Observer Back Issues:

September 2000

A Word From The President

A Word From The President

It is with great honor that I have accepted the office of President of the NH Society of Professional Engineers for 2000-2001! It is also an honor to be the first female engineer (and the first 'new Mom') to hold this seat and kick-off the new "Millennium" for our State society. I look forward to working with this year's Board of Directors. Welcome newcomers to the Board - Bill Straub, Holly Gallagher, and Paul Schmidt!

As I contemplate what issues to "sink my teeth into" this year, I reflect on the challenges we, as Professional Engineers, face every day in today's society, and how the NHSPE Board of Directors can assist our members with these challenges. Challenges such as: marketing quality based selection, overcoming the dilution of the "Engineer" title and the "engineer-as-a-commodity" attitude, the reduction in our ranks as licensed professionals, the decrease in the number of 4-year engineering students in U.S. schools, etc. Overcoming these challenges is paramount in our minds, as well as with the National Board, as I found out last winter at the NSPE Meeting in D.C.

This year I hope to pull together NHSPE's first "Strategic Plan" which will lay out the driving force behind the NHSPE BOD and our activities. This plan will help to tie our activities to particular goals and objectives determined by the BOD and its members. We will be looking for member feedback throughout the development of the Strategic Plan. This will be your chance, members, to make your pitch on
what NHSPE can do for YOU! Please keep an eye on the NHSPE website ( and our newsletter, The Observer, for BOD updates and feedback requests.

In trying to improve communications with our members, I would like to pull together a NHSPE members e-mail list so that the BOD can inform those on-line of upcoming events and information. Please forward your e-mail address to me at:

In closing my first letter to members, I'd like to encourage all NHSPE members to become active in your society - check out the website, come to a BOD meeting or a quarterly dinner meeting. Get excited about your profession and help us to help you! My "door is always open" to any correspondence from our membership. Please e-mail me or call 647-8700 with any questions or comments.

Judith E. Houston, P.E.
NHSPE President



A Word From The Past President

Many thanks to all members, offices and committee chairman for their assistance in having made NHSPE's 1999-2000 operating year a resounding success. Many thanks also to SAME for the courtesies extended by inviting our general membership to their meetings.

As the 2000-01 year activities get activated, lets all give our new president, Judy Houston, our support with programs by volunteering and actively participating in NHSPE.

Lee F. Carroll, P.E.,
NHSPE Past President

Annual Meeting Marks A New Year

The NHSPE annual meeting was held in May, which marked the induction of this year's board of directors and the beginning of a new year for NHSPE. A list of this year's board members is provided on the back page of this newsletter, including numbers where they can be reached. NHSPE's President this year is Judith Houston, P.E. Judy has been active in NHSPE for many years now, including holding many of the positions on the Board over the years. We look forward to her leadership this year. New to the Board this year are William Straub, P.E. - Vice President, Holly Gallagher, P.E. - Secretary, and Paul Schmidt, P.E. - State Director. NHSPE has a busy year scheduled and the new Board is looking forward to continuing the goals of supporting the professional engineer.

The annual meeting is largely a social event. In that spirit, this year's meeting including a tour of the Nutfield Brewery in Derry, followed by a social hour and dinner at The Yard restaurant in Manchester. Attendees were provided a sample (or two) of Nutfield's finest ales and were given a tour of the micro-brewery and bottling plant. The tour included a description of the brewing process from start to finish including discussion of hops, wort, fermentation, and bottling, packaging and marketing.

This year's meeting included a tour of the Nutfield Brewery in Derry.
Members of the new board of directors, standing from left: David Eckman, William Straub, Paul Schmidt, John Alger, Mathew Purcell, Holly Gallagher, Lee Carroll. (Absent were Judith Houston, George Fredette, Joseph Ducharme)
Members got a chance to sample brews at the Nutfield Brewery
Dinner was at The Yard in Manchester


New P.E. Dinner a Success

An idea to hold a dinner honoring newly licensed engineers in New Hampshire came to fruition this April and was a rousing success. A joint effort between the New Hampshire Society of Professional Engineers and the N.H. Board of Licensure of Professional Engineers, the dinner marked the first such event in recent history. Engineers who became registered in New Hampshire over the past year were invited to attend at no cost. Over 70 people attended including 20 new P.E.'s. Presentations on Engineering Ethics were given by John Alger, P.E., who heads the Legislative Committee for NHSPE and is a State Representative, and H. Edmund Bergeron, P.E. a member of the P.E. Board. The guest speakers gave us a good overview and reminder of the importance of ethics in our profession.

The dinner meeting was a great way to congratulate and honor newly licensed engineers for their accomplishments and to allow a chance to meet different people within our profession. Several newly licensed engineers I spoke with were very pleased with the invitation and the event.

Thanks to those who helped organize the meeting and to all of you who attended, which made the dinner such a success. Due to that success, work has already begun to make this an annual event. We hope you attend in the future.

From the Editor

This issue marks the beginning of a new year for NHSPE. Articles on meetings held last Spring and a discussion of the conclusion of the licensure of Geologists are included. Looking forward, a letter from NHSPE's new President outlines what's coming up this year. Keep an eye out for meeting notices.

The Observer has a couple of ad spaces available this year. Please contact me if you have any interest in placing an ad.

The Observer is about providing news and information of interest and use to members of NHSPE. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.

Paul D. Schmidt, P.E.

Want to get involved?

NHSPE is looking for volunteers for several activities sponsored by NHSPE.

Volunteers are needed for MATHCOUNTS on a regional and state basis. This is a great way to get involved with high school students and to support your local schools.

NHSPE is also looking for someone to head up our Scholarship Committee, which administers the NHSPE scholarship program for high school students entering college for engineering.

We are always looking for help with these and other NHSPE programs. Any interested members should contact Judy Houston, President of NHSPE at (603) 647-8700, extension 236.


New Documents Published by NSPE

The new family of documents for hazardous remediation products is complete and in the NSPE warehouse for immediate ordering:
  • Commentary on EJCDC Environmental Remediation Documents (2000) #R-001, $14/28/56
  • Standard General Conditions of the Construction Contract Between Owner and Environmental Remediator (2000) #R-700, $25/50
  • Agreement Between Owner and Environmental Remediator on the Basis of Stipulated Price (2000) #R-520, $14/28
  • Agreement Between Owner and Environmental Remediator on the Basis of Cost Plus (2000) #R-525, $14/28
  • Standard General Conditions of the Subagreement Between Environmental Remediator and Subcontractor (2000) #R-750, $25/50
  • Agreement Between Environmental Remediator and Subcontractor on the Basis of Stipulated Price (2000) #R-521, $14/28
  • Agreement Between Environmental Remediator and Subcontractor on the Basis of
    Cost Plus (2000) #R-526, $14/28

NSPE can be reached at 703-684-2800 or at


Professional Geology Bill Becomes NH Law

A visit to the New Hampshire Joint Board of Licensure and Certification web site ( reveals a new addition to the NH Joint Board. On August 20, 2000, the bill to establish a licensing program for professional geologists became New Hampshire law. NHRSA 310 now includes provisions for the licensing of professional geologists, with a Board of Professional Geologists being added to the New Hampshire Joint Board.

In a previous Observer report, the process of the development of the bill was described. In early 1999, Senate Bill 181 was introduced in the legislature. The bill resulted from an initiative by the NH Council of Professional Geologists NHCPG). Licensing or certification programs for professional geologists exist in over 25 other states.

Soon after the bill was introduced, an ad-hoc group of geologists and engineers was formed to explore the issues of geologists licensure, and to attempt to resolve difficult issues raised in the bill relative to professional engineering, and the engineering statute in New Hampshire. Concurrently, legislative action called "re-referral" occurred to allow time for this process.

Representatives of NHCPG and the NH Geological Society represented professional geology interests in the ad-hoc group. Professional engineers were represented by individuals from NHSPE, Consulting Engineers of New Hampshire, and ASCE. The group also included engineering and geologist representatives from the NH Department of Environmental Services. A number of meetings were held throughout 1999. After much discussion and work, the ad-hoc group was ultimately successful in jointly proposing amendments to the bill which limited potential conflicts between the practice of professional engineering and the proposed practice of professional geology, and provided for the professions to be complementary. The ad-hoc group spent considerable time and effort to establish language which does not limit the practice of professional engineering in any way in areas which might "over-lap" with the practice of professional geology, and which clearly limits the practice of geology to exclude professional engineering.

The amended bill established a license for professional geologists, and defines the practice of professional geology as geologic work which is done "in furtherance of the health, safety, and welfare of the public and the environment". Other geologic work does not require licensure. It establishes high standards for educational background, experience, and continuing education, among other professional requirements. The practice will be governed by the NH Board of Professional Geologists.

These amendments were proposed by the NH Senate sponsors of the bill, and the legislative process continued in late 1999 / early 2000.

During the legislative process, there were several attempts during Senate and House committee hearings to dilute or weaken the requirements for registration of professional geologists. Representatives of both the engineering and geology communities successfully lobbied the legislature to retain all key provisions of the amended bill.

Despite a parliamentary set-back during the final hours of the legislative session (lack of a House quorum at the time of final vote in May), the bill was passed when the Senate sponsors found a parliamentary mechanism to have the language of SB 181 replace the entire language of a different failing bill prior to the final votes or that bill, allowing a second and successful vote on the professional geology bill.

The bill moved on to the Governor's office, where it was signed into law. The law became effective August 20, 2000, and the Board of Professional Geology is being formed.



The 1999-2000 national competition in Washington, DC, with Matthew Purcell attending as NHSPE representative, is long over. The NH State Team finished 32nd in a field of 57 teams.

With that bit of old news, it is time to get going on the 2000-01 Competition year, the program's 18th year. Our order is in to NSPE for schools kits and to the NH Department of Education for address labels. Bob Baskerville, P.E.; Bedford Design, has again graciously agreed to be the location where these items will be packaged and prepared for mailing, likely early in September.

There will be new registration opportunities for schools as they can register both teams and individuals to compete this year, with a limit on the maximum number of total formally participating individuals they can register (no effect on informal "alternates" as I understand, at this time). The other side of this is that registration fees for schools have increased.

MATHCOUNTS can use volunteers. If you are interested, let me know so we can get you active in this truly important educational program.

Submitted by Lee F. Carroll, P.E.
MATHCOUNTS State Coordinator

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