National Society of Professional Engineers

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National Society of Professional Engineers
FormationSeptember 3, 1934 (1934-09-03)
TypeProfessional engineering society
HeadquartersAlexandria, Virginia
Official language
Key people
David B. Steinman

The National Society of Professional Engineers (abbreviate as NSPE) is a professional association representing licensed professional engineers in the United States.[1] NSPE is the recognized voice and advocate of licensed Professional Engineers represented in 53 state and territorial societies and over 500 local chapters.[2] The society is based in Alexandria, Virginia.


The society was founded in 1934 as a nontechnical organization for licensed professional engineers. The bridge engineer David B. Steinman was its first president and one of the group of professional engineers that established it.[3][4]

NSPE published Canons of Ethics for Engineers and Rules of Professional Conduct in 1946, which evolved to the current Code of Ethics adopted in 1964. [5] The first fundamental canon is "Hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public."[6][7]

In 1973, NSPE entered into an agreement with the Society of Women Engineers to support efforts to increase the number of women professional engineers.

In 1976, NSPE was the petitioner in National Society of Professional Engineers v. United States, 435 U.S. 679 antitrust case. The United States government brought this antitrust suit against NSPE, claiming that NSPE's ethical canon prohibiting its members from submitting competitive bids for engineering services suppressed competition which was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. NSPE countered with argument for exception under the Rule of Reason. The United States Supreme Court decided against NSPE, allowing the submittal of competitive bids by members thereafter.[8]


NSPE has founded and works closely with a number of nonprofit organizations and outreach-based activities.

  • National Engineers Week was founded in 1951 by NSPE to encourage diversity within engineering and ensure that there would be enough engineers in the future. Different aspects of this event include "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day", which is designed to overcome the gaps the appear between genders in engineering employment.[9]
  • NSPE cofounded the middle school mathematics competition MATHCOUNTS in 1983. More than 350,000 middle school students from across the United States take part in the math-based competition each year.[10]
  • NICET (National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies) is a division of NSPE.
  • NSPE sponsors the Federal Engineer of the Year Award and (along with several other organizations) sponsors the Washington Award. It formerly published the Professional Engineers' Income and Salary Survey but no longer does so.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NSPE. "About NSPE - Vision, Mission, Values, Goals". National Society for Professional Engineers. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  2. ^ "National Society for Professional Engineers". Directories. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  3. ^ NSPE. "About NSPE". National Society for Professional Engineers. Retrieved September 9, 2013. In 1934, a group of professional engineers met in New York City to establish... The National Society of Professional Engineers
  4. ^ The American Engineer, January 1935, p. 10 says, "On December 10th, 1934, the Secretary of State of South Carolina issued to the National Society of Professional Engineers a certificate of incorporation."
  5. ^ Code of Ethics (adopted 1964).
  6. ^ NSPE. "NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers". National Society of Professional Engineers. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Lauren Zumbach (September 9, 2013). "Software Engineers Need a Crash Course in Ethics". Slate. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "National Society of Professional Engineers, Petitioner, v. United States". Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School. April 25, 1978. Retrieved September 9, 2013.
  9. ^ Georgia Public Broadcasting. "For National Engineers Week Introduce a Girl to Engineering". Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  10. ^ University of California Irvine. "MATHCOUNTS". Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  11. ^ NSPE. "NSPE's Engineering Income and Salary Survey". National Society for Professional Engineers. Retrieved September 9, 2013.

External links[edit]