A calendar flips from 2022 to 2023BY DYLAN ALBERGO, PE, FBPE Chair (2023)

I have heard it said that the past is a wonderful place to learn from but a terrible place to live in, so welcome to the New Year!

As I reflect on the past to learn from it, I must acknowledge a few folks who made a big impact on the Board and me personally. First being the immediate past chair, Scott Drury, who navigated the Board through a busy season of rulemaking due to legislative actions. And second being Kevin Fleming, who has served the Board in every capacity since his appointment in 2015. Both members have now rotated off the Board, but their impact on the industry by their love and devotion to their families and work will be felt for many years to come.

Harvard Business School psychologist Timothy Butler once said that the difference between a job and a vocation is that a vocation is “what you’re doing in life that makes a difference for you, that builds meaning for you, that you can look back on in your later years to see the impact you’ve made on the world.”

These gentlemen didn’t and don’t see what they do every day as just a job, or as simply a means to an end, to them it’s a vocation.

As a society, we’re fortunate to be standing on the shoulders of giants. We all have giants in our personal lives. Could be a grandparent, parent, spouse, mentor, pastor, or all the above. Their influence helped chart the course that we are on today.

Similarly, every industry has its own giants, and the engineering industry has many. We leverage knowledge gained from those who came before us to improve upon the future. It’s engineers like Scott and Kevin that enable us to design for a better future.

As we reflect on 2022, there will be engineers in the future reflecting back on us and the decisions we make today. Our actions matter. There are engineer’s creeds as old as time that help place an importance on our actions, like this one from the National Society of Professional Engineers:

As a Professional Engineer, I dedicate my professional knowledge and skill to the advancement and betterment of human welfare. I pledge:

  • To give the utmost of performance;
  • To participate in none but honest enterprise;
  • To live and work according to the laws of man and the highest standards of professional conduct;
  • To place service before profit, the honor and standing of the profession before personal advantage, and the public welfare above all other considerations.

In humility and with need for Divine Guidance, I make this pledge.

A great economist by the name of Thomas Sowell once said, “Sometimes it seems as if there are more solutions than problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today’s problems are a result of yesterday’s solutions.” This is a new year but will soon be a year past. As engineers we have a great opportunity to shape the future, and it’s my hope that you will be the giant we talk about tomorrow.

About the Author

Dylan Albergo, PE, of Tampa, specializes in bridge design and engineering project management. He served as FBPE vice chair in 2022, and is chair of the special inspector rules committee and serves on the application review and the FEMC operations committees.