Achieve the Extraordinary

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You have achieved a lot in your career as an engineer, but you know that you are capable of more. Getting your P.E. license will open up a world of possibilities for you to achieve the extraordinary. And we can help you make those possibilities a reality with our 20-Week Reviews for the Civil and Mechanical PE Exams and our comprehensive plan to prepare you to pass the exam.

Professional Engineers are changing our world for the better every day with amazing achievements. We can’t wait to see what you will do with your PE!

Dr. Tom’s Classroom – Achieve the Extraordinary

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Dr. Tom’s Story

What does it mean to be a PE? I’m sure that’s different for every engineer, but on some level, I believe there is a common feeling that all Professional Engineers share. Not all of us will use our PE licenses in an engineering practice capacity, I certainly haven’t, but we all have a feeling of pride in our accomplishment and a sense that we have unlocked a door on our potential to achieve extraordinary things.
I have been helping people obtain their PE license through various review courses for so long that it is hard to remember when the PE process was not central to my role in the engineering profession, but I think I first heard the term “PE” when I was in my first job at Scientific-Atlanta in the mid 1970s. That company, and the others I worked for in my early career, had large groups of engineers with only the supervisor being a PE. I left the corporate world in 1981 to pursue my Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and teach at NC State, and even there only a couple of the thirty or so faculty had their PE.

But it was at NC State that I began teaching parts of the FE and PE Exam reviews offered there, and discovered the importance of professional licensure. Even though it wasn’t until after I finished my Ph.D. in 1989 that I took and passed both the FE and PE Exams, I can tell you that there was no prouder moment than to receive the certificate in the mail. Yes, ten years working on my Ph.D. was the culmination of many years of sacrifice, however becoming a PE said something about my relationship with others who had earned their PE. The feeling is almost indescribable. It is one of my most proud accomplishments. Over the mantle of our fireplace, my wife has framed my BS, MS, and Ph.D. diplomas. Above them, however, is my PE certificate.

Getting my PE was the key that made Dr. Tom’s Classroom possible and gave me my opportunity to achieve the extraordinary. Every day I get to help others do the same by helping them get their PE with our Mechanical and Civil PE Exam reviews. Then I see how it improves their lives – allowing them to start their own business, get their dream job, or develop something brand new to improve our world. When they pass the exam, we celebrate with them in “achieving the extraordinary” because they have and they will.
– Dr. Tom

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Daniel Findley’s Story

Transportation and engineering played a significant role in my career and my grandfather’s career. My maternal grandfather, Frank Greenberger, was a PE and graduated from Purdue University in 1948 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and 1950 with an MS in Industrial Engineering. He spent most of his working career with GE at the Transportation Technology Center in Erie, Pennsylvania. He was passionate about trains and his work included developing locomotives for GE. He assisted with the design of one of the buildings in Erie and was given a drawing of the mural that was painted in the facility.

The drawing now hangs proudly in my office and represents the legacy of engineer throughout history and highlights many of the modes of transportation that I’ve been involved with, including rail, aviation, and roads. It reminds me of the long and important legacy of transportation engineering, the role that engineers play in improving society, the debt we owe to previous generations of engineers, and the responsibility we have for future Professional Engineers. – Dr. Daniel Findley, DTC Civil Transportation Instructor.

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Beth Sciaudone’s Story

When I first started working as a consulting engineer, I was nonplussed that my title was “Coastal Scientist” – after all, I had spent over 8 years studying engineering – couldn’t that be my title? It turns out that I could only be called a “Coastal Engineer” once I had obtained my P.E. license.

Well, I got down to business researching when I could take the exam. With other work experience and my Ph.D. in hand, it turned out that I only had to wait about two years before I was eligible to sit for the exam. I started studying (and let me tell you – I wish Dr. Tom’s method had been around back when I was sitting down every week working through the CERM!) to get ready to take the exam in April of 2004.

When exam day arrived, I was about 4 months pregnant, which made that year doubly exciting, as my first daughter was born right after I found out that I passed.

I was so proud to order my new business cards with “Engineer” as my title, and I got a raise to boot! I left those old business cards behind in the recycling bin. I’m proud to be a role model for my daughters, who know that they too can achieve whatever they set their minds to. – Beth Sciaudone, DTC Civil Water Resources & Environmental Instructor

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Mike Batten’s Story

Becoming a Professional Engineer has enabled me to participate in a number of extraordinary projects throughout my career. These range from as simple as performing the foundation design for a local university parking deck to as complicated as performing foundation design and oversight on the replacement of the Bonner Bridge in North Carolina and replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York. I’ve personally driven over these bridges multiple times, and I have friends and relatives that drive them on a regular basis and always comment on construction progress, and how magnificent these structures actually are. Without becoming a Professional Engineer, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to participate in such extraordinary engineering projects. My PE registration has given me a chance to make a positive impact on the public and has given me great stories that I can share with my children. – Mike Batten, PE, DTC Civil Geotechnical Instructor

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Shannon Warchol’s Story

As an academic researcher, using my PE seal is rare, usually reserved for when I’m trying to recall my license number to record PDHs. Yet having that designation has still allowed me to achieve great personal fulfillment. Researchers can become so focused on specific questions that we often miss or forget the larger picture. Preparing for, and passing, the PE has provided tremendous personal confidence, reminding me that although my daily work may be highly specialized, I still have the ability to relearn, recall, and understand the general knowledge that underlies our field. Professionally, holding a PE designation is critical as a young professional. Most of my clients are practicing engineers. Having my license brings a sense of commonality and understanding when I walk into a room to present findings. The PE designation is about so much more than the seal – it is about the personal and professional respect from and for all others whom you encounter. 

Shannon Warchol, PE, DTC Civil Structural Instructor

ACHIEVE THE EXTRAORDINARY – Jason Savage’s Story

Becoming a licensed PE has opened doors for me, both personally and professionally, beyond what I could have ever imagined as a college student 15 years ago. Honestly, becoming a PE all started by being in the right place at the right time. 

As a junior in college, I just happened to be in the Civil Engineering building one evening and noticed a line forming in the lobby. I asked what was going on and found out it was a line to sign up to take the FE exam. I had not strongly considered pursuing my PE license, but after some discussion among my closest friends, we all decided to sign up for the FE. We were planning to work in construction, most likely vertical construction or roadways, and saw PE as just a couple initials behind our name, but what the heck? I passed the FE on the first try, graduated college, and started working in vertical construction. 

Even as a young EI working in construction, I had not totally grasped the value of PE licensure in construction. After about 6 months of working full time, I had run into several PEs on the project site and soon realized the value PE licensure offered. I worked in vertical construction for about a year before the economy took a downturn, and I then started my career as a construction administrator for an engineering firm, focusing on water and wastewater engineering and construction. 

Being a licensed PE has allowed me to participate in all aspects of design and construction of projects, from 2” through 72” pipes, along with treatment plants and pump stations. I have a great balance of time in the office and time in the field, where I am able to use my experiences as a licensed PE to solve problems and focus on improving civil infrastructure. I’ve very glad I made that early decision that led me on the path to my PE license

Jason Savage, PE, DTC Civil Construction Instructor