Do engineers use the public’s lack of expertise in the technicalities of their profession to operate outside the law?
by Nicholas Zeman
More challenges to engineers’ “privilege” to police themselves surfaced across North America in 2016, with the most dramatic example coming when Quebec’s Department of Justice took administrative control of the Canadian province’s Order of Engineers'(OIQ) in July, the first time in the nation’s history a major professional association (61,000 members) has been placed under government “trusteeship.”
It’s devastating. That’s what Associated General Contractors of Minnesota President Dave Semerad says of the $1.9 billion steel production project from India’s Essar Steel–meant to rehabilitate the state’s historic “Iron Range” region—and its descent into bankruptcy. Now a fight over the site’s mineral leases between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Essar has stranded $74 million in unpaid bills to local and national contractors.