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Director's Corner
In the first part of May, I was able to attend my first in-person Professional Engineers of Oregon (PEO) conference in Lincoln City. Not only was I able to attend the speaker sessions, but PEO also invited our agency to host an OSBEELS information table. During the conference, we were able to connect with PEO Board members, students that would soon be entering the profession, as well as established engineering professionals. It was a wonderful event that provided top-notch educational sessions in addition to impressive guest speakers. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a future PEO event, I highly recommend you do. 

At the end of May, I was also able to attend my first in-person meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). Again, being able to connect with, share with, and learn from NCEES staff, western states’ agency leaders and other board members was incredibly valuable. There is a lot of knowledge and experience gathered into one place when events like these occur, and I feel fortunate that I was able to glean some of that knowledge and experience during my stay. 

At OSBEELS, we strive to develop and maintain partnerships with professional networks in Oregon and nationwide. If you know of an organization or networking opportunity that might be beneficial for OSBEELS to become more involved with, please contact me, by email at:​ or by phone at 503-934-2117.

Board Bids Farewell to members Erin Austin and Amin Wahab

​This past June, the Board bid farewell to departing members Erin Austin, Esq., and Amin Wahab. 

Appointed by the Governor in 2018, Erin Austin served as the Chair of the Rules and Regulations Committee and participated on the External Relations, Finance, and Examinations and Qualifications during her term. 

Professionally, Erin is a Senior Vice President and General Counsel for David Evans and Associates, Inc. She is an attorney licensed to practice in the states of Oregon and Washington and has been with David Evans and Associates for over 24 years.
Looking back on her experience serving on the Board, Erin recalls being “particularly proud of the quality of staff employed by OSBEELS, who are dedicated to providing great customer service to our members.” She was pleased to see the agency invest in an updated licensing database system during her term and is excited to see the benefits it provides to state registrants.

With her time on the Board now complete, Erin is looking forward to seeing future registrants earn their professional license with OSBEELS and the continued growth of the professions. 

Amin Wahab first served on the Board from 2007-2013 and was reappointed in 2014 following a one-year assignment as the Water Technical Lead with the United States Agency for Internal Development in Kabul, Afghanistan. During his time on the Board, Amin has served as the Chair of the External Relations Committee and participated on the Oregon-Specific Exams Task Force, Customer Service and Communications Task Force, as well as the Rules and Regulations, Professional Practices, Legislative, and Finance Committees. 

Amin is currently the Westside Watersheds Program Manager for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services.
Reflecting on his tenure on the Board, Amin was most proud of the agency’s transition to computer-based testing for the fundamental exams through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) and the increased participation by Board members on the NCEES’s various task forces and committees. 
In his spare time, Amin is looking to continue to participate on other city and state-based boards. He was recently reappointed to the City of Lake Oswego’s Transportation Advisory Board. 

The Board and OSBEELS staff would like to thank Erin and Amin for their dedication to improving the engineering, land surveying, and photogrammetric mapping professions and wish them the best in their future endeavors. 

A Tale of Two Professions: Professional Land Surveying and Geographical Information System Mapping

Authored by Board member Tim Fassbender, PLS, CWRE

Over the course of my career, I have had the privilege of working with exceptional land surveyors and geographical information systems (GIS) mapping professionals. While often confused as interchangeable, land surveying and GIS mapping are two different professions that deliver their own unique products to their clientele. While there are similarities between the two, it is important to understand the difference between them and identify the limitations that exist for those practicing GIS mapping without a Professional Land Surveyor’s (PLS) license in Oregon.

In Oregon, you must have a license to perform professional land surveying work outlined in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 672.002(5). In order to receive a license, you must meet certain education and experience requirements, and have passed two national surveying exams along with one Oregon specific land surveying exam. The practice of professional land surveying is highly regulated and subject to many laws and rules found in ORS Chapter 672, ORS Chapter 209, ORS Chapter 92, and Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) Chapter 820. GIS mapping is not a regulated practice in Oregon and does not require a professional license. These two professions have similar subject matter but vastly different requirements in order to practice them. 

GIS mapping work is important and adds significant value for its intended purpose. GIS mapping is built on locations provided by the science of surveying and geodetic measurement. The GIS parcel map is built by compiling surveying information from varying sources. It generally provides a practical understanding of where locations and boundaries are but is often compiled from data produced in multiple eras. Some data is compiled from the original surveys (in Oregon, that begins in the 1860’s) and is likely not as accurate as today’s technology. These differences may not be apparent to the general public, and therefore, the public could see GIS maps as authority for setting property lines or boundaries.

Professional land surveying, on the other hand, requires the understanding and realization that there are pitfalls of compiling different accuracies of data to make one map. 

Some land surveyors have reservations regarding GIS mapping and the impact it has on the public’s perception. For example, assumptions made by users can lead to inappropriate application of the GIS mapping data. Consider parcel lines on a map. When someone sees an aerial image of their home depicted with a box around it, they assume that means something authoritative. If the box is labeled “property line”, the layperson often interprets it as definitive. I have worked with landowners, and they truly believe a GIS map is the guaranteed property line location. Many of the GIS maps do contain disclaimers explicitly stating that the maps are not to be used for property line location, however it still leaves much of the data to be interpreted by the landowner. It is the responsibility of a professional land surveyor to determine precisely where that line is. Does this mean that GIS products and services shouldn’t make parcel data visible? No, it doesn’t. The issue is to right this misconception and explain the difference between a survey and a GIS map.

Both land surveyors and GIS mappers are concerned with the precision of location as it is suited for the application of data. While land surveyors focus on accuracy, GIS mapping focuses on precision. Land surveyors are trained how to interpret property deeds, including how to use the qualifying calls within the deeds, determining when bearings and distances should not be held and how to resolve conflict between deed elements. Because the GIS mapping professional is mapping out the parcels dimensions to create their parcel map, they are not required to go into this detail.
Here is another example of the difference between professional land surveying and GIS mapping. A common term, that the GIS community uses when fitting parcel lines together, is “rubber sheeting”. Meaning, they stretch and pull the line work until parcels line come together. This practice can result in situations such as a parcel line which is 100 feet in the deed becoming 103 feet in length in GIS mapping. It produces a precise but inaccurate map. Not all GIS maps are this way but knowing the limitation of the mapping warns people that the map is a great inventory of where your parcel is next to the neighbors, but it does not show the true location of the property lines. 

The bottom line is that data should be well documented and used for the purpose that it is intended. Land surveying and GIS mapping are two different professions that deliver their own unique product to their clientele. PLS and GIS professionals often use GIS maps as a tool to know who may own properties in the area and what certain improvements are in the area. However, only the licensed land surveyor can determine the true boundary location and its relationship with other features.

Board Welcomes New Member Erica Rooney


The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) is pleased to announce the addition of new board member Erica Rooney, P.E. Erica was appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Board as of June 2022.

Erica is the Public Works Director and City Engineer for the City of Lake Oswego, overseeing the City's Engineering and Maintenance Divisions, as well as the Water Treatment Plant. These divisions are responsible for providing full services for water, wastewater, stormwater, and transportation infrastructure throughout the City. Erica has been with the City of Lake Oswego since 2009, serving as the City Engineer since 2015, and possesses over 30 years of engineering experience in both the private and public sectors.

Originally from Spokane, WA, Erica attended the University of Idaho earning a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Following the completion of her education, Erica relocated to California to gain engineering training before landing in the Pacific Northwest and beginning work with the City of Portland as the Assistant City Traffic Engineer. She's also previously worked for the City of Beaverton and in the private sector with OTAK. Erica became registered as a Professional Engineer in Oregon in 1990. 

An active member in the engineering community since college, Erica was the first female president of the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) student chapter at the University of Idaho. Early in her professional career, she was a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, where she became the first female president for the Oregon Chapter in 1995. Currently, Erica is a member of the ASCE, the American Water Works Association, and the American Public Works Association.

Looking ahead to the opportunity to serve on the Board, Erica said, “it feels good to be in a position of giving time and effort to the overall advancement of engineering as a profession and career. It will be an honor to be on the Board and assist with the future development of the engineering and land surveying professions in the State of Oregon."

Outside of work, Erica spends her time getting outdoors, kayaking and hiking, and considers herself a coffee enthusiast. The mother of three children, all of whom are grown and living across the country, she looks forward to getting to visit and see each of them in the future.

The OSBEELS is looking forward to having Erica participate on the Board and share her vast professional engineering experience.

Director's Corner

From the desk of Jason Barbee, Board Administrator & Agency Director

It’s official, the OSBEELS office will is reopening to the public beginning May1, 2022. As I stated in the last Examiner, we have adjusted our business operating structure and most staff are working a hybrid schedule, which includes both working from home and in the office. If you need to meet with a staff member in person, we are more than happy to accommodate your request.

Please contact the person you’d like to meet with for scheduling. Our contact information is available on our website within the staff directory section. If you aren’t sure who your agency contact should be, feel free to call our front desk (503-362-2666) and we will put you in touch with the right person.

Earlier this spring we received a kind email from Miss Martin and her girls’ STEM club from New Jersey thanking our agency for the free student resources available on our website. Miss Martin explained the online resources allowed her group of students to stay engaged during the pandemic and helped them prepare to resume in-person club meetings and activities.

One of the club members, Lizabeth, even submitted a resource recommendation that we were able to add to our resources page!
We’d like to remind our readers of the free public and student (K-12) resources available on the OSBEELS website.
Click this link to access these resources today.

Rule Reminder: Exams & License Application Process Decoupled

​Recently, the Board and agency staff have received questions  requesting clarification in regards to the OSBEELS’s application for professional registration process and whether applicants must gain experience and pass exams in a specific order. The answer to these questions is “no”. Because we’ve received so many inquiries, we are providing this reminder of the Board’s 2015 changes that decoupled the exam process.

Legislation was prompted by two occurrences; the first was the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), which is the national organization that examines applicants in these disciplines, shifted from administering paper-based professional examinations (practice based examinations) on a biannual basis to a year-round, computer-based test (CBT) rocess. The second was to bring the OSBEELS up to date with the national examination procedures and eliminate potential conflicts resulting from the NCEES’s and other examination administration changes.

Prior to these changes, individuals seeking professional licensure faced a two-application process. First, individuals were required to obtain the necessary qualifications to sit for the fundamental’s examination. Then, they were required to obtain additional qualifications to sit for the professional examination, and in this specific order.

With the passing of Senate Bill 297 during the 2015 Oregon State Legislative session, applicants are now able to obtain the necessary qualifications for registration, including sitting for the required examinations, in any order convenient to the  applicant without receiving prior approval from the Board, and prior to applying for licensure.

Despite these changes, submitting an “application” is still required for candidates to sit for an Oregon Specific examination, although this two-page form is solely to assist OSBEELS in making the necessary arrangements to administer those examinations. Once an individual obtains all the required qualifications for licensure, they may make a single application to the Board for professional registration.

Additionally, the rule change caused additional process changes within the agency including OSBEELS no longer requiring individuals become enrolled as an Intern prior to becoming professionally registered; however, an application for enrollment as an Engineering or Land Surveying Intern is still available to those who are interested.

We hope this article helps our registrants understand this significant agency procedural change that occurred in 2015. If you’re interested in learning more about the OSBEELS’s currently application process please visit the ‘Obtaining a License’ webpage on the Board website to review related rules and resources.

Director's Corner
From the desk of Jason Barbee, Board Administrator & Agency Director

You may recall that OSBEELS was scheduled to reopen to the general public on January 1, 2022. However, in mid-December, we were directed by the Governor’s office to remain closed to the general public due to the expected surge of new COVID cases, and no new reopen date was provided. While in the past, we did not receive very many visitors to our office, we did our best to make sure there was someone in the office that could help our customers if they did visit us in person. In this new world of working from home and office locations being closed to the general public, we needed to adjust how we provide services. To address this issue, we brainstormed and determined that to provide the best service to our customers, was to ensure all employees were available via telephone and email, regardless of where they were working on a particular day. In addition, if you feel like you need to meet with us in person, you can schedule an appointment with your agency contact and they will be sure to be in the office when you visit.  If you aren’t sure who your agency contact should be, feel free to call our front desk (503-362-2666) and we will put you in contact with the right person. 

On another note, some OSBEELS agency staff were able to attend the PLSO Annual meeting in person this year. Interestingly enough, in my almost 2.5 years here, I’ve only been able to attend two in-person conferences…and they have both been the PLSO Annual meeting. I was very impressed with the structure, the speakers, the topics and the atmosphere of the meeting. It was wonderful for us to be able to connect with professionals and students alike, and share with them some of the projects and outreach OSBEELS has been doing. If you haven’t ever attended one of the PLSO Annual meetings, I strongly suggest you consider in the future. Again, I hope to keep OSBEELS engaged and look forward to participating in these kind of events in the future.

As an agency, we look forward to the reopening of state offices to the public and future in-person engagements.

OSBEELS currently has vacancies on the Board and needs your expertise.
The OSBEELS is excited to announce that we are currently seeking to fill a vacant position on the Board! We are looking to fill the vacant position with an individual who is actively registered Professional Engineer. Additionally, the Board is encouraging individuals in uncommon fields of practice or with unique experience to apply.
Our Board is anticipating two (2) additional vacancies becoming available this summer. The openings will be for public member positions. Public members play an important role on the Board, as they offer a unique and important perspective as non-professional members. Our Board encourages individuals who have had exposure to or are passionate about the engineering or land surveying industries to consider applying!

As a Board member, you will have the opportunity to work alongside public and professional members, and agency staff, to license individuals, address questions from the professional community, and uphold the Board’s mission to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. The Board welcomes individuals from all areas of the state who meet the minimum experience requirements and desired professional designation to apply today!  

Interested in learning more about the application process and prerequisites? Visit the state boards and commissions’ website​.

If you are interested in applying or learning more about becoming an OSBEELS board member, please contact Board Administrator, Jason Barbee, at

Board Forms Task Force to Review PLS Licensure Requirements
This past year, the Board’s Examination Qualifications Committee (EQC) and agency staff conducted a review of the Board’s PLS education and experience requirements for licensure to determine whether current policies pose a barrier to licensure for new registrants. The review was prompted when agency staff identified despite offering many paths to licensure, in fact, there were only a few that appeared to be truly viable to applicants presently.   

Over the course of the summer, the staff, with guidance and input from the EQC, analyzed current rules and policies to identify any outdated pathways, met with land surveying industry stakeholders to gather preliminary feedback, and distributed surveys to groups from various professional and academic backgrounds to receive their input. The purpose of these activities was to identify any unintended barriers to licensure and to determine whether any alternate or additional pathways are possible while still maintaining current competency requirements. Throughout this process, the OSBEELS has been committed to involving the professional land surveying community and receiving their feedback.

At its January 2022 meeting, the Board reviewed proposed draft policy changes and formed the Land Surveying Qualifications Task Force, which is comprised of Board members who possess a PLS license.  The Task Force’s primary objective is to determine whether proposed rule changes adequately address previously identified issues and recommended policy changes.

As an initial step, the Task Force will be reaching out to industry stakeholders to receive feedback on the proposed policy changes and further develop proposed rule changes, as necessary. Following this, the Task Force will share proposed policy and rule changes with other Board Committees for consideration before re-sharing with industry stakeholders once more before presenting final recommendations to the Board.  

Once approve by the Board, the proposed rule language will enter into the state’s rule making process. As part of the process, public members will have the opportunity to provide public comment on the proposed changes.  

If you have any questions or would like more information about upcoming Task Force meetings, please contact the Board office by email at:​.

Professional Practices Committee Respond to Registrant Questions
During Professional Practices Committee meetings, held on months in-between regular Board meetings, the Committee members review and respond to questions submitted by the professional community. Recent questions pertained to the use of drones for collecting aerial imagery, what requirements individuals designing railroad signal systems must follow, and guidance on geoprofessional work.

The Committee reviewed and responded to a question submitted by a professor from Oregon State University’s Department of Crop and Soil Science regarding their planned collection of georeferenced aerial imagery via a drone. Specifically the study’s purpose was to test whether aerial imagery can be used to measure pest damage in a field and to use real-time kinematic (RTK) corrections so that positions in the imagery can be matched to corresponding ground locations for ground truth measurements. After reviewing the submitted question and the relevant laws, the Committee determined based on the information provided, it did not appear that the research project would define boundaries and, in accordance with ORS 672.002(7) and ORS 672.060(15), would be permissible without a surveyor’s license. 

The Committee reviewed a question regarding whether consultants working on designs for railroad signal systems need to comply with state requirements or federal requirements as part of the Interstate Commerce Act. The individual who submitted the question noted previously completed railroad signal projects were developed and stamped by an actively licensed Oregon PE. However, the design consultants they were currently working with on a new signal systems project, stated their belief that the engineering work is not required to be performed by an Oregon registrant per ORS 672.060, “activities not requiring registration”, due to the railroad being solely located on company-owned property and there is no impact on publicly used lands. 

After review, the Committee determined, based on the information provided, it appeared the signal systems could ultimately affect the health and safety of the public due to expected public use of the railway system. Because of this, the project did not appear to fall under the exceptions for activities that do not require registration, per ORS 672.060(2)(b).

The Committee reviewed a question submitted by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (ODLCD), regarding work they were conducting with Tillamook County to update the geologic hazards review section of their Land Use Codes. Specifically, the Committee was asked to describe according to OAR 820-020-0020, which allows Oregon PEs to “perform services only in the areas of their competence”, how professionals know they are “competent”? The Committee shared it is the responsibility of registrants to determine whether they are competent by education or experience in a specific area of professional engineering and that the Board generally does not offer any type of competence testing or certificates. The Board, however, does recognize if a professional engineer is especially qualified in geotechnical engineering, which means they passed the professional examination to hold that branch specialty. 

 The Board encourages all professional registrants to consistently review Oregon statutes and rules under the OSBEELS’ jurisdiction to ensure they are up-to-date on professional practice and conduct standards that may relate to their professional area of competence or services offered to the public. If you have any questions, please visit the Board website to submit a “Question for the Board” form​

The Role CWREs play in the Water Right Process
Certified Water Right Examiners (CWRE) play important roles in the water right process. Most water rights are obtained in a three-step process. The water user first must apply to the Oregon Water Resources  Department (Department) for a permit to use water. If a permit is approved, the applicant must construct a water system and begin using water within a certain time frame. Once the completion deadline is passed or the development is complete, one year later, a Claim of Beneficial Use (CBU) is due. 

One of the main functions of a CWRE is the preparation of CBU. A CBU is both a report and map that provide the extent that beneficial use was developed under a permit or a transfer. Included in the report is information concerning the system used to appropriate, deliver, and apply water for the use, as well as a description of how conditions included in the permit or the transfer were met. This report and associated map can be thought of as an “as-built” of the development. 

In addition, CWREs are required to prepare maps for several transfer related applications. The Transfer process is the process used to modify the location of the authorized point of diversion or appropriation, modify the authorized place of use, or to change the authorized character of use of a water right. Finally, many CWREs choose to assist their clients in the general navigation of the water right process. CWREs often act as consultants and assist their client in identifying water rights and the status of those rights, applying for new permits, Assignments, Extensions, and other activities to ensure their client’s interest is protected. 

To help keep the CWRE community informed regarding Department programs, rules and practices, the Department will be providing continuing education workshops this fall. Workshops are tentatively planned for October in LaGrande, Bend, Roseburg, and Salem. Registration information will be mailed in July to all current CWREs. If you have questions, please contact Leona Albin at 503-986-0818 or by email:​

In the meantime, the Department has updated the “Resources for Certified Water Right Examiners (CWRE)” page on our website to include Training Materials and Resources. Several presentations are currently available for viewing on such topics as Claims of Beneficial Use, Transfers, Assignments, the Interactive Mapper, the Platcard Utility, Allocations of Conserved Water and other topics. Many of these presentations also have PDFs of the presentation slides available for printing and note taking. 

The Department is awaiting final approval to hire five limited duration employees to assist in the review of Claims of Beneficial Use. If this project goes forward, you may notice an increase in correspondence regarding projects that you have worked on. The Department, as of January 15, 2022, has a backlog of 1100 CBUs needing review.

If you have had changes in your contact information, please be sure to sure to update your information with the Department. You can update your information through a link on the Resource page under “Other Resources”. If you need help with your username and password, please contact Gerry Clark at 503-979-9103 or by email: at

An additional reminder, please make sure your contact information is up-to-date with the OSBEELS. Registrants are able to easily review and update their information in the OSBEELS new system, MyOSBEELS, which is now accessible via the Board website at:

Administrator's Corner

​October 2021 marked my second year here at OSBEELS. While we have all faced challenges over the last few years, those challenges have provided opportunities for growth and change as well. For this article, I’d like to highlight some of the successes OSBEELS has had over the last few years.

Our biggest success has been replacing our ancient licensing system that was broken, preventing us from having a license lookup tool and requiring all initial applications and license renewals be submitted in paper. With the new online based system, MyOSBEELS, our registrants can interact with us from the convenience of their computer or mobile device.   

Even prior to the launch of our new system, we had made internal changes to our application and review processes that include simple and consistent procedures that had substantially reduced the lag time it took to process and issue licenses.  

Prior to 2020, our agency frequently fielded questions regarding the length of time it took Board Law Enforcement cases to reach resolution. Recognizing these concerns, we dedicated time and resources to improve in this area. With a fully staffed Regulations Department and revamped processes, our agency has been able to conduct investigations more efficiently in recent years. The result of these efforts is that we saw the average length of our investigations dropped well over 50%, which allowed us to completely resolve the case backlog.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic catching us all by surprise in early 2020, the pandemic provided our agency the opportunity shift several Board activities from in-person to virtual experiences. Two areas I would like to highlight include our annual Symposium and monthly Board meetings.

While there are distinct benefits of having our Symposium in-person, moving to a virtual platform made it easier and less expensive for folks to attend, especially those located out of state, while still providing top-notch presentations, as well as offering those oh so valuable continuing development hours.

Holding our monthly Board and Committee meetings virtually  has allowed the Board to continue to conduct core business functions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional benefits virtual meetings have afforded us include, reduced meeting expenses, easier public participation and more streamlined discussions.

These are just a few of the successes we’ve seen over these last two years. It is also important to note that none of these successes would have been made possible without the amazing employees here at OSBEELS. They are the “wizards behind the curtain” and have the great ideas for how to improve our internal processes and the customer experience.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a huge “Thank You” to our volunteer Board members as well. They put in the time and effort to provide guidance and make decisions for much of the work we do here. Their focus on improving the customer experience and removing barriers to licensure without reducing required competencies has been amazing. They are supportive of the changes and improvements we make and ensure that we are headed in the right direction.

Biennial Renewal Rates

​The OSBEELS recently completed the rulemaking process resulting in increased biennial renewal fees for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors effective the December 2021 renewal period. The increase to the biennial renewal fees is $40, raising the rates from $190 to $230. The biennial renewal rate for Certified Water Right Examiners will increase to $80.

The Board proposed the increases to allow the agency to operate in a manner where revenues are equal to its estimated operational expenses while maintaining an adequate reserve fund in case of emergency. The Board’s Finance Committee, in cooperation with agency administrators, projected the increase will help the Board remain in good financial standing for at least the next 6 to 8 years. The amount of the increase was determined through analysis of current fund balances, recent trends in industry and anticipated expense increases. The Board approved the change during its September meeting.

In the 2019-2021 biennium, the Board made investments to improve applicant and registrant services, such as the development of the new online database, MyOSBEELS. These investments may cause additional expenses in the short-term, but promise to lead to decreased operational expenses and improved registrant services long-term.

During the rulemaking process, the Board received comments from professional registrants and public members. The OSBEELS would like to take this opportunity to share a summary of comments received and details regarding related activities the agency has taken prior to making the decision to raise renewal fees.

The office received several comments regarding the amount our Board charges for renewal fees compared to other state Boards. As a semi-independent agency, the OSBEELS is self-funded and fully supported by its licensing and registration fees. The reason our fees are higher than some other Licensing Boards in other jurisdictions is that many of them operate in different ways that result in different need for fees. An example could be partial or full funding by their state’s general fund. Additionally, other jurisdictions may coordinate their licensing and registration services through larger, centralized departments that oversee the process for multiple professions while their respective state Board operates separately. The difference in funding and operations are what causes the difference in fees state-to-state.

Multiple submissions requested the Board first consider expense or staffing reductions before imposing any fee increases. These are valid concerns that were considered and action was taken on prior to increasing fees. The OSBEELS operates on a 2-year biennial financial cycle per state laws. The most recent biennium ended on June 30, 2021. Leading up to the end of the biennium, the agency conducted a number of financial reviews. These reviews resulted in reduced budgeted expenses to several non-registration-related areas of agency operations, including the Board office’s lease, printing and postage services, promotional items, and more. Additionally, over the last 2 years agency personnel has decreased by nearly 25%. Despite these reductions, overall expenses are projected to increase for the foreseeable future.

MyOSBEELS System Update

​As we march towards the end of 2021 we are excited to share that the agency’s new online system, MyOSBEELS, is up and running! Earlier this fall, we conducted a pilot period rolling out the new system to registrants who are up for renewal in December and new applicants. So far, the new system has been operating smoothly and we are excited to announce MyOSBEELS is now available for all registrants and future applicants!

Agency staff have been hard at work with our selected vendor, InLumon, to modernize our operational processes and develop a new integrated licensing and data management system.

Throughout the development of this system, we’ve focused on the user experience and creating seamless, efficient methods of information delivery. With the new system, we are excited to provide paperless processes, secure online payments, revamped online tools, and an easy-to-navigate account dashboard.
Moving forward, all applications for professional registration and registration renewals will be submitted and processed through MyOSBEELS. The new system portal is available online through the Board’s website.

In order to access MyOSBEELS you will need to register and verify your account in the new system. Registration is easy and can be completed within minutes.  If you are a current registrant or intern, the system has the ability to synchronize your existing license information with your new MyOSBEELS profile. During your account registration, the system will ask you to enter unique ID information in order for the system to identify you- such as your social security number or license number.

Although we are very excited for the launch of the new system – we’d like to ask for your patience with the roll out and enrollment period. Our agency staff have done their best to test all areas of the system, however, as with any new system launch; there will be some growing pains and a learning curve for all. We thank you for your patience over the last couple of years while we have navigated the transition to our new system.

Additionally, in this issue, there are Frequently Asked Questions related to MyOSBEELS, how to register, and how to complete online processes within the new system.


Q: How do I access MyOSBEELS?
A: Applicants and licensees seeking access to MyOSBEELS can visit the Board website at or the system portal at

Q: Do I need OSBEELS-issued credentials to register or access the MyOSBEELS system?
A: No, users will have the ability to enroll in the new system using their own email and personal information.

Q: Can I access MyOSBEELS on my mobile phone or tablet?
A: Yes, the system is mobile and tablet-friendly.

Q: Will I need to input all my license information into my profile?
A: Upon registering in the new system, a required field will ask you to enter your social security or license number, which will then link your profile to your license record.

Q: What can I do in MyOSBEELS?
A: The new system will allow individuals and registrants to complete a number of processes and applications online from their account. These include submitting application materials and payment directly within the application portal. Users will be able to register for state-specific exams, submit PDH documents, update their contact information, and more from the user dashboard.

Q: When will I be able to renew my license(s) through MyOSBEELS?
A: With the launch of MyOSBEELS, all registrants will now be able to renew and manage their license(s) online within the new system.

Q: How will I know if my license(s) is eligible for renewal?
A: Historically, your first indication may have been the courtesy notification that is mailed to your address of record on file with the Board. Our agency will continue to mail out those courtesy reminders via mail for the upcoming renewal period ending on December 31, 2021. Additionally, once you have created a profile, logged into MyOSBEELS, and linked your profile to all current licenses, an expiration date for each eligible license will be shown on your dashboard along with a button to renew each eligible license. Reminders are also emailed to users at 90, 60, and 30 days prior to their respective renewal deadline.

Q: What information will I need to have ready to renew my license(s) through MyOSBEELS?
A: You will need to have all the information you normally would to submit a paper-based application, your license information, PDH details, and your payment. However, with MyOSBEELS, users will be able to submit this information into the new system through an easy-to-use step-by-step application process. Additionally, users will be able to save unfinished applications and re-visit them later.

Q: What if I have more than one license?
A: MyOSBEELS will allow you to link to all your current licenses in good standing and allow you to renew each license as they become eligible for renewal.

Q: What if I have a license that is dependent upon another license to practice (Structural Engineer requires a Civil Engineer license)?
A: If you have a license that requires a “base license” (i.e., Civil Engineer), you will need to ensure that all your licenses are showing up in your profile before submitting a renewal. If you notice any license information missing from your profile, please contact the OSBEELS office at If all your license information is present, you should be able to renew your license from the user dashboard.

Q: What options do I have to pay for my license renewal(s)?
A: Once you have confirmed your contact information and chosen which license(s) you wish to renew, you will certify to that information and be presented with an option to process a payment by credit card, debit card or electronic check.
• If you choose credit card or debit card, you will enter the required card information and the payment will process online by electronic means.
• If you choose electronic check, you will enter the account number and routing number.
• If you need make payment cash or money order, please contact the Board office for guidance at

Q: How will I know that my application and payment was received?
A: Upon submittal, users return to their dashboard, where they can see the status of submitted applications via the activity tracker. Through the tracker, users are able to see what stage of the review process their application is current at with agency staff. Any submissions and results will also generate a notification from the system to your account’s email. Users are also able to view and print receipts for any online financial activity.

Q: Will registrants still receive a new wall certificate and pocket card by mail like previously?
A: Initial wall certificates suitable for framing will still be mailed to the preferred address on file. Updated electronic renewal certificates and pocket cards are automatically emailed to users in an easy-to-print format.  

Q: Will I have the option to select my preferred method to receive notifications?
A: While licensees are required to provide the Board with a physical address of record, and keep the Board informed of any changes to it, MyOSBEELS does offer users the option to identify their preferred method of contact, via email or phone.

OSBEELS 2021 Symposium Features Transformative Projects & Noteworthy Teams

Screenshot 2021-12-01 160839.png

The OSBEELS hosted its 11th annual Symposium on September 23-24. Similar to the 2020 event, the Board held the annual professional development conference virtually, welcoming over 700 participants who joined for the live and re-air events. The virtual format allowed industry professionals from across the country and internationally to tune into the event.

The 2021 OSBEELS Symposium brought together an outstanding lineup of speakers from across the western U.S. region. Over the course of the 2-day event, senior experts, department leaders, and project teams from nationally recognized firms, federal programs, and locally owned businesses came together to share ideas and insights about their work.

During the event’s opening remarks, Board President, Dr. Sean St.Clair, PE, and Board Administrator, Jason Barbee, welcomed attendees to the virtual event and shared details about their vision for the future of OSBEELS and services provided to registrants and the public.

Transformative structures were a topic of conversation throughout the first day, as the conference kicked off its program with a presentation from Brian Dickson, SE, of Magnusson Klemencic Associates on the complete replacement of the University of Oregon’s iconic Hayward Field track and field complex. Noting the new stadium was designed to provide fans with what Dickson described as, “a theater for track and field, while portraying a sense of motion in its design,” attendees were taken on a behind-the-scenes look at how Brian and his team achieved this noteworthy feat.

Later in the day, the conference welcomed a panel from David Evans and Associates, Inc., to share their insights about how they stretched the limits of what was possible during the design and construction of SoFi Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers. The team of experts shared the unprecedented engineering that was required to design the 3.1 million square-foot landmark that is just 500 yards from an active seismic fault and on the flight path to LAX airport.

The first day wrapped up with a presentation from Travis Smith, SE, who shared the structural evolution of Salem, Oregon’s North Salem High School. His presentation provided attendees a timeline of how the school’s building has transformed over its 85-year history and focused on recent additions and structural changes that resulted in new athletic facilities, class rooms, and student common-areas.

In-between these marvelous structural presentations, attendees heard from the United States’ Bureau of Land Management’s Cadastral Surveying program on the implementation of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act and also from Leonard Rydell, PE, PLS, CWRE on surveying projects he has come across in his career and how the practice is evolving. Additionally, the day’s program also featured a presentation from the City of Hillsboro, InPipe Energy, and Energy Trust of Oregon on a first-of-its-kind microhydropower energy project.

The second day kicked off with the event host and OSBEELS Communications Coordinator, Eric Engelson, providing attendees a sneak preview of the agency’s new registrant database, MyOSBEELS. Following this, the conference heard from a panel of speakers representing the City of Astoria and DOWL Engineering and Surveying on the transformation of the historic waterfront and bridge system in Astoria, Oregon. The team of experts shared details about their project journey and approach to developing the new waterfront bridges that feature American Disability Act compliance, multimodal transportation facilities supporting pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles, and rail users, and sustained local wildlife habitats.

Day two also featured presentations on the expansion project at Portland International Airport, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland district team, and fish passage and aquatic habitat reconnection projects completed by Melanie Klym, PE, RG, ENV SP and her team at GeoEngineers.

A panel comprised of professional engineers and land surveyors from public and private organizations shared how they worked together to develop the latest master planned community in Beaverton, OR. Representatives from OTAK, Standridge Engineering, and the City of Beaverton provided their unique perspectives and involvement in this project that required coordination from all members and local departments.

The OSBEELS would like to thank all who attended, presented, and helped to make this year’s Symposium a success. At this time, the Board and agency staff are actively planning for the 2022 event. We anticipate sharing more updates with registrants in the spring of 2022.

The OSBEELS Symposium is an annual event held in September and aims to bring professionals together for a day of professional education and networking.

If you are interested in attending future Symposiums or other OSBEELS-related events, follow us on Facebook and keep an eye out for future announcements in The Oregon Examiner.

New Leadership Elected for Board


During the Board’s May 2021 meeting, Dr. Sean St.Clair, PE was elected to serve as the Board President, effective July 1, 2021. Tim Fassbender, PLS, CWRE, was elected to serve as the Board’s Vice President. The nominations were held as a result of the previous Board President and Vice President leadership terms ending on June 30, 2021.

St.Clair joined the Board during the spring of 2017. Prior to becoming Board President, he served as the Board’s Vice President from 2019-2021.  St.Clair also chaired the Examinations & Qualifications Committee and served on the Joint Compliance Committee with the Geology Board of Examiners, Legislative Committee, Rules & Regulations Committee, and Professional Practices Committee.

St.Clair moved to Oregon in 2004 from Georgia where he was an instructor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and worked as a Structural Designer for Starzer, Brady, Fagan Associates. Currently he is a professor within the Civil Engineering Department at Oregon Tech, and was previously was the Department Chair for ten years.

St.Clair has spent time as a member of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying’s (NCEES) Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam Development Committee, FE Content Review Study Committee, and has authored sections of the FE Reference Handbook for NCEES. He is also currently a member of the NCEES Education Committee.
Vice President-elect, Fassbender joined the Board during the summer of 2019. During his time with the Board, Fassbender has chaired the Professional Practice Committee and the Legislative Committee and served on the Law Enforcement Committee, Rules & Regulations Committee, and the Oregon-Specific Exams Task Force.

Very active in his profession, Fassbender is the Chair of the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, a position he has held on four (4) separate occasions. He has also been awarded the “Surveyor of the Year” award two (2) times, in 1992 and 2019, by the organization. Recently retired, Fassbender was previously the City Surveyor for the City of Eugene.
A graduate of Oregon Tech, he initially gained employment with Orville Caswell in Eugene, OR before transitioning to a position with the Lane County Surveyor’s office. After serving 10 years with the Surveyor’s office, Fassbender returned to the private sector to form the firm of Ford-Ness-Fassbender. Following his partnership with Ford-Ness-Fassbender, Fassbender was hired by the City of Eugene as the City Surveyor, a position he held for over 19 years.

The OSBEELS would like to thank former President, Daren Cone, PE, PLS, for his excellent leadership. He will be continuing to serve as a valuable Board member.

Reflecting back on his term as Board President, Cone said, “I am excited that the OSBEELS will soon be launching a new database system to modernize the licensing and renewal processes and I would like to give praise to the staff at OSBEELS for keeping the core business functions of the agency going during the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Board Bids Farewell to Board Member Jason Kent


The Board would like to thank Jason Kent, PE, for his eight (8) years of service on the Board. First appointed in the fall of 2013, during his time with the Board, Kent served as the President of the Board from 2015-2017 and Chaired the Law Enforcement Committee in recent years. In addition to his Board leadership roles, Kent served on the Examinations and Qualifications and Rules and Regulations Committees, as well as the Digital Signatures Task Force and the Joint Compliance Committee with the Oregon Board of Geologist Examiners. Further, he’s also served as a Board representative on several committees with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering & Surveying (NCEES).  

Currently, Kent is a water resources engineer who serves as a Senior Consultant with Kleinschmidt Associates. Possessing over 20 years of experience in water resource engineering and as a project manager, he has conducted water resources projects in Oregon, the western United States, and Europe involving stream restoration, fish passage and deterrence, dam removal, fish habitat analysis, flood hazard mapping, and bridge and culvert design.     
Kent is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, where he has been active in his local chapter and the Environmental & Water Resources Institute. He is also actively licensed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.  
Reflecting on his time with the Board Kent said, “the most impactful action the Board took during my tenure was the retooling of the registration statutes and rules in 2015 and 2016, particularly SB 297 that simplified the registration rules and matched them with the updated NCEES testing procedures for FE, PE, FLS, and PLS examinations. The result is a registration process that is much easier to understand and follow”.

With his time on the Board behind him, Kent is looking forward to traveling more with his family post-pandemic and plans on remaining active as a professional engineer and helping advance the visibility of the profession in Oregon.      

“Jason Kent has been an invaluable member of the OSBEELS Board. He has provided tremendous leadership, and has been a model of what an active and passionate board member should be. We will greatly miss his contributions.” Said Board Administrator, Jason Barbee.

The Board and OSBEELS staff would like to thank Jason Kent for his dedication to improving the engineering, land surveying, and photogrammetric mapping professions and wish him the best in future endeavors. 

Administrator's Corner

​Well, it appears as though we’ve made it through the pandemic. As of June 30th, the statewide mask mandate is a thing of the past and we are all able to begin transitioning to whatever the new normal will be. Even with the end of the mask mandate, many state agencies, including OSBEELS, will remain closed to the public until September 1st, 2021. Of course, you can always call or email us if you need assistance.

For the last couple of Examiners, you’ve been receiving updates on our new system, MyOSBEELS, that we had hoped to launch in the first half of 2021. Unfortunately, this project has been delayed by a number of items (like many things during the past 16 months) such as the pandemic, severe weather interruptions, reduced resource availability and employee turnover. These events have caused us to push our launch date into later this summer to early fall. While we all know that anytime a new system is launched there are bound to be unforeseen issues, we want to make sure you know that we are taking plenty of time to test the system before we launch to minimize those issues.

So rest assured we are continuing to work very hard to get this new system up and running to better serve you! Keep an eye out for announcements in the coming weeks regarding an official launch date and additional information about the new online system.

Oregon Tech Geomatics Program Receives NCEES Award for Fifth Consecutive Year

​Each year, with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic, the NCEES issues annual awards to recognized programs that best reflect the organization’s mission to advance licensure for surveyors in order to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

In June, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) announced the recipients of the 2021 Surveying Education Award. For the fifth year in a row, Oregon Tech’s Geomatics program was among the recipients.
Oregon Tech was one of seven college programs from across the country to receive the annual award, and the only program representing the Northwest.

In addition to the award, the NCEES also donated $10,000 to Oregon Tech to assist with the program’s continued efforts to promote the value of licensure in the land surveying profession. The award committee selected the University of Maine School of Engineering Technology program to receive this year’s grand prize.

Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon Tech’s Geomatics program offers students four-year degrees in Surveying and Geographic Information Systems. While completing their coursework, students in the Geomatics program are able to gain valuable land surveying experience through hands-on fieldwork that prepares them for employment and licensure as professional land surveyors.

Board Offers Opinion on Bathymetric Surveying

​Authored by: Tim Fassbender, PLS, CWRE, Board Member

Periodically, the Board is asked whether bathymetric surveying is the practice of land surveying, requiring a Professional Land Surveyor’s license or Professional Engineer’s license.  Using bathymetry is not, in and of itself, the practice of a licensed profession. Instead, bathymetric mapping is a tool, which can be used for activities that require licensure, and for activities that do not require licensure. Whether the surveying done with bathymetry requires OSBEELS depends on whether it falls within the statutes defining the practices of licensed surveying, and whether it then falls within a statutory exemption from licensure.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may explain it best:
Bathymetry is the study of the “beds” or “floors” of water bodies, including the ocean, rivers, streams, and lakes. The term “bathymetry”…has [generally] come to mean “submarine topography,” or the depths and shapes of underwater terrain. In the same way that topographic maps represent the three-dimensional features (or relief) of overland terrain, bathymetric maps illustrate the land that lies underwater.

Surveying under PE Registration
Under OSBEELS’s laws, using bathymetry to perform surveying:

  • To determine area or topography;
  • To establish lines, grades or elevations, or to determine or estimate quantities of materials¹  required, removed or in place; or
  • Required for design and construction layout of engineering and architectural infrastructure,

all requires the individual surveying to be a licensed Professional Engineer (see ORS 672.005(1)(c) to (f)).

Surveying under PLS Registration
Subsection (2) of the law, ORS 672.005, also describes the type of bathymetric surveying work which only a licensed Professional Land Surveyor may undertake, which includes:
(2) “Practice of land surveying” means doing any of the following
(a) Providing or offering to provide for others professional services that…involve:
(A) The making of geometric measurements and gathering of related information pertaining to:
(i) The physical or legal features of the earth;
(ii) Improvements on the earth; or
(iii) The space  above or below the earth; or
(B) The development of measurements and information described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph into graphics, data, maps, plans, reports, descriptions, projects or other survey products.
(b) Performing geodetic surveys [marine geodesy] for others.
(c) Establishing, reestablishing or replacing boundaries or geodetic control monuments or reference  points.
(d) Locating, relocating, establishing, reestablishing or retracing any property lines or boundaries for any tract of [underwater] land… or [“bed or bank”] easement.
(e) Making any survey for the division or subdivision of a tract of land or for the consolidation of tracts of land.
(f) Locating and laying out for others alignments, positions or elevations for the construction of fixed works.
(g) Performing or offering to perform for others any investigation, interpretation or evaluation of, or any consultation about, any of the services described in paragraphs (a) to (f) of this subsection.
(h) Collecting, preparing, manipulating or modifying data related to activities described in paragraphs (a) to (f) of this subsection for others, other than acting as a scrivener.
(j) Making surveys that involve horizontal or vertical mapping control or geodetic control.

However, even if someone is using bathymetry to engage in one of the activities listed above, those activities will not require OSBEELS licensure if they fall under one of the below 18 subsections contained within ORS 672.060, activities not requiring registration.
ORS 672.060(1)
ORS 672.060(2)
ORS 672.060(3)
ORS 672.060(4)
ORS 672.060(5)
ORS 672.060(10)
ORS 672.060(11)
ORS 672.060(12)
ORS 672.060(13)
ORS 672.060(14)
ORS 672.060(16)
ORS 672.060(17)
ORS 672.060(18)
ORS 672.060(19)
ORS 672.060(20)
ORS 672.060(21)
ORS 672.060(22)
ORS 672.060(23)

Discussion Examples
One example previously discussed by the Board of how licensed surveying and exempted surveying can connect in the world of bathymetry was that of using bathymetric surveying to find underwater marine craft or sunken treasure. The Board members opined that, if bathymetric surveying was used to find a sunken ship or sunken treasure, it appeared to fall under the “depicting the distribution of natural or cultural resources, features or phenomena” exemption of ORS 672.060(18), and no OSBEELS license would be required. However, if bathymetric surveying was used to determine who owned the seabed, riverbed, or lake-bed property on which the ship or treasure rested, the exemption would not apply, and the law likely requires a PLS license.

Similarly, if a Professional Land Surveyor and a Professional Engineer were in a boat crossing a river and taking soundings to find the deepest part of the river for the best fishing spot, then their activity may fall under the exemption of ORS 672.060, and it would seem likely neither of them would need to be licensed to locate that spot in the river.  However, if the Professional Engineer used bathymetry to gather information on the riverbed topography to design a bridge for a municipal client, then no exemption appears to apply. And it is likely the Professional Engineer would need to stamp the bathymetric topo map they produced. If the Professional Land Surveyor used bathymetry to determine the thread of the river, itself used to determine the boundary location between the two land owners of both sides of the river then – again – no statutory exemption appears to apply and the Professional Land Surveyor would need to prepare a map showing the information and location, stamped by the Professional Land Surveyor.  

In conclusion, the activities surrounding Bathymetry can be confusing to the lay person and a point of argument between Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors. The Oregon Revised Statutes defining the gathering and use of information for either engineering or land surveying are clear. The confusion comes when separating bathymetric mapping activity from the purpose or use of that bathymetry. It is not bathymetry itself that requires licensure. Instead, licensure is required when the use or purpose of the bathymetric mapping requires professional registration, and determines which type of registration that is (e.g., if used for determining the location of any type of property boundaries or ownership -- then the law typically requires the gathering, mapping and determination to be performed by, or under the direct supervision of, a licensed Professional Land Surveyor).

¹ Note: the OSBEELS has not yet formally addressed the question of
whether water is a “material” within the meaning of this section of law.

Land Surveying Best Practices: The “Approximate Corner”

Authored by: Tim Fassbender, PLS, CWRE, Board Member

For the purpose of these best practice recommendations, an “approximate corner” is an unofficial property marker set by a Professional Land Surveyor. Approximate corners are sometimes used for things like estimating construction of utilities during subdivision development or when a property owner wants to know how much room they have for landscaping purposes, etc. While land surveyors may have a good reason for setting these approximate corners, it can be confusing and damaging to property owners. This issue has been discussed in the land surveying community for decades. However, the public is not educated on the guidelines and laws that govern land surveying, and often do not understand just how “off-the-record” approximate corners are.
Best Practice Recommendation
A best practice is for Professional Land Surveyors to approach the setting of approximate corners the same way you set true corners. Take all the actions involved in making a survey that establishes a boundary corner.

The Good
Typically, when property owners hire a land surveyor to find their property corner, they depend on the land surveyor to do the necessary work to correctly locate the corner.

The Bad
However, sometimes property owners hire a land surveyor and then tell that land surveyor to simply “look for our corners so we know where they are.” This is often when an approximate corner is set. Under this second scenario, perhaps the land surveyor does not find a monument in the search location, and inserts a lath or hangs flagging at the location, for the property owner to see where the search area was and where their property corner was preliminarily located. The property owner may then decide not to pay the costs of a survey to complete the work and officially set the corners. At that point, the work stops, but the landowner believes that what the land surveyor left behind (the marker that says, “approximate corner,” flag, hub, etc.) is or has matured into their property corner.  

The Ugly
Even when a land surveyor is locating approximate corners for good reasons (e.g., to prepare for construction that will ultimately destroy any monuments set, estimating for subdivision utilities, etc.) leaving behind a marker for the approximate corner can lead the landowner to believe their corner has been established. Then the situation comes to OSBEELS attention because a neighbor hires a land surveyor to execute a true boundary survey and finds the approximate corner in gross error, resulting in a heated discussion with the neighbor, litigation, and sometimes law enforcement or worse.

To avoid the “ugly” side of surveying, and to avoid the possibility of an OSBEELS investigation, it is best to practice diligently and prudently, and avoid the trap of the “approximate corner.”

Rule Updates

​The following rules have completed the rulemaking process and been approved for permanent rulemaking by the Board at recent meetings. The purpose of sharing these updates is to ensure registrants are aware of updated rules and practicing in a lawful manner. Visit the OSBEELS website for more information on the Board’s rulemaking process and the statutes and rules within the Board’s jurisdiction.

More detailed discussions on these rule changes can be found within the minutes of recent Board and Committee meetings.

OAR 820-010-1010
The purpose of the revisions to OAR 820-010-1010 were to clarify how to apply for the Forest Engineering examination and also to allow the Board to change or cancel an Oregon specific engineering examination administration due to a natural disaster, an emergency declaration, or at the Board’s discretion.

OAR 820-010-1020
Amendments to OAR 820-010-1020, education and experience requirements for registration as a professional engineer, were included within subsections (1), (5), and (6). Within subsection (1), amendments pertain to including a baccalaureate of engineering degree from a program recognized under the Bilateral Agreement between Engineers Canada and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as qualifying education. The proposed changes to subsection (5) updates the language regarding the NCEES Education Standard and allows an applicant, who possesses a non-ABET accredited degree and had a NCEES Credentials Evaluation that was determined to be equivalent, to qualify with four years of experience.. The proposed changes to subsection (6) allows applicants, who possess a non-ABET accredited degree and who had a NCEES Credential Evaluation that was determined to not be equivalent, to substitute professional experience when they are lacking the minimal education qualifications.

OAR 820-020-0045
The purpose of revisions to OAR 820-020-0045, obligation to not to engage in unprofessional behavior, was to provide additional definitions and clarifications of professional conduct for professional registrants. Amendments includes the addition of “, or any other person with whom the registrant interacts in a professional capacity” within subsections (1) and (2).

OAR 820-050-0010
Amendments to OAR 820-050-0010, Certified Water Right Examiner continuing professional development requirements, eliminate the “grace period” language within the rule because it is no longer offered to registrants. The amendments remove subsection (2) & (3) from the rule.

Administrator’s Corner

​Providing good customer service is a core value of mine. It doesn’t matter where we work, what we do, or who we serve, we all should treat each other with respect and kindness. A key aspect of customer service is understanding what matters most to your customers, and then doing what you can to provide them those services while delivering an enjoyable experience. At the OSBEELS, customer service is a focal point for all of our staff.

With that in mind, this year we sent our annual Customer Service Survey to all of our licensees asking for feedback on how well we are serving you, and what else we could do to provide better service. We asked participants to rate their experiences interacting with the Board and staff members in several areas of service provided by the agency on a scale of 1-4, in which “1” did not meet their expectations and “4” was exceptional. We received over 3,050 responses and were very pleased to gather such valuable feedback from you, our customers.

While the 1 to 4 ratings are important to provide a high-level overview of customer satisfaction, it is the individual written responses submitted by our licensees that provide us the most valuable insights as to what we can be doing better. A number of us, including myself, read every comment submitted to gather information about our customer’s experiences beyond what is captured within the rating scales. From those comments, a single theme rose to the top, which was asking us to modernize our systems from paper-based processes to offer online services.

I’m happy to say that we’ve heard your concerns and are excited to share that electronic services will be a primary function of our new system, MyOSBEELS, which will convert our existing paper-based processes to a purely online system. Scheduled to launch this summer, we’re looking forward to sharing more details about the new system with our customers in this issue of the Oregon Examiner and on our agency website.
Some results of our annual Customer Service Survey are included below.



Become a Building Codes Division Electrical Engineer

BCD job posting 021821.jpg

The Building Codes Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services is searching for an Electrical Engineer.

This position will serve as division’s electrical engineering expert and key electrical engineering advisor relative to the branch of engineering that deals with the technology of electricity.

For additional details, please visit:

OSBEELS Symposium Goes Virtual, Welcomes Largest Attendance Yet

​The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) hosted the tenth annual professional Symposium on September 24-25. Like many gatherings in 2020, the Board began the year planning for an in-person event and then, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, was tasked with transitioning the event to a virtual format. Thanks to tremendous event planning by staff, in addition to support from the Board, the transition was successful and the result was the highest attended Symposium to-date, as more than 430 individuals joined the virtual event from across the country.

With the transition to a virtual event, the OSBEELS determined expanding the annual professional education conference to two days would be necessary to maintain the amount of content provided to attendees in a normal year. With two days of content available, full-time attendees were eligible to earn 14 PDHs for their participation.

In their opening remarks, Board President, Daren Cone, PLS, PE, and Board Administrator, Jason Barbee, welcomed attendees to the virtual event and shared details about the (then) current openings with the Board.

The two-day program kicked off with a presentation from Cornforth Consultants’ Tom Westover, PE, on landslide trends across Oregon and how his team works to investigate, evaluate, and mitigate landslides across the Northwest region. Day 2 featured an opening presentation from PAE’s Marc Brune, PE, and ZGF’s Justin Brooks, AIA, on the PAE Living Building, which will be the world’s largest commercial-use living building once construction is complete in 2021.

Experts from the private and public sectors, academic universities, and the OSBEELS presented on projects ranging from designing communities for wildfire resilience, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Coast Survey, hydrographic surveying, Portland State University’s Viking Pavilion renovation, electronic and digital signatures, and more!

The OSBEELS would like to thank all who attended, presented, and helped to make this year’s Symposium a success. At this time, the Board and agency staff are actively planning for an in-person or virtual event in 2021. We anticipate sharing more updates with registrants in the spring of 2021.

The OSBEELS Symposium is an annual event in September that aims to bring professionals from across the region together for a day of professional education and connections.

If you’re interested in attending future Symposiums or other OSBEELS-related events, follow us on Facebook and keep an eye out for future announcements in The Oregon Examiner.

Administrator’s Corner

​It’s safe to assume that we are collectively looking forward to what the prospects of 2021 will be. For OSBEELS, 2021 will hold many challenges and opportunities, but the most prominent and exciting prospect is the launching of our new system in the spring of 2021. As you recall, we’ve been working with our vendor since July in preparation of replacing our existing database system with a web-based licensing and regulation solution that will make it much easier for us to serve our licensees. Some of the key features will be online payment, online applications and online renewals. These features will save time and effort while significantly reducing the use of paper. In addition, because you’ll be interacting with us online, we’ll be transitioning the Examiner to a digital format.   
On the not-so-positive side of things to come. It is very likely that our agency will remain closed to the public as 2021 begins. This will also likely mean that our Board and Committee meetings will remain virtual until sometime later this year.

Regardless if we’re able to see you in person or you need to work with us remotely, our goal is to provide excellent customer service.

Once last thing, I’d like to welcome Massoud Saberian and Darryl Anderson as new OSBEELS Board Members.

System Modernization Project

​By now you may have heard that our agency has undertaken updating our registrant database system. With our current database entering the end of its product lifecycle, agency staff have been working hand-in-hand with our selected vendor to develop a new database system that will provide state registrants with an enhanced, online OSBEELS experience. As we continue to make great strides with the development of our new system, our agency wanted to provide registrants with an update on where we are at in the process and what is coming up.

In the coming months, registrants can expect to learn more about the new system and processes, what will be needed to enroll in the new system, and how their interactions with the Board may be different moving forward.

Our plan at this time is to roll out the new system to all registrants in May 2021. Keep an eye out for upcoming communications sharing more details in the next couple of months!


Board Welcomes New Members


Mr. Massoud Saberian, PE, PTOE, and Mr. Darryl Anderson, PE, PLS, CWRE, D.GE, were appointed by Governor Kate Brown to the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) as of December 2020.

Mr. Saberian brings more than 40 years of engineering experience to the Board, working in both the public and private sectors in Oregon, California, and Washington. Now semi-retired, Mr. Saberian owns his own engineering consulting business, ETRC, LLC, which provides expert witness services in transportation engineering cases, as well as roadway safety analysis, and pavement management consulting services. Mr. Saberian is a registered professional engineer in Oregon, Washington, and California and also holds a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer designation from the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

An Oregon State University alumni, Mr. Saberian earned his undergraduate degree in Civil and Structural Engineering and his Master’s Degree in Civil and Transportation Engineering. An Iranian immigrant, Mr. Saberian first moved to Oregon in 1978 and has enjoyed being involved in local organizations to give back to the communities he has lived and worked in. He has been involved in, and held leadership positions, with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the Oregon Traffic Control Devices Committee, the Oregon Commission on Asian Affairs, and the Iranian-American Professional Society of Oregon, and much more.

When asked what he is most excited about as he prepares to begin his term on the Board, Mr. Saberian stated, “I am excited to continue my professional career by giving back to the profession and the industry that has provided me with many great opportunities over four decades.”

Outside of work, Mr. Saberian enjoys photography and the outdoors and has tried to pick-up gardening and reading musical notes in his spare time during the current pandemic. He also became a grandfather this past year.  
Mr. Anderson is the President of Anderson Engineering & Surveying, Inc., which he started with his father. Serving primarily the southern Oregon region, the firm provides civil engineering, land surveying, municipal water and wastewater design, ODOT bridge inspection services, geothermal energy development, and a variety of other engineering projects for both public and private clients. Mr. Anderson is also the County Surveyor for Lake County in southern Oregon.

Holding professional designations in multiple states across the western region of the United States, Mr. Anderson is currently a Professional Engineer, Professional Land Surveyor, Geotechnical Engineer, and Certified Water Right Examiner in the state of Oregon. He is also a Certified Bridge Inspector with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Mr. Anderson earned his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the Oregon Institute of Technology. He is also a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Oregon, ACEC Oregon Small Firm Council, American Society of Civil Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon, and Professional Engineers of Oregon.

Having grown up and spent a majority of his professional career in Lakeview, OR, Mr. Anderson has had the opportunity to work on my diverse projects over the course of his career, including working for Engineering Ministries on projects in Uganda and Nicaragua.

Looking ahead to his upcoming term on the Board, Mr. Anderson is most excited about leveraging his experience in the public and private sectors to offer ideas to help keep the professions strong and moving forward.

Outside of work, Mr. Anderson lives on a ranch and spends most of his spare time working around his property.

Professional Practices Committee Responds to Registrant Questions

​During Professional Practices Committee meetings, held on months in-between regular Board meetings, the members review and respond to questions submitted by the professional community. Recent questions pertained to local jurisdiction policies vs OSBEELS laws and rules for submitting project documents to permitting offices.

The question reviewed by the Committee was regarding whether or not professional registrants are required to adhere to local jurisdiction’s plan submittal policies if they differ from the Board’s rules and laws. The Committee reviewed and discussed the submitted question and confirmed that local jurisdictions may have local policies in-place, that are in addition to state regulations but they are not allowed to have local policies that reduce state requirements. In instances where a local jurisdiction may have submittal policies that differ from statewide regulations, the Board encourages professional registrants to reach out the local offices to confirm their policies and expectations.

The Board encourages all professional registrants to consistently review Oregon statutes and rules under the OSBEELS’ jurisdiction to ensure they are up-to-date on professional practice and conduct standards that may relate to their professional area of competence or services offered to the public. If you have any questions, please visit the Board website to submit a “Question for the Board” form.

Administrator's Corner

When I began my role as the Board Administrator for the OSBEELS last October, one of my top priorities was to find a solution to fixing our old and antiquated licensing system. Over the last six months, I’ve asked for feedback from our licensees, other licensing agencies, our staff and our Board to help identify what functionality everyone would want in a new system. The feedback I received was very consistent, direct and reasonable; the expectation is that our customers want to interact with us electronically. ​

I’m extremely excited to announce that we’ve hired a vendor to bring OSBEELS into the 21st century. The expectation is that we will have an online portal that will allow our customers to do almost everything online with an intuitive web-based system.
Our agency’s targeted timeline would have licensing, renewals, license lookup, payments and exam registrations, and other online system tools up and running early next spring. I know it sounds like that is a long time away, but for a system of this size, it’s actually a very aggressive implementation schedule.

Of course, with any kind of system replacement, there’s going to be some bumps and bruises for both our staff and our customers, but I promise these short-term pains will be worth the long-term rewards. Please have patience with us as we focus our effort over the next eight or so months to transition from our old database to the new licensing system.

Also, please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or feedback at While we have some legal limitations on what can be changed, I’m always open to hearing ideas on what could make our processes easier to understand and comply with.