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NSPE's Pan-Engineering BOK

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Raise the Bar – Visions for the Future, Bodies of Knowledge, and Accreditation Vicissitudes.

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.945.1 - 24.945.31



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Paper Authors


Stuart G. Walesh P.E. S. G. Walesh Consulting

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Stuart G. Walesh, Ph.D., P.E. is an author and independent consultant providing management and education and trainingmarketing services to engineering organizations. Prior to beginning his consultancy, he worked in the public, private, and academic sectors. Stu speaks and writes about engineering education and practice. His most recent book is Engineering Your Future: The Professional Practice of Engineering. Over a past 15 years, Stu has been active in the effort to reform the education and early experience of engineers.

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference; Indianapolis, Indiana, June 15-18, 2014 NSPE’s Pan-Engineering BOKIn 2011, the Licensure and Qualifications for Practice Committee (LQPC) of the NationalSociety of Professional Engineers (NSPE) undertook the challenge of defining, for thefirst time, an aspirational Engineering Body of Knowledge (EBOK). The EBOK needed tobe pan engineering, that is, broad enough to apply to all engineering disciplines,employment situations, and roles and be specific enough to be useful.The paper describes the reasons for developing the EBOK, the first edition of which wasapproved by the NSPE board in October 2013, including: recognizing that a BOK is oneessential of a profession; advancing NSPE’s stated vision, mission, and values; andbuilding on similar stimulating BOK initiatives undertaken by various engineeringsocieties. The EBOK is defined as the depth and breadth of knowledge, skills, andattitudes appropriate to enter practice as a professional engineer in responsiblecharge of engineering activities that potentially impact public health, safety, andwelfare.After describing the process used to develop the EBOK, the paper focuses onthe essence of the EBOK which is a set of capabilities that elaborate on andoperationalize knowledge, skills, and attitudes. A given capability consists ofmany diverse and specific abilities. The 30 capabilities comprising therecommended EBOK are organized into three categories, namely, Basic orFoundational, Technical, and Professional Practice.As explained in the paper, the forward-looking EBOK is intended to serve manyand varied stakeholders including prospective and current engineering students,Engineer Interns and Professional Engineers, engineering mentors andsupervisors, employers, engineering and other faculty, accreditation leaders, andlicensing and certification boards. The paper concludes with a summary of themeans being used to share the EBOK with stakeholders, stimulate thinking aboutit, and encourage action.COORDINATING NOTE:This abstract is submitted at the specific invitation and request of Tom Lenox, thecoordinator of the ASCE Liaison Committee’s program for the CE Division ofASEE in 2014. It should be considered for inclusion in the session that TomLenox is organizing and moderating.

Walesh, S. G. (2014, June), NSPE's Pan-Engineering BOK Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22878

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