Iowa's Engineering Law
The laws governing the practice of engineering and land surveying can be found in Iowa Code, Section 542B. The following information is provided merely as an overview of some of the more often referred to areas of the Code.
Following are a few of the terms referenced in 542B that practicing engineers and land surveyors, as well as others, should be knowledgeable of.
Engineering documents: The term engineering documents as used in 542B includes all plans, specifications, drawings and reports, if the preparation of such documents constitutes or requires the practice of engineering.
Engineer intern: The term engineer intern as used in 542B means a person who passes an examination in the fundamental engineering subjects, but does not entitle the person to claim to be a professional engineer.
In responsible charge: The term in responsible charge means having direct control of and personal supervision over any land surveying work or work involving the practice of engineering. One or more persons, jointly or severally, may be in responsible charge.
Practice of engineering: Practice of engineering as used in the Iowa Code means any service or creative work, the adequate performance of which requires:
•Design coordination includes the review and coordination of technical submissions prepared by others, including as appropriate and without limitation, consulting engineers, architects, landscape architects, land surveyors, and other professionals working under the direction of the engineer.
A person is determined to be engaged in the practice of engineering if the person does any of the following:
A. Practices any branch of the profession of engineering.
So, in other words, not only might the civil penalty be assessed against the individual found to practicing without a license, but it could also be assessed against that individuals client if they hired an person to do engineering or land surveying services knowing that that individual was not an Engineer or Land Surveyor (for additional information see 542B.27).
Professional engineer: The term professional engineer as used in the Code means a person, who by reason of the persons knowledge of mathematics, the physical sciences, and the principles of engineering, acquired by professional education or practical experience, is qualified to engage in the practice of engineering.
So am I a Licensed Professional Engineer, or a Registered Professional Engineer?
Prior to 1996 engineers in Iowa were referred to as Registered Professional Engineers. In 1996 the law was changed to refer to Professional Engineers as Licensed Professional Engineers.
Likewise, the term Engineer in Training was changed to Engineer Intern at that same time.
What if someone is practicing engineering but they are not a licensed professional engineer?
In 1996 the engineering law was expanded to give the State Licensing Board to assess civil penalties against unlicensed individuals found to be practicing or offering to practice professional engineer or land surveying services (see the definition of the practice of engineering).
IES has a NEW website!
We are thrilled to announce that the IES website has been updated to a more dynamic system that will help with the work of keeping our membership connected. With social networking support, simple tools for staying in touch, space for sharing documents and photos and resources to support Chapters and committees, we can use it to communicate among members and highlight great work being done in our industry. In addition, www.iaengr.org is going to be the workhorse that will collect member dues and support event registrations and payments.
We hope you enjoy the new site!