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2013 Daniel W. Mead Student Contest

Established in 1939 in honor of the 67th President of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the contest provides an opportunity for alert young civil engineers to further their professional development and gain national attention.

AWARD: Up to five winners will receive cash prizes (1st place $1000, 2nd place $800, 3rd place $600, 4th place $400, 5th place $200).

TOPIC: "Body of Knowledge – Is it Ethical to Associate Credentials With Competency"

The following can be used to stimulate, but should in no way limit, the discussion:

Credentials are sometimes described as “paper” qualifications obtained by completing a formal educational experience resulting in a certificate, diploma or degree.  Competencies have been defined as measurable skills which can relate to one’s ability to perform the specific tasks and duties of their chosen occupation or profession.  When compared to competencies or experience, credentials are relatively easy to measure and evaluate when comparing the qualifications of individuals.  The American Society of Civil Engineers Policy Statement 465 supports the concept of the master’s degree or equivalent as a prerequisite for licensure and the practice of civil engineering at the professional level.  Some questions to consider:

  • What, if any, are the ethical responsibilities the profession has in setting licensure prerequisites?
  • What are the potential ethical issues of using credentials as a measure of professional competency?
  • What are the ethical issues of continuing to maintain current licensure requirements in light of the ever-increasing technical complexity of our profession?
  • What are the ethical considerations of engineering educators who are being pressured by universities, elected officials or governing bodies to reduce the number of credit hours required to award an engineering degree?
  • What are the ethical issues of only presenting competencies as qualifications?

RULES: Papers are not to exceed 2,000 words in length, must be written by only one person, and should not have appeared in any publications other than in school or chapter publications. Reference citations of the papers should conform to official ASCE Journal Submission Guidelines.

Entries for the contest shall be limited to one paper from each ASCE or AEI Student Organization and must be submitted through the Faculty Advisor. Authors must be undergraduate students, Student Organization members in good standing, and ASCE and/or AEI members in good standing at the time of submission and at the time the award is made to be considered.  Entries should include a cover letter from the Faculty Advisor stating the name, ASCE/AEI member ID number, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail of the paper's author. Send entries to Student Services

Entries must be received by March 1, 2013.

SELECTION: Selection will be made by the ASCE National Committee on Student Members and winners will be announced in May, 2013. If insufficient qualified essays are received, fewer than five awards may be presented.

Questions should be directed to Student Services.