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In 1989, a select group of building inspection engineers started a new group, the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers.  Some 21 years later, NABIE has not only survived, but has developed into an outstanding organization dedicated to the advancement of building inspection engineering.  As a charter member of NABIE, I found the group to be worthy of my involvement as an attendee of the meetings and as a presenter.  In the earlier years of NABIE, being a presenter meant writing a technical paper that was ultimately presented at the annual meeting.  This required approval of the topic, submission of an outline for the paper, and ultimately, submission of the paper itself which was published as the proceedings of the annual meeting.  This was the standard method of enhancing the knowledge of most technical societies at the time NABIE was established.
Through this early involvement, it became even clearer to my wife, Gwen, and me that NABIE was indeed a worthwhile organization that served our technical needs when it came to improving our inspection services.  My appreciation for NABIE continued to grow as did my involvement with the organization.  I have found considerable satisfaction in participating the numerous times that I have presented a session at our meetings and with my involvement on the Board of Directors.
There are a number of people involved in the business of running NABIE who are behind the scenes but who dedicate time and effort to keeping things on track.  One of those people is my wife, Gwen, who over the last four years, in particular, has helped keep things moving on my behalf when our engineering business was requiring most or all of my time.  As they say, behind every good man is a great woman.  Gwen has helped NABIE many times by offering an unbiased, “non-engineer” viewpoint on topics that I have wrestled with as President.  I will be forever grateful for her help.
Looking forward, there are numerous causes that NABIE can become involved in as the world of engineering changes, in general, and as the world of building inspection engineering changes, in particular.  Eventually, the requirement for becoming a registered Professional Engineer will change along with other aspects of the engineering world.  Along with those changes, national cooperation among state societies and NSPE would enhance the engineering profession considerably.  This seems to be a particularly difficult concept for engineers to embrace.  I tend to believe the whole is better than the sum of its parts.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that such changes will not likely occur in my lifetime.  That’s not to say that life in the engineering world may not improve and that there would be better cooperation among the various organizations and factions.  NABIE must continue to adjust and adapt, as necessary, not only to survive, but also to flourish.
NABIE must rework the Standards of Practice for Residential Inspections and develop standards for multi-family-structure inspections and for commercial inspections in the near future, as one example of work that has been discussed but is yet to be completed.  I encourage all members of NABIE to get involved with the organization in some capacity.  The success of NABIE depends on you, and I encourage you to attend our annual meetings and to give your time and expertise for the betterment of the organization which serves Professional Engineers specializing in building inspection engineering.
See you in Myrtle Beach.
By David Carlysle, PE