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OSBEELS News

Board Welcomes New Member Erica Rooney
6/17/2022

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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
5/11/2022

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
5/11/2022

​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
2/14/2022
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.
2/14/2022
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 Jason.Barbee@osbeels.oregon.gov


Board Forms Task Force to Review PLS Licensure Requirements
2/14/2022
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: OSBEELS.Info@OSBEELS.oregon.gov​.