NSPE 2017-18 Year in Review

NSPE’s Executive Director Mark Golden, FASAE, CAE shared his Yearly Review this month with NSPE:

Read the Year in Review to learn more about advocacy wins, growing federal presence,work on key topics, and much more.

NSPE Annual meeting, July 18–22, 2018 in Las Vegas marked the end of one very eventful program (and fiscal) year, and the start of a new one, with new officers and directors elected and plans in place to pick up right where prior leadership left off. Highlighting some of the progress your society has made, as reported to the membership in Las Vegas at the House of Delegates General Assembly:
The 2017–18 year saw:
• Continuation and even acceleration of the incidents of threats to licensure emerging in state legislatures and executive branches (and continued success by national and its state partners in fighting them off);
• The Committee on Policy and Advocacy completing (and the House of Delegates approving) a total update and refresh of NSPE Professional Policies and Position Statements;
• The Future of Professional Engineering Task Force presenting its final report to an overflow crowd at the convention’s closing session; and
• NSPE continuing its active role advocating for PE involvement in emerging technologies, in particular autonomous vehicles.
All in all, it was a very busy year for NSPE and its strong network of state societies and local chapters.  Throughout 2017–2018, the Society kept the professional engineer front-and-center as it championed the PE license, stood as the ethical guide to the profession, powered professional advancement, and united the PE community.

In terms of membership engagement and utilization of NSPE services, 2017–18 saw:
• A 160% increase in downloads of state-by-state licensing rule reports by members from the NSPE website;
• A 25% increase in the number of new threads created by members in the online Open Forum and a 51% increase in the number of posts;
• NSPE now has 38 active online communities (specific to a committee, task force or other society component) and these see 3,000 to 3,600 logins per quarter;
• Increases in the volume of NSPE mentions and activities on all of the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram) from 8% to 197%;
• A 437% increase in the number of members participating in live webinars; and
• A 31% increase in utilization of NSPE “15 Free PDHs.”
Looking beyond core NSPE member services:
• NSPE completed conversion from paper-and-pencil to computer-based testing for NICET certifications and achieved an 8% increase in NICET testing revenues;
• NSPE increased non-dues revenue from affinity program sales by 14%; and
• Increased advertising and sponsorship sales by 19%. [Read more…]

Legislative Update: Indemnification Passed in Assembly

A.8293A /S.6622A INDEMNIFICATION

A.8293A /S.6622A yesterday passed the Assembly, giving it two-house passage. The bill, which passed the Senate last week, protects design professionals from broad form indemnity demands in public works contracts on both the state and local levels.  These indemnity provisions shift responsibility for damages from the government or third parties (who were at fault) to PEs and other design professionals.  In short, when something goes wrong on a project, though no fault of the design professional, the law should not permit contract terms to shift responsibility to the design professional or the professional design firm. This is precisely what this legislation prohibits.

To read NYSSPE’s entire memorandum in support CLICK HERE.

We extend a huge thank you to our members who have reached out to their legislators on this priority issue.  We would further like to thank other design professional organizations which have joined in the effort.  Governor Cuomo’s approval of this measure, now the focus of our attention, is the next step needed to put this law in place.

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Note: NYSSPE facilitates posting on this blog, but the views and accounts expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not the views or accounts of NYSSPE, its officers or directors whose views and accounts may or may not be similar or identical. NYSSPE, its officers and directors do not express any opinion regarding any product or service by virtue of reference to such product or service in this blog.

Capital District Chapter’s Nikhil Bodhankar, P.E. is named NSPE 2018 Young Engineer of the Year

NYSSPE is pleased to announce that Nikhil Bodhankar, P.E. has been awarded the very prestigious National Society of Professional Engineers 2018 Young Engineer of the Year Award.

Nikhil Bodhankar, P.E. is a senior electrical engineer, associate principal and shareholder at SMRT Architects and Engineers in Latham, New York.  He is a member of the Capital District Chapter and currently resides in Niskayuna, NY.   Nik has more than a decade of experience in specialized scientific research and practice in electrical engineering. His designs have been applied in a variety of public and private sector fields, including research institutions, education, utilities, transportation, health care, and renewable energy. Nik leads the Electrical Engineering Department of SMRT’s New York office.

He has worked closely with clients including the GE-Global Research Center, where he made substantial contributions to the complex areas of safety electrical circuits, explosion-proof environment electrical design, machine automation, programming variable frequency drives, and developing control logic for some of the world’s more challenging research experiments. His clients have also included Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, GlobalFoundries, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the New York State Office of General Services. [Read more…]

Andrew Yarmus, P.E. is named in NSPE Fellows Class of 2018

NSPE has named nine professional engineers to its 2018 class of Fellow members. The Fellow membership grade honors active NSPE members who have demonstrated exemplary and devoted service to their profession, the Society, and their community. Requirements for the designation include holding at least one elected office at any level and active involvement at the national level.

NSPE state and territorial societies can nominate Fellows, as can NSPE interest groups, chartered affinity groups, and the Board of Directors.

Congratulations Andrew Yarmus, P.E. and the fellows Class of 2018!  

Andrew R. Yarmus, P.E is a licensed Professional Engineer and a New York State Certified Code Enforcement Official. He is also a Registered Professional Industrial Hygienist, a licensed Asbestos Inspector and Project Designer, a Certified Environmental Inspector, and a Certified Planner, and previously served as a New York State ICC/BCAP Energy Code Ambassador. He has participated in various programs including seminars and lectures conducted by groups such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, the New York State Society of Professional Engineers, the Environmental Assessment Association, and the American Society of Home Inspectors. He the current Chair of the National Professional Engineers in Construction Group, the NYS Mid-Hudson Region Vice President, and the Immediate Past President of the Rockland County Chapter. Mr. Yarmus has previously been acknowledged as the Rockland Chapter Young Engineer of the Year and twice as the Chapter Member of the Year. He has also been elected twice to serve as the NYSSPE Mid-Hudson Region nominating committee delegate, and has been awarded two Presidential Citations for his dedication to and efforts on behalf of the Professional Engineers of both New York State and Rockland County. In 2011, Mr. Yarmus received the New York State Society of Professional Engineers Meritorious Service Award which recognizes a professional engineer who has made an outstanding contribution to the goals of the Society of Professional Engineers over an extended period of time. [Read more…]

Is PE Licensure Under Attack?

National Occupational Deregulation Trend Makes PEs a Target

Over the last few years, there has been a growing movement by some governors and legislators to target the regulation of occupations and professions under the guise of cutting government interference and boosting state economies. On January 10, NSPE Executive Director Mark Golden, NCEES CEO Jerry Carter, and Arizona Board of Technical Registration Executive Director Melissa Cornelius participated in a free webinar to discuss what appears to be a concerted national effort to undermine occupational licensure and how that effort is affecting professional engineering licensure. This national trend was highlighted in the “A Rising Threat Level” feature article in the January/February issue of PE.

In partnership with state societies, NSPE is actively monitoring and responding to those threats whenever and wherever they arise. So far, NSPE has mapped out 26 states where similar legislation, regulations, or executive orders have been introduced, signed, and/or passed. Although much of the legislation does not specifically target professional engineers, by opposing occupational licensure in general, the broad attacks sow confusion about the importance of engineering licensure and its role in protecting the public. [Read more…]

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…]

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 Representatives Attend National Society of Professional Engineers Conference in Atlanta

NYSSPE Representatives at Annual NSPE Conference. Left to Right: Anthony Fasano, P.E. (NYSSPE Executive Director), Larry O’Connor, P.E., L.S., F. NSPE (NYSSPE Past-President), Laura Pellizzi, PE (NYSSPE President), David Janover, P.E. (former NYSSPE member), Andrew Yarmus (NYSSPE Regional VP and NSPE PEC Chair), Rick Kotecki, PE (NYSSPE Member) – present but not in photo.

Recently, several representatives of The New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE) participated in the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.

These representatives included Laura Pellizzi, PE (NYSSPE President), Larry O’Connor, PE, LS, F.NSPE, (NYSSPE HOD Delegate), Andrew Yarmus, PE (PEC National Chair), and Anthony Fasano, P.E. (NYSSPE Executive Director).

The main focus of the conference was a vote during the House of Delegates meeting to enact a new unified national dues structure.  Click here to read about the new structure, which was passed. [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…]

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…]