By the year 2020, the digital universe will grow to 44 zettabytes—that’s 10 times the amount of data that existed in 2013. By then the amount of data that is tagged and open to analysis will grow by 35 percent—to 16 million petabytes of potentially usable information. Every organization wants to turn this ever-increasing influx of data into valuable information that can be used strategically.
In the UK, professional registration is awarded by licensed bodies who represent the Engineering Council, based on knowledge, competence and commitment to professionalism. In other countries, professional engineers are licensed by the state. The question for discussion is: will distributed crypto-technologies be adapted to augment, compliment or ultimately replace centralized registration of professional engineers in the UK or other nation states, as exemplified by emergence of:
- Curiosumé (an open source specification for the analog-to-digital conversion of knowledge asset objects, designed as a system to replace the résumé as a means for describing the interests, skills, experience, and abilities of people — it functions as a secured personal digital API),
- Quant (cryptographic tokens of value generated by a series of claims and verifications submitted by engineers in a delegated proof-of-stake algorithm vs Bitcoins proof-of-work), and,
- CoEngineers.io (a shared distributed ledger of integrated engineering knowledge embodied in a distributed global network of engineers, The CoEngineers.io platform,which claims to be the “First Blockchain Developed by Engineers for Engineers,” and seeks to use distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and complex multi-agent game mechanics to distribute two cryptographic value-tokens which represent quantity and quality of engineering claims. The underlying concept is that engineering requires separation of responsibility and chronological verification and that the practice of engineering can be modeled as a “chain of interdependent blocks.” Think of a Blockchain distributed ledger, a shared ledger where a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data is geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, or institutions in a decentralized manner.
In many nations, an engineer is not required to be licensed in order to be employed as an engineer, and the employer is liable for proper engineering judgment of the employee. However, in many countries, an engineer seeking to enter into private practice or perform public works, must, by law, become registered in their discipline, but with no mobility to perform professional engineering work, internationally without additional licenses, despite the laws of physics and engineering principals remaining unchanged across national borders. Each nation establishes their own “standard” for registration to use as a rule or basis of comparison in measuring or judging capacity, quantity, content, value, or quality. For professional engineers that usually includes: education. experience, examination and character. Problems with centralized registration or licensing of professional engineers include:
- No international comity for the engineering profession
- Large engineering tasks often require international mobility, computer literacy, modern quality training, professional accountability, technical competence, bi-culturalism, and bi-linguality, but no centralized and globally recognised professional registration body for professional engineers working internationally exists, and, if it did exist, the professional engineering mobility standard would likely be the lowest common denominator acceptable to member nations.
Conversely, cryptographic value-tokens which could represent quantity and quality of professional engineering claims generated in a blockchain, and verified/validated by a large network of peer engineers from around the world, in a delegated proof-of-stake algorithm, might ultimately fulfill that role in away that is acceptable to legislators, regulators, institutions, international clients and their underwriters of financial risk.
An interesting and thoughtful paper that touches on this subject is:Blockchain Technology: Implications and Opportunities For Professional Engineers – National Society of Professional Engineers; 2015-2016 FinTech Task Force; July 2016 Daniel R. Robles, P.E., Chairman Keith Beatty, P.E. William Begg, P.E. John Conway, P.E. David D’Amico, P.E., F.NSPE Mark Davy, P.E., F.NSPE, Rick Ensz, P.E. John Evangelisti, P.E. Bart Hogan, P.E. Bradley Layton, Ph.D., P.E. Tom Maheady, P.E., F.NSPE Robert Uddin, P.E. Chad Williams, P.E.
David Mc Quiggan
Please refer also to this short article of mine printed in the Journal of The Society of Professional Engineers in the year 2000 :