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OSBEELS News

Administrator's Corner
12/1/2021

​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
12/1/2021

​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
12/1/2021

​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.

FAQs About MyOSBEELS

Q: How do I access MyOSBEELS?
A: Applicants and licensees seeking access to MyOSBEELS can visit the Board website at www.Oregon.gov/OSBEELS or the system portal at https://online.myosbeels.org

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 OSBEELS.Info@osbeels.oregon.gov. 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
OSBEELS.Renewals@OSBEELS.oregon.gov

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
12/1/2021

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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
8/4/2021

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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
8/4/2021

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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. 

 

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