February 18, 2020

It’s Engineers Week! Also known as EWeek, this annual, weeklong event was founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) to increase public awareness about the engineering profession, and to elevate the importance of math, science and technical skills in education.

Like NSPE, Gresham Smith recognizes the importance of calling attention to the engineering profession and the vital role that engineers play in building communities—whether they’re putting streets in our cities or putting people on the moon! We also strive to create a sense of excitement for engineering educational opportunities because, let’s face it, we need more engineers!

In this post, we take a look at how Gresham Smith supports our engineers in what is perhaps the most important educational opportunity of all—obtaining their professional licensure.


A Bigger Megaphone

Licensure is the mark of a professional. In order to become a registered professional engineer, an individual must fulfill the educational and experience requirements and pass rigorous exams that, under State licensure laws, permits them to offer engineering services directly to the public. In other words, obtaining your professional licensure is a really big deal!

Registered engineers are required to be registered not only to demonstrate their competency, but also to be sure they understand how to practice ethically, which is essential to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the general public. In 2018, Gresham Smith’s Jacob Belwood earned those all-important post-nominal letters, P.E., following his name, and recently shared what it means to him:

“Once you get your license, your world changes. It gives you instant credibility, which comes with a solemn responsibility. For example, where I once handed off a design for my supervisor to stamp and sign, I am now credentialed to sign, seal and submit engineering plans and drawings for approval.

“But it’s exciting, too. You’re looked upon as a leader and an influencer with a bigger megaphone, and it’s opened up the door to me in terms of mentoring opportunities and helping young engineering interns aspire to obtain their P.E. I feel like it’s paying it forward, as strong mentoring and encouragement from colleagues who had obtained their P.E. helped me stay on the licensure path—especially on those bitter winter days here in Kentucky when studying felt like the last thing I wanted to do!”


Supported Every Step of the Way

As earning your professional licensure is a huge career milestone, Gresham Smith is committed to helping our engineers reach that goal. One of the ways we do this is by partnering with licensure exam prep company PPI2Pass and covering the cost for our employees to access their resources and study materials. In fact, we offer this valuable exam prep resource to all professionals within our firm who are seeking licensure.

The organization’s comprehensive courses cover every topic on the P.E. exam while providing our engineers with NCEES-approved materials. As preparing for the P.E. exam is such a formidable task, we also provide our engineers with an Exam Prep Checklist to help maximize preparation for what is arguably the test of a lifetime.


Raising a Glass to the Class!

Once our engineers have obtained their professional licensure, they are invited to Gresham Smith’s “Class of” recognition event. The two-day program celebrates their professional and personal achievement—the fun part!—while bringing the new graduates together for dedicated programming and discussions about current industry insights and trends. Additionally, the event provides a chance for our new licensees to more directly network with their peers from other offices and divisions. Jacob also weighed in about his experience at the Class of 2018 event:

“The presentations on risk management in terms of what not to do were an eye-opener for me. Armed with the new responsibility of being a licensed engineer, they personally served as a good reminder to double-check and triple-check everything we do so we can send our plans out into the world as perfect as possible.”

Ultimately, the journey to becoming a professional engineer can be challenging, but the rewards are great when an engineer can finally place that P.E. designation at the end of their last name. Gresham Smith is dedicated to giving our engineers every opportunity to do that, recognizing that licensure is not only a valuable investment in our people, but is also of enormous benefit to our clients. Now that’s a big win-win!


Gresham Smith Class of 2018