TCEQ Engineering Group provides training to maintain an edge during pandemic
by Victoria Cann
As part of National Engineers Week, we wanted to highlight what TCEQ engineers are doing to continue to be the best engineers they can.
Agency engineers formed the TCEQ Engineering Group to assist up and coming engineers, and maintain a professional edge during the pandemic, said Bill Shafford, P.E. and technical specialist for the Office of Waste.
The group, which is open to all engineers – environmental and mechanical, civil and chemical – has formed study sessions to help graduates prepare for the tests they need to become Professional Engineers.
“Engineering graduates are required to take two exams before they can become Licensed Professional Engineers,” Stafford said. “One of the primary goals of this group is to provide encouragement and assistance for those graduate engineers to become Engineers-in-Training and then Licensed Professional Engineers.”
Since engineers are also required to obtain 15 hours of training every year to maintain their license, the group also provides an opportunity for staff looking to develop additional expertise.
“Engineers are problem solvers, whether it’s how to design a tank system, develop plans and specifications for a landfill, evaluate a drinking water plant design, or establish emissions limits for a refinery,” Shafford said.
“All of these problems require in-depth knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and other disciplines, as well as ongoing training and adherence to professional codes and best practices.”
Since its inception, the group has gained 83 members from across TCEQ. Shafford has high hopes the group will continue to grow.
“I’m hoping TCEQ Engineering Group will continue to offer in-house staff development, assistance with P.E. applications, and provide additional training,” he said. “We hope to raise awareness of the importance of our profession and the positive impact engineers have on people’s lives.”
“I want to thank Deputy Executive Directors L’Oreal Stepney and Ramiro Garcia for their continuing support to revitalize this group and provide a forum,” Stafford said.
“And I would be remiss in not mentioning one of our previous Commissioners, Ralph Marquez P.E., who recognized a need to develop folks in-house and set up training sessions for prospective professional engineers. I was a member of that first training class.”