Hope you are off to a FANTASTIC Start of the New Year 2018!! How many of you set New Year’s resolutions? How many of you have the resolution to get your PE license this year? If you do, that is Great! I remember when I set out to get my license a LONG time ago..once upon a time..in 2002. I was going to have my first child that year and was young, ambitious and with no working manual of how kids operated. I had it all planned out that I will use the time off I got for maternity leave to study for my exam. Little did I know my daughter had other plans. First of all she was born almost a month early and we barely got her crib set up. Not only that, she was nocturnal and she kept us all awake most of the nights and slept in the mornings intermittently. We were like zombies. Completely sleep deprived and shocked that these super sleuths called children had us young adults completely at their command and mercy. Good that I was young then and had the stamina and will power to dredge through and managed to find an hour here and an hour there to squeeze into studying for my PE exam. The only reference book I had was the one published by PPI Civil Engineering Reference Manual. I had some of my other text books and codes etc. You can see my actual book here heavily tagged and color coded.
I can’t remember what all those color codes mean any more. But they meant something in 2002. But I wanted to take this monster (it is still an 8 hour exam correct?) of an exam only one time and with the help of the Civil Engineering Reference Manual which I still have, I was able to achieve this goal successfully. This is the one reason, I have decided to promote PPI to my readers since I personally benefited from all the hard work that went into making this manual.
I know many of you have purchased or are planning to purchase this book for your PE exam preparation, but did you know the back story behind how this book came about? I wanted to find out more and really had to dig in to find out about the author Michael R Lindeburg, PE. Here is a small excerpt of the back story (courtesy of PPI).
Q. How was PPI started?
A. Actually, it all started in the late 1970’s at a copy machine at GTE Lenkurt. l was waiting my turn at a copier and started chatting to John, a fellow engineer. John was copying a syllabus of sorts for an engineering review course for staff who wanted to get a professional engineering license. I asked what book they were going to use. When I was told what book they had chosen, I said, “That’s a terrible book — it’s totally outdated.” John said, “If you’re so smart, why don’t you teach the class?” I thought that would be fun, so said I would! When studying for the licensing exams myself a few years earlier, I could not find any suitable exam review book, so I had put together notes for my own self-study. I dug up those old study notes and put together weekly lectures based on my recollection of the exam subjects. In addition, I prepared some handouts for the students.
I found that I had a knack for explaining subjects in a logical manner so that others could learn and retain the information. So, I left GTE Lenkurt and started my own home business — the Professional Engineering Registration Program (PERP). PERP morphed into the Professional Engineering Institute, a non-profit educational organization which offered engineering licensing classes on the San Francisco Peninsula. I wrote a chapter for each week’s lecture, and my wife, Elizabeth typed it on a Sear’s electric typewriter and got it printed. We assembled the chapters in a bright yellow binder so that, by the end of the course, students had a “big yellow book.”
I improved and expanded the content for each course offering. Soon, we were getting requests for the “book” from people in other areas who couldn’t travel to our courses. We decided to get a cost quote to print the material in its entirety. We discovered it was a lot cheaper to print a whole book than to have the local printer produce the chapters individually and put those in a binder. So, we kept the Professional Engineering Institute as the venue to offer classroom courses for all the engineering licensing exams and started Professional Publications, Inc. to produce and market the printed materials. Fortunately, the home that we had purchased as a young married couple had a large enclosed patio where we stored and shipped books around the country. It was great having our “business” in our home. About the same time that the books were published, we had become parents. The only thing more fun than teaching and writing was being a parent! Most people take coffee breaks; I took baby breaks!
I found that teaching the material in front of a live class very beneficial to improving the written materials. Students gave honest feedback on what was clear and what needed more explanation. Besides the lectures being beneficial to writing clearly, I really enjoyed teaching and finding ways to make engineering interesting and fun. However, the classes were held for three hours at night. When my four-year-old daughter, Jenny, asked me, “Daddy, why aren’t you home anymore at night to play with us?” I realized that I had a greater love than teaching engineers; it was playing with our little girls, reading them books, and telling them stories of fairies in a far-off land. I finished that course, which was the last classroom course I ever taught. I found other instructors to continue teaching the courses based on the review manuals I had written. The instructors through the decades have brought their own personalities and insights, and have continued to improve what we started 40 years ago as PERP.
I often get the question at conventions, “What’s your best book?” my answer has always been, “The two best books I ever wrote are our two girls.”
Interesting thing is, now I live about an hour away from Belmont, CA and I also have two girls!! I realize that the things that make life interesting are the stories people make out of their lives. Now having two girls myself, I can identify how the author must have felt about his daughters and his work. If you want to read more about Mr. Lindeburg please visit Author Spotlight.
If one of your resolutions is to get your PE license, then here are some GREAT resources to help you with that goal. From the foremost authority in helping engineers getting licensed, PPI (Professional Publication Inc.) has a number of ways in which they are willing to help you attain this goal this year. Specially the month of January they are kicking off a campaign #resolvetogetlicensed and giving you a 15% discount on many of their materials. Not only that, they are offering a 7 day Free trial to Online exam Preparation and also a “Klean Kanteen” with Bundle or Live course purchase. So if you have been hesitating or procrastinating to get started on the journey to get your PE license, don’t wait any longer and use the discount available this month. Here are the offers again:
If you have read till the end, then thank you. If you have already obtained your PE license, do you have any tips you can give the young engineers who are planning to take this exam? What worked for you and how and when did you decide you were going to take and pass this test? We would all love to hear more about your journey. Once again thank you for reading and Wish you a very Happy New Year!!!