Professional and Career Topics

  • 1.  Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 08-18-2022 10:32 AM

    A Professional Engineer (PE) license represents a major milestone in our Civil Engineering careers. It requires technical competence, ethical behavior, and a commitment to continuing education. Clients and employers see the PE credential as a mark of engineering maturity and gives them confidence to trust that engineer's judgement.

    What comes next? The best engineers can apply for board certification in their specialties. Civil Engineering Certification (CEC) Academies provide that distinction for PE's with eight years of progressive experience after the PE, post-graduate education, and demonstration of expert knowledge in a designated specialty. Click here for details. Currently, Board Certifications are available in:

    • Coastal Engineering
    • Geotechnical Engineering
    • Navigation Engineering
    • Ocean Engineering
    • Ports Engineering
    • Water Resources Engineering

    What's your perspective on Civil Engineering Board Certification?

    If you're Board Certified, how has it contributed to your career?

    If you're not, do you see Board Certification as a worthy goal?


    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    Columbus MS

  • 2.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 08-22-2022 10:21 AM
    I would like to see a national license that would be able to practice as a Professional Engineer in all 50 states and territories. It seems crazy that each states have a separate board and none are coordinated or connected. Thanks for the question.

    John Casey P.E., M.ASCE
    Prescott Valley AZ

  • 3.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 08-22-2022 12:48 PM
    Agreed, but you would have to add seismic, hurricane, snow loads, and other state specialties to the test for everyone.  It might be simpler to break the certification for states up into parts that must be completed for an individual states licensure. General (the PE exam for most states), plus, for example, Hurricane design and construction for coastal states.  General plus seismic for west coast states etc.  It would take a national effort by state license boards to accomplish this.  Doubtful it will ever happen just due to the inertia in most government agencies.

    Blair Alegant P.E.
    Philadelphia PA

    Blair Alegant P.E., M.ASCE
    Assistant Chief of Construction
    Philadelphia Water Dept.
    Philadelphia PA

  • 4.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 08-22-2022 04:41 PM
    I agree…or you could have a national P.E. with separate surveying/seismic/etc. that some states currently have. The national P.E. would not hold in those states until the individual took those individual segments…all states have these as separate exams…just a thought…thank you for your input.


  • 5.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 6 days ago
    I think a national PE license would be great. I would only need seismic for CA. Keep in mind that some states require a survey exam as well.

    George Miles P.E., M.ASCE
    Alligator Engineering Inc
    Edgewater FL

  • 6.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 08-22-2022 10:22 AM
    Going through the same certification board (CESB) (, I earned my certification in Forensic Engineering.  Similar to the PE license, it's the path to earn the certification that provides the initial value.   Once I put "Board Certified Forensic Engineer" on my CV, it correlated to an increase in interviews and subsequent acceptance as an expert witness in areas of my expertise.   I am still primarily a design engineer, but going to court and seeing the "bad ideas" has tightened up my engineering and business practices.

    This certification is earned through the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, an NSPE affiliate organization.  Part of the requirements to earn that Board Certification is to hold and maintain a P.E., which makes the Board Certification "the next level" in many ways.

    Bart Kemper, P.E., DFE

    Clarence Kemper CPEng, P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal Engineer
    Kemper Engineering Services
    Baton Rouge LA

  • 7.  RE: Beyond the P.E. License?

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thanks for the candid feedback Bart!

    Re: " I am still primarily a design engineer, but going to court and seeing the "bad ideas" has tightened up my engineering and business practices."

    Imagine if we now, based on the excellent results from FEs, developed a "Forensic Management" track?

    i.e., backtrack from the FE's work asking "Why?" at least 5 times.

    Where do you suspect such diligent work might lead?

    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880