National PE Day

Posted on Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 by
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In 1907, the first professional engineering license was issued to Charles Bellamy in Wyoming. Since that time, the profession has evolved considerably with engineers designing and maintaining many of the facilities we rely on each day – water, roads, and electricity.

To raise awareness about what it means to be a professional engineer (PE), recognize licensed PEs, and show appreciation for the work they do each day, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) launched PE Day four years ago. We are excited once again to join in the celebration, so we asked four co-workers to share why they think licensure is important, what sparked their interest in engineering, and what continues to draw them to the profession. Here’s what they had to say:

Why do you think getting a PE is important?
Scott Crain: The PE designation lets others know an individual has the capability to be an effective problem solver in a particular discipline. While an important step in an engineer’s professional journey, becoming a PE should be viewed as a milestone rather than a destination. It is a minimum, but necessary standard that must be built upon with experience and continued self-improvement in order to gain, maintain, and advance the required skills, as well as the confidence of those you serve.

Jason Davis: Obtaining your PE license shows that you are willing and able to increase your capabilities. Getting the PE just doesn’t stop at taking a test. It marks a lifetime of learning.

Linda Rottinghaus: Getting your PE shows you are dedicated to being an engineer – always wanting to learn and keep up with current practices.

Ryan Stobaugh: I thought it was important to get licensed to further develop my career. As an engineer with a PE, I have the opportunity to develop into a project manager.

What sparked your interest in being an engineer?
Scott Crain: Advancing society through innovation and/or solving real world problems is what engineers do. How does it get any better than that?

Jason Davis: As a kid I couldn’t wait for it to rain, so that I could take a stick and make dams and canals in the mud. Child entertainment is too complex these days!

Linda Rottinghaus: I was always trying to figure out how things worked when I was younger, which evolved into solving math problems in high school. My brother-in-law (who was an engineer) suggested I look into it as a career, which I am so happy he did, because I’ve really enjoyed the different projects I’ve worked on.

Ryan Stobaugh: I enjoy problem solving and building things. Being an engineer allows me to do both.

What keeps you interested in the profession? Any new developments you’re looking forward to seeing and designing for?
Scott Crain: The typical engineering career goes through many phases. You don’t have to do the same thing for 40 years. If you’re bored, you’re not in the right role/organization or not stretching sufficiently for that next opportunity.

Jason Davis: The complexity of the projects continues to increase. Some of that comes from new technology, and some comes from the impact it has on the community. It’s always interesting. There are plenty of new problems to tackle…I believe the effects of climate change will bring a lot of engineering resources to bear on this problem that affects more than just the coastal areas of our country.

Linda Rottinghaus: Two projects are never exactly the same. Each has its own challenges, and it’s coming up with solutions to those issues that I find interesting. I also think, as technology keeps expanding, designing for fully autonomous vehicles will be exciting. Finding solutions that work for all types of commuters is something I’m interested in.

Ryan Stobaugh: I continue learning as I work through projects. Solving problems specific to each one keeps thing interesting. The longer I work I can see that no two projects are the same.

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