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Professional Engineering Licensure And Professional Experience Among Civil Engineering Faculty: A Multi Institutional Comparison

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Professional Issues in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.983.1 - 14.983.18



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Paper Authors


Brock Barry Purdue University

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Brock E. Barry is a post-doctoral research assistant in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Dr. Barry received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University and holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a M.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Barry has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor within the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is a licensed professional engineer in four states and has 10+ years of consulting engineering experience. His research interests include engineering ethics, assessment, motivation theory, and integration of professional skills in the engineering curriculum.

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Yusuf Mehta Rowan University

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Dr. Mehta is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rowan University. Dr. Mehta has extensive experience in teaching several civil engineering courses and has published several technical and educational papers in leading professional organizations. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New Jersey.

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Sean St. Clair Oregon Institute of Technology

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Sean St.Clair is an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Oregon Institute of Technology where he teaches structural engineering courses and conducts research in engineering education. Dr. St.Clair is also a registered professional engineer in Oregon and consults in the areas of timber and light gauge steel design and construction.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Professional Engineering Licensure and Professional Experience among Civil Engineering Faculty: A Multi-Institutional Comparison


Civil engineering faculty members endeavor to prepare their students for a variety of career paths within the engineering industry. Several of those paths require or are bolstered when students decide to pursue licensure to practice as professional engineers. As students, individuals learn about the merits of professional licensure from a variety of sources. Not to be overlooked is the influence that professors, licensed as professional engineers, have on their students and the opportunity to act as a role model to those students considering a career path that includes professional licensure.

The research question explored during this study was; “Among currently licensed civil engineering faculty members, what are the perceived values of professional experience and of licensure as a professional engineer?” A reality testing, qualitative-based framework was utilized to design and execute a study in response to the research question. Within this study, the authors evaluated the existing literature, both internal and external to civil engineering, relative to prior studies of experience and professional licensure among engineering faculty. Further, the authors conducted a series of interviews with licensed faculty members at three disparate universities, using a semi- structured interview protocol. As the authors represent three distinctly unique academic institutions, the collected interview data were evaluated for commonality, as well as differentiation among the academic institutions. The interview process probed at issues including the perceived value of licensure among faculty members, the relationship between licensure and promotion/tenure, and the licensed faculty member as a role model for colleagues and future engineers.

This paper details the research design, implementation of the study, and the resulting findings. The findings and conclusions of this study will be of interest to a variety of academic and licensure stake-holders, including: civil engineering faculty members (both licensed and unlicensed), academic administrators, and licensing organizations such as the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

A Review of the Literature

In the realm of academics, what is the value of experience as a practicing engineer and the value of licensure as a professional engineer? Does the perception of experience and licensure vary among the licensed faculty of universities with different academic missions? Those were the questions that formed the inquiry behind this study and prompted a review of the existing literature.

A reasonable amount of literature discussing professional licensure of engineering faculty, both within and external to the discipline of civil engineering was found to exist. However, the amount of rigorous research in this area can best be described as limited. A fairly exhaustive review of that literature identified very few thorough studies on the

Barry, B., & Mehta, Y., & St. Clair, S. (2009, June), Professional Engineering Licensure And Professional Experience Among Civil Engineering Faculty: A Multi Institutional Comparison Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4714

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: © 2009 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