One of the essential ingredients of a professional career in engineering is professional development, the process whereby an engineer commits to a lifetime of learning. Increasingly, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineers are becoming licensed as Professional Engineers, (PE) through their state registration boards. Most of these boards (including Tennessee’s) have four requirements to become licensed as a PE:
- Graduation from an accredited engineering degree program.
- Successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination.
- Four years of engineering experience.
- Successful completion of the Principles and Practice of Engineering examination.
For more information, see the web sites for the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and the Tennessee State Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners.
PE’s Professional Development Hours
A Professional Engineer is expected to participate in continuing professional education. Requirements vary somewhat from state to state, but the Tennessee Registration Board requires completion of 24 Professional Development Hours (PDH) of acceptable continuing education every two years to maintain one’s PE license. One Professional Development Hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of instruction and can include credit or non-credit courses, seminars, professional meetings, etc.
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) recognizes the importance of continuing education by sponsoring courses “designed to advance the practice of chemical engineering, to maintain high professional standards, and to keep chemical engineers and allied professionals abreast of new and emerging technologies.” Visit its continuing education home page.
Continuing Education Experience Requirement
Our goal in CBE is to prepare you for all facets of your future professional career. We have instituted a Continuing Education Experience (CEE) requirement for all our undergraduate students. This requirement is intended to prepare you for a lifetime of learning by giving you a flavor of the experiences required to maintain professional licensure.
Each spring and fall semester that you are enrolled in one of the gatekeeper courses listed in the table below, you will be required to complete 5 CEE’s. Failure to do so will result in a reduction of your course grade by one full unit for the associated gatekeeper course; e.g., if you would have obtained a grade of B+ had you completed the 5 CEE’s, your grade barring completion of the CEE requirement would be reduced to a C+.
Each semester, you must print off a Continuing Education Reporting form for the designated key course in which you are enrolled. You should record your CEE’s on the form and turn it in to the instructor at the end of the semester by a specified deadline. You should keep the original forms along with announcements, programs, etc., to accumulate in a Continuing Education Portfolio throughout your undergraduate career. This will be useful to show to prospective employers when you are interviewing for a job. By completing CEE’s, you will learn a great deal about the wonderful, exciting, and challenging field of chemical engineering, its related disciplines, and the interrelationships between science, engineering, and the world at-large.
Gatekeeper CBE courses for which completion of 5 CEE’s during the semester enrolled is required are as follows:
One CEE may be earned for each of the following activities:
- Become a student member of AIChE (once each year).
- Attend a meeting of the AIChE Student Chapter.
- Attend a meeting of the Knoxville-Oak Ridge AIChE Local Section.
- Attend a CBE graduate seminar (held Tuesdays at 4-5:00 p.m. See schedule on departmental web page, and follow links to the graduate seminar program.).
- Attend a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Departmental CEE seminar (Special CEE seminars will be arranged each semester. Announcements of such seminars will be posted on a designated bulletin board and listed on the departmental web page.).
- Attend approved seminars in other departments. Announcements of such seminars will be posted on a designated bulletin board.
- Take a short course on use of the University Library (one CEE per hour).
- Take a short course on use of new software (one CEE per hour) OIT Workshop Calendar.
- Complete one credit hour of undergraduate research (ChE 498).
- Participate in an Engineers Day project (no. of CEE’s depend on level of effort; certified by supervising faculty member).
- Attend a meeting of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
- Other activities approved by CBE.
This list will be added to and revised from time to time. However, no student will be disadvantaged if an activity in which he or she has already participated is removed from the list or its CEE credit reduced.
Download the Continuing Education Reporting Form.