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Structural Engineering Licensure

14 Feb 2017 8:30 AM | Anonymous

NSPE and the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers have joined forces to oppose separate structural engineering licensure requirements included in Oklahoma House Bill 1282. In a joint letter to the Oklahoma Speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore, NSPE and OSPE urged them to rescind all language pertaining to structural engineering in the bill. NSPE President Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, and OSPE President Brian Kennell, P.E., stated, “Efforts to weaken engineering licensure by carving particular niches within the profession undermine a system of laws designed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. The obligation to stay current and practice in one’s own field is the bedrock of PE licensure and is not limited to or required by separate discipline-specific licensure.”

H.B. 1282 defines a professional structural engineer as “an individual who has been duly licensed as a professional engineer by the Board, and who has been further authorized by the Board to use the title Professional Structural Engineer, P.E., S.E. or S.E. and perform structural engineering analysis and design services for ‘significant structures’, as defined by Board rule.” Currently, the Oklahoma State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors does not define “structural engineering” or “significant structures,” which creates alarming regulatory ambiguity, both for professional engineers and for the public. This proposed legislation, wrote Verhalen and Kennell, “raises major concerns about its impact on professional engineers in Oklahoma who currently perform structural engineering (as we assume it may be defined, but given the fact that ‘structural engineering’ and ‘significant structures’ are not defined in the State of Oklahoma, regulatory ambiguity persists), competently and successfully, but have not taken the 16-hour SE exam. It is important to note that the NCEES 16-hour Structural Engineering exam has only been offered since 2011.”

 


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