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Disx (Structural) (OP)
18 Mar 09 22:53
Two questions.  1)  Is it P.E. or PE?  

2)  I think I might be shy, when is it appropriate to use a professional suffix (e.g. P.E.)?  For example, do you use them liberally even on your personal checks?

msquared48 (Structural)
19 Mar 09 1:24
It's PE.

I use it only on professional engineering documentation or correspondence.  If it is a business check for your own engineering business, then I guess you could.  Personal, not me.  

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

DaveAtkins (Structural)
19 Mar 09 5:34
I have seen it both ways, PE, and P.E.

Mike--do you know of some rule that says it should be "PE"?


rb1957 (Aerospace)
19 Mar 09 7:21
1) does it really matter ?

2) ask your local professional organisation (if they have a standard form).

i guess there's no reason you can't add the designation to your name, as an honourific; again, your local professional organisation may have guide-lines.  prsonally, i don't advertise that i'm an engineer ... people'll want me to fix their cars, toasters, etc
stevenal (Electrical)
19 Mar 09 10:50
Is it an honourific? I've heard that term applied to stuff in front of the name; Dr., Mr. Rev., etc. What is the general term for the stuff at the end; PE, PHD, JD, etc.
Helpful Member!(5)  zdas04 (Mechanical)
19 Mar 09 10:53
Pompous self-aggrandizement?
Ron (Structural)
19 Mar 09 12:10
I have also seen it both ways.  I use "P.E.", for no other reason than that was the convention used by the company I worked for early in my career.  If you follow the convention of Doctors,it would be "PE", similar to "MD".  Our state law doesn't address it specifically, except that it has to be spelled out on the seal.

I only use the suffix professionally.  I do not use it privately for any reason .
msquared48 (Structural)
19 Mar 09 14:21

No rule here that I know exists.  Can't find a reference in either of my English books.  I just see MD used all the time, and this is no different, at lease to me.  Both terms refer to licensed professionals.

As previously mentioned, this could be one of those situations where either is acceptable, depending on the location and degree of useage.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

JakeAdkins (Mechanical)
23 Mar 09 15:42
I would only use it (PE) in my personal life if I met a doctor that wasn't my doctor, but still insisted on me calling him (or her) Dr. Soandso. I would then insist on them calling me Mr. Adkins PE. But I'm kind of an @$$
SnTMan (Mechanical)
23 Mar 09 16:28
I think the general public is going to think PE stands for Phys Ed or Psychological Evaluator or Professor Emeritus or anything BUT Professional Engineer


Mike, not PE :)
KENAT (Mechanical)
23 Mar 09 16:42
-off topic-

I always thought something like "Chartered Engineer" like in the UK was better, or "Certified Public Accountant" for a US idea.

I work as an engineer for a living, however I'm in the exempt field and have a non standard background that makes licensing a bit more tricky so I haven't taken the test, verified the experience, paid the fee etc.

As such, though arguably an engineer by profession, I'm not a Professional Engineer.

-on topic-

Ever reliable wikipedia shows both.


P.E. or PE is used in the U.S.


Have you reminded yourself of FAQ731-376: Forum Policies recently, or taken a look at posting policies:
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

FeX32 (Mechanical)
23 Mar 09 17:46
P.Eng. wink


hokie66 (Structural)
23 Mar 09 18:28
RPEQ where I am.  But then, we do have to be different.
msquared48 (Structural)
23 Mar 09 18:41
Is the "Q" for Queensland, or Queen?  Am I even close?

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

hokie66 (Structural)
23 Mar 09 19:03
Yes, Mike, it is Queensland.  Most Australian states rely on the National Professional Engineers Register, and the designation is PEng or CPEng (C for Chartered), but in Queensland, we still have our state body.  We also still don't have daylight saving time.  Confuses the cows, and makes the curtains fade.
BigH (Geotechnical)
24 Mar 09 8:32
I use P.E. and P.Eng. for business, and, yes, I use (have used) it on my cheques.  Why not?  One keeps hearing year in and year out that the "public" doesn't understand us or doesn't realize our professionalism.  So much money is spent promoting the Engineer.  Yet, we seem to ignore our role in increasing the awareness of our value. Mmmmm  In many countries I have worked, they use Ing. or Eng. in front of their names like Doctors.  Traditionally, gals in Indonesia want to marry doctors and guess what - engineers!!   
HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
24 Mar 09 10:43
I use "P.E." with the dots.  No particular reason.

I only use it in business communication, and even then not every single time I write my name.  I use it in letters and relatively formal emails.  I don't use it for administrative things (either internal administration or things like signing up for conferences), or for writing my name on attendance lists.  To me, "Hg, P.E." means "I am Hg and I am currently making an engineering pronouncement."  (Except when it means "I am Hg and perhaps you don't realize just how very special I am," but that's rare.)  Others' mileage may vary.

I go back and forth as to whether to use it on other people's names, say in a CC list on a letter.  Sometimes I put PE in there, sometimes not.  If they're mostly PEs, I get lazy and leave it off.


Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

Ron (Structural)
24 Mar 09 15:25 make an excellent point.  The public doesn't know what we do or how we do it.  Ahh....the mystery...unfortunately doesn't do us any good!
zdas04 (Mechanical)
24 Mar 09 17:09
I scanned a bunch of business cards a while back and the stupid scanner OCR program took any post scripts as the last name so I had 30 people with the last name of "PE".  I loaded the cards into Outlook before I realized the problem and a bunch of my regular correspondents couldn't be found because they sorted into the "P's".  Made me wonder about using the dang letters at all.

HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
26 Mar 09 10:23
If Outlook can't handle PE, they can't handle Jr. either.  Did you lose any into J or S?


Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

zdas04 (Mechanical)
26 Mar 09 14:19
No it seems to handle Jr., Sr., III, and PhD just fine.  It just didn't recognize PE.

HgTX (Civil/Environmental)
26 Mar 09 14:36
You'd think it would just ignore everything after a comma.

Eng-Tips policies:  FAQ731-376: Forum Policies

zeusfaber (Military)
26 Mar 09 16:54

Quote (stevenal):

What is the general term for the stuff at the end; PE, PHD, JD, etc.
I think the proper term is "postnominals"

zdas04 (Mechanical)
3 Apr 09 9:14
It's official, I just got my renewal card from NCEES and they say it is P.E.  If they are not THE authority, who is?

hokie66 (Structural)
4 Apr 09 3:05

So just to clarify for those of us not living in the US, is the NCEES a national body to handle P.E. registration renewals?
zdas04 (Mechanical)
4 Apr 09 8:49
Sorry, it is the National Council or Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.  They develop and administer the exams, are responsible for the model law that most states used to develop their registration laws, and they have a program where a P.E. or Land Surveyor can register with them to smooth the path for registration in multiple states.  The important thing is that there is no national registration, it is done state by state.

IFRs (Petroleum)
4 Apr 09 11:52
I use P.E. when the fact that the document was created or reviewed by a professional, licensed engineer is relevant.  I don't use it on personal correspondence because I separate my business and personal lives.  If a dame can't figure out that I am an engineer after about 5 minutes of conversation, she's too dim for me anyway.  Outlook has not been on my computer for years - sounde like another good reason not to install it!
JAE (Structural)
4 Apr 09 20:15
I use P.E. and S.E.  But I have a whole bag of periods so I have to start using them up or my wife will throw them out with the trash.

garpe (Structural)
17 May 09 5:18
Use it, you worked for it and it's appropriate. Sometimes I get carried away, especially when corresponding w/a**hole attorneys or other low-lifes. I may type my name as Greg Robinson, MCE, PE, CDT, USNR-R (Ret). Normally its just MCE, PE. I think the correct protocol is to list things in the order in which you received them. I wouldn't bother w/EIT unless thats as far as you have gotten. PE implies you have been an EIT. The PE is a suffix behind my name on my checks and I have had a lot of people ask me about it. It gives me a chance to educate a member of the public. Use it, you have earned it.
Be sure to look over the state boards rules for REQUIRED use of PE as a title. There seems to be a lot of chickens**t rules coming out these days.

Greg Robinson

SomptingGuy (Automotive)
18 May 09 6:38
My late father would sometimes sign his full name as

<full name> L/Cpl (ret), GCE (failed)

Personally, I never use BEng, AIMechE or ACGI (look it up).

- Steve

BigH (Geotechnical)
18 May 09 7:11
SomptingGuy - no disrespect - but I thought that only Majors and above could keep their rank after retirement?  I like the GCE (failed), though!!
SomptingGuy (Automotive)
18 May 09 9:15
BigH - It was all tongue-in-cheek, extracting the urea from people who insisted on using (ret) in their correspondence.

- Steve

GrahamBennett (Materials)
19 May 09 10:16
BigH is right, and it's Commander and above in the Royal Navy.
sundale (Structural)
20 May 09 10:50
I think PE is the more modern abbreviation and P.E. is the more traditional abbreviation.  I only use P.E., S.E. after my name for "official" letters, reports, client e-mails, etc. Putting these letters after your name in official correspondance does clearly show that you are a licensed professional.  In fact, putting P.E. after your name is actually REQUIRED in some states (like TX) for professional correspondance if you are "practicing" consulting engineering in the legal sense.  

On the other hand, putting other suffixes or "postnomials" such as PMP, LEED AP, etc. is somewhat pompous and self promoting because these are merely certifications (that do not require even a college diploma) as opposed to a bonefide license to practice a learned profession. Putting these on the resume is totally appropriate, but I would not append them to my name.  I like MEBA (Meaningless Ego Boosting Acronym).   

mauricestoker (Mechanical)
1 Jun 09 22:15
I think it would be appropriate to routinely use the initials if I worked for the Baltimore Fire Department.
Bobber1 (Structural)
2 Jun 09 16:36
I only use the initials when I write a letter to my doctor.  and I usually include a statement that an error made by an engineer will cost more lives than an error made by a doctor.
zdas04 (Mechanical)
2 Jun 09 22:58
Interesting relationship you have with your doctor.  Do you say these things before or after he puts on the rubber glove?

darthsoilsguy2 (Geotechnical)
8 Jun 09 23:09
more than 1 titled acronyms makes the name weird.

I prefer to be darthsoilsguy2 PE, CWI
darthsoilsguy2 P.E., C.W.I.
Ron (Structural)
16 Jun 09 6:56
This argument must be a result of the crap they teach in schools now.  Reading and grammar were once taught to include punctuation.  A period means "stop". Using that convention, "PE" would be read "pee".  "P.E." is an abbreviation for Professional Engineer.  Use the periods.  If you need a few extra, JAE can probably lend you a few of his.shadeshappy
KENAT (Mechanical)
16 Jun 09 16:45
Ron, I don't know if it was because I moved schools a few times between the age of 8 & 9 or the type of English they were teaching at the time etc. but it's scary how little grammar I was taught at that age and then assumed to know couple of years later.

I got in trouble at one school I moved to for not using paragraphs.  No one had ever taught me the rules for using them.  Heck, I'm still not sure of 'em.


Have you reminded yourself of FAQ731-376: Forum Policies recently, or taken a look at posting policies:
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

Ron (Structural)
16 Jun 09 22:01
I think it just varies from school to school or teacher to teacher.  If the formative years of elementary school were taught by teachers with an emphasis on grammar, the kids would usually learn it, whereas, if the teachers were more inclined toward social studies, science or math, that's what they would emphasize.  

Although I'm sure I didn't like it at the time, most of my teachers in elementary school pounded reading, grammar and spelling into our mushy heads.  When I got to college, I was woefully inadequate in math and had to take several preliminary courses before settling into engineering.

I could write the paragraphs, I just couldn't tell you if two paragraphs plus two paragraphs equalled four paragraphs.


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