Kettering faculty member receives PE license

Jul 8, 2005

Dr. Terri Lynch-Caris, an assistant professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and 1988 graduate of Kettering/GMI who resides in Hartland, Mich., recently earned her professional engineer (PE) licensing.

The National Council for Examiners for Engineering and Surveying grants PE licenses to engineers after they complete a rigorous course of instruction. According to the organization's website, licensure demonstrates that engineers have achieved a recognized standard. This licensing process also serves as a protection of public health, safety and welfare.

Caris said there are four steps to earning a PE license. First, individuals must graduate from an ABET accredited college or university in the field of Engineering. Second, engineers must pass the fundamentals exam (FE) immediately following graduation from college, since this exam is based on core engineering curriculum. Third, engineers must provide evidence of four years of professional engineering work after receiving a bachelor's degree. Finally, individuals must take and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam.

"The PE is one more distinction that I can use to set myself apart from the crowd in this highly competitive world," Caris said. "My grandma survived the depression and she always taught me that the only thing that no one can take away from you is knowledge and education."

According to Caris, the PE is a recognized standard that demonstrates commitment and competence in the field of Engineering. Today, only licensed professionals are allowed to offer their services to the general public. Caris believes that in the future the PE exam will be a necessary requirement of all engineers similar to the bar exam and medical exam for lawyers and doctors.

She also said that preparing for the PE licensing process was challenging. She studied for several weeks prior to the exam, had to obtain five letters of support from engineers and colleagues, verify past work experiences with her previous employers and fill out reams of paperwork. "I basically had to provide evidence to theBoard of Professional Engineers that I had worked as a practicing professional engineer," she explained.

She credits Dr. Charles V. White, a professor of Manufacturing Engineering at Kettering, for encouraging her in working toward the PE license. "I had the chance to work with Chuck on the Order of the Engineer ceremony and he suggested I try for the PE," Caris said. "I'm very thankful for his encouragement."

Currently, Caris is working on several research projects, including one with several faculty and industry representatives that focuses on the environmental concerns of product design and manufacturing. Caris earned her bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Kettering/GMI, her master's degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She lives in with her husband John and three young sons Matthew, Philip and Andrew.

Written by Gary Erwin
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