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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

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