Professional engineering licensure and professional experience among civil engineering faculty: A multi-institutional comparison

Brock Barry, Yusuf Mehta, Sean St Clair

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Civil engineering faculty members endeavor to prepare their students for a variety of career paths within the engineering industry. Several of those paths require or are bolstered when students decide to pursue licensure to practice as professional engineers. As students, individuals learn about the merits of professional licensure from a variety of sources. Not to be overlooked is the influence that professors, licensed as professional engineers, have on their students and the opportunity to act as a role model to those students considering a career path that includes professional licensure. The research question explored during this study was; "Among currently licensed civil engineering faculty members, what are the perceived values of professional experience and of licensure as a professional engineer?" A reality testing, qualitative-based framework was utilized to design and execute a study in response to the research question. Within this study, the authors evaluated the existing literature, both internal and external to civil engineering, relative to prior studies of experience and professional licensure among engineering faculty. Further, the authors conducted a series of interviews with licensed faculty members at three disparate universities, using a semi-structured interview protocol. As the authors represent three distinctly unique academic institutions, the collected interview data were evaluated for commonality, as well as differentiation among the academic institutions. The interview process probed at issues including the perceived value of licensure among faculty members, the relationship between licensure and promotion/tenure, and the licensed faculty member as a role model for colleagues and future engineers. This paper details the research design, implementation of the study, and the resulting findings. The findings and conclusions of this study will be of interest to a variety of academic and licensure stake-holders, including: civil engineering faculty members (both licensed and unlicensed), academic administrators, and licensing organizations such as the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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