The PE License in Academia
In the October issue of ASEE’s Prism magazine, two engineering educators ask, “Why the double standard?” The double standard, they say, comes from the dearth of engineering faculty who hold a PE license while engineering colleges preach the importance of PE licensure to their students.
The article is written by Rob Lang, P.E., a former dean and professor of civil engineering at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Kirankumar Topudurti, P.E., deputy director of the Engineer Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and an adjunct faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Both are NSPE members, and Topudurti won NSPE’s 2009 Federal Engineer of the Year Award.
The authors urge universities to set a goal of requiring the PE license for all tenured faculty. “Some will argue that tenured and tenure-track faculty with doctorates already have very high credentials,” the authors write. “This is undoubtedly true, but a license means something more. It means a practitioner can be trusted, as the NCEES Model Law puts it, to ‘safeguard life, health, and property and to promote the public welfare.’”