E. Medley, Al., Pha., Bet., So., Up.

I have a lot of initials. If I was a better Brit than I am, I would string the alphabet soup behind me name like this:

Edmund Medley, BASc (Brit Columbia) , MS (Berkeley), PhD (Berkeley), PE (CA), PE(HI), PG (CA), CEG (HI), P.Eng (BC), P. Geo (BC), C.Eng, MICE (UK), C.Geol, FGS (UK), F.ASCE*.

*Go ahead: see if you can shuffle initials these into an anagram. I gave up trying.

I am not much of a Brit any more, so I prefer: Dr. Edmund Medley, PE, CEG, F.ASCE. because I live in California, USA and most folk in California do not care about the rest of my qualifications.

Some folk are really proud of their initials. I recall meeting one man in the library of the Institutions of Civil Engineers in London a few years ago. The coda of initials after his name filled much of his business card. He was a Brit, of course.

About 1987, I first resolved to develop my professional career when I saw the 25-odd framed Professional Engineer licenses owned by one of my engineering heroes, David O’Day, PE. I suspect that more than one young person had resolved to struggle through his or her professional exams because of seeing somebody else’s framed diplomas and certificates.

We professional engineers and geologists are required to display our licenses to the Public. I hang my framed licenses, awards and diplomas in my office. They take up a lot of room even when stacked above my bookcases. (I have a lot of those too.). I know one guy who has so many licenses, diplomas and awards that he has them featured on his website as a virtual wall. But frankly I think there is a a lot of more interesting stuff to look at on the web.

Still: professional people should be proud of their initials and framed certificates, given how many years of university, experience and exams it takes to earn them, wherever they live. Since I am one of the relatively rare people who is professionally licensed in three countries as a geologist and engineer, I have much sympathy for immigrants who, despite being licensed in their own countries, have to complete all the required complex forms and then study for exams. For instance you have to sit about 20 hours for the four required exams to be recognized in California as a Professional Civil Engineer. Some people likely choose not to bother with continuing in engineering and find other careers, which is a loss, given the impending major shortfall of engineers and scientists.

About Ed Medley

Ed Medley has been on a random walk for over 50 years. Many scribbles and snapshots at this site are from his vagabond transits; others are from his decades of international experience in geological and geotechnical engineering, academia, and mineral exploration prospecting.
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