U.S. CHAPTER NEWS
INTERNATIONAL CHAPTER NEWS
By: Rusty T. Hodapp, P.E., C.E.M., CEP, G.B.E., LEED AP, 2009 President
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,…”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
These classic opening lines of Dickens’ famous novel could well serve to describe the interesting times we find ourselves living in today. When I wrote my first message for Energy Insights one year ago we were looking back on a year in which crude oil prices hit historic highs, climate change had become a dominant issue for individuals and policy makers across the globe, and an emerging financial market crisis would soon threaten economies worldwide. These occurrences and more combined to create a perfect storm of sorts that produced an unprecedented focus on energy throughout the world. As a result, energy engineers and managers began being recognized, valued and in demand in a way unmatched since the oil crisis of the 1970s. And that has certainly continued to be the case in this past year. In the United States the Obama administration and Congress has made energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change legislation national priorities. The worldwide recession has caused companies, governments and individuals to focus on reducing their energy spend. And geopolitical unrest continues to plague energy producing areas of the globe. Yes, these are indeed interesting times. And they are times that demand the best from the energy profession. And that is why I am especially pleased that the Association of Energy Engineers and its members continue to meet these emerging challenges with exciting, creative and urgently needed ideas and solutions. In fact, this past year was an exceptional year for the AEE. Just last March at GlobalCon Al Thumann reported that our membership had exceeded 10,000 for the first time – and it hasn’t slowed down since. AEE currently has over 11,000 members worldwide, a 22% increase in the past year. Reflecting the increase in individual membership has been the growth in our chapters. By the end of the recent World Energy Engineering Congress, 11 new chapters had been chartered since last year – 7 in the US and 4 International – we now have 71 chapters worldwide as well as a significant amount of interest in student chapters. And AEE’s professional certification programs have never been more popular. AEE currently has over 15,800 active certified professionals, an increase of nearly 3,500 and 22% from a year ago. Despite the down economy the 2009 World Energy Engineering Congress was a great success with robust attendance, a large diverse array of exhibitors and a stellar lineup of speakers. This is the kind of year when one wants to be the Association President!
In previous messages in Energy Insights I’ve written about my agenda as the 2009 President of AEE – growing the next generation of leaders for the future energy economy. As an increasing demand combines with a declining supply (demographically speaking) of skilled energy professionals there has never been a more pressing need for the work of the AEE and its members in supporting the development of that next generation of leaders. The success of AEE this past year is testimony to the esteem with which so many hold this fine organization and our collective response to the this vital challenge. With growing membership, developing networks of student and professional chapters, expanding training and certification programs, successful conferences, new strategic partnerships, healthy scholarship funding, creative methods of outreach, and ever increasing influence throughout the world I believe we have made a difference. The numbers I cited tell but a small part of the story, the rest will unfold in the years to come as the next generation assumes the leadership for which we are preparing them so well. And that will be a noteworthy legacy indeed.
Unfortunately the past year has been a difficult one for many. However, the combination of an unparalleled need for skilled energy professionals and the AEE’s legacy of leadership in preparing them have produced a rarity among the daily drumbeat of bad economic news – a year of growth and success. As I close this final message I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as your President. It has been my privilege to have the opportunity to help lead this great association in these challenging times. I am confident that together we will continue to play a most vital role in preparing our profession and the world for the future energy economy. As it has in this past year, may the Association of Energy Engineers – and each of you – prosper in these interesting times. Cheers!
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