Minnesota engineering board faces First Amendment lawsuit over the use of the word "engineer"

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,706   +6,654
Strange times we are living in! The more woke it gets the worse it gets and it seems to be increasing rapidly!
As another said, this has nothing to do with woke in any sense of the word.

As I see it, it is a prime example of the nanny world we live in.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
A lot of people using woke as a negative. They use the word as if it means asleep. It makes no sense to me. My eyes gloss over every time I read the word woke.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,205
Not a national rule - just a few states attempt to relish the title and then get smacked by a judge every time it goes to court; and they are falling one by one.

You don't need a license to be an engineer nationally, that is your degree. Just like anywhere else.
Literally all 50 states have engineering licensing requirements. And no, your degree doesn't make you a "professional engineer".

Your degree lets you sit for the "engineering in training" exam, which lets you call yourself an EIT or apprentice engineer. After 4 years of being an EIT, under a licensed professional engineer, you can sit for your professional engineer exam. Pass that, and you are a licensed PE who can sign their own work.

When you go to work without doing the EIT or PE exam, you are covered under umbrella liability policies at the company you work for - who has a PE somewhere in the organization, who's license is providing that coverage. That PE is supposed to check all designs they are responsible for, for things like safety and compliance with specifications. Then they sign the work, and production begins. If they don't review, sign off on it, and a safety issue or design flaw crops up, its their license on the line.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
Now I understand why everything we buy now is crap. Quality testing is not passed by engineering test, it is passed by licensing qualifications. Too much red tape to put out quality products.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,373   +2,887
TechSpot Elite
This is absolutely ridiculous. This board is acting tyrannically and they're dead wrong. If you have an engineering degree, YOU ARE AN ENGINEER, full stop.
 

waclark

Posts: 350   +239
Don't confuse expert with a job title, being an engineer doesn't mean that you are an "expert", just that you have the required studies (according to the laws in that country) to work as one.

Just like how I wasn't expert programmer because I studied it at college, but I could call myself a professional programmer.
I'm not confusing them. While I think the lawsuit is ridiculous because this guy was licensed and is now licensed again, there is a difference between being an engineering professional and being a Professional Engineer.

I am an Electrical Engineer by degree and have worked as such for many years. However, there are some jobs I could not get because I haven't taken the Fundamentals of Engineering test to be a Professional or Licensed Electrical Engineer. Not to mention the lack of work-experience of working under a licensed engineer.

Many professions have some sort of certification or licensing requirements. And even though you may have taken a first aid class and practiced giving first aid for years you would not be a licensed Medical Doctor and would never be able to legally practice medicine until you get licensed as an actual Doctor. Therefore, if you go around identifying yourself as a "Doctor" you could be subject to legal action against you. If you position yourself as a licensed Professional Engineer without said certifications I believe you could be subject to the same legalities.

It's clear this lawsuit is targeting the "whistle-blower" aspects of his actions and not his license which, I believe, will fail in court. As for the people who are saying this is unique to the US or an unusual requirement imposed by Minnesota, they are wrong. This is not uncommon at all.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,297   +970
I am a Chartered Engineer in UK, allowed the use of CEng post-nominal. It took a few years to get it, which consisting of the following:

- A Master's or higher, level engineering degree
- Registration with one of 39 Professional Institutions (pick one relevant to your area) affiliated with the UK Engineering Council
- 2 years of work experience while being mentored by CEng engineer
- Sponsorship by two professionally registered engineers
- A whole bunch of reports detailing training and expertise acquired to meet the UK-Spec
- A tough interview
- Continued professional development following the qualification with annual renewals

I do hope this engineer wins the lawsuit as I see no excuse for his institution to just sit there and let his license expire.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,220   +1,905
TechSpot Elite
Literally all 50 states have engineering licensing requirements. And no, your degree doesn't make you a "professional engineer".

Your degree lets you sit for the "engineering in training" exam, which lets you call yourself an EIT or apprentice engineer. After 4 years of being an EIT, under a licensed professional engineer, you can sit for your professional engineer exam. Pass that, and you are a licensed PE who can sign their own work.

When you go to work without doing the EIT or PE exam, you are covered under umbrella liability policies at the company you work for - who has a PE somewhere in the organization, who's license is providing that coverage. That PE is supposed to check all designs they are responsible for, for things like safety and compliance with specifications. Then they sign the work, and production begins. If they don't review, sign off on it, and a safety issue or design flaw crops up, its their license on the line.

Yet for 99% of all jobs in Engineering, you don't need any extra certification to perform your duties, outside being hired by your individual employer and having relevant training (safety, validation, clearance, etc.) to do your job.

Your example sounds like the route of someone in the trades who wants to come up through a route that doesn't involve University.

Individual states may have PE "exams", but in the reality of most engineering environments you don't need anything else extra, other than the trust of your company, and a bachelor's degree.

This reminds me heavily of engineering professors who've never left University their entire lives from being students, never worked the private sector, and have the audacity to be pretentious enough to demand excess certifications that don't reflect the reality of the real world work environment.

There are many thousands of engineers with a higher US security clearance than most of Congress who don't need to take a silly exam to prove they can do their job.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,556   +4,523
TechSpot Elite
That’s not what FEANI, the organization that certifies/licenses engineers in most of the EU, seems to think:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Engineer
that's for the special title EUR ING, not for regular engineers. you can look at the "Designations" in the same page to see ing designations in europe and what studies you need for them (I don't think it is the complete list).

for example: "Ing. (ingeniero) in Spain, used as a pre-nominal, for the engineers who have the equivalent to a master's degree as they studied five or six courses in an engineering superior school. "
 
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CommonSenseTech

Posts: 103   +94
that's for the special title EUR ING, not for regular engineers. you can look at the "Designations" in the same page to see ing designations in europe and what studies you need for them (I don't think it is the complete list).

for example: "Ing. (ingeniero) in Spain, used as a pre-nominal, for the engineers who have the equivalent to a master's degree as they studied five or six courses in an engineering superior school. "
So it’s primarily a semantics game. The US definition of “engineer” is closer to the FEANI version than the abstract concept that many in Europe are referring to.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,205
This is absolutely ridiculous. This board is acting tyrannically and they're dead wrong. If you have an engineering degree, YOU ARE AN ENGINEER, full stop.
You aren't a "professional engineer" though. THAT is a legally protected title. If he just called himself "an engineer", there would be no problem. But a "professional engineer" is a afforded a protect legal status.

Yet for 99% of all jobs in Engineering, you don't need any extra certification to perform your duties, outside being hired by your individual employer and having relevant training (safety, validation, clearance, etc.) to do your job.

Your example sounds like the route of someone in the trades who wants to come up through a route that doesn't involve University.

Individual states may have PE "exams", but in the reality of most engineering environments you don't need anything else extra, other than the trust of your company, and a bachelor's degree.

This reminds me heavily of engineering professors who've never left University their entire lives from being students, never worked the private sector, and have the audacity to be pretentious enough to demand excess certifications that don't reflect the reality of the real world work environment.

There are many thousands of engineers with a higher US security clearance than most of Congress who don't need to take a silly exam to prove they can do their job.
And still, in order to call yourself a "professional engineer" you need to get certified as such, and maintain that certification. And you have to repeat the process for every state that you want to practice in.

And a having a security clearance has literally nothing to do with being an engineer or not. You could give a clearance to a monkey if they had the need to know and you felt you could trust them to keep a secret. Also, congress has literally zero control over clearances and classifications - those authorities rest entirely within the executive branch of the US government, with the president and the various agency heads. They're the ones that decide on the level of classification of information, and then the OPM manages the clearance level of individuals.

You're just embarrassing yourself right now.
 

cliffordcooley

Posts: 13,141   +6,438
Maybe they should come out with the term "Legal Engineer". That is what they are trying to make from "Professional Engineer". When in reality all it means is you are an engineer by profession.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 2,014   +1,205
I am a Chartered Engineer in UK, allowed the use of CEng post-nominal. It took a few years to get it, which consisting of the following:

- A Master's or higher, level engineering degree
- Registration with one of 39 Professional Institutions (pick one relevant to your area) affiliated with the UK Engineering Council
- 2 years of work experience while being mentored by CEng engineer
- Sponsorship by two professionally registered engineers
- A whole bunch of reports detailing training and expertise acquired to meet the UK-Spec
- A tough interview
- Continued professional development following the qualification with annual renewals

I do hope this engineer wins the lawsuit as I see no excuse for his institution to just sit there and let his license expire.
He let his own license expire. Your license has annual renewals, and so do PE licenses in the US. He forgot to renew, but kept presenting himself as a licensed PE by calling himself a "profession engineer" - while simultaneously criticizing whole licensing process. The fact he didn't sign any work is meaningless, because it can be construed that he fraudulently attempted to solicit work by presenting himself as a PE without a current license. Then, when the board finally caught wind of it, he renewed it and hoped that would square things. It did not. Now he is getting sanctioned by the board for misusing the title, and he is counter-suing the board.

This is like those nurses who are suing to be able to call themselves "nurse doctors". Its stupid, dangerous, and only serves to try to make themselves feel better about not being able to cut it at the same level as actual MDs.
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,220   +1,905
TechSpot Elite
You aren't a "professional engineer" though. THAT is a legally protected title. If he just called himself "an engineer", there would be no problem. But a "professional engineer" is a afforded a protect legal status.


And still, in order to call yourself a "professional engineer" you need to get certified as such, and maintain that certification. And you have to repeat the process for every state that you want to practice in.

And a having a security clearance has literally nothing to do with being an engineer or not. You could give a clearance to a monkey if they had the need to know and you felt you could trust them to keep a secret. Also, congress has literally zero control over clearances and classifications - those authorities rest entirely within the executive branch of the US government, with the president and the various agency heads. They're the ones that decide on the level of classification of information, and then the OPM manages the clearance level of individuals.

You're just embarrassing yourself right now.
For the illustrious title of "Professional Engineer" makes little difference in the general field of engineering. You misunderstand my point - I stated the "PE" title is one of preference, not requirement to be, function, (and call yourself) an Engineer. Some industries value the PE, some couldn't care less. You perform the same job with or without one.

I'm unsure where you landed on the adventurous concept of Congress having control over clearances, who is responsible for issuing them, any responsibilities thereof and how that was related to anything on topic.. but I digress. It's a bit embarrassing not staying on topic.
 

Reehahs

Posts: 1,297   +970
He let his own license expire. Your license has annual renewals, and so do PE licenses in the US. He forgot to renew, but kept presenting himself as a licensed PE by calling himself a "profession engineer" - while simultaneously criticizing whole licensing process. The fact he didn't sign any work is meaningless, because it can be construed that he fraudulently attempted to solicit work by presenting himself as a PE without a current license. Then, when the board finally caught wind of it, he renewed it and hoped that would square things. It did not. Now he is getting sanctioned by the board for misusing the title, and he is counter-suing the board.

This is like those nurses who are suing to be able to call themselves "nurse doctors". Its stupid, dangerous, and only serves to try to make themselves feel better about not being able to cut it at the same level as actual MDs.
An expired license is the responsibility of both the institution that offers it and the person who qualifies for it.

For example, my institution sent me reminder for annual renewal.
 

paul1122

Posts: 228   +242
With how governor Walz runs things around MN, I'm kind of surprised he doesn't find a way to make it a requirement for MN residents requiring some kind of license to access the internet.
You do need a license, but Walz said you can get it for free if you get a vaccination. That or a 25 dollar Visa gift card.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,373   +2,887
TechSpot Elite
You aren't a "professional engineer" though. THAT is a legally protected title. If he just called himself "an engineer", there would be no problem. But a "professional engineer" is a afforded a protect legal status.
Oh, I see. I wasn't aware of that because we don't have a system like that in Canada (at least I don't think so). I don't think that I've ever heard of a "Licenced Engineer".

However, since it is in the USA, and I don't know what the system is like there, I'll defer to you because I cannot in good conscience pretend to know better than I do.

I do still think that it's semantics however (from a moral standpoint). To sue him for it isn't something that I believe a judge will support (although I could definitely be wrong about that).
 
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