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History of the OSBEELS

History of the OSBEELS

Engineering licensure in the United States began in 1907 when Wyoming sought to solve the problem of untrained individuals working as engineers and land surveyors. Oregon soon followed suit and established the Engineering Examiners Board in 1919. The Board’s first meeting was held at the Oregon Building in Portland on July 11, 1919 at 10:30 a.m. At this time, the Board is excited to kickoff it’s 100-year anniversary of the first Board meeting. Since its inception, the Board has always strived to protect the public’s safety and well-being, and improve the professional standards within Oregon. 

During the Oregon Board’s first biennium, 1,189 certificates were granted to engineers. Today, the Board has over 15,000 registrants in the practices of engineering, land surveying, photogrammetric mapping, and water right examination. In the 11th Biennium, the Board began regulating the practice of land surveying. Enacted in 1943 by the Legislature, the Professional Land Surveyors’ Law established licensure for surveyors and regulation of the profession. Following the law’s enactment, the Board received 195 applications from those practicing land surveying who sought licensure under a grandfather clause; 181 were approved and received registration.

The Board and the industries it regulates enjoy a rich history in the state of Oregon. The state features some iconic achievements in the fields of engineering, surveying, and photogrammetry and this coming year the Board is excited to look back on the previous century and acknowledge the many milestones, changes, and improvements that have taken place in our state. From growing metropolises to connecting the state through developed infrastructure, engineering and surveying have reshaped and changed how we live.