Robert McNutt, PE: What it means to be a Professional Engineer

On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) celebrated licensed professional engineers with the first annual Professional Engineers Day. CT Consultants hosted a virtual social media event to join in raising awareness about what it means to be a PE. Follow us on Twitter at @CT_Consultants or on Facebook using the hash tag #LicensedPEDay to learn more. Read on to learn more about one of CT Consultants’ professional engineers, Bob McNutt, PE.

Bob McNutt, PE : What it means to be a Professional Engineer

Bob McNutt, PE, Senior Project Manager at CT Consultants in Akron, Ohio, is living out his passion as a professional civil engineer and truly enjoys giving back to the communities in which he works. He is a shining example of what it means to be a professional engineer. Bob sums it up best when he says, “Our creed as professional engineers is not to compete. Our responsibility is to work for the health, welfare, and safety of society.”

“I do what I do, because what we as engineers do, helps society in general. People who may never know us are impacted, for the positive, by what we do.”

When he was 11 years old, Bob knew he was born to be an engineer. Bob grew up in the country and remembers crossing a bridge over a creek at the end of his lane, and being inspired to want to make the world a better place. “I wanted to design structures someday, like that bridge, to help people live their lives,” says Bob. He developed an early interest in engineering that has grown into a rewarding career in civil engineering.

Bob entered the civil engineering program at the University of Akron, “I chose The University of Akron based on their co-op program and their record of success for civil engineering,” says Bob, “I had to have that one opportunity to prove that I could be an engineer.” Well, he proved it. After graduating from the University of Akron with Honors, and equipped with the co-op experience from the Ohio Water Service Company (AQUA Ohio), Bob accepted a position as a project engineer at Finkbeiner, Pettis, & Strout (ARCADIS), where he worked on a variety of water and wastewater projects for municipalities throughout Ohio and other states. “When starting out in the industry, I sought out as many opportunities as I could. I knew…that I need needed to be a well-rounded engineer.”

Bob now has over 26 years of experience on a variety of water and wastewater-related projects. His experience includes performing all engineering related activities needed to build and manage public infrastructure. Bob’s primary project experience is in municipal engineering, water and wastewater treatment, raw water well systems, water transmission and distribution, wastewater collection and conveyance, site development, storm water management, and planning and feasibility studies for these systems. He is also experienced in the consultation for water and sewer utility rate studies for his clients, a service that, if you ask him, traditional engineers would not normally provide.

As a registered Professional Engineer, Bob feels an immense sense of accomplishment and advocates all engineers to strive to attain licensure. In addition to licensure, he urges engineers to grasp the broadest array of engineering experience they possibly can, so that they are better equipped as a professional engineer. “There is a lot of respect that you feel for yourself and that other people give you, because you have gone that extra mile,” says Bob. When asked what he likes most about being a professional engineer, he replied, “I do what I do, because what we as engineers do, helps society in general. People who may never know us are impacted, for the positive, by what we do.”

In addition to his direct engineering work, he also has a devotion to giving back to the profession and cultivating the next generation of engineers through mentorship and donating his time to professional societies.

“When I first started working, there were great predecessors who took me by the hand… and encouraged me and gave me those opportunities, and they really preached the importance of giving back to our profession,” says Bob. He enjoyed his time in the co-op program at The University of Akron because of its value. He invests time into working with co-op students and teaching them not only engineering skills, but life skills. “I felt the co-op program was really important when I was there, I continue to feel it’s importance…as a major way of giving back to our profession and to grow that next generation.”

Bob has also been involved with various organizations such as ASCE, AWWA, Ohio Water Environment Federation, American Public Works Association, and other similar professional and technical organizations. He encourages young engineers to get involved in technical and professional societies that meet their interests and makes sure they understand the importance of giving back to their profession.

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