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Licensure Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession - and ASCE

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

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

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Craig N Musselman P.E. A & E Consulting

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Craig N. Musselman, P.E. is a practicing civil and environmental engineer and is the Founder and President of CMA Engineers, a consulting engineering firm with offices in New Hampshire and Maine. He holds B.S.C.E. and M.S.C.E. degrees from the University of Massachusetts and has more than 40 years experience in the planning, design and construction administration of public works facilities. Musselman is a former member of the New Hampshire Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and has been actively involved in the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) through committee and task force involvements. He is a member of the ABET Board of Directors and serves as ABET's Treasurer. Mr. Musselman is a Fellow of NSPE and ACEC and a Distinguished Member of ASCE. He is the chair of the ASCE Committee on Licensure. He is a frequent speaker on engineering licensure and education topics throughout the U.S.

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Sanjeev Kumar Southern Illinois University - Carbondale

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Norma J. Mattei P.E. University of New Orleans

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L.Robert Smith American Society of Civil Engineers

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Licensure Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE By: List of Co-Authors

Engineering licensure is critically important to civil engineers in that, unlike some other engineering disciplines, most practicing civil engineers are required to maintain a license as a professional engineer due to the unique aspect of their practice in the built environment and in dealing directly with the public. This paper will describe four changes that are currently in process or being considered in engineering licensure in the US that will impact civil engineers in the future: discipline specific licensure; separate licensure requirements for structural engineers; master’s or equivalent as a requirement for licensure in the future and consideration of alternate pathways to licensure; and, efforts to expedite licensure comity among jurisdictions with respect to continuing professional development requirements. Each of these four issues are briefly described below. Licensing engineers in a discipline specific fashion is an increasing trend. Eleven jurisdictions have either title acts or practice acts that limit the engineer’s title or practice to the specific discipline in which he or she is licensed. Numerous other jurisdictions have been transitioning to such provisions, without title or practice acts, through requiring that a board approved discipline be indicated on the PE stamp, or on the state’s on-line roster. The paper will address these trends and how this affects the practice of civil engineering. Structural engineers have been lobbying state PE boards and legislatures in recent years to license structural engineers separate from PE’s in order to further assure that engineers who design critical structures have passed the 16 hour NCEES structural engineering examination, and thus have demonstrated advanced knowledge of both vertical and horizontal forces in structural design. This is controversial among state licensing boards most of which have a long-standing tradition of licensing engineers only as professional engineers. Recent consideration of a Model Law change by NCEES regarding licensure of structural engineers will be described. NCEES has had an aspirational future requirement in the Model Law, and now in a position statement, advocating that future qualifications for licensure will require an engineering master’s or equivalent. This has been controversial within the engineering profession. In response to this controversy, NCEES has begun consideration in the past several years of an alternate pathway to licensure that would entail a baccalaureate degree plus profession and industry based continuing professional development that is not necessarily equivalent to a master’s degree. More than forty licensure jurisdictions have adopted requirements for continuing professional development for renewal of a PE license. This has created challenges for civil engineers who are licensed in multiple jurisdictions because the basic requirements, timing and application formats vary among jurisdictions. The paper will describe changes in process intended to facilitate CPD comity. AUTHOR BIOS

COORDINATING NOTE: This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, the coordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s program for the CE Division of ASEE in 2016. It should be considered for inclusion in the session “Educational & Professional Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession – and ASCE” that Tom Lenox is organizing and moderating.

Musselman, C. N., & Kumar, S., & Mattei, N. J., & Smith, L. (2016, June), Licensure Issues of Strategic Importance to the Civil Engineering Profession - and ASCE Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25567

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