(This month’s message was written by Carlos Penin, PE, 2021-2022 FES President.)
Hola FES Members,
The April FES Newsletter is always interesting because of the many events and issues surrounding our lives and industry. First of all, Spring has sprung, with the first day of Spring this year coming on March 20th. It is also the Easter season, both symbolizing a rebirth of all things new and bright. As far as the Florida Engineering Society, it is “MATHCOUNTS” and the Science Fair season.
If you didn’t notice, our Florida Legislature is still in Session. Our laws require that it starts the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March, and this year it started on March 7th, and it is scheduled to adjourn after sixty consecutive days on May 5th, 2023. We don’t know how many new laws will be passed during this year’s Session until they reach the Governor’s desk for approval. Our Society continues to be the leading advocate for Florida’s engineering community, and we work hard to pursue our industry’s interests in Tallahassee. Every Friday morning during Session, FES and ACEC Florida leadership holds a call via Microsoft Teams beginning at 8:30 am for the general bills update and at 9:30 am for the environmental bills update. You should check out these important calls here.
This month I participated in a “BuildingSMART USA BIM SMART Summit” (I know, that’s Smart and long) hosted by Ms. Cindy Baldwin, President, VDCO Tech. Of the many interesting topics presented, one of the most impacting was a presentation about our past, present, and future in technology.
For those of you who remember, “The Jetsons” was an American animated family who lived in a futuristic vision of our society. The show started in 1962 and ran for three seasons with 75 episodes. What’s impressive is how many of these “futuristic” technologies from the cartoon exist today. George Jetson spoke into a smartwatch, had a robot clean their home, and spoke to his wife Jane from a flat-screen TV/monitor!
This is important to me not only to gauge how far we have come but to wonder where we will be in the near and long-term future. More specifically to our profession, will we be prepared to entice our recent “MATHCOUNTS” participants and winners to want to join our profession? Are our high schools and technical schools teaching students what they need to succeed in college or the workforce? If you think we have come a long way in a short time, “buckle your seat belt.” What used to take decades to develop and implement is now being done in months because technology and innovation allow us to move at a faster pace. Our engineering companies and future employers must evolve to prepare for the new workforce.
As NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz is credited to have said during the Apollo 13 moon landing mission, “Failure is not an option.” We, too, cannot fail our youth because, in doing so, we would fail everything that we and generations before us have achieved.
For now, enjoy a “new” life (Spring and Easter), hopefully great “new” laws, “new” technology, and “new” students and future engineers!
Carlos A. Penin, PE
CAP Government, Inc. | President