Terri-Jane Yuzda

U.S. Fundamentals of Engineering
Examinations Come to Alberta

Two APEGGA Managers Complete
Chief Proctor Training in South Carolina

Editor's Note: The print version of the following story misidentified the type of NCEES exams being written in Alberta. Those examinations are for fundamentals of engineering. The exam four years later, principles of engineering, is the final step before being permitted to apply for licensure from any of the individual state boards. The PEGG apologizes for the error.


Two APEGGA managers are trained and ready to administer the writing of U.S. fundamentals of engineering examinations in Alberta, which is an important move towards simplifying the approval process for doing engineering work in the States. Professional engineers here will be able to write the next eight-hour FE exam in their own province on Oct. 25, 2003.

Successful completion of the exam is a member's first step towards licensure in U.S. states and being permitted to carry the U.S. designation P.E., or professional engineer. FE examinations are conducted twice a year, in April and October.

APEGGA Deputy Registrar Al Schuld, P.Eng., and Manager of Examinations Dr. Milt Petruk, P.Eng., travelled to South Carolina earlier this year to train as chief proctors for the National Council of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors. For their inaugural Alberta examinations, an NCEES invigilator will monitor the NCEES exams conducted in Alberta.

Putting on the exams is no minor undertaking, said Dr. Petruk. Chief proctors follow a strict protocol to make sure exams aren't removed and that they're written honestly and properly.

"NCEES is extremely diligent and thorough about the way in which they allow participants to write these exams," said Dr. Petruk. Standard pencils are provided, for example, and even the type of calculator writers use is mandated.

APEGGA isn't sure how many members will take advantage of the exam day. If a sufficient number of Calgary-area engineers register, exams will be written there as well as in Edmonton. Venues are tentatively set as the APEGGA conference centres in Edmonton and Calgary, although if numbers make it necessary, the exams will be written off site.

Registrations must be received by APEGGA by Sept. 8 at the latest - there will be no extensions. Cost is $125 US, which must be paid in U.S. funds. APEGGA will accept VISA, MasterCard, bank drafts in U.S. dollars or even U.S. cash.

Making the deadline is a good career move for many members, the examinations manager said, as well as an important service for APEGGA to offer. "It's not that we want to send our graduates to the U.S., although that's certainly something that does happen sometimes. But Alberta residents and companies are taking on more engineering projects in the U.S. than they once did. Engineers will work in the U.S. for a few months or even one or two years, then come back.

"Many of the consulting firms have offices worldwide. And many of our major oil companies are now owned by Texas companies."

Ideally, members should write the FE exam soon after they graduate. Because of the emphasis on fundamentals, it helps to write before engineers become too specialized, Dr. Petruk said.

After successfully completing the FE exam, an engineer has to practice for four years before writing the principles of engineering, or PE, exam. Then an engineer is eligible to apply at any of the U.S. state boards for registration as a PE. Although NCEES looks after all the exams, actual registration approval remains under the jurisdiction of each state's licensing board. That means if you're licensed in Montana, you'll still need an Alaska license to practice in Alaska.

The Oct. 25 exams will be the first with APEGGA proctors, but FE exams were written here twice in less than a year. In those cases, Montana proctors came to Edmonton to administer the examinations. In October of last year 18 members wrote the exams, and 34 members wrote them in April 2003. Of those 52 writers, 51 passed, which is a much higher success rate than the NCEES records in the U.S.


Registration forms will soon be online at the APEGGA website

Submit registration online
Or print a form, fill it out and fax it to:
Dr. Milt Petruk, P.Eng.
at (780) 426-1877

Cost: $125 US
Payable in U.S. Funds Only
(VISA, MasterCard, bank draft, and, in person only, U.S. cash)


Manager of Examinations Dr. Milt Petruk, P.Eng.
Phone (780) 426-3990, toll free 1-800-661-7020
E-mail mpetruk@apegga.org

Visit www.engusa.org
Or www.ncees.org

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