure
engineers. Many state licensing boards, including Illinois, begun their own reviews of
of professional have
engineering education. Of note is
the gradual decrease in
number of credits required for an undergraduate engineering degree, from 150 in recent decades down to 128 currently. As a result, many are calling for an additional 30 hours of post-graduate work in order to qualify for the licensure examination. The current plan is for these changes to take effect in 2015.
ASCE believes that a greater depth of knowledge and skills is essential to meet the increasingly complex demands of the profession and for the continued protection of the public health, safety and welfare. According to ASCE, the 21st
century engineer See ED page 14 I L L I N O I S E N G I N E E R • Winter 2012 5
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