How Professional Engineers can Give Back to Their Communities

As professional engineers, our work impacts our society in very direct ways. The decisions we make impact the very infrastructure of thousands of people’s everyday life, and that is just through our day job. There are less obvious but equally important ways that we can, and should, be giving back to our communities. 

The Engineers of Tomorrow

The NSPE Education foundation works with a number of organizations to help provide education and opportunities to students interested in pursuing engineering. These organizations include the MathCounts Foundation, DiscoverE , Real-World Career Experience Exploring® and Project Lead the Way. These programs are all great way for students to learn more about STEM and engineering. The NSPE Education Foundations also offers scholarships to students studying engineering. By supporting them financially, you are supporting the future of professional engineering by making sure kids have exposure to engineering as well as opportunities to pursue it. If you are interested in supporting their work, you can contact your local chapter or one of the organizations the NSPE Education Foundation works with directly. 

Outside Your Comfort Zone

Engineers Without Borders is an organization that goes to communities in need from around the world and help to meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life. This organization offers a number of different volunteering options, including boots on the ground work as well as consultations on projects and pro bono engineering services to communities that cannot afford to hire engineers.They also offer education to their members and hands on experience to students.They offer a great opportunity to help on a global scale while growing your own skill set. 

Become a Mentor

One of the best ways you can give back to the engineering community is through mentoring. You can reach out to local schools, universities or even to STEM competitions in your area to find out if there are projects or teams you could spend time with and advise. You could also contact local after-school programs to arrange to come in and speak to the students about what it means to be an engineer. By donating your time in this way, you can provide practical examples to students of what engineers can do as well as help to guide their careers. 

These are just some examples of how professional engineers can give back to their communities. If you are interested in more opportunities, consider becoming a member of NJSPE. By becoming a member, you help to support the future of professional engineering as well as have the opportunity to participate in one of the NSPE partner programs. Join today!

Top Five Places to Travel for Engineering Marvels

Summer vacation season is getting closer. Some New Jersey engineers enjoy beaches and resorts for an awesome vacation, but others enjoy the sight-seeing and adventures of a new place. Whatever your preference is we’re sure you’ll find these five engineering structures worth the visit!

Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge

Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge

Photo from Travel Triangle

This is the world’s longest bridge at 102.4 miles long and can be found connecting the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing in China. This bridge is unique because it is built in a viaduct design. If you’re staying in Shanghai, there are a number of other amazing destinations you won’t want to miss, like the Jin Mao Tower and Skywalk and Shanghai’s Promenade: The Bund.

Palm Islands

Palm Island Resport

The Palm Islands are three man-made islands on the coast of Dubai. These islands were created with commercialization in mind. The resort island stands out as an engineering marvel because it was created from the sea floor up. Three billion cubic feet of sand was dredged up from the bottom of the ocean and with concrete supports. The sand was used to shape the palm tree structure and support the hotel.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

Located in Moscow, Russia, St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of Moscow’s most famous structures. This cathedral to Russians is what the Eiffel Tower is to the French. It was constructed from 1555 to 1561, and legend has it that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architect to prevent him from building another structure as beautiful as the cathedral.  

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Mars

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey has made it’s transformation over the years from a church to a mosque to a museum. The structure primarily carries characteristics of two different cultures – Byzantium and Ottoman Empires. Throughout history, Hagia Sophia has been an important site of worship for both Christians and Muslims, and it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Istanbul.

Dancing House

Dancing House

The Dancing House, also known as Fred and Ginger, in Prague, Czech Republic was constructed from 1992 to 1996. The structure features two towers, a glass and a stone tower. The stone is meant to symbolize Fred Astaire and the glass tower, Ginger Rogers. The nontraditional design was controversial at the time because it did not blend in with the Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau buildings that Prague is famous for. Exploring Prague, you’re sure to find tons of amazing structures.

Wherever you decide to go, sight-seeing will be aplenty! New Jersey engineers have the world at their fingertips. As you continue to work in the field of engineering, getting inspiration from other cultures and states can help you grow. Don’t let these amazing opportunities pass you by.

Professional Engineers & Autonomous Vehicles

An autonomous vehicle is a mode of transportation that can detect the environment around it and make decisions without any human interaction. Essentially, a computer is driving around the passengers. While this new technology makes some people excited, it makes others feel uneasy. The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is working hard to reverse that feeling.

Whether you are for or against the implementation of driverless cars, they are closer to occupying our roads than they’ve ever been. These vehicles decrease the probability of human error on the road but pose safety concerns. Potential hacker threats, undetected bicyclists or animals, and system glitches have caused the public to feel unsure about the future of the road.

The NSPE is influencing regulations at both the state and federal levels. They are looking to make a difference with requirements for approved vehicles to get out on the road. The goal is to convince federal and state policymakers that a licensed professional engineer is necessary, even critical, to the regulating process. If the NSPE can convince these government bodies to make an engineer inspection a lawful requirement, the process will become drastically more comprehensive and complete. The autonomous vehicles that are eventually sold to the public will pose significantly lower risks. Both the NSPE and New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers refuse to play around with safety and public health.

Think about this: would you feel safer in your new, driverless car if it had the stamp of approval from a licensed professional engineer with decades of experience? This seems like a no-brainer, which is why we continue to oppose manufacturers self-approving their vehicles.

We will state our case to policymakers until a licensed engineer is an unmistakable part of the approval process for autonomous vehicles. Safety is too important to have it any other way. Learn more about the work of professional engineers on njspe.org.

The Importance of STEM Education in New Jersey

STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – has been a national topic of discussion since former President Barack Obama made it a priority during the beginning of his administration. Throughout the years, engineers, scientists, and other innovators across the country have helped secure our nation’s spot as a leader and trailblazer for technology and discovery, but is that position in jeopardy?

To keep the United States as a world leader in science, medicine and engineering, we need to work together to make STEM-related fields available and feasible for all races and genders. Beginning with New Jersey, we can create a movement where our schools provide equal opportunities for all students to get involved and enhance their skills in STEM areas of study.

Stability and Profitability

Over the next 10 years, STEM jobs are projected to grow nine percent in New Jersey – nearly double the growth expected for all other careers. Engineering alone is expected to have more than 500,000 new jobs available in the United States. Computer and IT job growth will also be exponentially higher. With such growth expected, it should come as no surprise that New Jersey’s STEM unemployment rate is only 3.2 percent compared with non-STEM unemployment at 5.7 percent, making it a more stable career option than any other field.

In addition to job stability, STEM careers offer a higher salary right out of college with raises and bonuses only increasing that salary over time. On average, New Jersey workers in STEM careers make a median wage of $44 an hour, which is double the median wage of all other careers in the state. This trend isn’t only native to New Jersey – nationally, STEM workers earned 29 percent more. Couple the high wage with the number of job vacancies and it paints a clear picture of the stability and security of STEM occupations, and with the expected projections, demand for STEM jobs in New Jersey will remain high for at least a decade.

Women and Minorities Gap

While there have been small strides to increase diversity in the STEM workforce, women and minorities are still severely underrepresented. Even in New Jersey, a state with a predominantly female and minority population, there are huge disparities. Only 20 percent of African American children in fourth and eighth grade are at or above proficient in math and only 14 percent are at or above proficient in science. Hispanic children are slightly higher, with 26 percent and 18.5 percent at or above proficient in math and science, respectively. With such undereducation in grade schools, the minority children in our state are not receiving the same opportunities to pursue STEM-related degrees as the Asian and white male populations.

Fast forward to college-age individuals and only 12 percent of minorities in New Jersey received engineering degrees or certificates in 2015. For women, there were only 665 computer science and 1,079 engineering degrees or certificates awarded. White men, however, received more than three times as many. By increasing the number of girls who get involved in math and science courses, we can close both the wage and gender gap in the STEM workforce.

Let’s Start the Change

Even though we have made strides as both a country and a state to increase awareness surrounding STEM education, we are still not where we need to be. There is not only a shortage in the number of students enrolled in high-level STEM classes and degrees but also a shortage in the teachers available to teach these classes. In New Jersey, educators, STEM workers and legislators alike need to work together to make STEM education a priority. Let’s fight the stigma that engineering, computer science and manufacturing are “old boys’ clubs. We need to ensure the girls and minorities in our schools understand that STEM courses and fields are welcoming of everyone – whether they want to have a STEM career or teach the next generation of STEM students.

Take the 2017 Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest Challenge!

 

All current NSPE individual members through their NSPE state societies and NSPE chapters (including student chapters) are invited to participate in the 2017 NSPE Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest. Match your wits and knowledge of engineering ethics with experienced professional engineers and engineering students throughout the country.

New this year, the winning entry will receive a certificate, recognition in PE magazine, and an award of $1,000 to the author!

How to Participate

NSPE’s Board of Ethical Review is furnishing you with four different fact situations to choose from regarding the ethics of engineers. Contestants can choose any one out of the four situations and develop an essay, video, photo essay, poster, or PowerPoint presentation which could include embedded videos/sound, etc. to demonstrate their understanding of the facts and the NSPE Code of Ethics.

Contestants are asked to read the facts of the case, then develop a discussion and conclusion to respond to the included question(s). Contestants should also provide references, citing specific sections of the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers. Contestants may also want to check the NSPE Board of Ethical Review’s Web site for additional cases decided by the BER.

All entries must be received by Friday, April 28, 2017. E-mail or mail entries to:

2017 NSPE Milton F. Lunch Ethics Contest
NSPE Legal Department
1420 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-2794
E-mail: legal@nspe.org

The contest is named for NSPEs former general counsel, who played a key role in the founding of the NSPE Board of Ethical Review.

College Engineering Enrollment Continues to Grow

The number of students enrolling in engineering programs is steadily increasing. According to a report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, there was a four percent increase in engineering students from 2015 to 2016. Engineering career paths are among the most desirable for college students due to job stability, financial security, and the demand for talent and availability of jobs in the field.

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report also states that there were over 600,000 students enrolled nationally within an engineering major during the fall 2016 semester – an increase from 578,127 in fall 2015. Top engineering majors among students include chemical engineering, computer engineering, petroleum engineering, electric engineering, aerospace engineering, and materials engineering.

Colleges Accommodate Growth

As engineering continues to gain popularity, colleges across the nation are approving renovations to upgrade the resources available for engineering majors. For example, Rowan University recently unveiled the newest $70.6 million addition to the Henry Rowan College of Engineering program. Rowan University’s goal of this expansion is to accommodate the increase in engineering students, with a plan to increase the engineering college enrollment up to 2,000 from 1,488 (graduate students included) by 2023.

Supporting Today’s Engineering Students

NJSPE supports the growth and education of young and developing engineers by offering membership to full-time students in undergraduate or graduate engineering programs. To be eligible for free membership benefits, the program must be accredited by ABET, an engineering or pre-engineering program, or an international equivalent.

There are a variety of NJSPE benefits that students can enjoy. Members will receive opportunities to network with industry thought leaders and local engineer professionals. They also can connect with local programs and courses, as well as access to online seminars, web classifieds, and industry news. Through NSPE, the national chapter, students can apply for scholarships, partake in student chapters, and receive access to StayWithIt.org – a partner dedicated to helping keep students in engineering programs. NJSPE believes that today’s students will be tomorrow’s problem solvers, helping turn ideas into reality.

Mr. Kurt Nathan, PE Obituary

lillies-funeral-flowers

We regret to inform you that one of our long time members has passed.  Mr. Kurt Nathan, PE passed away on Friday, October 7th.  Funeral services will be held on Thursday, October 13th at 10am in the Beth Israel Cemetery, Woodbridge, NJ.

Please click here to view the complete obituary.

Connect With Us