ASPE and CCSF Awarded NSF Grant to Develop Plumbing Technician Certification Program

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Chicago, Illinois (August 23, 2012) — The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), in collaboration with the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), is pleased to announce the award of a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to develop an associate degree program in plumbing engineering design as well as a certification program for plumbing engineering design technicians. The initiative is referred to as Program in Plumbing Engineering Design (PIPED).   

Although the need for plumbing engineering design technicians is increasing due to an ageing workforce, currently no specific program or designation exists to obtain a technician level of competence in the plumbing engineering design industry; knowledge and skills are typically gained through on-the-job experience or a patchwork of continuing education courses. The PIPED initiative fills this void and will increase the quality of the plumbing engineering profession by establishing a technician level of training and by improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at the high school and college levels. STEM knowledge is critical for plumbing engineering design technicians so they can understand the physics of fluid dynamics, correctly size pipes, design plumbing and piping systems, and implement the visions of architects and engineers in CAD and BIM programs.  

“This collaborative partnership with CCSF is a wonderful opportunity to embed the practicing aspects of the plumbing design profession within an educational framework,” says the grant’s Principal Investigator, Donna Novickas.  

Concepts such as water conservation, solar energy, and geothermal heating will be integrated throughout the program to prepare graduates for the increasing emphasis on sustainable design and LEED certification. Collaborative activities will create meaningful career pathways for recent high school graduates and also those looking to change careers or move forward into an enhanced career path.

 “Obtaining this grant is fantastic news for ASPE and CCSF, and it is yet another step toward increased recognition of the importance of the plumbing engineering profession,” says ASPE President William F. Hughes Jr., CPD, LEED AP, FASPE. “Collaborating with the City College of San Francisco reinforces the Society’s position within the industry as a provider of quality research and educational projects.”

 ASPE is the only professional organization devoted to the training and certification of plumbing engineers and designers. ASPE and its 6,200 worldwide members are dedicated to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the dissemination of technical data and information to expand the base of knowledge among plumbing engineers, designers, contractors, code officials, inspectors, and manufacturers.

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