NYSSPE Holds Fourth Annual New York City Design Professionals Day

About 4 years ago, at the New York Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), we decided that we needed to create a way for New York City design professionals to interact with the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB).   A way that would help these professionals stay up to date on the latest codes, and also meet and ask questions of DOB officials including Commissioner Rick Chandler, P.E.

Four years later, we just held our fourth annual Design Professionals Day and over 100 design professionals packed the room to learn and network. Topics presented included:

Chapter 17: Special Inspections by D. Eric Hoyt, PE;
Alterations in NYC: Common Pre-Construction, Construction & Inspection Issues by Matthew Millner, PE, LEED AP BD+C
Flood Protection & NYC Gas Work by Robert Holub and Joseph Ackroyd
Forensic Engineering: Existing Buildings, Alterations and New Construction by Anthony DeVito, PE & Yegal Shamash, PE

Commissioner Chandler also spoke for the fourth straight year at the event. The Commissioner focused his remarks on the importance of safety on construction sites. He mentioned legislation passed recently by the City Council mandating safety training for everyone who steps foot on a construction site. This is a message that we all need to hear repeatedly.

All of the technical presentations were very engaging, evidenced by the large number of comments and questions after each one of them. Once again this event achieved it’s goal of connecting design professionals with city officials to help both parties be able to do their jobs better. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Co-signs Letter to The Department of Buildings (DOB) with Respect to Proposed Fee Increases

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is proposing to add fees for variation of the Construction Codes, the 1968 or prior Building Code, or section 277.16 of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL) for Article 7B buildings; predetermination requests with respect to the Zoning Resolution, Construction Codes or 1968 or prior Building Code; and appeals of objections that were affirmed (click here for information).

The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) is in opposition of the proposed fee increases and recently co-signed a letter with several other organizations in an effort to meet and discuss our view with the DOB.  These other organizations include: The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Society of American Registered Architects NY (SARA), Architects Council of New York City, Inc., and the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC).

Click here to read the letter. [Read more…]

Championing the PE License – NSPE BOD July 2017 Update

The following is an excerpt from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Board of Directors (BOD) summary report for July of 2017 written by NSPE Executive Director Mark Golden, FASAE, CAE.

NSPE expressed disappointment and concern that a bill on the testing and deployment of highly automated vehicles will allow automakers to deploy the vehicles without first addressing the major safety, technological, and ethical implications.

The draft legislation, the Highly Automated Vehicle Testing and Deployment Act of 2017, is being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. Recognizing the promise of highly automated vehicles, NSPE has been a leading advocate on the need to place the public health, safety, and welfare first, and require a licensed professional engineer to play a key role in the development, testing, and safety certification of autonomous vehicles. NSPE is urging defeat of the legislation in its current form until these concerns are addressed. NSPE has been proactively working with Congress to address these vital issues. Rep. David McKinley, PE (R-WV), a longtime NSPE member, has been raising these issues with the subcommittee. In particular, NSPE and McKinley have expressed concerns about the lack of a requirement for a third-party certification by someone in the decision-making chain (i.e., a professional engineer) who has a duty that puts public safety first and overrides competitive pressures. You can watch Rep. McKinley’s remarks on this topic. Update: The Committee did pass the bill. [Read more…]

NYSSPE Plays a Critical Role in Establishing a Unified Dues Structure for NSPE, which will lower NYSSPE Member Dues

The NSPE House of Delegates (HOD) Meeting at the NSPE Annual Conference on July 22, 2017.

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) had recognized years ago that even though they had 54 states and territories, they had thousands of different member dues combinations, which made for an operational and marketing nightmare.  It also made it difficult for State societies across the country to share the same marketing tools and strategies.

In an effort to change this, a few years ago, NSPE hired an outside consulting company and embarked upon a journey with an end goal of creating a unified dues structure.

At the beginning of 2017, a national task force of about a dozen people was assembled to create this new pricing model.  NYSSPE Executive Director Anthony Fasano, PE, was one of the people selected for this committee.  Fasano represented New York during this process, and with input from NYSSPE leadership, helped NSPE to sculpt this new unified dues structure. [Read more…]

NYSSPE responds to NYS Education Department Board of Regents Technology Education Proposal

Recently, the Board of Regents enacted on an emergency basis a restructuring of Technology Education (T&E). The proposal pairs T&E together with Career and Technical Education (CTE) in a manner that dilutes Technology Education. In response, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), led by their STEM representative Frank Roma, PE, send the following letter to the Board of Regents:

– – – – – – – – – – –

July 7, 2017

New York State Education Department
Board of Regents
Attn: Vice Chancellor Brown

Re: Board of Regents Restructuring of Technology Education (T&E)

Dear Vice Chancellor Brown:

Recently, the Board of Regents enacted on an emergency basis a restructuring of Technology Education (T&E). The proposal pairs T&E together with Career and Technical Education (CTE) in a manner that dilutes Technology Education. These comments, by the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), are offered in an effort to secure a reversal of that decision. [Read more…]

New York State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying- Board Meeting Summary 6-26-17

A New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) representative attended the New York State Board for Engineering, Land Surveying, and Geology board meeting on June 26, 2017. The following is a summary of the meeting. (videoconference New York – Albany – Rochester)

A quorum was present.

Minutes from March 10, 2017 approved without amendment.

Committee Reports

Legislation:Qualifications Based Selection

A 5750/S 5600 (Benedetto/DeFrancisco) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill purports to authorize public authorities and public benefit corporations to negotiate with professional firms providing architectural or engineering services in order from the most qualified to the least qualified with regard to the provision of services to the authority or corporation.  An earlier version of the bill would have required the use of QBS by both public authorities and public benefit corporations in a manner identical to present law which requires the use of QBS by state agencies.  (NYSSPE supported the earlier version of the bill.)

A 7768/S 5903 (Fahy/Valesky) passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill adds geological services to the current list of design professional services set forth in State Finance Law section 136a which are required to be procured utilizing the QBS procurement methodology.  Section 136a governs procurements by NYS agencies.

Land Surveying Legislation

A 7969B/ S 6103C (Hyndman/LaValle) has been introduced in both houses.  The legislation will require at minimum an Associates Degree to secure a professional land surveying license.  The bill also eases the path for a professional engineer to secure a land surveying license.

Design Professional Corporation – Liberalization of Ownership

A 3460A/S 3771A (Lupardo/Valesky) has been introduced at the behest of ACEC.  The bill permits a substantially greater share of a design professional corporation to be owned by an ESOP provided at least 75% ESOP’s Board of Trustees and Management Committee members are licensed design professionals.  (Current law restricts the ESOP to a maximum 24.99% ownership interest.)   Some professional engineering voices have expressed reservations regarding a liberalization of the ownership rules and have argued that the legislation would permit design services to be “franchised” to non-licensees. [Read more…]

NYSSPE 2016-2017 Year End Legislative Summary Part 2 of 2

The above video is the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) 2016-2017 Year End Legislative Summary Part 2 of 2. The video is presented by Anthony Fasano, P.E., NYSSPE Executive Director and NYSSPE Legislative Counsel Mark Kriss, Esq.

Here is a time-stamped breakdown of the video to make it easier to find the sections of interest to you: [Read more…]

2017 Indoor Air Quality in Opposition

Memorandum in Opposition (submitted May 18, 2017)

A 926  Lupardo (MS)   // Same as S1440 (Avella)

INDOOR AIR QUALITY PLANS

On behalf of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), in furtherance of public health, safety and welfare, we are writing in opposition to the above referenced bill. NYSSPE is a professional trade association representing the interests of its members and more generally the interests of all professional engineers (totaling more than 25,000 licensees in New York State) practicing in all disciplines (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geological, environmental, etc.) and practicing in all practice settings (private sector consulting, industry, government, and education.) [Read more…]

2017 Green Roof Memo in Opposition

Memorandum in Opposition (submitted May 18, 2017)

Re:S5652 /A2843/S5652 (Senator Klein/Assemblyman Dinowitz)

 An Act respecting design, installation and certification of green roofs and providing for a tax credit related thereto

On behalf of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE), in furtherance of public health, safety and welfare, we are writing in OPPOSITION to the above referenced bill. NYSSPE is a professional trade association representing the interests of its members and more generally the interests of all professional engineers (totaling more than 25,000 licensees in New York State) practicing in all disciplines (civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, geological, environmental, etc.) and practicing in all practice settings (private sector consulting, industry, government, and education). [Read more…]

NYSSPE 2016-2017 Year End Legislative Summary Part 1 of 2

The above video is the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) 2016-2017 Year End Legislative Summary Part 1 of 2. The video is presented by Anthony Fasano, P.E., NYSSPE Executive Director and NYSSPE Legislative Counsel Mark Kriss, Esq.

Here is a time-stamped breakdown of the video to make it easier to find the sections of interest to you: [Read more…]