Remember this story from earlier this summer?
According to Oregon Live, "A state panel violated a Beaverton man's free speech rights by claiming he had unlawfully
used the title 'engineer' and by fining him when he repeatedly challenged Oregon's traffic-signal
timing before local media and policymakers, Oregon's attorney general has ruled." From the report:
Oregon's Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying unconstitutionally applied state law governing engineering practice to Mats Jarlstrom when he exercised his free speech about traffic lights and described himself as an engineer
since he was doing so "in a noncommercial'' setting and not soliciting professional business, the state Department of Justice has conceded. "We have admitted to violating Mr. Jarlstrom's rights,'' said Christina L. Beatty-Walters, senior assistant attorney
general, in federal court Monday. The state's regulation of Jarlstrom under engineering practice law "was not narrowly tailored to any compelling state interests,'' she wrote in court papers. The state has pledged
the board will not pursue the Beaverton man any further when he's not acting in a commercial or professional manner, and on Monday urged a federal judge to dismiss the case. The state also sent a $500 check to Jarlstrom in August, reimbursing him for the
This, from slashdot.org this morning.
Long story short, an engineer isn’t an Engineer isn’t an $$Engineer™$$ .
- Jesse Diller
IT Director, Strong Tower Christian Media
WEEC 100.7FM / WFCJ 93.7FM
From: Lamar Owen [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 8:29 PM
Subject: Re: [CRTech] Am I an Engineer? Or just an Impostor? (
On 05/01/2017 02:49 PM, Sherrod Munday wrote:
> Now, whoa -- be careful, there, Lamar... unless you hold a Professional Engineering title and are registered in the state of
> Oregon, you better not write that phrase. You might get fined.
Well, I'm in North Carolina, and the case law precedent established by BOARD OF REGISTRATION v. IBM (31 N.C.App. 599, 601 (N.C. Ct. App. 1976)) is pretty clear. You can read the text of the Appeals Court ruling at
In short, IBM employee Kenneth Furr had the job title 'Customer Engineer' as did many other IBM employees. The NC State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors brought a civil action seeking to enjoin IBM
and Mr. Furr from using that title or the word 'engineer' anywhere in the title. The lower court found for the Defendants IBM and Mr. Furr, and the finding was upheld on Plaintiff's appeal. The ruling is very common-sense and is pretty clear reading.
I'm not claiming to be a 'professional engineer' nor do I offer to 'practice engineering' as defined by NC General Statute. For that matter I don't use the word 'engineer' in my current job title....
But your point is well-taken, and were I in another state the case law would be different and I might not have written what I wrote. I certainly would not say that in Oregon at this point in time, nor would I use an ieee.org or sbe.org
email address there lest it be misconstrued.... ;-)
Now here I am getting all technical again, Sherrod. :-) That's one of my strongest weaknesses. I am interested in seeing what other jurisdictions say about the use of the word 'engineer' outside the Professional Engineering profession.
SBE and IEEE probably both have FAQ's about this somewhere.
I've commented on you LinkedIn post; very insightful, as always.
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