Asee peer logo

Countering Threats to Licensure with ASCE’s Engineer Tomorrow Initiative

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Key Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession - and ASCE - Part 1

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Bradley Aldrich PE American Society of Civil Engineers Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Bradley F. Aldrich, P.E., F.NSPE, F.ASCE is a Senior Associate and former President of Aldrich + Elliott, PC an environmental engineering firm and also serves as vice-chair of the Board of Professional Regulation for Engineers in Vermont. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont. Over his thirty-five year career, Mr. Aldrich has held project management and leadership positions with a national general contractor and several engineering firms before forming Aldrich + Elliott twenty years ago. He has served with distinction in the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) where he held the position of national President in 2008-2009. He is a registered professional engineer in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts and is a fellow member of both NSPE and ASCE.

visit author page


Kenneth H. Rosenfield American Society of Civil Engineers

visit author page

Kenneth H. Rosenfield, P.E., F.ASCE, Env SP is the Assistant City Manager/Public Services Director for the City of Laguna Hills, California. He has served in this position for the past 25 years. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of California.

During his career, Mr. Rosenfield has worked in both the private and public sectors and has evaluated and processed substantial private developments, overseen multimillion-dollar public works construction projects, initiated Engineering Departments in newly established cities, and directed the design of numerous street and infrastructure improvement projects. He believes in the tenet that civil engineers are here to serve the public good, to work to improve everyone’s quality of life and to use their knowledge, training and experience to solve problems in a positive manner.

Mr. Rosenfield is currently the Vice-chair of the Board of Governors of Region 9 (California) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Chair of the ASCE Public Policy Committee, Chair of the Region 9 Government Relations Committee and a member of the Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer. Formerly, he held the positions of an ASCE Region 9 Governor, President of the Los Angeles Section, and President of the Orange County Branch, as well as several other ASCE local and Regional positions.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside.

visit author page


Marlee A. Walton Iowa State University of Science and Technology

visit author page

Marlee Walton, PE, PS, is a Professor of Education in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department of Iowa State University (ISU) - also her alma mater. Marlee has been with ISU for nearly nineteen years providing oversight and teaching courses in the civil engineering curriculum. In addition to her role at ISU, Marlee has over twenty-three years of industry experience in the transportation area of civil engineering, working in both the public and private sector. She has functioned as a researcher, planner, designer, program manager, project manager, and company president. She has provided management and leadership services in surveying, photogrammetry, program management, transportation research, and transportation operations. Marlee is an emeritus member of the Iowa Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board, a program evaluator for ABET, and is a governor for Region 7 of ASCE.

visit author page


Jennifer Hofmann American Society of Civil Engineers

visit author page

Jennifer Hofmann, M.A.Ed, Aff.M.ASCE is the Manager of Professional Advancement at ASCE. In this role, she serves as primary staff contact for the Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer (CPFCE) and aid in advancing the Engineer Tomorrow initiative. Jennifer has a B.A. in Psychology from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. in Education and Human Development with a concentration in Educational Technology Leadership from The George Washington University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The engineering profession is dealing with more frequent and fervent attacks on licensure requirements for professional engineering. These attacks generally center around two issues: the relevance and need for licensure in today’s society, and concerns over barriers into entry to the profession. ASCE has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the licensure of civil engineers, the jurisdiction of civil engineers, and to make licensure of civil engineers more relevant in our changing world.

ASCE published the first edition of The Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CE-BOK1) in 2004, which defines the necessary depth and breadth of knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of all civil engineers in responsible charge of civil engineering. CE-BOK1 made clear that a civil engineering baccalaureate degree from an ABET-accredited program provides insufficient academic preparation for licensure as a professional engineer. Subsequently, ASCE attempted to influence licensing laws to increase the minimum educational requirements for licensure to address this deficiency. These previous efforts were unsuccessful as state licensing boards refused to seriously consider the need, thereby signaling that licensure is only a measure of minimal competency to practice. In light of this reality, ASCE has re-formed into the Engineer Tomorrow initiative. The goal of the Engineer Tomorrow initiative is to promote fulfillment of the CEBOK as the necessary prerequisite for individuals serving in responsible charge of significant civil engineering services to protect public health, safety and welfare.

ASCE recently completed work on the third edition of The Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CE-BOK3). What this version of the CE-BOK makes clear, perhaps even more than previous versions, is the need for civil engineers to pursue post-graduate education along with structured mentorship and self-development to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes. In many respects, the newest version of the CE-BOK places higher expectations on civil engineers than earlier versions. It is also clear that licensure, as it exists in all jurisdictions, does not ensure fulfillment of the CE-BOK. The gap that remains between the expectations of the civil engineering profession and the reality imposed by largely intransient licensing boards is the driving focus of ASCE’s Engineer Tomorrow effort.

The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research questions: • From ASCE’s perspective, what are the ongoing threats to licensure as a professional engineer? • Why do future civil engineers need to fulfill the CE-BOK to meet ever-changing societal needs and expectations? • How can ASCE’s “Engineer Tomorrow” Initiative shape the civil engineer of the future?

Based on the answers to these questions, the authors conclude with recommendations.

COORDINATING NOTE: This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s session(s) for the Civil Engineering Division of ASEE in June 2020. It should be considered for inclusion in the sessions on “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE.” that Leslie Nolan and Tom Lenox are organizing.

Aldrich, B., & Rosenfield, K. H., & Walton, M. A., & Hofmann, J. (2020, June), Countering Threats to Licensure with ASCE’s Engineer Tomorrow Initiative Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34339

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015