Engineering News Headlines
May 13, 2016 - GOVERNOR APPOINTS NEW TBPE BOARD MEMBERS
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Albert Cheng and Cathy Norwood and reappointed Lamberto "Bobby" Balli to the TBPE Board for terms set to expire September 26, 2021. For bios of the new Board members, refer to: http://gov.texas.gov/news/appointment/22311
May 1, 2016 -DECOUPLING OF PE EXAM AND EXPERIENCE
ONLINE EIT REGISTRATION IS NOW AVAILABLE
Changes adopted at the February Board meeting will allow a Texas EIT (Engineer in Training) to register for the PE exam prior to meeting the full experience requirement if they choose to do so. These rules became effective May 1, 2016. Decoupling Webpage
The Online EIT Application System is now available for those who wish to apply to become an EIT. Current EITs can register for the PE exam through NCEES starting 6/20/16.
March 14, 2016 - NCEES Seeks Volunteers for SE Exam Professional Activities and Knowledge Study or PAKS
NCEES is currently seeking licensed professionals practicing structural engineering to participate in a professional activities and knowledge study, or PAKS, for the Structural Engineering exam. The results of this online survey will be used to update specifications for the exam, which is used by various U.S. states and territories for licensing purposes. NCEES requires a cross section of licensed professional engineers practicing structural engineering including those working in industry, consulting, the public sector, and academia to complete an online survey. The survey will help determine the knowledge and skills required of a licensed structural engineer with 4 to 6 years of experience to practice in a manner that safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the public. The survey can be completed in about 45 minutes.
For access to the online survey, visit ncees.org/SEsurvey. Responses must be received by May 1, 2016.
March 10, 2016 - Texas and South Korea Sign Engineering Licensure Agreement
An agreement between Texas and South Korea was signed in Austin today which will streamline mutual recognition of engineering qualifications and licensing arrangements to work on projects in both jurisdictions. The Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for engineering services was signed by Dr. Daniel Wong, P.E., Chairman, and Dr. Lance Kinney, P.E., Executive Director, of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, and Mr. HongTaek Yong, Director General, of the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning of Korea, and Mr. ChangWoo Kim, Executive Vice President of the Korean Professional Engineers Association (KPEA). The agreement will open up opportunities for Texas Professional Engineers to provide engineering services in South Korea by making it much easier for suitably qualified engineers to be licensed with KPEA. This agreement demonstrates the Texas Board's continued leadership in international licensure. The MRA is the first for engineering services under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and follows similar agreements providing for mutual recognition of engineering licensure between Texas and Canada, Mexico, and Australia and a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan. The Chairman of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, Dr. Daniel Wong, P.E., said, "I am extremely proud of the Texas Board in this agreement with the Country of Korea. Texas is leading the U.S. in the global recognition of engineering licensure and exchange of professional services." The Korean Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning stated that "This accord is expected to raise the international stature of local professional engineers and increase overseas demand for them." For more information, see the News Release.
March 2, 2016 - eNewsletter
In this issue: February 10-11, 2016 Board meeting updates including Decoupling PE Exam from Experience, 4 year rule review, PAO 39 regarding On-Farm Energy Audits, Disciplinary Action Summaries and Video Clips of the Regular Quarterly Board Meeting.
Refer to: eNewsletter March 2, 2016
February 29, 2016 - NCEES Seeks Help from Computer Engineers for Online Survey
NCEES is seeking licensed professional engineers practicing in computer engineering to participate in a professional activities and knowledge study (PAKS) to update specifications for the PE Electrical and Computer Engineering exams. The study, which was originally launched in June 2015, requires professional engineers practicing in all areas of electrical and computer engineering. While NCEES has enough participants practicing in electrical/electronic and power engineering, it is extending the study to find additional computer engineering participants. NCEES requires a cross section of licensed professional engineers practicing computer engineering—including those working in industry, consulting, the public sector, and academia—to complete an online survey about the tasks and knowledge required of a licensed electrical or computer engineer with 4 to 6 years of experience to practice in a manner that safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the public. The survey can be completed in about 20 minutes. "These studies help NCEES ensure its licensing exams remain relevant to current professional practice," explained Director of Exam Services Tim Miller, P.E. "We've had a great response across most areas of this discipline, but we need more participants practicing in computer engineering." For access to the online survey, visit bit.ly/PEElecComp.
February 11, 2016 - Decoupling of PE Exam and Experience Requirement
At the Regular Board meeting, the Board approved rules to allow for the 'decoupling' of the experience requirements for licensure and the approval to take the PE exam. These rules will officially be implemented in May 2016.
This change will allow a Texas Engineer in Training (EIT) to register for the PE exam prior to meeting the full experience requirement. The May implementation date means the new system will be in effect for the upcoming October 2016 PE exam but will not be applicable for the April 2016 exam.
"TBPE is pleased to offer flexibility for taking the PE exam in passing the "decoupling" provision," said TBPE Chairman Daniel Wong, Ph.D., P.E. "Decoupling does not change the current requirements for PE licensure or the PE exam itself but just offers a more flexible time line to accommodate different career and life paths of our future engineers".
Refer to the Decoupling Page for further information.
July 6, 2015 - REPEAL OF $200 PROFESSIONAL FEE
The Board was excited to announce a legislative change that will have a significant annual effect on thousands of licensed Professional Engineers and engineering firms in Texas. Tax reduction was one of the important efforts during the 84th legislative session, and House Bill 7 (HB 7) was part of that fiscal package. By passing HB 7, the legislature of Texas repealed the long-standing $200 Professional Fee for Professional Engineers and a number of other licensed professions. The great news for the engineering community is that effective September 1, 2015, licensed Professional Engineers will no longer pay the $200 Professional Fee associated with license renewals, applications for new PE licenses or reactivation of licenses in inactive status. All licensees will see the reduction automatically on their renewal statements. Several existing Board Rules will also be modified as soon as possible to accommodate the changes. Due to the effective date of the statute change, PE license renewals set for September 2015 will not be available until September 1, 2015. This will be a month later than usual, but it is necessary so that the $200 fee is not assessed to licensees. Renewal invoices will be sent on September 1, 2015 and renewals will be processed as normal online and by mail starting on that date.
December 18, 2015 - eNewsletter
In this issue: (Supplement - Rule Changes) Proposed Rules Regarding Decoupling the P.E. Exam from Experience are now posted for comment. eNewsletter December 18, 2015
December 9, 2015 - eNewsletter
In this issue: Board meeting updates from the meetings held November 18-19, 2015. Announcement of rule changes including removal of the $200 professional fee, new options for military service members and revised state contract guidelines. Decoupling the PE Exam from Experience was introduced and the upcoming comment period was mentioned. eNewsletter December 9, 2015
June 4, 2015 - eNewsletter - In this issue: May 21st Board Meeting Update, Legislative Update, Call for stakeholders - On-Farm Energy Audits, Webinars and Outreach and New TBPE Flyers. eNewsletter June 4, 2015
March 4, 2015 - eNewsletter - In this issue: February 12th Board Meeting Update, Legislative Update, TBPE Sponsor of State Science and Engineering Fair, New TBPE Flyers, Webinars and Outreach, Criminal History Record Check, When do you need a PE on a building project? and Computer Based Testing. eNewsletter March 4, 2015
December 17, 2014 - eNewsletter - In this issue: Criminal History Record Check, Legislative Session Starts January 13, 2015, November 20th Board Meeting Update, When do you need a PE on a building project?, Computer Based Testing, and Webinars and Outreach. eNewsletter December 17, 2014
September 17, 2014 - eNewsletter - In this issue: Criminal History Record Check, August 28th Board Meeting Update, When do you need a PE on a building project?, Computer Based Testing and Ethics Webinars and Outreach. eNewsletter September, 17, 2014
April 23, 2014 - NCEES Updates
NCEES exam updates for the October 2014 and April, 2015 exams. NCEES Exam Memo
April 18, 2014 - Quality Texas Award
The Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE) has been recognized by the Quality Texas Foundation for its commitment to quality in all aspects of its operations. This is the third recognition for performance excellence in four years, and TBPE is the only state regulatory agency to be recognized during the 2014 review cycle. TBPE Press Release, Quality Texas Press Release
April 1, 2014 - PE Renewal Fee Increase
In August 2013 the Board approved an operating budget for the 2014 fiscal year. Beginning with the June 2014 cycle, the P.E. renewal fee will be $40 instead of $35. There is no change to the legislatively required annual Professional Fee, so the standard renewal total is $240. The last change to renewal fees was in March 2004.
March 7, 2014 - eNewsletter - In this issue: Legislative Mandate: Criminal History Record Check, Board Meeting Update and Disciplinary Actions, Computer Based Testing and Ethics Webinars and Outreach. eNewsletter March 7, 2014
January 17, 2014 - The state licensing boards that regulate the practice of engineering in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Texas signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with the Japan PE/FE Examiners Council (JPEC) on December 18 in Tokyo, Japan. The MOUs allow for those who have successfully completed NCEES licensing exams in Japan to seek licensure as a professional engineer, or P.E., in the three U.S. states. Refer to the NCEES Press Release.
September 1, 2013 - Criminal History Record Check (CHRC)
The 83rd Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 204 which modified the Texas Engineering Practice Act to require a one-time criminal history record check for all license applications and all renewals of active licenses. This law was effective January 1, 2014 and must be done at the applicant or licensee expense. Refer to the CHRC Page for further information.
November 19, 2013 - Launch of CBTuesdays, a seven-week video series that will introduce examinees to aspects of the computer-based testing exam-day experience. Each Tuesday, NCEES will feature a new video on topics such as the reusable booklet provided for scratch work, how to flag questions for review, and how to search the onscreen reference handbook.
The first video in the series will be the CBT exam-day experience video that you previewed at the annual meeting in San Antonio. It chronicles a typical exam-day experience at a Pearson VUE test center, including the check-in process, locker storage procedures, how to request a break, and much more.
Each new video will be featured on the NCEES Facebook and Twitter pages and uploaded to the NCEES YouTube channel for easy viewing access. You'll find them under a special CBTuesdays section.
October 21, 2013 - Application fee change: At its meeting in August, the Board approved the agency budget, which included a change of several licensing fees related to applications and renewals. Effective November 1, 2013, the application fee will increase from $50 to $80. This will affect any new or reactivated applications submitted on or after that date. This will be the first application fee change in more than 30 years.
September 27, 2013 -Criminal History Record Check Requirement - Starting January 1, 2014, by law, all license applications and all renewals of active licenses will require a one-time criminal history record check. For further information, refer to the: CHRC Information Page.
September 23, 2013 - eNewsletter - In this issue: Legislative Update, Criminal History Record Check, Board Meeting update, New rules adopted and proposed Disciplinary actions, Ethics Webinars a Success - eNewsletter September 2013
July 20, 2013 - Fee Collection Change - Effective 8/1/13, as required by statute, the Board will now collect the $250 PE Application Fee in two separate transactions; $50 when applying and $200 after passing the exam.
June 19, 2013 - eNewsletter - In this issue: Legislative Update, Ethics Webinar, New TBPE Website, Board Meeting update: New rules adopted and proposed Disciplinary actions - eNewsletter June 2013
March 4, 2013 - eNewsletter - TBPE Ethics Webinar March 19th, New Pocket Card, Board Meeting update: New rules proposed in recent board meeting Enforcement actions Upcoming, Legislative session - including Sunset Bills - eNewsletter March 2013
January 4, 2013 - eNewsletter - Board Meeting update: New rules passed in recent board meeting and Enforcement actions, Update on Sunset Advisory Commission recommendations, Upcoming Legislative session, Outreach opportunities - eNewsletter January 2013
November 28, 2012 - NCEES Credentials Evaluations named official educational credentials evaluator for Records Program. View News Release
November 12, 2012 - Future changes to NCEES exams and supporting materials. View Memo...
October 12, 2012 - Sunset Advisory Commission Report - Report on the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the Self-Directed Semi-Independent Agency Project act was released October 12, 2012. View Report
June 19, 2012 - TBPE Board Appointments Announced - Refer to the TBPE Press Release for the details.
June 11, 2012 - NCEES announces changes to FE exam, effective January 2014. The current specifications for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam will change in January 2014 in conjunction with the exam's transition to computer-based testing (CBT). Press Release
May 3, 2012 - TBPE has been recognized by the Quality Texas Foundation for dedication to quality and high performance, and is the only state regulatory agency to be recognized during the 2012 review cycle. This is the second consecutive year that the TBPE has been recognized for its commitment to quality. Press Release
April 26, 2012 - Notice of Future Changes to NCEES Exams and Supporting Materials
In the April 2013 exam administration, NCEES will implement changes to two examinations and introduce a new examination.
• PE Software Engineering—The Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Software Engineering exam will be offered for the first time in April 2013. The new exam specifications will be posted on ncees.org. IEEE-USA (the sponsoring technical society) will publish study materials later this year.
• PE Industrial—The PE Industrial exam will have new specifications and move to a spring administration schedule in April 2013. October 2012 will be the last time this exam is offered in the fall. The new exam specifications will be posted on ncees.org. The Institute of Industrial Engineers (the sponsoring technical society) will publish revised study materials later this year.
• PE Civil—The PE Civil exam will have revised design standards for the Construction, Civil Structural, and Transportation modules starting in April 2013. The standards will be posted on the NCEES Website after the October 2012 exam.
July 25, 2011 - The Texas Board of Professional Engineers was recognized by Texas Quality Foundation for demonstrating systematic approaches to organizational management. Refer to the Press Release for additional information.
June 21, 2011 - Overlap Resolved: A Joint Statement by the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners. Refer to the Press Release for additional information.
May 25, 2011 - TBPE Announces Launch of Online License Application Program - The new online system allows individuals to apply and pay license application fees online through a secure and encrypted website. Press Release
June 2, 2011 - NCEES announces transition to computer-based testing. Press Release
May 11, 2011 - NCEES announces changes to October 2011 Exams. Press Release
February 28, 2011 - NCEES has selected electronic testing company Pearson VUE for computer-based delivery of the FE and FS exams. Press Release
December 3, 2010 - NCEES announces changes to 2011 exams. Changes to the April and October exams for 2011 are outlined in this NCEES Memo.
November 23, 2010 - NCEES Approves New Standard for Engineering Education Credentials Evaluations. Beginning January 1, 2011, NCEES will begin using a new standard for its education credentials evaluations for engineering licensure candidates. Refer to the following document for further information: NCEES News Release
September 2, 2010 - NCEES has introduced a new 16-hour Structural exam, to be administered for the first time in April 2011. The new exam will replace the current Structural I and Structural II exams, which will be administered for the last time in October of this year. Member board administrators recently posed several questions about the new exam, and we have provided the answers here. Refer to the following press release for detailed information. Detailed exam specifications, news releases, and information about the transition to the new exam are posted on http://www.ncees.org/Exams/PE_exam.php.
June 18, 2010 - NCEES News Release About Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico. Refer to the following document: NCEES News Release.
February 25, 2010 - Joint Advisory Committee Resolution - During the Texas Board of Professional Engineers Board (TBPE) meeting, the Board discussed the continued effort to resolve issues that result from the overlap between activities that constitute the practice of engineering and those that constitute the practice of architecture through the Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) and the subcommittee of the JAC (Sub-JAC). After further discussion and consultation with legal counsel, the Board made the following resolution: JACResolution.pdf
December 10, 2009 - NCEES renames FE exam module - NCEES is renaming one of the modules for its Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The Other/General module will be known as the Other Disciplines module beginning with the April 2010 exam. While the content of the module has not changed, the new name more accurately reflects the examinees for whom the module is intended. All FE examinees take a common module in the morning and one of seven modules in the afternoon, choosing a discipline-specific module (Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial, or Mechanical) or the Other Disciplines module. For more information on the FE exam, visit the NCEES Web site.
December 4, 2009 - P.E.s Wanted for Volunteer Service - The TCEQ is looking for a few good engineers - an ideal opportunity for retired or semi-retired engineers with active P.E. licenses who want to use their skills to benefit others.
EnviroMentors are qualified professionals with technical or legal expertise on environmental issues who volunteer to help small businesses and local governments comply with state environmental rules, either through one-on-one contact or in a teaching situation. It provides an outstanding opportunity to make a contribution to people who cannot afford a consultant.
Many EnviroMentors are private-sector consultants. Some are engineers; others are successful operators (for example, a wastewater system operator) who provide peer-to-peer advice. All EnviroMentors are professionals whose job is to know the rules.
The program is managed by TCEQ's Small Business and Local Government Assistance (SBLGA) section, which provides confidential assistance without the threat of TCEQ enforcement to the customer. Therefore, EnviroMentor assistance is confidential and does not lead to inspections, citations, or fines.
For more information about the program, contact the TCEQ EnviroMentor Coordinator, Jane Scheidler, at 512-239-3545,firstname.lastname@example.org or see the TCEQ Web site, http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/assistance/sblga/envimntr.html .
October 26, 2009 - NCEES Changes Agricultural PE Exam -NCEES has introduced new specifications for its Agricultural PE exam, effective with the October 2010 exam administration. Exam specifications indicate knowledge areas to be tested and their relative weights of emphasis. As the developer of the exams used for engineering licensure in the United States, NCEES periodically conducts surveys of licensed engineers working in industry, government, private practice, and academia to gather information about the knowledge and skills required of professionals in a particular discipline. NCEES uses the results to update its exam specifications.
The new specifications are available on the NCEES Web site. The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, which partners with NCEES in developing the exam, is planning to publish updated exam study materials in 2010.
October 9, 2009 - Software Engineering Exam Development - At their August 2009 meeting, the National Council for Examiners of Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Board of Directors approved moving forward with the development of a Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam for the discipline of SOFTWARE ENGINEERING. The TBPE is inviting any and all qualified and interested Professional Engineers to assist this important effort as exam writers, exam committee members, and/or as the exam committee chair. Click link for more information.
August 31, 2009 - Revision to Requirement for Design Professionals Regarding Submitting Construction Documents - The Architectural Barriers Program issued revisions to Administrative Rule 68.50(a) changing the requirement for design professionals to submit construction documents from five days to twenty days following the date the drawings are issued. This change is required by HB-1055 and went into effect September 1, 2009. Refer to the TDLR Website for more information.
July 8, 2009 - HB 2649: Additional Certifications for Professional Engineers - During the 2009 Session, the 81st Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2649, which is in effect as of June 19, 2009. Section 3 of this bill amended the Texas Engineering Practice Act, Section 1001.401, as follows:
(e) A license holder shall not be required to provide or hold any additional certification, other than a license issued under this chapter, to seal an engineering plan, specification, plat, or report.
This new section affects the requirements for engineering work set by any public or private entity, including but not limited to cities, counties, school districts, state agencies, private businesses, or any other groups or individuals that require seals on engineering work. These entities can not require a professional engineer licensed in Texas to obtain or possess any certifications in addition to their professional engineer license in order to perform or offer to perform engineering services.
Any current or future rule, regulation, code, or other requirement should be reviewed and modified if necessary to comply with the new statutory requirement.
The Texas Engineering Practice Act (TEPA) and Board Rules require that a license holder only practice engineering in areas in which they can demonstrate competency. If any licensed Texas professional engineer practices in an incompetent manner, practices outside of their area of competency, does not meet/follow applicable codes or regulations, or in some other manner violates the TEPA or Board Rules, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers should be notified.
June 30, 2009 - Changes Pending for NCEES - The NCEES Board of Directors recently authorized the dissolution of ELSES, LLC and going forward, ELSES will operate as a division of NCEES. This is simply a name change; there will be no changes to the method or manner in which services are provided to the Board. During the transition, the websites www.els-examreg.org and www.elses.org will still direct visitors to the correct place for registration and information.
June 19, 2009 - Change in Texas Engineering Practice Act - Additional Certifications FAQ - The Texas Legislature amended the Texas Engineering Practice Act in part by adding subsection "e" to § 1001.401. Use of Seal. The new subsection prohibits an entity from requiring an engineer to obtain additional certifications strictly to perform engineering services. We have written a Frequently Asked Questions page to aid in the interpretation of this added subsection.
March 18, 2009 - NCEES revising structural engineering exam - The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) will introduce a new 16-hour Structural PE exam in April 2011. The exam will replace the current Structural I and Structural II exams, which will be administered for the last time in October 2010. For further information on this exam, please refer to the following page: http://www.ncees.org/news/index.php?release_id=47.