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Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

(OP)
FE Assessment White Paper

How many were told about the FE and PE prior to enrollment? How were told to take the FE exam during the last year of college? How were never told?

I've run across some from large, prestigious universities that had never heard of the licensing process. I've wondered how much most universities do towards fostering professionalism.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

In 1980 at my university you had to take the EIT (then) to pass senior design in ME (I don't know about the other flavors of engineering). There was some noise then about requiring seniors to pass it to graduate, but the timing of the exam and the LONG delay in getting results messed that up.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Things are different in the UK but on my course in Aero/Astro we were all encouraged to join the relevant engineering society that administered the equivalent of PE in the UK as students. However, I don't remember actually being told much about actually getting chartered at university.

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What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

I knew about the PE at least by the time I was in junior high school because I knew three licensed civil engineers (one of my dad's old fraternity brothers and fathers of two of my friends) as well as several other engineers of various descriptions. I learned about the FE early in my first year in college from my faculty advisor, who was outstanding. BTW, I took and passed the FE during the 2nd half of my junior year (1979). Because all of my civil engineering professors and most of my other engineering professors had both their PhD and PE, licensure was an oft repeated goal.

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

We were required to take (but not pass) the FE before graduation. The pass rate was 95%.
All of our teachers stressed the importance of passing the FE, and later the PE, in order to be successful in our field.
I do consider myself lucky to have had predominantly excellent engineering professors.
I had heard of the PE prior to attending college, because I worked in construction, and had looked up the requirements before starting college.
We were also encouraged to join the student chapters of engineering associations.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

I was not told anything before enrollment, but it was explained in EE orientation by the EE department head. Importance of getting PE was stressed in Intro to Engineering, and repeated many times through the four years.

Requirements for graduation (EE Dept):

IEEE student membership
Pass the FE exam
Demonstrate understanding of EE fundamentals in oral examinations

This was in the late 1970s at Christian Brothers Univ.

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

MPDS anyone?

- Steve

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Virginia Tech made it a priority to get as many students to take and pass the FE exam as possible.

Let's be honest, though: Licensure is virtually meaningless for those in industry (machinery, consumer products, medical devices, etc) in the US.

Could it someday be meaningful? Maybe. But it's a both a chicken-and-egg problem and a motivation problem. As an engineer in industry, the hardest thing about getting my PE was finding the requisite number of PEs as references before I could sit for the test. And it has meant nothing for my career in industry or the few others I've met who have their PE.

Also peculiar to the US is the constant conflict between the free market and regulation, and licensure in industry would be a burdensome regulation. Curiously, this is an area where the usual free marketeers will cross the line to the other side (if they have a PE and are in a protected industry).

If not for my father's encouragement - BS Civil, MS Mechanical, PE, life long employment at a single defense company, occassional "hobby business" - I doubt the idea of getting my PE would have ever occured to me & I'm sure I never would have done it.

Rob Campbell
Imagitec: Imagination - Expertise - Execution

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Wasn't advertised at my school (US state uni), or at least my program, but it was discussed by some of the more pratical professors teaching senior design and some of the folks in the career office. That said, this was an aero oriented program and aero businesses are exempt here in the US since they work under other authorities (FAA, DOD, etc.)

I'm occasionally surprised when meeting other engineers who don't understand my response when they ask whether I'm a PE. When I tell them its not generally useful in the aerospace industry, I usually get blank looks. Most of these same people (often PEs themselves) have never heard of a DER.

Maybe ABET should consider including information about professional licensure in various industries within their curriculum requirements? Would be a natural fit with ethics and legal course material. Not that I think this is likely, but it would be a welcome addition in my book.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Steve, MPDS = Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome or Medical Priority Dispatch System? dazed

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

Haven't see the forum policies? Do so now: Forum Policies

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Dave,

Both sound better than the real boring hell of the Monitored Professional Development Scheme. Loads of exciting paperwork. I bailed early and am still only AIMechE.

- Steve

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

I worked in an exempt industry (Oil & Gas) and there weren't many P.E.s around. A year before I retired I looked into what it would take to start an Engineering company and found that in my state if I have that word in the company name the company must have a P.E. as a principal so I started working on it. It had zero value to my former employer (even though they willingly paid my T&E and test fees, even bought my first stamp for me) and there was no salary change for getting it. Their lawyers told me to NEVER stamp anything for the company, I wasn't insured for E&O and it was illegal for them to provide that insurance. The lawyer's rationalization for them paying for the test was to increase my credibility with outside consultants (level the playing field).

Most engineers are not licensed, and there are precedents going both ways. Not all lawyers are members of the Bar (much like the P.E., they only need it if they hang out a shingle or plan to appear in court). All doctors are licensed, even if they do research on rodents and never treat patients.

My preference would be for ABET to require passing the FE prior to graduating as an Engineer (that would require that the scoring process be somewhat streamlined, actually how long does it really take to grade a multiple-choice answer sheet by computer?). After that, the current system of exempt and non-exempt activities makes good sense.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

David,

My dad's preferred way of putting it was, "If you want to hang out your shingle as an engineer, you need your PE."

Rob Campbell, PE

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Your Dad has a keen understanding of the law

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Not having graduated too long ago, I remember well the push (or lack of) for the FE exam in college. I would say the response from my professors was 50/50. Half urged us to go through the registration process and the other half said it wasn't worth it unless you did consulting (as if this was some kind of 2nd tier position to find yourself in).

Either way, mostly every said that if you were going to pursue registration or thought you might down the road (presumably for all of us 2nd-rate engineers who didn't qualify for research assistant positions with the faculty in graduate school), it was best to take it at the end of college as you would never be better prepared for the topics on the test as you were leaving school.

It was true and I am thankful I decided to take it in my senior year and have it done with.

PE, SE
Eastern United States

"If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then that builder shall be put to death!"
~Code of Hammurabi

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

damn'd glad that Hammurabi character isn't round today.

unless of course he added "the financial agent who loses their client's money, shall forfeit his own to redress"

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

kylesito…

I have long called that quote the Cunieform Building Code. smile

==========
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Though professors didn't necessarily push it, we did have a required seminar in professional practice that went over FE requirements. So every civil was aware of the requirements by graduation. Most everyone took the FE and most everyone passed. Think the semester I took it, the pass rate was actually 100% for something like 60 test-takers.

And for any students who aren't sure, just take the FE. Even if you currently have no intentions of getting a PE, you don't necessarily want to close that door. Take the FE and take it while everything is fresh. The test isn't terribly difficult, but it's much easier recalling things when you took the course 1-2 years ago, as opposed to 4-6 years ago.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

Just about everyone I knew at GT in engineering took the FE, although I didn't because I was too busy studying for my REAL classes. :) I took it a year out of school, when I had more free time because I was only working 50 hrs a week.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

(OP)
We had to take a 1-hr. ethics course taught by the Dean of Engineering.

We had to take the FE during the last year of school to graduate. The year I took it the pass rate was 86%. We had some foreign students who were going home and didn't need it. They sat for a few minutes then left. In prior years, the engineering school had 100% pass rates.

Being a member of the appropriate engineering society was encouraged, too.

I have a lot of respect for my profs. Most were licensed and had years of industry experience before entering academia. They were all Ph.D.s but one and he got his shortly after my class graduated.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

required to take it prior to graduation. Professors did not mention this in any of my classes. Was informed by my buddies the day before the exam (senior year) that they planned on taking it and I should consider taking it also, so I stayed up and studied the night before and passed on the first try.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

The day before? It took me 4 months to get the notification that I'd been accepted to take the test. They stopped taking requests 6 months before the test. Either your state was WAY different than Colorado or things have (or did) change dramatically between whenever you took the test and 2000 when I took it.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

This was the FE. I was at Colorado State Univ. 1984

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

I guess things got administratively less loose in the intervening 16 years.

David Simpson, PE
MuleShoe Engineering

"Belief" is the acceptance of an hypotheses in the absence of data.
"Prejudice" is having an opinion not supported by the preponderance of the data.
"Knowledge" is only found through the accumulation and analysis of data.

RE: Fundamentals Exam Assessment for a few US programs

I recently graduated Northeastern University in 2012 with an M.E. degree.

There was no requirement for FE or PE tests. It was mentioned by several professors and emphasized by one in particular to me. I was aware of the tests before college thanks to an excellent High School teacher.

Just sharing my personal (recent) experience.

Best Regards,
-Ian

"All models are wrong, but some are usefull" - George E. P. Box

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