ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 3, 2017) – The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), as the recognized voice and advocate of licensed professional engineers, is aware of and interested in the recent lawsuit filed against the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying challenging the Oregon Board’s application of the Oregon Professional Engineer Registration Act and Oregon Administrative Rules relating to the use of the title “engineer” and the “practice of engineering.”
NSPE stresses that since this matter is in the initial stages of litigation in federal court, all of the relevant facts and circumstances in the lawsuit are not yet known: much of what is being asserted as fact by the parties, and in social media, is not only incomplete but also in dispute. This includes the facts related to the Oregon Board’s state interest in investigating and prosecuting the matter, allegations of harm by the litigants, and other issues. Accordingly, it is inappropriate for NSPE to comment specifically on this lawsuit until all the facts of the matter are established. NSPE continues to closely monitor ongoing developments, and is fully committed to taking all appropriate steps to ensure that the integrity and the credibility of the engineering licensure process is preserved and protected in furtherance of the public interest.
Since the enactment of the first state professional engineering licensure law in Wyoming in 1907-and more recently in such matters as the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapse hearings, the Texas A&M bonfire investigations, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill investigations, and the Hurricane Sandy inquiries-state engineering licensure laws have sought to ensure that qualified individuals practice in a manner that safeguards the welfare of the public.
“It is NSPE’s view that engineering licensure serves to hold individuals accountable for the ethical and competent practice of engineering,” said Kodi Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, president of NSPE. “The ultimate role of licensure is the protection of the public health and safety.”
The vital public interest role served by professional licensure of engineers is clear. Licensure ensures that the people who design and maintain the infrastructure and technology around us are not only competent to do so, but also accountable and place the public’s interest above all other considerations. NSPE, as an integrated network of national and state societies working in collaboration, will actively pursue legislative and regulatory action to ensure the continued ability of the state engineering licensure process to fully protect the public.
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The National Society of Professional Engineers is a member-centric, nimble, future-focused, and responsive organization, serving as the recognized voice and advocate of licensed Professional Engineers. Through education, licensure advocacy, leadership training, multidisciplinary networking, and outreach, NSPE enhances the image of its members and their ability to ethically and professionally practice engineering. Founded in 1934, NSPE serves more than 31,000 members and the public through 52 state and territorial societies and over 400 chapters. For more information, please visit www.nspe.org.
Kodi Jean Verhalen, PE, F.NSPE, Esq.
2016-2017 NSPE President