Adecade ago, the National Academy of Engineering recognized that the engineering community would need to evolve to adapt to rapid changes in technological inno- vation and the social, economic, and cultural forces that would affect engineering.
The release of the report The Engineer of 2020 set the stage for shaping the “engineer of the
future” and called on engineering societies to play a critical role. NSPE realizes that the future
professional engineer will need to be someone who is not only creative and innovative, but able
to adapt to changes on a global scale while maintaining a commitment to the public health,
safety, and welfare. To offer its perspective on shaping the future of professional engineering,
the Society recently released the Engineering Body of Knowledge.
The Engineering Body of Knowledge is the first concerted effort to provide a common
ground to developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to practice as a professional engineer across engineering disciplines, says Craig Musselman, P.E., F.NSPE, who
served as chair of the EBOK Committee during its development. The key elements of the
EBOK are contained within 30 capabilities that focus on basic or foundational knowledge,
technical skills, and professional practice. These capabilities include mathematics, design,
safety, societal impact, sustainability, communication, ethical responsibility, global awareness, and leadership.
Musselman believes that one of the strengths of the EBOK is that it is not a strict prescription
for individual engineers and the profession. It serves to function as a common denominator
among all engineers of all disciplines. The capabilities can be achieved through a combination of formal education, experience, and lifelong learning. “We encourage each individual
and organization that reviews the EBOK to decide what it means to them in terms of how
What Makes a PE?
What knowledge, skills, and attitudes should every PE
have? NSPE has published a paper that takes a first shot at
answering that question.
BY DANIELLE BOYKIN