The Vermont Society of Engineers had its birth at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington on March 7, 1912 when 41 men subscribed their names to the constitution, elected officers and effected a permanent organization. The group elected Frank Sinclair, Burlington's City Engineer and a graduate of the University of Vermont, as the society's inaugural president. In his address the following spring, concluding the Society's first year of existence, Sinclair urged engineers to take an active interest in civic affairs and to work at solving all public problems requiring engineering skills. In language as apt today, as it was then, he declared "We do well to get together." The organization celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012 - an admirable record of "getting together" by any standards. There are currently 300 engineers and technicians in the organization.
An impressive list of the Society’s accomplishments is evidence that its influence has been felt throughout the state. These accomplishments include the following:
• The first measures endorsed by the Society were the appointment of the Public Service Commission and the creation of a State Engineer.
• The Society sponsored a law that was passed in 1939 relating to the licensing of professional engineers in Vermont, and today there are more than four thousand registered in the state. The Society has supported efforts to modernize these laws.
• The Society has cooperated in the continuing topographical mapping of the state, and has supported efforts to adopt state building codes.
• The Society has cooperated in numerous investigations relating to the advancement of various highway measures, and helped stimulate interest in a wide array of activities beneficial to the state.
• The Society continues to work with the Board of Professional Engineering, and through support of legislative actions, to support the engineering profession in Vermont.
• The Society continues to be actively involved with advancement of engineering in Vermont through the professional improvement of its members as well as through the continued support and encouraged development of Vermont engineering students.
In 1958 the Society initiated a program to award annual scholarships to Vermont engineering students attending the University of Vermont and Norwich University. In 1974 a similar scholarship was established for Vermont Technical College. The goal is to defray the cost of higher education for Vermont men and women intending to pursue a career in engineering.
In 1982, with the approval of its membership, the Vermont Society of Engineers Education and Research Foundation was established. The Foundation is a tax free, non-profit organization established to administer the scholarship program. The Foundation may also give grants to institutions of higher education for the support of engineering education and research.
The Society continues to hold meetings, dinners, and fund raising events throughout each year. Technical presentations and field trips to projects help share knowledge and increase interest. In recent years, the Society has sponsored student presentations of senior design projects to the engineering community.
The Vermont Society of Engineers is an old organization keeping up with the present and planning for the future.
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