February 15, 2019
Dear MSPE Members:
Winter has come back with a vengeance over the last few weeks. More than likely you have been juggling lots of travel delays, power outages, and missed work. Not to mention all the missed school for our children! Mine have missed 8 school days in only 2 weeks. It’s been hard on all of us Michiganders. The good news is that February is half over and we should be seeing more of that Spring sun very soon. It also means that we are about to see the beginning of Engineers Week for 2019. Another great first sign of Spring for our members.
Many chapters have events planned for E-week. It’s a great time to reach out to your chapter leadership to ask how you can get involved. You can even take the initiative yourself to reach out to your local school system to ask if there is anything you can do to help introduce students to engineering. Our web site (michiganspe.org) has a link to all of our chapter presidents. I’m sure they would love your help. It might be as easy as offering to talk to a local classroom for 30 minutes about the dozens of kinds of engineers that we need to cultivate. One word of warning….the first couple questions are likely to be “how much money do you make?” and “what kind of car do you drive?”. They tend to get right to the point!
Some of you in the northern part of the state may have noticed that NSPE has adjusted your chapter membership. We used to have an “At-Large” chapter but that has been eliminated and its members may now be associated with a chapter based on location. Many “At-Large” members may be redirected to the Norther Chapter, which has been loosely based in Traverse City. A couple weeks ago I visited with three members from that chapter and they were very enthusiastic about getting things back up and running. They were:
Bob Nelesen, P.E., MSPE Northern Regional VP
Glenna Wood, P.E., Northern Chapter Mathcounts, Chairman
Martin Graf, P.E., Northern Chapter, President
This group continues to operate a MathCounts event. Now they would like to begin meeting and looking for other ways to have a positive impact on their communities. If you live in this area please feel to reach out to these three leaders as they try and get things rolling again for our members up north. If we can get enough energy built up we may even be able to look at initiating some sub chapters too. I’d be very proud to visit a Douglas Houghton Chapter up in the beautiful Keweenaw area. Seeing regular events around the Mighty Mac in the old Straits Chapter would be great for our society as well. These are two areas very rich with engineering history, deserving of a group of professional engineers to help foster the next generation of young problem solvers.
I’m already laying the groundwork for a future conference to be held a little further north so that we can make sure we reach out to our northernmost members. Traverse City, Boyne, and Petoskey would all be great places to convene in 2020 or 2021. If you are a northern member please let us know how you feel about this and whether you can get a group of peers together to help host future chapter meetings or even an annual conference.
Thanks for all your support to MSPE and your local chapters. We hope to see you in Lansing, May 2-3, at our 2019 annual conference. We have a great group of speakers lined up to talk about climate change, autonomous vehicles, emerging technologies in energy and many, many more great topics. The event will cover a broad variety of professional engineering disciplines.
Scott Conners P.E.
Michigan Society of Professional Engineers
P.O. Box 160
Parma, MI 49269