Latest News

NSPE-CA Presents Ethics Panel Featuring NSPE Contest Winners

Date: March 17, 2021

Prepare to navigate the ethical challenges you may encounter in your engineering career by attending this NSPE-CA ethics panel and Q&A session. In this free lunchtime virtual session on March 25 (12 p.m.-1 p.m. PT), you will gain insight into navigating ethical dilemmas as two winners of NSPE’s Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest share their winning submissions.

Linda H. Bergeron, P.E., FAIChE, CCPSC, will present Public Health and Safety — Building Codes to Address Environmental Risk (2019). She is a senior process engineer with Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) in chlor-alkali chemical manufacturing at the Taft, Louisiana facility.

Beth Fifield Hodgson, P.E., will present Public Health, Safety, and Welfare—Driverless/Autonomous Vehicle (2017). She is the principal engineer of Spring Environmental based in Spokane, Washington.

Upcoming Society Board of Directors Meeting

Date: March 17, 2021

All NSPE-CA members are welcome to attend the next NSPE-CA board meeting on April 16 (3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m). Please join us to learn more about your association, including how you can develop your leadership skills by becoming more involved.

Join the Meeting
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

You can also dial in using your phone: United States: +1 (224) 501-3412
Meeting Access Code: 215-524-845

Caltrans Releases Transportation Plan 2050

Date: March 17, 2021

Caltrans has released the California Transportation Plan (CTP) 2050 to provide a roadmap for achieving a safe, resilient, and universally accessible transportation system. The objective of the plan is to support vibrant communities, advance racial and economic justice, and improve public and environmental health.

By 2050, California is estimated to be home to six million new residents. Approximately a quarter of the population will be over 65, and the state will become even more racially and ethnically diverse. These and other changes will impact where people live, how they travel, and the transportation options they require to meet evolving needs and preferences.

The CTP 2050 does the following:

  • Provides a unifying and foundational policy framework for making effective, transparent, and transformational transportation decisions in California;
  • Addresses the varied transportation needs of urban, suburban, rural, and Tribal communities; and
  • Emphasizes implementation and identifies a timeline, roles, and responsibilities for each plan recommendation.

The CTP does not contain projects, but policies and strategies required to close the gap between what the regional transportation plans aim to achieve and how much more is required to meet 2050 goals.

Access the plan.

California’s Future STEM Leaders

Date: March 17, 2021

$650K NSF Grant Funds First-Gen Scholar Initiative at Azusa Pacific University

California’s growing technological workforce is driving demand for qualified professionals with STEM degrees. Yet low-income, first-generation college students interested in these career fields often encounter barriers. Azusa Pacific University is taking steps to change that with the assistance of a $650,000 National Science Foundation S-STEM grant to recruit, retain, and graduate high-achieving, low-income, first-generation students called to make a difference as computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and physicists.

“This NSF S-STEM grant enables APU, a designated R2 research institution, to deepen its commitment to engaging underserved students in a high level of research with faculty members who are leaders in their industries, which translates to richer learning opportunities and better marketability upon graduation,” said President Paul Ferguson, PhD, DABT. “Recruiting, supporting, and graduating the next generation of STEM professionals supports the university’s strategic plan to become a university destination of choice for a diverse body of students, reflecting inclusive academic excellence.”

The NSF S-STEM scholarship grant funds APU’s five-year STEM scholar initiative and research study to improve college accessibility and support for promising students with demonstrated financial need who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics.

Read more.

NSPE Career Center

Date: March 17, 2021

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

The latest California jobs are pulled from the NSPE Job Board and appear on the NSPE-CA website. New career opportunities are also posted through NSPE-CA social media profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Featured Jobs
Water Resources Engineer
Irvine, CA

Senior Air Quality Engineer
Fresno, CA

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

NSPE-CA Focuses on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Date: February 17, 2021

NSPE-CA recently partnered with the San Diego County Engineering Council to host a panel discussion on the challenges people of color and other underrepresented communities face when trying to break through the known and unknown barriers in the engineering field.

The panel featured members of NSPE’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Chair Jacquelyn Brooks, P.E., Richard Easley, and Kerrie Greenfelder, P.E., shared their personal experiences. The program was recorded and is available for viewing free of charge (no registration required).

Watch the discussion.

Upcoming Society Board of Directors Meeting

Date: February 17, 2021

All NSPE-CA members are welcome to attend the next NSPE-CA Board of Directors meeting on Friday, February 19 (3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. PT). Please join us to learn more about your association, including how you can develop your leadership skills by becoming more involved.

Join the Meeting
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone: United States: +1 (224) 501-3412
Meeting Access Code: 215-524-845

Get Ready for Engineers Week!

Date: February 17, 2021


Engineers Week is a time to celebrate the important work of engineers and engage the next generation of innovators. Even with social distancing, you can make a difference. Here are a few activities that will be of interest to NSPE-CA members.

Future of Engineering
Join NSPE leaders Tricia Hatley, P.E., F.NSPE and Rick Guerra, P.E., F.NSPE, as they discuss the future of engineering and how our changing world will impact the profession during a free webinar on Monday, February 22 (1 p.m.-2p.m. ET/10 a.m.-11 a.m. PT). Webinar participants can earn one professional development hour.

San Diego Engineers Week Festival Program (February 22-26)
This is a free event that will celebrate the contributions of engineers with various activities throughout the week for professional engineers and K-12 and college students.

2021 NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year Award Webcast
NSPE celebrates the 2021 federal agency winners, the Top 10 Finalists, and announces the 2021 NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year via pre-recorded webcast on Wednesday, February 24 at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on the NSPE website and YouTube channel.

NSPE Trivia Hour
Cap off your Engineers Week with some Friday fun. Join your peers for a lively game of trivia on Friday, February 26 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. The cost is just $15 for members or $25 for non-members. Sign up to show off your trivia knowledge—or just to play a fun game with new friends.

Building Resilient Communities in California

Date: February 17, 2021

A coalition of California government and business organizations have joined forces to present a free webinar series to share expertise on preparing for natural disasters. The webinars will feature view interviews and discussions with leading experts in structural engineering, seismology, architecture, business, construction, development, financing, government, law & risk management.

Featured Webinars

State Licensing Board News

Date: February 17, 2021

Department of Consumer Affairs

The California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists has released its latest newsletter—Winter 2020.

Click here to access the PDF on the BPELSG website.

NSPE Career Center

Date: February 17, 2021

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

The latest California jobs are pulled from the NSPE Job Board and appear on the NSPE-CA website. New career opportunities are also posted through NSPE-CA social media profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Featured Jobs
Structural Engineer
Los Angeles, CA

Senior Civil Engineer
Salinas, CA

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Licensing Board Introduces Second Phase of Licensing Portal

Date: January 27, 2021

The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists has introduced the second phase of its new application and licensing portal designed to promote effective connection between the board and its applicants and license holders. License renewals are now available for all eligible licenses plus refinements to the current EIT/LSIT application processes.

Register for BPELSG Connect here.

State Issues Final Report on Causes of August Rolling Outages

Date: January 27, 2021

The California Independent System Operator, California Public Utilities Commission, and California Energy Commission issued a final root cause analysis of the August 2020 heat wave and rotating outages.

CAISO was forced to institute rotating electricity outages in California on August 14 and 15, 2020, in the midst of an extreme heat wave. Following these emergency events, Gov. Gavin Newsom requested the agencies report on the root causes of the events leading to the outages.

The Final Root Cause Analysis confirms the preliminary report’s findings that the three major factors leading to the August outages were related to extreme weather conditions, resource adequacy and planning processes, and market practices.

Read more.

Transportation Institute Analyzes CA Transportation Revenue Possibilities

Date: January 27, 2021

Drastic changes to travel behavior during the pandemic have decreased fuel tax revenue, but the extent and timing of financial recovery in the years to come remain uncertain. New Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) research, The Impact of the COVID-19 Recovery on California Transportation Revenue: A Scenario Analysis through 2040, estimates the impact the COVID-19 pandemic would have on state-generated transportation revenue under six potential economic recovery scenarios, projecting future transportation revenue in California through 2040.

The six scenarios vary by several variables, including the length of the economic downturn and differences in transportation trends such as vehicle miles traveled (VMT), light-duty fleet size, and the mix of internal-combustion engine (ICE) vs. zero-emission vehicles (ZEV). These projections only consider revenue collected by the state through California Senate Bill 1: The Road Repair Accountability Act (SB1).

Read more.

Will California-Las Vegas High Speed Line Construction Start in the Spring?

Date: January 27, 2021

High-speed rail company Brightline West hopes to begin construction of its $8.4 billion, 168-mile California–Las Vegas high speed line in the second quarter of 2021.

Work on the project was originally scheduled to begin at the end of 2020, but was delayed due to a failure to source buyers for $2.4 billion of private bonds, according to a Railway Age article. The bonds, approved for the project by the states of California ($600 million) and Nevada ($200 million), were later repurposed to support affordable housing projects in the two states.

Read more.

Making Masks Smarter and Safer Against COVID-19

Date: January 27, 2021

A new tool for monitoring COVID-19 may one day be right under your nose. Researchers at the University of California San Diego are developing a color-changing test strip that can be stuck on a mask and used to detect SARS-CoV-2 in a person’s breath or saliva.

The project, which received $1.3 million from the National Institutes of Health, is aimed at providing simple, affordable and reliable surveillance for COVID-19 infections that can be done daily and easily implemented in resource-poor settings. It is part of the NIH’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Radical (RADx-rad) program for COVID-19.

“In many ways, masks are the perfect ‘wearable’ sensor for our current world,” said Jesse Jokerst, professor of nanoengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and lead principal investigator of the project. “We’re taking what many people are already wearing and repurposing them so we can quickly and easily identify new infections and protect vulnerable communities.”

Read more.

NSPE Career Center

Date: January 27, 2021

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

The latest California jobs are pulled from the NSPE Job Board and appear on the NSPE-CA website. New career opportunities are also posted through NSPE-CA social media profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Featured Jobs
Resident Engineer
Ventura, CA

Public Works Director/City Engineer
Menifee, CA

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

Mailed License Renewal Notices Are Going Away

Date: December 16, 2020

Watch for notices from the licensing board to register in new online system.

A message from the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists:

As many of you know, in early 2020 the board initiated the development of a new application/licensing system designed to facilitate the submittal of applications and management of license(s) through an online portal, known as BPELSG Connect. The first release resulting from this development launched in September 2020 with online engineer-in-training and land surveyor-in-training applications in addition to online complaint submittals.

The board anticipates that renewal of existing licenses will be included in the next release, which is scheduled to occur in early 2021. Traditionally, license holders have become accustomed to receiving a renewal notification in the mail around 30-60 days prior to their license renewal date, on a biennial basis. These notices are printed and mailed by a state agency, through a cooperative agreement with the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on behalf of the board. Due to circumstances outside of the board’s or DCA’s control, this other agency will discontinue production and distribution of the printed renewal notices sometime during 2021.

Once renewal functionality in the next release of BPELSG Connect becomes publicly available, it will be imperative for each individual license holder to register a new profile in the system as soon as possible to ensure that future renewal notices are received by each license holder in a timely and efficient manner.

It is anticipated that during registration, the license holder will:

  • Confirm contact information including address of record
  • Link their profile to their existing license(s)
  • Verify receipt of a confirmation email

The board believes that this initial process should only require approximately 10 minutes of the license holder’s time to complete and will be well worth that time to ensure that each license holder is properly served in an effective manner during this transition.

PE application and renewal fees increase on January 1
The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists is increasing PE application fees from $125 to $175 and renewal fees from $115 to $180, beginning January 1, 2021.

The board is standardizing fees for services to all professions it regulates and is addressing the structural imbalances in its budget to ensure future solvency. It has also clarified under what circumstances certificates, including duplicate certificates, will be issued. This regulatory action becomes effective on January 1, 2021.

Access the full text of the changes (in the links under the second paragraph).

California Commission Approves $2 Billion for Infrastructure Projects

Date: December 16, 2020

The California Transportation Commission has approved $2 billion for 56 new projects, some of which aim to improve the movement of goods and reduce congestion. These projects are supported by three programs that were created by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, according to a Transport Topics article.

The legislation, also known as Senate Bill 1, raised the tax for diesel by 20 cents to 36 cents per gallon and for gasoline by 12 cents to 41.7 cents per gallon. “These projects are going to benefit California in multiple important ways,” said Commission Chairman Hilary Norton. “This will be a game changer for transportation in California, especially as the state moves toward making travel on all of these modes cleaner.”

Read more.

State to Offer $500 Million in COVID-19 Business Relief Funds

Date: December 16, 2020

More financial relief is on the way for businesses taking repeated hits from the COVID-19 pandemic, under a series of programs announced by Governor Gavin Newsom.

California is developing a new $500 million Covid Relief Grant program for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. The program would provide grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses and nonprofits. The funds would be distributed through community development financial institutions and could arrive by early next year, according to the governor’s office.

Read more.

Pathway to 100% Clean Electricity Begins to Take Shape, but Reliability Concerns Persist

Date: December 16, 2020

The California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and California Air Resources Board released a draft report on getting to a 2045 clean electricity portfolio, which indicated that the goal is technically achievable, according to a Utility Dive article.

But multiple stakeholders raised the need to think hard about system reliability at a joint agency workshop, including Jim Shetler, general manager at the Balancing Authority of Northern California. “[W]e support California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals as defined in SB 100—with the understanding that implementation needs to be balanced against the equally important requirements of safety, reliability and affordability,” Shetler said.

Read more.

A Jump Start on the Hydrogen Fuel Economy

Date: December 16, 2020

Since President George W. Bush fueled a minivan with hydrogen 15 years ago, the promise of cars and trucks powered by the fuel has come up mostly empty. That hydrogen pump, in Washington, closed long ago. But in California, the beginnings of a hydrogen economy may finally be dawning after many fits and starts, according to a New York Times report.

Dozens of hydrogen buses are lumbering down city streets, while more and larger fueling stations are appearing from San Diego to San Francisco, financed by the state and federal governments. With the costs of producing and shipping hydrogen coming down, California is setting ambitious goals to phase out vehicles that run on fossil fuels in favor of batteries and hydrogen. Large auto and energy companies like Toyota Motor and Royal Dutch Shell have committed to supplying more cars and fueling stations.

“In past cycles, there was always something missing,” said Matthew Blieske, Shell’s global hydrogen product manager. “There was a policy missing, or the technology wasn’t quite ready, or people were not so serious about decarbonization. We don’t see those barriers anymore.”

Read more.

A recent San Francisco Chronicle article also highlights the growth in advocacy for hydrogen powered cars.

NSPE Career Center

Date: December 16, 2020

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Jobs
Deputy Director, Transportation Authority
San Carlos, CA

Federal Program Manager – USACE
Los Angeles, CA

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

In Response to Pandemic, NCEES Schedules Regional Testing for PE Civil Exam

Date: November 18, 2020

To accommodate as many pencil-and-paper examinees as safely as possible, NCEES has added a regional exam administration on January 26, 2021, for PE Civil examinees only. Pomona, California will serve as a host city.

Registration for the regional PE Civil exam administration opened on November 1, 2020, and closes on December 14, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. EST. The exam will be administered in Pomona and the following cities: Phoenix, AZ; Denver, CO; Groton, CT; Orlando, FL; Topeka, KS; Louisville, KY; Minneapolis, MN; Raleigh, NC; Las Vegas, NV; Cleveland, OH; Salem, OR; Houston, TX; Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle, WA.

Additional cities may be added. Visit the NCEES website for details.

Welcome to our newest professional members!

Date: November 18, 2020

Lawrence Garlit, P.E.
Kevin Pezzoni, P.E.

Long Beach Named a Top STEM City

Date: November 18, 2020

Long Beach, California was recognized as a 2020 Top STEM City for being a community showcasing exceptional dedication to science, technology, engineering, and math education and careers.

The data science team at Insurify (an insurance quotes comparison site) analyzed both proprietary and publicly accessible data to determine the top STEM city in each state. The team identified cities with the highest proportion of residents in STEM-based careers and compiled data from Niche on the colleges and graduate schools with the best programs in STEM, as well as the best cities for women in tech.

Read more.

CA Energy Commission Approves $384 Million for Clean Transportation

Date: November 18, 2020

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a $384 million plan for critical clean transportation investments to boost the adoption of zero-emission cars and trucks and help the state reach its climate, clean energy and public health goals. The plan focuses on closing gaps in zero-emission fuels and infrastructure to support Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035.

“The zero-emission transportation market continues to be California’s for the making, delivering jobs and cleaner air especially in communities most in need of relief,” said lead commissioner for transportation Patty Monahan. “This funding plan is another down payment on electrifying transportation while helping ensure everyone can take part through access to convenient refueling, innovative mobility options, workforce training programs and more.”

The 2020-2023 Investment Plan Update for the CEC’s Clean Transportation Program (formerly known as the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program) prioritizes funding for zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, related workforce development and manufacturing.

Read more.

Buildings that Survive Generations

Date: November 18, 2020

A USC Viterbi School of Engineering master’s student learns what fortifies structures, while bolstering her civil engineering future one opportunity at a time.

Growing up, Maria Herrera Leos’ father didn’t expect his daughter to be an engineer.

“In Mexico, we still struggle with a lot of sexism,” Leos, a Fulbright scholar and USC Viterbi master’s student, said. “My dad told me to take it easy—study something more appropriate ‘for a woman’ and then get married. I took it badly. I’m not here for those purposes only.”

Construction is a vital job in her hometown of Aguacalientes, Leos said. At the same time, earthquakes—which have caused devastation to the homes of her neighbors throughout the years—are a core concern when building.

Said Leos: “I want to do something that helps people and has a societal impact. Some parts of Mexico have a lot of seismic activity, which can cause buildings to be damaged or collapse. People are afraid of sleeping in their houses afterward—even preferring to sleep on the streets. I want to help them feel safe again.”

Your Voice with Government—NSPE-CA Board Members Meet with Key Legislator

Date: October 28, 2020

Your NSPE-CA Board of Directors met last month for the first time with the chair of the Assembly committee that reviews bills related to licensure. The board hoped the meeting would be the beginning of a relationship between your society and a key member of the California Legislature.

Assembly member Evan Low, chair of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, said he wanted to meet with the board in hopes of establishing a relationship with NSPE-CA. He emphasized that he wanted to “demystify” politicians and open lines of communication between himself, the society, and members. He sees the California government and NSPE-CA members ideally working together to provider a greater sense of confidence to consumers.

Evan Low

In light of COVID-19, Low said there is “great uncertainty” regarding the budget as well as what the Legislature will be focusing on when it reconvenes in 2021. He sees “specific accommodations for small business” as a key concern.

NSPE-CA officers provided Low with background information on engineering. Vice President Joseph Quinn made sure the NSPE-CA Emerging Technology Information Guide was provided to Low in advance, and Treasurer Ken Discenza shared the challenges in becoming licensed in California as compared with other states. NSPE-CA and legislative staff have a follow up meeting scheduled.

Members also have a role in influencing legislation. Low emphasized the importance of NSPE-CA members building a rapport with their local legislators. To find your local legislator, use this tool on NSPE-CA’s new Advocacy Center.

Welcome to our newest professional members!

Date: October 28, 2020

Omar Bin Taleb
Adam Burwinkle, P.E.
Mansour Firouzian, P.E.
Joshua Henson, P.E.
Capt. Chris Meyer, P.E.
Lt. Michael Pollard, P.E.
Yipming Tang, P.E.
Scott Weinhardt, E.I.T.
Ashley CB Weiss, P.E.

Licensing Board Launches New Portals for EIT Applications and Complaints

Date: October 28, 2020

The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists launched the first phase of its new application and licensing portal designed to improve interactions between the board, applicants, and license holders. Engineers-in-Training and Land Surveyors-in-Training applicants can create a user profile and submit an application with a direct connection with board staff, through to the issuance of the EIT or LSIT certification. The board looks forward to extending this functionality to include all applications and license renewals in the near future.

The board also introduced a new complaint submittal process which is integrated with the new online application and licensing portal. It is designed to promote effective connection between the board and those who need assistance from the the enforcement program.

Catch up on the latest licensing board news in the Fall 2020 issue of the Bulletin.

EPA Announces $108 Million to Improve Water Quality in the California Delta

Date: October 28, 2020

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $108 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the Stockton Public Financing Authority to help modernize the city’s wastewater treatment facility and reduce nitrogen discharges to the San Joaquin River.

With this loan, EPA is supporting a regionally significant project that will improve water quality and support public health and the economies of the California Delta, as reported in an October 12 Water World article.

“Since the first WIFIA loan closed in April 2018, the program has become increasingly efficient and has established itself as a valuable tool to help finance needed water infrastructure improvements across the country,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water David Ross. “EPA’s 32 WIFIA loans are providing $6 billion in credit assistance to help finance $13 billion for water infrastructure while creating more than 28,000 jobs and saving ratepayers $3.6 billion.”

Read more.

How to Help Overworked Employees Refuel for Another Stretch of Uncertainty

Date: October 28, 2020

Several months into the pandemic, Peter Newell’s Palo Alto, California-based innovation consulting firm BMNT hadn’t skipped a beat. Business was up as more clients sought its advice on how to adapt to a world grappling with Covid-19 and his already distributed team made the remote work transition seamlessly, according to a recent article. Still, Newell faced the same challenge all leaders faced, that of supporting a team that’s juggling work, childcare, and countless other challenges.

Now six months into the pandemic—with no discernible end in sight—that task is all the more urgent.

Read more.

NSPE Career Center

Date: October 28, 2020

NSPE’s Job Board is your one-stop resource for professional engineering employment. Whether you are on the hunt for your next career move or looking for today’s top engineering leaders and talent, you will find it here.

NSPE provides the tools PEs need to keep current in the profession and advance their careers.

Featured Jobs
Dean, Henry Samueli School of Engineering
University of California, Irvine

Electrical Manager of Engineering
City of Palo Alto

Find more job openings or reach the right employees on the NSPE Job Board.

NSPE Statement of Concern During a Time of Social Unrest

Date: June 15, 2020

The National Society of Professional Engineers deplores the injustice within our society that led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. We also condemn the violence it has in some places provoked. Racism in any form is not acceptable. To this end, I would remind all members that basic human decency and the NSPE Code of Ethics demand that “Engineers shall treat all persons with dignity, respect, fairness and without discrimination.”

The violent events we are witnessing make us all painfully aware of the work that remains to be done to address the root causes of this societal ill and heal its wounds. They also underscore our profession’s imperative of putting our own house in order.

Read the full text of the message from NSPE President David P. Martini, P.E., F.NSPE.

NSPE-CA Member Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Chun, P.E., Named FEYA Finalist

Date: March 12, 2020

NSPE-CA member Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Chun, P.E., was named as the US Department of Interior National Park Service 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year. The award honors the best and brightest engineers employed at federal agencies.

Chun is the Design & Construction Branch Chief at Yosemite National Park. At his duty station in Mariposa, California, he serves as a Public Health Service officer, holding positions as a technical engineer, project manager, and supervisor.

One of Chun’s most notable achievements was the completion of a $1.6 million decentralized wastewater treatment system to replace an outdated, malfunctioning setup. Complementing his planning, design, and construction manager duties for that project, he facilitated research using student interns to perform hydraulic modeling, groundwater monitoring, and soil profiling.

He was also park coordinator for the recent construction of $17 million in sewerage infrastructure improvements that accommodate two communities and visitors traveling to Yosemite Valley.

In addition to his professional duties, Chun volunteers on a management team aimed at improving staff housing conditions and promoting sustainable practices. Timothy Sullivan, Ph.D., P.E., of the US Department of the Air Force, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, was named the 2020 Federal Engineer of the Year at the national award ceremony on February 14 in Washington, D.C. Chun was recognized at the ceremony as a top 10 finalist.

NSPE-CA member Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Chun, P.E.

Photo Credit: NSPE and Christie’s Photographic Solutions

Engineer Meet and Greet is a Sell-out

Date: January 28, 2020

By Joseph Quinn
NSPE-CA Vice President

Joseph Quinn

NSPE-CA and the International Society of Automation–Los Angeles sold out their first open engineers meet and greet event on January 28.

More than 30 people attended the lunchtime event at the Rock & Brews in El Segundo. Members of the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers were among the attendees. NSPE-CA Vice President Joseph Quinn coordinated the event with ISA-LA President-Elect Nand Khidkikar.

As an ice breaker, attendees were asked to share their most memorable moments as an engineer. Among the (censored) stories that can be shared here:

  • Hiding under a blanket from guerrillas while being locked in a caged facility.
  • Organizing and attending an event with several engineers in an exotic location.
  • Conducting a failure investigation of a large fountain while a hundred jets and robots were in operation.

Who ever said engineers are boring?

Watch your email for more events this year from NSPE-CA or follow NSPE-California on Eventbrite. If you’re not yet a member, you can be sure to hear about our events by joining our mailing list.

View the photo album from this event.

NTSB Report and NSPE's Action on this Issue

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent letters to the governors of 31 states named in its final report on the Merrimack Valley gas pipeline explosions, including California. The letter requests an end to the engineering license exemption for gas pipeline operators in these states, and asks for governors to provide an update to the NTSB with in 90 days.

When the NTSB began its investigation of the Merrimack Valley gas pipeline explosions, investigative staff reached out to NSPE seeking information about licensing exemptions. Through a series of conversations and emails, NSPE shared report data, information on the licensing process and requirements, and its Position Statement on licensing exemptions. Consequently, NSPE was successful in getting the NTSB to adopt a policy of addressing and eliminating engineering license exemptions within the gas pipeline industry.

NSPE’s national staff continues to be in conversation with NTSB staff, and will continue to share updates as they happen. We are happy to support state efforts at eliminating this exemption.

Read the full report from NTSB.

NTSB Report and Recommendations


NTSB has released an abstract of its forthcoming final report on the fatal Merrimack Valley pipeline explosion from September of last year. Final revisions are being made to the report, but in the report’s synopsis/executive summary, NTSB states that “requiring a licensed professional engineer to stamp plans would illustrate that the plans had been approved by an accredited professional with the requisite skills, knowledge, and experience to provide a comprehensive review.” Acknowledging the importance of the role of the PE in preventing an event like this from occurring, NTSB recommends the elimination of the licensing exemption on natural gas pipeline projects in the 31 states that have the exemption in place, including the state of California.

Read the synopsis of the report.

NSPE President and NSPE-CA Leadership Strategize at Google

NSPE-CA welcomed NSPE 2018–19 President Michael Aitken and his spouse Pamela to Northern California for the society’s end of the year board meeting and strategic planning workshop. The event was hosted in June jointly with the Education Foundation (

We were graciously hosted at Google’s main campus in Mountain View with a day filled with talking linkages between NSPE-CA to NSPE’s Strategic Plan, recognizing our leadership, and working on succession planning.

Aitken provided input throughout the meetings and installed our incoming officers. We enjoyed locally crafted sandwiches and salads and then ended our day with a walking tour of Google’s main campus.

> View the entire photo album.

California Team Places Third at National MATHCOUNTS Competition

Date: May 14, 2019

Congratulations to the outstanding mathletes who represented California in the 2019 Raytheon MATHCOUNTS National Competition that took place May 11–14 in Orlando, Florida. Eighth graders William Chen, Alan Lee, Eric Shen, and Andrew Wen and Coach Peta-Gaye Robinson placed third in the team competition.

In addition, three of the California team members ranked among the top individuals:

  • William Chen was a quarterfinalist
  • Eric Shen was a Countdown Round participant
  • Andrew Wen ranked 27th overall.

Coach Robinson, William, and Andrew are from Hopkins Junior High School in Fremont. Alan is from Fletcher Middle School in Palo Alto, and Eric is from Miller Middle School in San Jose.

Daniel Mai, an eighth-grader from Acton, Massachusetts, placed first among individuals during the Countdown Round on May 13. He won by answering the question, “What is the quotient of 5040 divided by the product of its unique prime factors?” He gave the correct answer of “24,” in less than 23 seconds. Mai’s win garnered him the $20,000 Donald G. Weinert College Scholarship.

More than 200 finalist mathletes from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and State Department and Department of Defense schools compete for the top prize.

MATHCOUNTS of California is made possible through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations. It is sponsored by the California Society of Professional Engineers Education Foundation.

If you would like to volunteer for MATHCOUNTS of California, please email CSPEEF Executive Director Jeanne Marie Tokunaga at

To donate funds to support MATHCOUNTS of California, you may send a check to:

MATHCOUNTS of California
333 University Ave., Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825

or visit:

For more information on MATHCOUNTS of California, visit

MATHCOUNTS CompetitionCalifornia team receiving their medals after finding out they placed 3rd. From left to right: Tracey Gray (Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, Space & Airborne Systems, Raytheon Company), William Chen, Andrew Wen, Eric Shen, Alan Lee, Peta-Gaye Robinson (coach), John Daegele (Chair, MATHCOUNTS Board of Directors) Credit: Damian Strohmeyer