FREEPORT - The Bahamas Society of Engineers travelled to Grand Bahama where they toured various industrial plants and met with Freeport-based engineers to explore issues of common interest.
The group of Nassau engineers visited Goldrock, The Grand Bahama Shipyard, Vopak (BORCO), Polymers International and the Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Co.
Michael Moss, chairman of the professional Engineers Board, addressed members of the BSE at a luncheon held at Ruby Swiss Restaurant.
Mr Moss stated that, after four decades, engineering registration in the Bahamas is now a reality for the profession.
Although an act to regulate the engineering profession was first passed in 2004, no board was appointed. The act was amended in 2006 and a board was established. Finally, a further amendment was passed in 2009, establishing a new transitional board.
According to Mr Moss, a substantive board will be appointed by the minister with responsibility for the act to replace the PEB (transitional board).
The minister, he said, is required to secure two recommendations each from the Bahamas Society of Engineers and the Bahamas Institute of Professional Engineers.
Mr Moss reported that 131 individuals were ratified for registration by the transitional board.
He noted that of the 131, there were 93 single disciplines, 26 double disciplines, nine triple disciplines, and three quadruple disciplines registration ratifications.
"It is also noted that a number of individuals applied for registration in five disciplines. I suppose, in the medical field, this would equate to individuals specialising in surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, and paediatrics all at the same time," he said.
Mr Moss noted that registration ratifications for civil engineering were far more than in any other discipline. There were a few ratifications for Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, he said.
The PEB chairman also reported that there were more rejected applicants for registration in marine engineering than in any other discipline.
Mr Moss stated that there are three issues that demand immediate attention - the issuance of seals, registration certificates, and the establishment of appropriate examination criteria to facilitate registration of applicants.
He revealed that the transitional board has already completed a seal design and secured pricing for the seal.
The board had also contracted the service of a reputable agency to design a suitable logo for the registration certificates, he added.
Chairman Moss also stated that assistance has been sought from NCEES to ensure that appropriate examinations can be put in place.
As major provisions in the act should now take full effect, Moss warned that individuals who have not been registered and who seek to engage in the practice of professional engineering in the Bahamas will be practising illegally.
He said the board will ensure that government agencies, such as the Ministry of Public Works, the Water and Sewerage Corporation, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, and quasi-government institutions such as the Grand Bahama Port Authority as well as major enterprises engaged in engineering in the Bahamas are made fully aware of the act's implications.
Minister Neko Grant noted that the term of transitional board expired on June 30, 2010.
He thanked chairman Moss, the Registrar and other members of the transitional board for their efforts and contributions to advance the implementation of the Professional Engineers Act and its amendments to this stage.