We join the National Society of Professional Engineers in celebrating Professional Engineers Day!
In our industry, acquiring a Professional Engineer license demonstrates that an engineer operates at a standard of high quality. With 125 licensed Professional Engineers that span experience, disciplines, and locations, McCormick Taylor’s dedicated and skilled staff uphold levels of quality and are committed to protecting the public health, safety, and welfare of our communities.
Read on to hear from some of our Professional Engineers on what it means to be licensed, and receive tips on how to approach the exam.
GINA BLAKE, PE, CBSI, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER III, PITTSBURGH, PA
Do you have any tips for someone who is preparing for the PE exam? My advice is to obtain a copy of the Civil Engineering Reference Manual and open it at least once a day. You should know what equations are in each chapter and what each chapter is about so it’s easy to find when you need something. The exam is long—you don’t want to spend most of your time searching for equations. Also, buy the sample test from NCEES. It’s worth it.
WILL CARPENTER, PE, SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, WATER RESOURCES, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Why do you think being a Professional Engineer is important? To me, being a Professional Engineer is important in my role as a technical lead on design projects. But it isn’t for everyone! It can be difficult juggling the responsibilities of technical lead and project manager—and I love that McCormick Taylor is a company where both Professional Engineers and non-Professional Engineers are able to flourish.
CATHERINE CHIA-CALABRIA, PE, SENIOR MANAGER, STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING, PHILADELPHIA, PA
Why do you think being a licensed Professional Engineer is important? Being a Professional Engineer comes with real responsibilities, and having that license demonstrates to the public that you know what you are doing and can speak with authority in regard to engineering matters. The license allows you to have more career opportunities, and helps you to advance faster. You are more likely to be afforded positions of leadership and responsibility if you have your license.
VIRAJ DESAI, PE, TRANSPORTATION ENGINEER III, MOUNT LAUREL, NJ
How has being a licensed Professional Engineer helped your career? Becoming a Professional Engineer boosts your confidence, gains you recognition among your peers as an engineer in the industry, and helps in career development tremendously.
JOSH DURBIN, PE, WATER RESOURCES ENGINEER II, HARRISBURG, PA
Why did you choose to become a licensed Professional Engineer? I chose to become a professional engineer to prove to myself, and the rest of the industry, that I can operate to a certain standard. Having a license opens up the door for career development and allows me to take responsibility for the designs I am developing.
LAUREN HAVENER, PE, WATER RESOURCES ENGINEER III, BALTIMORE, MD
Do you have any tips for someone who is preparing for the test? Sign up for a review course, make sure to follow it closely, and don’t miss any sessions. The test covers such a wide range of information, most of which you probably haven’t looked at since college. I think the review course that I took made a huge difference in my test results, especially for the morning section of the exam, which covered several topics that I don’t deal with on a day-to-day basis. I think most people would much rather spend the time up front studying through a review course rather than take the exam more than once.
OTTO HERR, PE, CPESC, SENIOR WATER RESOURCES ENGINEER, STATE COLLEGE, PA
How has being a Professional Engineer helped your career? It has helped me to advance professionally and personally. As the Engineer of Record for many designs that leave the doors of McCormick Taylor, I take my responsibility very seriously. Knowing that I’m responsible for the design forces me to slow down, document design decisions, check my work (and others’), and deliver a quality product. This has aided me personally, as well, because these traits are translated into my personal life and character.
BARRY HOFFMAN, PE, SENIOR ADVISOR, ENGINEERING, HARRISBURG, PA
Do you have any tips for someone who is preparing for the test? It’s been 39 years since I passed the test, but I think these tips still apply: study at a reasonable pace over time, use available resources/practice material, get a good night’s rest, and stay as calm as you can.
AMY HRIBAR, PE, SENIOR MANAGER, WATER RESOURCES, BALTIMORE, MD
Why do you think being a Professional Engineer is important? A Professional Engineer licensure describes that an engineer has mastered the critical elements of our profession. This allows clients and other associates in our industry feel comfortable with the skill and quality of the designs and plans we create.
JEN MATCZAK, PE, TRANSPORTATION ENGINEER II,
How has being a Professional Engineer helped your career? I only obtained my license a few months ago, but I am already seeing my day-to-day involve more responsibility and I am more heavily involved in the design of projects I am working on. I feel I am more valuable to the company, and passing the exam has given me a confidence boost in my abilities as an engineer.