How Autonomous Vehicles are Impacting the Engineering Industry

As autonomous vehicles (AVs) grow in popularity and become more accessible to the public, how will the engineering industry be affected? Under state licensure laws and rules, professional engineers have a responsibility for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. AVs are still a fairly new concept, so there are still many unanswered questions and uncertainties. 

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) released a Public Regulatory Policy Guide to offer a starting point for adopting standards that protect public safety. NSPE’s stance on the matter of autonomous vehicles is that a professional engineer is the best person to have to carry out the testing and risk assessments that are necessary for public safety. They also seek to answer questions about how the technology can be developed to use existing roadways rather than dedicated AV lanes. In an ideal world, AVs and regular vehicles would be able to cohabitate the roads with ease, but it’s not that simple. Civil engineers will need to rethink infrastructure and road design to accommodate for the growing technology.

When it comes to roadway design, the current roads are designed wider than the average vehicle width to account for human error and distraction while driving. With autonomous vehicles, there is no room for human error, they will always stay the course even in a more narrow lane. If more narrow lanes are to be created, the extra space could be repurposed for a number of things, like a pedestrian lane or even a whole vehicle lane. Additionally, there would be less need for roadway safety measures like guard rails, wide shoulders, and rumble strips. 

Another aspect of infrastructure that would have to be reconsidered is intersections. In a completely AV world, the need for traffic signals would be obsolete. The vehicles would be able to successfully communicate with each other to calculate vehicle speed and different routes to pass through an intersection with ease, and of course, no accidents. The world of 100 percent autonomous vehicles is a long way off, so in the meantime, engineers are tasked with figuring out what must change to accommodate the mix of standard vehicles and AVs.

The market of autonomous vehicles is projected to grow by billions of dollars in just the next few years! Due to the surge in growth, this era is creating new concentrations for engineers to become specialized in and it’s creating thousands of new jobs. Positions like safety testers of autonomous vehicles, computer scientists, AI specialists, civil engineers for roadway design, and much more. 

Stay up-to-date on the topic of autonomous vehicle engineering at nspe.org.

Resources to Kickstart Your Engineering Career

If you’re still in college and want to get your foot in the door of the engineering industry, you’ve come to the right place! Taking advantage of the resources available to you now will really show initiative and might even score you your dream job. From resume writing to building your network, NJSPE is here to help you kickstart your engineering career. Here are a few resources you can use to put yourself out there and maximize your chances of getting hired.

Free NJSPE membership

While you’re in college, one of the most valuable things you can do for your future is to join a professional engineering society. NSPE and state chapter memberships are absolutely FREE for college students who are enrolled in an ABET-accredited engineering program. As an NJSPE member, you’ll have access to free on-demand courses that will help you navigate your career.

Write a killer resume

When you’re submitting your resume into a pool of hundreds of others, it’s important to stand out with a killer resume. As an engineer, it’s a good rule of thumb to emphasize your technical engineering skills and utilize keywords in your resume from the job posting (yes, this means that you should be tweaking your resume for every job you apply for). Check out these resume writing tips and examples to follow.

Follow NSPE Engineering Jobs on Twitter

If you’re ready to start your job search, a great place to start looking for brand new opportunities is on NSPE’s Engineering Jobs Twitter account. They typically post jobs multiple times a day throughout the week and on Twitter, you can easily turn on notifications so you’re the first to know about new updates. If you’re looking for jobs in New Jersey, you can also follow NJSPE’s job board. When you create an account, you’ll be able to turn on job notifications that match your preferences!

Join a student NSPE chapter

A great way to get your foot in the door of the engineering world is to join the student NSPE chapter at your school. If you’re not sure if your school offers it, check out this list of available chapters. If you don’t see your school on the list, you can learn how to establish a student chapter at your school! Student chapters are a good place to start creating connections and can give you the opportunity to get and share career advice with your peers.

Build your network

Engineers and networking might not seem like the most likely pair, but just like any other job industry, relationships are key! Putting yourself out there to meet engineers that are in all different stages of their career journey can really help to give you insight on how to navigate the profession. Additionally, a valuable connection could even help you get hired in the future. Check out this blog post on how to build your professional network as an engineer.

We hope you’ll be able to use some or all of these resources to kickstart your engineering career! Join NJSPE today to get started.

Best Places to Find Scholarships as an Engineering Student

The cost of obtaining an engineering degree from a four-year university can undoubtedly be overwhelming. Luckily, there are many different avenues you can take to lower your tuition bill. Aside from the financial aid package that you may receive from your school, you could take out student loans, which would put you in debt or you could apply for scholarships – which you wouldn’t have to pay back! Finding legitimate and reputable scholarships is key. Being able to spot a scam will be beneficial and because it’s not always clear, we wanted to help you find the good ones! Here are some resources to help you find engineering scholarships.

Scholarships on nspe.org

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is probably the best place you could go for legitimate and targeted scholarships. These scholarships are specifically for engineering students. Here, you’ll find scholarships for graduate students, undergraduate students, and even high schoolers who plan to pursue an engineering degree in the future. 

See what NSPE has to offer >>

Fastweb Scholarships

Fastweb is a huge resource for college students. Not only can you find targeted scholarships based on your strengths, interests, and skills, but you can also find help with FAFSA and financial aid, college searches, and finding a part-time job. Once you create a profile on Fastweb, the site will automatically match you with hundreds of third-party scholarships, and new ones are added every day. Fastweb’s massive database covers all types of scholarships like Merit-based, high school or college student, minority, state, grade level, and weird scholarships!

See what Fastweb has to offer >>

Collegescholarships.org

On collegescholarships.org, you can search for scholarships by engineering concentration and browse other categories like athletic, minority, degree level, student type, state, and more. The site curates scholarships from reputable companies and organizations like Siemens, NASA, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Society of Naval Engineers, and more.

See what collegescholarships.org has to offer >>

These are just a few of the top places to find engineering scholarships. Another great place to look for scholarships is at your school. Most universities have resources that will help you find scholarships and will help you with tips on how to apply and how to write your essays for a better chance of winning the scholarship. 

If you’re from New Jersey and a current engineering student, NJSPE offers student memberships at no cost! As long as you’re enrolled in an ABET-accredited engineering or pre-engineering program, you are eligible to join NJSPE. Get your career and professional connections started early. Join NJSPE today.

Tips for Finding Your First Engineering Job

Graduating from college and finding a job in the midst of COVID-19 is undoubtedly nerve-wracking. It makes you wonder if companies are still hiring and if you’ll receive a decent salary. Luckily for you engineering graduates, even in a global pandemic, companies across the country are continuing to hire fresh talent! After a little bit of research, you’ll be happy to find that there are still plenty of opportunities available. Since both recent graduates and recently laid-off workers are on the prowl for a job, the competition may be a little tighter than usual. Make sure you’re prepared for your job search and interviews with these tips:

Apply to as many jobs as you can.

Casting a wide net has never hurt anybody! Especially during COVID times, jumping on as many opportunities as possible will give you a much greater chance of hearing back. Don’t limit yourself to a certain type of company or one specific role. There are likely a dozen different job titles that require your skills. Do your research, connect with people on LinkedIn, ask questions, and be persistent yet thoughtful!

Make sure your resume is up to date.

Now that you’re a college graduate, your ice cream scooper job from when you were 16 probably shouldn’t still be on your resume. Make sure you list any internships/on-campus jobs you had. If you took any certification courses or learned a new software program, add that! It’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Notice any keywords in the job posting and make sure your resume reflects a few of those keywords throughout. 

Use your alumni network as a resource.

You know the saying: You can take the student out of college but you can’t take college out of the student. You will forever be an alumnus of your school – use it to your advantage! Other alumni are an amazing source of potential job opportunities. You can find these groups usually on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. There’s no shame in asking for a little help! Through your connections, you’re likely to find valuable opportunities.

Prepare your space for a Zoom interview.

When you do hear back from a company requesting an interview, it will likely be held over Zoom to maintain social distancing. It’s not an ideal interview situation, but we must adapt! For Zoom calls, you’ll want to find a quiet, well-lit room that has a strong Wi-Fi connection. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can get out of dressing the part for the interview! Make sure you’re dressed professionally from head to toe (we don’t want a no-pants situation!) and be sure to use appropriate body language. Show that you’re listening to the interviewer and ask questions as if you were in the same room as them. Conveying personality and body language can be tough on a video call, just be yourself, be present, and good things will happen!

Need some more help preparing for your interviews? Check out NJSPE’s Career Center. Here, you’ll find resources to help you build and manage your career for maximum potential for success. Check it out >>

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.

How You Can Celebrate Professional Engineers Day 2020

Since the first professional engineer license was issued in 1907, the profession and licensure itself have expanded with hundreds of thousands of licensed professional engineers across the United States. NSPE first launched Professional Engineers Day back in 2016, making this year it’s 5th anniversary! The idea of PE Day is to celebrate and raise public awareness of what professional engineers do for the world on a daily basis. As Tim Austin, PE, creator of PE Day and past president of NSPE said, “being a licensed professional engineer means more than just holding a certificate and possessing technical competence. It is a commitment to hold the public health, safety, and welfare above all other considerations”. Holding Professional Engineer status is something special, not just anyone in the STEM field can say they’re a PE. On August 5, 2020, we encourage you to join the virtual celebration of PEs across the country!

How to celebrate Professional Engineers Day

Use the hashtag

What better way to connect with your peers and celebrate PE Day virtually than with a hashtag? On August 5, use the hashtag #LicensedPEDay on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to:

  • Upload a photo or video of yourself, and share why you decided to become a PE
  • Post photos or videos of your team of PEs
  • Share your reasons for hiring PEs
  • Give special recognition to your PEs in the workplace or on the job
  • Educate your colleagues about the importance of the PE license

Click the links here to follow the PE hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook!

Celebrate at Virtual PECon

The virtual Professional Engineers Conference will be held from August 3 to 7 with PE Day falling right in the middle of the conference. August 5 will be focusing on Innovation in Engineering. Not only will you get to learn about the latest innovations in engineering but you’ll be able to connect with your fellow professional engineers in real-time during the conference. Register for the day to earn PDHs or purchase an all-access pass for the entire conference! Learn more about the sessions on August 5 here.

Check out the PE Day logo store

Now you can sport some PE Day merch to show your spirit! Check out the online store. If you order, be sure to post photos with the hashtag #LicensedPEDay to show your professional engineer pride!

Still need to become licensed? 

Learn more about licensure and what it takes to qualify here.

Engineering Concentrations Best Suited For The Future

The landscape of the Engineering profession is ever changing, but the demand for Engineering as a whole remains constant. These facets cultivate a highly desirable career path fostering job security, creative problem solving, and professional evolvement. As the field progresses certain concentrations prove better suited for the future of engineering. The question being “which ones?” 

Software Engineering: 

Our everyday lives revolve around technology from the handheld computers in our pockets to the laptops and tablets that occupy our desks. Software developers have the skill set and innovation to impact the devices we use the most frequently. The demand for the concentration of software engineering grows in relation to the advancement of technology itself. The more advanced technology becomes the greater the need for the Engineers to advance it. The median income of a Software Engineer is $103,560 and the current projected employment change is +24%. 

Solar Photovoltaic Installers:

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar photovoltaic installing is the fastest-growing occupation. With a projected employment concentration of +105 percent It is safe to say that Solar Photovoltaic Installers have a secure placement in the future of engineering. As the severity of the energy crisis escalates and the desire to lower carbon emissions rises the need for solar energy increases. 

Biomedical engineering:

The improvement of modern medicine is continuous. Especially today, in the turmoil of a pandemic, the development of new medical technology is in high demand. Biomedical Engineers create new systems and equipment that push the advancement of modern medicine. The projected employment change in this concentration is +7 percent.

Civil engineering:

Civil engineering is the design, construction, and maintenance of our physical and naturally built environment. It impacts our daily lives on a multitude of levels. From the water in our pipes to the streets beneath our cars civil engineering surrounds us. As our population continues to grow and evolve the requirement for new structures is just as prominent as the need to repair or replace existing structures. The projected employment change for this industry is +11 percent.

These four highlighted concentrations are only a fraction of what the engineering industry has to offer. In truth embarking on almost any Engineering career path would be a wise decision. As the engineering field continues to grow and progress so does the job security and fulfillment that accompanies it. Luckily, Engineers that are NJSPE members have the resources at their fingertips to continue education and stay ahead of the curve within the industry. 

NJSPE offers a variety of memberships for licensed engineers, enterprises, students, and engineers-in-training. Learn more about NJSPE and find a membership that fits your needs here.

Check Out the New NICET Certification Program Coming Soon!

Professional engineers are often looking for ways to increase their professional knowledge within the industry. With technology becoming more and more integrated into the profession, there are ways to learn more and increase your status as an engineer. The National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET), a division of the National Society of Professional Engineers, promotes excellence in engineering technologies via certification services. Each of NICET’s nationally recognized certification programs are designed by industry experts and practitioners to ensure a qualified workforce. Certification levels lay out a career path for advancement from entry to senior-level responsibilities. 

This year, a new certification program is being offered under the Electrical and Mechanical Systems Engineering Technology category!

In-Building Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (IB-ERCES)

NICET in cooperation with the Safer Buildings Coalition is developing a new engineering technician certification program for IB-ERCES. Emergency Responder Radio Communication Systems (ERRCS) is set to go live in 2020. The new program comes as a response to the need for qualified individuals to design, install, test, inspect, and maintain in-building radio communication systems. Looking at the success of credentialing programs for fire sprinklers and fire alarms, a program for in-building communication systems just made sense. This credentialing will make a difference to building owners, code officials, and the industry that provides these systems. A credentialing program like this will ensure that the systems are safe, effective, and compliant to regulatory requirements.

In the program’s inception, a group of industry leaders and practitioners met to establish the general framework for the certification program. It is currently comprised of three levels for inspection, testing, and maintenance, and one level for design. Now the program creators are asking for the industry’s help to validate the knowledge and skills needed to be considered minimally competent for the program. If you have any experience with IB-ERCES, please participate in these surveys:

Learn more about the program in NICET’s press release.

New Jersey Engineering Jobs Available Now

During these coronavirus times, you may think it’s next to impossible to find a new job. On the contrary, there are companies all across the country that are still searching for new employees! With resources like the NJSPE job board and professional connections with other members of NJSPE, getting a New Jersey engineering job might be easier than you think. Check out these new opportunities:

Independent Forensic Civil/Structural Engineer

National Forensic Consultants
Newton, NJ

Seeking Civil/Structural Engineers to provide investigation, analysis, reports, and testimony where technical and scientific answers are needed to help resolve both civil litigation and non-litigation matters.

Requirements Overview:

  • Must be a licensed PE in the state they reside in. Other state licenses are a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from an accredited university
  • Minimum 6+ years of work related Civil/Structural Engineering experience required

Learn more and apply now >> 

Entry-Level and Mid-Level Structural Engineers

ACTIVE DESIGN GROUP (ADG)
Newark, NJ

An established Structural Engineering and Design firm located in the NYC Metropolitan area (Newark, NJ) is presently looking for entry-level and mid-level Structural Engineers. Job duties include performing structural analysis and design/details of building structures and acting as a Project Engineer on various projects. 

Requirements Overview:

  • Masters degree in Civil Engineering with Structural Emphasis.
  • Strong computer skills; excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience in steel and concrete is a plus.

Learn more and apply now >>

Senior Project Manager

M&Z Engineering Associates, P.C.
Monmouth Junction, NJ

Job duties include: managing structural and civil engineering projects; managing project design and construction plans and facilitate license and permit approvals from the relevant city, county, and state agencies; preparing project fee estimates, specifications, budgets, schedules, and invoices; managing project budgets and schedules; communicating with clients and other project stakeholders to ensure consistency and ongoing approval of project plan;  approving changes to structural and civil components of the plan;  providing ongoing quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) during the project duration and resolve engineering concerns raised by civil and structural engineers;  ensuring designs properly accommodate power engineering specifications and requirements.

Requirements Overview:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) in Engineering, Civil Engineering or Electrical Engineering with four years of experience in the job offered as a Project Manager
  • Any suitable combination of education, training, or work experience consistent with the offered position will be accepted
  • Position requires periodic visits to unanticipated project sites

Learn more and apply today >> 

Post-Graduate Research Scientists in Threat Detection Technology

ORAU
Atlantic City, NJ

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is offering post-Master’s and post-Doctoral fellowships for their Visiting Scientist Program cohort at the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL). You will join a cohort of post-graduates in a new endeavor in threat detection technology and applied research, specifically related to synthetic data generation, testing and evaluation. The need to develop synthetic methods to test new Deep Learning algorithms is paramount and the proposed research is new and cutting edge.

Requirements Overview:

  • Have received or expect to complete all requirements for a Master’s or Doctoral degree by the anticipated start date. Applicants currently pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree must provide proof of completion of all degree requirements before the fellowship start date.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen

Learn more and apply now >>

Summer Employment Program: Engineer

New Jersey Department of Transportation
Trenton, NJ

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is seeking currently enrolled college students who are completing their junior year and are interested in exploring a career in the field of Transportation. The NJDOT plans, designs, builds and maintains New Jersey’s transportation infrastructure with the goal of improving the roadway travel experiences of the motoring public. These temporary summer hourly positions are available in multiple career disciplines.

Requirements Overview:

  • A third-year student pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering. Students pursuing degrees in Mechanical or Electrical fields may apply and will be considered, but preference will be given to students pursuing Civil degrees
  • Must possess a Driver’s License valid in New Jersey
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (specifically Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint)

Learn more and apply now >>

Stay up to date with the most recent New Jersey engineering jobs as they are added to the job board. You can create a job alert that will email you when new opportunities become available! Check out NJSPE’s job board.

New Jersey Wind Port Project Overview

This week, Governor Murphy announced the plan to develop the New Jersey Wind Port. The 200+ acre structure would be a “first-in-the-nation infrastructure investment” and mark New Jersey as the national capital of offshore wind. This new project would provide a location for essential staging, assembly, and manufacturing activities related to offshore wind projects on the East Coast. 

Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about the New Jersey Wind Port project:

  • The Wind Port will be located in Lower Alloways Creek Township on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River.
  • The project is estimated to cost $300-400 million to build. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is leading the development and is currently considering a range of public, private, and public-private partnership financing options. 
  • Construction is planned for 2021 in two phases: Phase 1 develops a 30-acre site to accommodate marshalling activities and a 25-acre component manufacturing site. Phase 2 adds another 150+ acres to accommodate expanded marshalling activities and extensive manufacturing facilities for turbine components like blades and nacelles.
  • The Wind Port has the potential to create up to 1,500 jobs for workers in industries like construction, manufacturing, port operations, and engineering.
  • New Jersey has committed to using union labor to build the port.
  • New Jersey is setting a new standard for equitable access to opportunity and inclusion of minority and women workers. Most jobs at the port will not require a four-year college degree. The WIND Institute will serve as a center for education, research, innovation, and workforce training related to the development of offshore wind in New Jersey.
  • The project compliments New Jersey’s current plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. New Jersey has committed to producing 7,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2035.
  • There is a need for new port facilities designed specifically for the offshore wind industry’s unique needs. Most existing port infrastructure along the East Coast is unable to fully accommodate the work that is involved in offshore wind development.
  • This project will provide a major economic boost to Salem County in South Jersey as well as the state economy as a whole. 

Check out nj.gov/windport/ to learn more about the project.

Get a jump start on your PDH earnings! Join us for a webinar on June 30 offering up to 4 PDHs to New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania professional engineers! The deadline to register is June 27. Learn more.

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