As I write this, I’m in Dusseldorf, Germany, about to wrap up a series of fascinating, enlightening meetings with our engineering peers in Europe. Executive Director Pat Natale and I have been exposed to a lot of interesting progress by civil engineers here, even if the bad economy hitting Europe dominates the headlines at home. We have been flattered by our reception. Everywhere we go, ASCE is held in the highest regard.
In meetings with leaders of engineering associations in Britain, France, Norway, and Germany, we have found a lot of overlap on approaches to the challenges of infrastructure investment, adoption of sustainable practices, and enhancing educational standards for entry into professional practice – the latter very similar to the ASCE key initiative we call Raise the Bar.
Of the insights gained on this trip, one of the most important long-term will be in helping us make the case for Raising the Bar in the U.S. And that is this: What we are seeking to achieve – making a master’s degree or equivalent a requirement to become a licensed professional engineer in the future – is something that is already in place in leading European countries.
The level of education required of young engineers entering private practice is outstripping that required of their young U.S. counterparts. To remain competitive, we as engineers need a future educational standard that is at least on par with our global peers, one that equips future PEs to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world.
I’ll detail other facets of our trip in future blog entries, in my President’s Note in Civil Engineering, in ASCE News and other ASCE outlets.