Last night I attended an “Engineering Ethics” program put on by the Austin Chapter of the joint IEEE Power Electronics, Power & Energy, Industry Applications, and Industrial Electronics Societies. Those of us who are Registered Professional Engineers in Texas must complete 15 hours of continuing education each year, including a 1 hour session on engineering ethics.
The program was presented by George Hartmann PE from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. Changes in the laws governing engineers in Texas as well as some case studies were reviewed.
All 50 US states and territories now license engineers. The first state to license engineers was Wyoming in 1907. Texas began licensing engineers in 1937 after the New London School explosion. A century ago anyone could start an engineering company and then bid on work constructing bridges, building and other municipal works. Now registered Professional Engineers are required for projects that may impact public safety.