2016 PSPE Presidential Address

John A. Nawn, PE, FNSPE PSPE President 2016-17
John A. Nawn, PE, FNSPE
PSPE President 2016-17

John A. Nawn, P.E., FNSPE
2016-2017 President

Thank you for electing me your President.  I am truly honored.  I would be remiss if I failed to thank the conference committee for the fine job they did in putting together an excellent conference and annual meeting.  I also want to acknowledge and thank all the past presidents of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. These esteemed colleagues laid the foundation for our great Society.  My pledge to you is that I will shepherd the Society in a manner that continues and honors your great work.

You have elected me your leader and I intend to lead.  You did not elect me your manager.  The Society has an excellent manager in our Executive Director and she does an outstanding job.  In the past, the board has spent far too much time and energy looking at ourselves; managing the Society.  We are not doing that this year. We are going to stop looking inward.  We are going to look outward. We are going to focus on our mission. The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers represents and protects the professional practice of engineering in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  We support the professional engineer.

We are not an education society. There are many resources for that. But, we do offer some of the finest education opportunities in the state.  I get most, if not all of my required PDHs through the Society. We are not a technical society.  We represent the interest of all professional engineers regardless of field of practice or expertise. What we are is your collective voice, echoing your concerns and issues as a unified voice.

The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers is a derivative society. Our existence is derived from the professional practice of engineering in this Commonwealth. Without professional engineering licensure, we – PSPE – has no need to exist. So, it’s not about us, its not about PSPE, its about our mission, its about you. The professional practice of engineering is far greater than the society itself. And that practice is currently under attack.

The clearest example of this was in Indiana, a state not so far away from ours. In Indiana, a bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk to eliminate all licensing boards in the state. No more requirement of need for professional engineering licensure. No more need for the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers. What would that do for your ‘value’.  More importantly, what does that do to public health, safety and welfare?  And do not make the same incorrect assumption I did, that unlicensed engineers would now be doing the work. What makes us think that even graduate engineers would be doing the work? Perhaps folks with one-year technology certificates or maybe 2 year associates degrees would now be doing the work formerly performed by licensed professionals. What would the impact to public health, safety and welfare be under this scenario?

I do not want to be a commodity. I do not ever remember taking a pledge or swearing an oath to protect public health, safety and welfare when I received either of my engineering degrees.  I did, however, agree to hold public health, safety and welfare paramount above all other considerations when I became a professional engineer, though.

Indiana is not the only place that threats to our licensure are occurring, though.  The states of Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Oklahoma, Michigan, Louisiana, Kansas, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.  By my count, that’s 25% of the states including some of our adjoining states.   There have been moves to eliminate qualification-based selection in Kansas and Michigan.  In Louisiana, there has been a dilution of education requirements. In Ohio, there has been a dilution of the responsibilities of the professional engineer. In Minnesota, professional engineer licensure is under attack due to special certifications. In Oklahoma, like Illinois, there is a push to separately license structural engineers. Even here in Pennsylvania, PSPE regularly monitors and lobbies against the licensing of Home Inspectors, a bill for which is introduced in almost every session.

How does this happen? In Indiana, it started with something called the Jobs Creation Committee. In Kansas, it started with something called an Efficiency Audit. I invite you to check out the website of the American Legislative Exchange Council, www.alec.org. On that website, you will find model legislation that states can use to eliminate professional licensure. In every instance, the move to eliminate licensure starts with a discussion about jobs, taxes and/or money. Professional engineering licensure is not about jobs, taxes or money, its about public health, safety and welfare. We need to change the discussion.

Most recently in Pennsylvania, our friends and sister organization, the Professional Land Surveyors, lost some of their rights under the professional practice of land surveying. A company called Davey Tree uses semi-skilled technicians with GPS units to survey above ground utility locations for public utility companies. The Pennsylvania licensing board for professional land surveyors brought an action against Davey Tree.  Davey Tree appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, and Commonwealth Court overturned the decision of the Pennsylvania licensing board for professional land surveyors.  That’s our own judges; judges that we elected. Our government is not going to protect us.

What did we do at PSPE? We helped the Pennsylvania Society of Land Surveyors with proposed changes to the land surveying law, to hopefully prevent this from occurring again. We proposed changes to our own professional engineering law to hopefully prevent similar attacks to our practice. We introduced amendments to our current House Bill 1704 reflecting our proposed changes.

These attacks on professional engineering can, have and will continue to happen. The bottom line is that the general populous seems to be under the impression that anyone can do what we do.  Maybe the practice of professional engineering is not even needed anymore.  Anyone can do what we can do, I suppose.  Right?  No! The public, our legislature, big business is sacrificing public health, safety and welfare in favor of jobs, lower taxes and less government. As a highway engineer, I have legitimate concerns about public health safety and welfare with the Davey Tree decision. I rely on plans provided by the utility companies for the location of their facilities. Now I have to be concerned that the plans I receive from the utility companies have locations that were not established by licensed professional surveyors and were not established by individuals that abide by a code of professional practice set by the Commonwealth.  This most certainly adversely impacts public health safety and welfare. Will it save the utility companies a few bucks, sure.  Will they pass it on to the ratepayer, the consumer, maybe?  Will I have to expend more effort, more time and money to verify the locations of above ground utilities, yes? And since almost all highway design is done with taxpayer dollars, will that cost you and the taxpayers, more money, me in the long run, yes! So, our Commonwealth Court, the judges that you and I elected, sacrificed public health safety and welfare in the interest of the profits of utility companies and an out of state corporation while likely costing us more tax dollars in then long run.  We need to change the discussion.

So how do we change the discussion? We need to speak louder by having more people talking. We need a louder voice.  We need more members.  The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers represents the interests of all licensed professional engineers in the Commonwealth, but less than 10% are members.

Membership is not solely my job.  Not solely the executive committees job. Not solely the Board of Directors job. Not solely the membership committee’s job.  Membership is everyone’s job. Membership is your job.  You need to step up and speak louder for your Society, for your professional engineer license, for public health, safety and welfare. You, everyone, needs to get a new member. This year is not going to be about what I’m going to do, its about what you are going to do.

So I want to leave you with some charges and some challenges. A charge is the baseline; the minimum expectation as a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers.  A challenge is a goal.

For my first charge, I charge you to show up. I am an adjunct professor of engineering.  The number one thing I tell my students is: show up. You are paying for it.  The first thing you can do to ensure success in your job when you graduate is to: show up. As a PSPE member, I charge you to show up. Attend all your chapter meetings. Participate in Mathcounts. Attend the annual conference.  Attend the other events we have; participate. Make the most of your membership.  Your participation makes out voice louder.

For my second charge, I charge you to buy a license plate. We have this fantastic opportunity in Pennsylvania with the availability of a license plate that says PA Professional Engineer on it.  So take advantage of it. Sure, PSPE makes a few bucks on each plate sold, but that’s not why I want you to buy one. The extraordinary value of the license plate is the exposure to the public, the exposure to thousands of drivers on the road each day around the state with the words PA Professional Engineer and the PSPE logo.  The license plate helps spreads the word; helps start the discussion, helps make our voice louder.

For my third charge, I charge you to contribute to our PAC, our Political Action Committee.  Our PAC is a component of our leverage with the state legislature. I’m not asking you to like the concept of politics or political contributions or even Pennsylvania politics, but as engineers, we understand systems.  And this is the way the system works in Pennsylvania. We understand that to be successful, we must work within the system.  Make no mistake, this is a fight; this is battle. As a member, you employ a great warrior, one of the best in the Commonwealth, as our lobbyist. And he is equipped with possibly the greatest weapon of all: the protection of public health, safety and welfare.  Now, let’s provide him with some ammunition to put in that weapon. It’s not hard.  Just write a personnel check made payable to “PSPE PAC” and send it to our Harrisburg office. Simple. Do it today.  The more ammunition we have, the louder our voice will be heard.

Those are your charges, the baseline, the minimum expectations for you as a member.  Now let’s talk about the challenges.

For my first challenge, I challenge you to get a new member. No gimmicks, no contests, no free six-month membership. Think about why you belong, and then invite someone lese to join. You do not need any message from me; you know why they should join.  So tell them.  Bring a non-member to a chapter meeting and invite them to join. Simple. No excuses. As we represent the interest of all professional engineers in the Commonwealth, its time we stopped giving the non-member professional engineers a free ride. It’s time for them to step up, too. It’s about speaking louder so we can change the discussion; the more members we have, the louder we speak.

For my second challenge, I challenge you to start a discussion with your local, elected state representative and senator.  Visit them regularly at their home office, you know, he office you pay for. They work for you. When you boss calls you into his office, you go. Well, you are the constituent, you are the voter, and you are the boss. Get to know them. I have a relationship with my senator and representative and see them regularly.  When I visit other state legislators during legislative day or for other lobbying, they are seeing as a courtesy.  They do not have to see me as I am not their constituent. But, if we had at least one PSPE member with a relationship with every state legislator, then we will be more effective at getting our message across. Our voice will be heard louder.  I’m challenging you to start a discussion, a relationship. You do not even have to talk about engineering issues and I am not offering any talking points presently. Remind them what you do and why.  Remind them about the importance of public health, safety and welfare.

So when you ask me or another Board member what you can do this year for PSPE, I just laid it out for you.  I’m not asking you to join a committee, or serve as an officer in the organization.  I’m not asking for much more of your time.  I’m asking you to meet the charges and challenges I have laid out here. Do those first, then let’s talk about how you can continue to serve your fellow professional engineers.

As professional engineers, we recognize the existence of a higher purpose to what we do. You could say, therefore, that we have a duty to the public to strengthen our organization, to speak louder and collectively protect the professional practice of engineering in the Commonwealth.

This is a call to action.  I am assembling the militia as we meet in the shadow of Valley Forge in the cradle of our very liberty. Stand with me.  Stand with us. And help change the discussion.

Risky Business – The Importance of Humility

Rebecca A. Bowman, Esq. PE –

Rebecca A. Bowman, PE, Esq.
Rebecca A. Bowman, PE, Esq.

In a recent Virginia case, an engineer was found liable for failing to investigate the nature of a pre-engineered system. In this particular case, the engineer had specified a pre-engineered rain tank system. The contractor questioned the appropriateness of using the system under the circumstances of the site. The engineer took no investigative action and confirmed his specification. The contractor complied. That system failed. The church which was his client sued. The engineer lost and appealed. The appellate court appealed.

Since the story appeared, several colleagues have asked me what I thought about the case: Was it a threat to the profession? My response has been consistent. This case came out exactly right. If anything, it was a demonstration that the judicial system still works.

I think that, instead, this case should be treasured as a lesson in humility. Regardless of the breadth of our expertise, regardless of the depth of our experience, none of us knows everything about anything.

In this particular case, for whatever reason, the engineer failed to investigate the engineering behind the pre-engineered rain tank system. The engineer appears not to have verified that the pre-engineering was completed, that the pre-engineering was completed according to modern specifications, or that the system’s contextual constraints were consistent with the site conditions. Simple questions to the supplier would have garnered answers to all those questions. The engineer failed to take advantage of available resources to prevent a problem.

This engineer was unusually blessed to have a moral contractor, who didn’t just notice concerning circumstances, he asked about them. What a treasure! I have worked with many contractors who would simply have logged the source of their concerns in their own job logs as self-protection and said nothing. In this case, rather than taking advantage of the contractor’s experience with the system, and inquiring further, the engineer appears to have “copped an attitude.” No further investigation was conducted in response to the contractor’s question. A second time, the engineer failed to take advantage of available resources to prevent a problem.

When the contractor asked the question, if the engineer didn’t want to do the legwork of investigating, the engineer could easily have picked up the phone to call the supplier. The supplier doesn’t want his product to be installed in a situation where it will not be successful. The supplier would have readily supplied the engineer with the necessary information and, likely, even recommended alternatives, especially if the alternative was some other product offered by the supplier. A third time, the engineer failed to take advantage of available resources to prevent a problem.

Three strikes and you’re out.

[We won’t even talk about the facts that the reports suggest that the engineer copped an attitude on the witness stand, too, making an unappealing witness or that juries will – consciously or unconsciously – raise the expected standard of performance when working with a church or other non-profit. Those are risks for another discussion.]

On the other hand, when I received my first solo design assignment, I was pretty much told that what I was being asked to do could not be done. I was asked to reconfigure the copper tubing in a product line to reduce the amount of copper tubing required by 20%. The first thing I did was take stock of my available resources. I had suppliers with whom I could consult. I had experienced lab technicians buried in the basement. I had experienced assemblers on the manufacturing line. I didn’t think of it at the time, but I also had experience field maintenance people.

The first thing I did was consult with the suppliers to learn about what they knew to be the limits of their products. For example, what was the smallest radius I could use before the tubing crimped?

The second thing I did was invite the lab technicians for their ideas. (They told me afterwards that, in all their years of experience, no engineer had ever asked them for input.) Perhaps because they had nothing to lose, they were willing to propose ideas outside the norm. For example, is there a reason that that valve has to be physically above that connector?

The third thing I did was invite the most experienced assemblers from each section of the line to join me for pizza at lunch. They were able to identify all the quirky sequences that made assembly difficult or increased the failure rate. (They, too, told me afterwards that no engineer had ever asked them for input.) For example, two capacitors were located so close together that soldering one frequently resulted in damage to the other.

After these conversations, I was ready to open the product and look at the copper tubing in its guts. It turned out that there was no reason that that valve had to physically be above that connector or in its current orientation at all. There was no reason that those two capacitors had to be so close together. Armed with the new, smaller turning radii that the supplier assured me would work, I sat down with the list of ideas and the lab technicians to evaluate the concepts. By using the resources outside myself that (who) were available to me, my wonderfully resourceful team completed the task ahead of schedule and reduced copper by 27%!

By the way, remember those field maintenance people I didn’t think to consult? It turns out that most of the assembly workers were women, but most of the field maintenance people were men. The field guys’ hands were larger than the assemblers, and they had trouble making repairs with some of my new, tighter clearances. So don’t forget the end users and other down the line who have to work with your designs.

The most important thing I did in that project was to give full credit to each of the people who helped. That didn’t change the fact that the liability was on my name and my shoulders, but it served not only to honor the source of some of the ideas, but also to remind others of available resources.

One of the greatest powers each of us has is the ability to tap into resources. Another of those powers is knowing what we don’t know. If we can’t find the humility to use those powers, then we are truly in a Risky Business.

Rebecca A. Bowman, Esq., P.E. is the principal of a woman-owned business in civil engineering, dispute resolution, real estate, and legal services. She is experienced in boundary law issues, engineering design and forensic analysis, construction/project management, dispute resolution, real estate, and small business start-ups. She is a registered professional engineer and a certified arbitrator, mediator, and Christian conciliator. Mrs. Bowman writes a column for the PE Reporter, “Risky Business”. She is frequent CPE lecturer (law and engineering) for a variety of providers. She received her B.S. degree in civil engineering, from the University of North Dakota, her M.B.A. degree from Oklahoma University and her J.D. degree from Duquesne University. Mrs. Bowman is involved with the National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Arbitration Association, the Institute for Christian Conciliation, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the American Bar Association. She volunteers with Legal Aid, Family Promise, the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills, MATHCOUNTS, and Pennsylvania History Day. She received the 2014 PSPE President’s Distinguished Service Award.

John A. Nawn, P.E., F.NSPE | PSPE President 2016-17

John A. Nawn, PE, FNSPE PSPE President 2016-17
John A. Nawn, PE, FNSPE
PSPE President 2016-17

Join the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers as we install our new President, John A. Nawn. We will hold a celebratory banquet at the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia – Valley Forge on Friday evening, September 23, 2016, during the Pennsylvania Professional Engineers Conference.

PE licensure is the engineering profession’s highest standard of competence, a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality. Being a licensed professional engineer means more than earning a certificate and possessing technical competence. It is a conscious commitment to hold the public health, safety, and welfare above all other considerations. Under John’s leadership, PSPE will continue to provide its members with the resources needed to earn and maintain the respected PE seal.

John A. Nawn, P.E. has provided forensic engineering, accident reconstruction and expert witness services since 1994 in matters involving highway and traffic engineering, including intersections; urban and rural roadways; interstate highways; parking lots; signage, pavement marking and traffic controls; codes and zoning requirements; sidewalks and crosswalks; public utilities including sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water mains. With 25 years experience prior to joining Fleisher Forensics, Mr. Nawn served in leadership roles at a number of local civil engineering consulting firms including serving in such roles as Executive Vice President, Vice President, Chief Engineer and Managing Partner. Responsibilities have included the design, engineering and management of various traffic, transportation, highway, bridge, mass transit, railroad, environmental, municipal and construction engineering projects.

Mr. Nawn earned a Bachelor and Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Drexel University. He is a licensed professional engineer in 9 states. In 2011, he was recognized as Pennsylvania Engineer of the Year.

Mr. Nawn is a certified Professional Traffic Operations Engineer with the Institute of Transportation Engineers; a Certified Floodplain Manager with the American Society of Floodplain Managers; a Certified Forensic Consultant, and a Fellow with the American College of Forensic Examiners; and a Fellow with the National Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Nawn’s other professional memberships include the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Engineer’s Club of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers where he currently serves as President -Elect.

Active in his community, Mr. Nawn is an elected Township Supervisor and presently Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in his community.

Daniel B. Humes, PE – PSPE 2016 Young Engineer of the Year

Daniel B. Humes PSPE 2016 Young Engineer of the Year
Daniel B. Humes
PSPE 2016 Young Engineer of the Year

PSPE is proud to recognize Daniel B. Humes, PE, as PSPE 2016 Young Engineer of the Year. A dynamic professional engineer with experience in construction and civil engineering design, Mr. Humes specializes in stormwater management, erosion and sedimentation control, utility coordination and relocations, and land development design and permitting. As Urban’s site/land development practice leader, he is responsible for overseeing a department of engineers, designers, and surveyors on the above tasks. At the time of his promotion in 2014 to his current position, Mr. Humes became (and still is) the youngest practice leader in Urban Engineers’ history. As his major accomplishments show, this distinction is well earned.

Major Accomplishments:

In 2013, Mr. Humes was the project engineer behind the award winning design for a retail retrofit in the National Soak It Up! Design Competition, a program that focused on urban stormwater issues. The juried national competition was organized by the City of Philadelphia Water Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Community Design Collaborative. The Urban Team’s winning design, “Stormwater reStore,” revitalized an urban retail shopping center and turned it into a vibrant, pedestrian friendly, community-oriented public space through the use of rain gardens, streetscape improvements, stormwater infiltration and storage, and landscaped stormwater features.

As a project engineer and manager, Mr. Humes provided site/land development engineering design services for the award-winning, mixed-use, multilevel building complex called Paseo Verde, the first LEED Platinum Neighborhood Development in the country including the first use of Blue Rooftops in the City pf Philadelphia.

Mr. Humes served as a project engineer for the reconstruction of Dilworth Park, a public plaza located west of Philadelphia’s Historic City Hall. The reconstruction is intended to create a dramatic improvement to the underutilized public space, and improve accessibility and wayfinding to the existing transit facilities.

For renovation and expansion of the Franklin Institute’s Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion, Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, Mr. Humes provided civil engineering design services. The new museum addition includes a conference center and exhibition space.

As a design engineer and manager, Mr. Humes performed civil/land development design and constructability reviews for an approximately 50-acre proposed train offloading facility. The proposed project required permitting within the City of Philadelphia in an expedited timeframe. The design included multiple phases of a newly created rail yard to allow for the transfer of Bakken Crude Oil to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery to begin immediately.

As a design manager for the Sugarhouse Casino Expansion, Mr. Humes provided site/land development engineering design services for the SugarHouse Casino Phase 1A Expansion. The expansion included additional gaming space, back of floor space, and a multi-story parking garage. In addition to the building expansion, the project includes the extensive site modifications to the northern half of the property including two Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) relocations, a revised parking layout, revised site amenities, and the relocation of the Sugarhouse Drive entrance on North Delaware Avenue.

With the above experience, projects and local and national awards under his belt, Mr. Humes’ desire to live and work by the Engineer’s Creed has led to his professional success.

Criteria for selection as PSPE 2016 Young Engineer of the Year includes: Be age 35 or under as of January 1, 2016; be a Registered Professional Engineer or Engineer in Training; PSPE membership preferred but not required; Scholastic achievements; Technical society activities; Technical papers and patents; Professional society activities; Engineering experience and accomplishments; and Civic and humanitarian activities.

Mr. Humes obtained a Bachelor of Science (Civil Engineering) from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts (Natural Sciences) from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Humes is active in the PSPE Valley Forge Chapter serving and having served on various committees: By-Laws Committee Director (2008-Present); MATHCOUNTS Committee Past President (2015-2016); Membership Committee President (2014-2015); Programs / Publications Committee(s); MATHCOUNTS Volunteer (VFC 2009-Present) Coordinator (2011-2013), and Co-Coordinator (2014-2016); Chapter Event Emcee (2012-2016), State MATHCOUNTS Competition Volunteer; Volunteer Firefighter (Warwick Township, 1997-2001); and Volunteer (Doylestown Hospital, 1996-1997).

Since joining Urban Engineers, Mr. Humes has assisted on various internal committees to contribute comments and questions for various revisions to codes, regulations, and guidelines from various agencies. These include, but are not limited to; the Philadelphia Plan Review Advisory Group (2011), Philadelphia Water Department Development Services Advisory Committee (2012), Philadelphia Water Department Stormwater Manual (2015), Department of Environmental Protection Erosion and Sedimentation Control Manual, Pennsylvania State Best Management Practices Manual Taskforce (2012-2013). Mr. Humes has always supported, and continues to support, various local fundraising and charitable efforts through 5K runs/walks and golf outings, supporting the local communities scholarship opportunities and research donations whenever possible.

Kevin T. Campbell, PE, LEED AP – PSPE 2016 Engineer of the Year

Kevin T. Campbell, PE PSPE 2016 Engineer of the Year
Kevin T. Campbell, PE
PSPE 2016 Engineer of the Year

The PSPE State Engineer of the Year Award publicly recognizes outstanding engineers based on criteria including professional achievements, civic, political, engineering and educational contributions. The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers is proud to award Kevin T. Campbell PSPE 2016 Engineer of the Year.

Kevin T. Campbell, PE, LEED AP, is president and chief operating officer of Barry Isett & Associates, a multi-discipline engineering firm headquartered in Allentown, PA.

The immediate Past President of the LV-PSPE, he has coordinated the Lehigh Valley MathCounts since 2010 and was the co-coordinator of the 2016 statewide competition. He will be the coordinator for the 2017 and 2018 events.

He was elected to the Lehigh Valley board of directors in 2008 and quickly rose through the offices of vice president, president, and past president. He also chaired the program committee; during that time the chapter received PSPE’s Outstanding Program Award.  Named the chapter’s Engineer of the Year in 2016, Kevin earlier received the Truman Yeager Award in recognition of his service to the chapter.

Kevin joined Barry Isett & Associates, Inc. in September, 2005 as a staff management analyst – bringing with him twenty years of leadership knowledge and technical experience that would serve to improve the company’s work efficiency and resource coordination in the decade to come. He was named vice-president within his first year at the company and president/chief operating officer in 2011.

Kevin’s executive management, attained from his previous employment with Agere Systems/Lucent/AT&T and Tri-Quint Optoelectronics, is backed by degrees in Metallurgical Engineering (B.S.), Electrical Engineering (M.S.), and Business Administration (MBA). This experience has provided the ideal framework for him to accelerate the company’s productivity by providing operational, fiscal, and strategical oversight – delivered with a transparent respect for the company’s most valuable resource – its people.

Kevin frequently interacts directly with the clients to ensure that projects meet expectations and quality standards.  Under his guidance, the company has expanded its services and geographical reach, but always with commitment to repeat clientele.

Kevin is most proud of the fact that the company has been named one of the Best Places to Work in the Lehigh Valley four years in a row. The honor is based solely on employee feedback through a survey conducted by the Morning Call Media Group and WorkplaceDynamics, LLP. The firm received special recognition for Work/Life Flexibility.

In 2015, Barry Isett and Associates was accorded the Societas Award for Responsible Corporate Conduct, presented by the Forum for Ethics in the Workplace.  The annual award celebrates a company in Eastern Pennsylvania that demonstrates responsible corporate conduct in terms of legal compliance, corporate and individual accountability, commitment to stakeholders and social responsibility.

The former chair of the Lehigh Valley Steering committee of the Delaware Lehigh Valley Green Building Council, Kevin has served on the board of Lehigh Economic Assistance Program, and on the MusikFest talent selection committee and is the current treasurer of the American Wine Society – Lehigh Valley Chapter.

Kevin is the father of three children, Matthew, Lindsay and Shannon and the proud grandfather of Riley, who arrived this summer. Kevin and his wife, Michele, live in Zionsville, PA.

Standards of Professional Conduct

Timothy S. Ormiston, P.E., F.NSPE
PSPE President 2015-16

It came to the attention of the PSPE Executive Committee on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 that Matthew P. McTish, P.E. recently pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery in the region of Allentown and Reading, Pennsylvania. Mr. McTish was the President of McTish, Kunkle & Associates, and previously a member of PSPE.

In a statement by the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Tuesday May 10, 2016:

“Court documents were unsealed today in relation to the guilty plea entered by Matthew McTish, 57, of Orefield, PA.  McTish pleaded guilty on April 28, 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery offenses, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. McTish faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison, a possible fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 2, 2016.

As I have stated before, one of the things PSPE stands for is Standards of Professional Conduct.  The NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers specifically states as one of the Fundamental Canons: “Engineers, in the fulfillment of their professional duties, shall conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.” PSPE is the recognized voice and advocate of all Professional Engineers licensed in Pennsylvania. Our mission is to promote and defend the interests of Pennsylvania’s Professional Engineers. The blatant disregard for ethical practice in this incident compels PSPE, in conjunction with NSPE, to request an investigation of Matthew P. McTish by the Pennsylvania State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists. At this writing PSPE is engaged with making the request.

Additional details of the U.S. Attorney’s news release can be found at the following web address:


Timothy S. Ormiston, P.E., F.NSPE
PSPE President 2015-16

NSPE Recognizes 2016 Class of Fellows

The National Society of Professional Engineers proudly names Timothy S. Ormiston, P.E., as a Fellow member.

The NSPE Fellow membership was established in the year 2000 to honor those active Society members who have demonstrated exemplary service to their profession, their society and their community.  Since its creation, slightly more than one percent of all NSPE members have advanced to this highest volunteer membership rank.

Since joining NSPE in 1985, Tim has served not only NSPE but also his state and local society with the utmost dedication, devotion and commitment, and through this Fellow membership he is also recognized by the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers for his many contributions and achievements.

Tim truly epitomizes the highest ideals upon which the NSPE Fellow program was established – a strong record of unselfish service to his state and national society, a tireless commitment to excellence, and an enduring devotion to his profession. For these and his many notable accomplishments, Timothy S. Ormiston has been selected by the National Society of Professional Engineers to carry the honored title of Fellow and to proudly place behind his name the designation “P.E., F.NSPE.

Tim joins a distinguished group of Pennsylvania Fellows:

John R. Ackerman PE, FNSPE, DEE, PG

Edward P. Becker PE, FNSPE

Leonard K. Bernstein PE, FNSPE

Joseph F. Boward PE, FNSPE

William J. Bryan PE, FNSPE

Elizabeth A. Catania PE, FNSPE

Jon W. Drosendahl PE, FNSPE

John W. Fisher PE, FNSPE

Harry E. Garman PE, FNSPE, PLS

Ernest U. Gingrich PE, FNSPE, PLS

Harvey D. Hnatiuk PE, FNSPE

Barry E. Isett PE, FNSPE, PLS

John E. Kampmeyer Sr. PE, FNSPE

Donald A. Lazarchik PE, FNSPE, FASCE

Thomas M. Maheady PE, FNSPE

David L. McCullough PE, FNSPE

Walter K. Morris PE, FNSPE

John A. Nawn PE, FNSPE, PTOE

Timothy S. Ormiston PE, FNSPE

Walter J. Poplawski PE, FNSPE

Michel J. Sadaka PE, FNSPE

Donald D. Smith PE, FNSPE

Susan K. Sprague PE, FNSPE

Peter O. Staffeld PE, FNSPE, PhD

Francis J. Stanton Jr. PE, FNSPE

Craig L. Weaver PE, FNSPE

John G. Woods PE, FNSPE

Donn R. Zang PE, FNSPE

PSPE Presidents Message, Engineers Week 2016

Timothy S. Ormiston, P.E.
PSPE President 2015-16

“Engineers Make a World of Difference” is the theme for National Engineers Week, February 21-27, 2016, sponsored by DiscoverE. We know that the world has become a global marketplace for goods and services. The same is true for the engineering profession; interaction between engineers and delivery of engineering services has gone global. In the last year I have interacted directly with supplier engineers in Germany and China. No doubt you have had direct interaction with or have been influenced by engineers from around the world. For the first time DiscoverE has selected February 24th as Global Day of the Engineer during National Engineers Week. Visit www.discovere.org/global-day to find more details.

DiscoverE is promoting many other programs for Engineers Week including: Future City Competition National Finals (Feb. 15th), Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (Feb. 25th), Family Day in Washington, DC (Feb. 27th) and Global Marathon (Mar. 8-10).

Traditionally National Engineers Week is celebrated in the week containing the birthday of President George Washington (February 22nd), considered be the nation’s first engineer. Although President Washington had no formal education, his accomplishments in surveying are well noted, in addition to his interest and actions to promote engineering in 18th Century America[1]. NSPE started National Engineers Week in 1951 to call attention to the contributions engineers make to society.

In Pennsylvania there are several PSPE chapters and other organizations that will conduct Engineers Week activities.  In eastern Pennsylvania the Philadelphia Chapter PSPE (Feb. 27th) and Delaware Chapter PSPE (Feb. 17th) PSPE, and the Delaware Valley Engineers Week Committee (Feb. 19th, 23rd, 25th) will hold celebration events. The Central Pennsylvania Engineers Week Council sponsors an awards banquet on February 24th in the Harrisburg area.  In western Pennsylvania the Pittsburgh Chapter PSPE (Feb. 27th) and Beaver County Chapter PSPE (Feb. 26th) PSPE and Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania (Feb. 18th) will hold awards dinners.

February is also the month for one of the most successful NSPE/PSPE programs: MATHCOUNTS. Many of the 22 regional competitions are complete as I write this. The state MATHCOUNTS competition will be held in Harrisburg on March 18-19, 2016. The Pennsylvania team will move on to the National competition in Washington, DC on May 7-10.

February into March is the special time to promote engineering to the public through regional, state, national and worldwide events. Get out and participate with your colleagues, friends and family in these and other events. Through your personal actions, non-engineers will know that “Engineers Make a World of Difference”

[1]”Washington – Engineer and Engineer Advocate,” Fort Leonard Wood Web Page, http://www.wood.army.mil/engrmag/JanMar2003a.htm


Copyright Infringement – What a Volunteer Needs to Know

You may recall a few years ago that one of the PSPE Chapters experienced a case of copyright infringement. The chapter web-volunteer found photos online and used them in the chapter site. The photographer regularly used a reverse image search to keep an eye on their work, and the chapter website popped up. Fortunately, the chapter came to a less-than-debilitating agreement with the author.

Taking Images and Articles from the Internet – Is Your Association Committing Copyright Infringement” written by Katharine Foster Meyer, GKG Law, P.C.,  speaks to the situation exactly. She addresses both photos and articles.