Latest News

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 Inc.com 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

Pipeline explosionA BURNED-OUT MASSACHUSETTS HOME AFTER THE GAS EXPLOSIONS
CREDIT: NTSB

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 (CSPEEF.org)

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 admin@cspeef.org.

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

MATHCOUNTS of California
c/o CSPEEF
333 University Ave., Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95825

or visit:

http://cspeef.org/donate/

For more information on MATHCOUNTS of California, visit http://cspeef.org/.

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