| Mitch Thornton|
Prof. Mitch Thornton received the 2009 IEEE-USA Citation of Honor award at the IEEE-USA annual meeting during the awards banquet in Nashville, Tennessee.
The award citation reads “For contributions to the advancement of software engineering licensure in the United States”. Although Thornton is not a software engineer himself, he has been actively participating in Professional Engineering licensing for several years and currently serves as Chair of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Professional Engineering Examination Development Committee for electrical and computer engineers. This committee of more than 30 licensed volunteers is responsible for producing the nationally administered electrical and computer engineering PE licensing examinations used by all US states and jurisdictions.
In terms of national professional engineering licensure policy, Thornton also chairs the IEEE-USA Licensure and Registration Committee (LRC). The
LRC is responsible for advising the IEEE Board of Directors on policy matters that affect US IEEE members and produces position statements for IEEE. The LRC works closely with lobbyists who are experts in technical career and policy matters.
The Citation of Honor was awarded to Thornton based on his work in enabling a new Professional Engineering licensure examination to be created for software engineering professionals. IEEE-USA members who stated they are practicing software engineers were surveyed and the majority responded that they desire a path to professional engineering licensure. To formally establish such a licensing examination, at least 10 state boards of professional engineering must formally request such an examination and a lead technical organization must be willing to support the process both financially and in terms of supplying volunteers.
In addition to assisting in lobbying state boards for their support, Thornton worked closely with several other interested professional organizations and helped to form a consortium among them to provide financial support for the examination. These organizations are IEEE-USA, IEEE Computer Society, National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers. IEEEUSA serves as lead technical organization for the effort with the other organizations serving as financial supporters and being represented by a newly established steering committee. It is anticipated that the new software Engineering PE examination will be available for the state boards to administer in early 2012.
Press release from IEEE at http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/docs/email-ieee-usa-awards-banquet.html