NSF grant will develop plumbing technician certification program

CHICAGO — The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), in collaboration with the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), is pleased to announce a grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education to develop an associate degree program in plumbing engineering design and a certification program for plumbing engineering design technicians. The initiative is referred to as the Program in Plumbing Engineering Design (PIPED).   

CHICAGO — The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), in collaboration with the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), is pleased to announce a grant from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education to develop an associate degree program in plumbing engineering design and a certification program for plumbing engineering design technicians. The initiative is referred to as the Program in Plumbing Engineering Design (PIPED). 

Although the need for plumbing engineering design technicians is increasing due to an ageing workforce, currently no specific program or designation exists to obtain a technician level of competence in the plumbing engineering design industry. Knowledge and skills are typically gained through on-the-job experience or continuing education courses.

The PIPED initiative will increase the quality of the plumbing engineering profession by establishing a technician level of training and by improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at the high school and college levels. STEM knowledge is critical for these technicians, so they can understand the physics of fluid dynamics, correctly size pipes, and design plumbing and piping systems in order to implement the visions of architects and engineers in CAD and BIM programs.

“This collaborative partnership with CCSF is a wonderful opportunity to embed the practicing aspects of the plumbing design profession within an educational framework,” said the principal investigator of the grant, Donna Novickas.

 The grant will be used to develop a national, standardized curriculum that can be a model for community colleges across the country; a national credentialing program for plumbing engineering design technicians; and lessons that can be integrated into high schools to increase knowledge and visibility of the plumbing engineering profession.

Concepts such as water conservation, solar energy, and geothermal heating will be integrated throughout the program to prepare graduates for the increasing emphasis on sustainable design and LEED certification. Collaborative activities will create meaningful career pathways for recent high school graduates and also those looking to change careers or move forward into an enhanced career path.

“Obtaining this grant is fantastic news for ASPE and CCSF, and it is yet another step toward increased recognition of the importance of the plumbing engineering profession,” said ASPE President William F. Hughes Jr., CPD, LEED AP, FASPE. “Collaborating with the City College of San Francisco reinforces the Society’s position within the industry as a provider of quality research and educational projects.”

The three-year grant started August 1, 2012. For more information, contact Donna Novickas at dnovickas@aspe.org.

 

 

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