By Djuna Gulliver
Angela M. Mayer, EIT, and Director of ASCE-Pittsburgh has won the prestigious 2017 Daniel W. Mead prize. “Initially I just wanted to challenge myself to write the Daniel W. Mead ethics paper,” Ms. Mayer says. “However, for ASCE National to recognize my efforts by presenting me with this award is exciting!”
The Daniel W. Mead prize was established in 1939, and is annually awarded to the author of the best paper on professional ethics in civil engineering. “Engineering has evolved over time largely in part to the efforts of Daniel W. Mead,” explains Ms. Mayer. “He was tasked by ASCE to develop ethical guidelines that would meet the needs of all members of the profession. These efforts have evolved into the current ‘Code of Ethics’ that all in the profession should hold paramount to ensure the safety, health, and welfare of the public”.
This year’s topic was “Is it ethical for university engineering faculty to teach technical subject matter to engineering students without obtaining professional licensure?” Ms. Mayer submitted a paper titled Assurance through Licensure. In the paper, Ms. Mayer says that there is a disconnect between licensure and the hiring process of Universities. She writes:
Universities tend to recognize and reward faculty with published scholarly works; not educators with practical industry experience and licensure. Over time, an obvious development of disconnection has occurred between industry experience, faculty qualifications, and licensure at institutions.
Ms. Mayer argues that educators are not only responsible for teaching proper technical material, but educators also serve as role models. So, while some professors are not directly involved in the practice of engineering, educators have an ethical obligation to obtain their license. Meanwhile, Universities should place more emphasis on professional experience.
Even though they are not clearly involved, professors’ influence on students have a direct impact on society. Engineering faculty act as role models for engineering students that aspire to become licensed. Nevertheless, if the public holds future engineers to licensure standards their educators should be held to the same criteria.
Ms. Mayer’s full paper will be available to read on the ASCE website.
What inspired Ms. Mayer’s essay response to this year’s topic? “Coupled with research, my personal pursuit to obtain a P.E., and viewpoints I held over from college all compiled to formulate my response to the Mead paper’s topic this year,” she explains.
Ms. Mayer has over 10 years of engineering experience, and is currently an asset integrity engineer at Williams, Pittsburgh. She previously worked as a project engineer at KU Resources, and a staff engineer at Phillips and Associates. She is an active member of the Diversity Committee at ASCE-Pittsburgh and the Young Member Forum. She has been recognized throughout her career for her professional achievements and leadership, and has received the ASCE Edmund Friedman Young Engineering Award and the ASCE-Pittsburgh Young Engineer of the Year Award. And while she feels a sense of accomplishment looking back at her career, “I look forward to what the future holds!” she exclaims.