New Mexico Society of Professional Engineers
Walter Gerstle, 2016-17 President
June 27, 2016
It is my honor to represent the New Mexico Society for Professional Engineers as president for the 2016-2017 term. First, I would like to thank Wayne Yevoli for serving as NMPSE president for the past two years. He has served well on behalf of the society by organizing successful annual meetings and issues conferences, and by representing our society at the state legislature and by acting as a delegate to the National Society of Professional Engineers at the national level.
Kendra Yevoli has served as the executive director for the past two years, and has done an excellent job of managing the conferences as well as managing the economic, public relations, and membership aspects of the society. We now have a new executive director, Deanna Trujillo, who has come on board over the last couple of months, and has helped to organize our current annual meeting.
For their service, I would also like to thank NMSPE board members Lawrence Ortiz, Scott Eddings, Manuel Barrera, Phil King, Nadir Yilmaz, Michael Balaskovits, Mike Anderson, Greta Quintana, and Joe Barela. The Albuquerque branch of NMSPE is also very strong, under the leadership of Jasent Quintana, Nadir Yilmaz, Rafael Gonzales, Meagan Brace, Gary Hoe, Suzanne Busch, Kenneth Armijo, Greg Larsen, Tyler Robinson, Ray Smith, and Juan Antonio Vigil.
Our goal is to provide leadership for the advancement of the engineering profession throughout New Mexico and to be the premier resource for all engineers in the State of New Mexico. Being active members is the only way we can accomplish this mission.
To achieve its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and property, NMSPE is dedicated to:
- Maintaining and observing high ethical standards of conduct.
- Supporting high standards of formal educational preparation for the practice of engineering.
- Continuing the professional development of members of the engineering profession.
- Focusing appropriate public attention on engineering responsibilities and engineering accomplishments for the purpose of attracting qualified persons to the practice of engineering.
- Providing appropriate assistance to its Members to facilitate the pursuit of their professional careers.
- Promoting the practice of engineering to properly qualified and licensed individuals.
New Mexico has various branches of NSPE: The state section, the Albuquerque, Santa Fe/Los Alamos and San Juan Branches, and student chapters at New Mexico Tech and at New Mexico State University.
Our membership has been declining in recent years. I believe we have approximately 180 members currently, down from 300 several years ago. NMSPE provides leadership for the advancement of engineering professionalism throughout New Mexico. We provide conferences, meetings, events, and activities throughout the year, including ethics classes and the Professional Engineering Exam Review Courses. Our members range from university students to retired professionals located throughout the state in several different chapters.
As an educator, I am keenly interested in the educational aspects of our profession. To serve society ably, engineers must be well educated. Together with limitations in state funding to the universities, UNM has cut the number of credit hours required to obtain a degree in civil engineering from 131 to 124. Governor Martinez has recently indicated that she wants to cut the required credit hours for all bachelor’s degrees to 120 credit hours. Concurrently, there have been various proposals to make the Master’s degree the entry-level degree into the profession. At the same time, structural engineers have advocated for a separate certification.
The professional engineering license is the currency of our profession, and it needs to be valued and protected. I encourage all professional engineers to become active in our professional society, and I encourage all engineers to become licensed. Only by actively working together can we elevate our chosen profession!