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NSPE honors Skip Harclerode

NSPE honors Skip Harclerode II, P.E., F.NSPE, F.AIChE

For decades, Howard (Skip) Harclerode II, P.E., F.NSPE, F.AIChE has dedicated time to serving on engineering boards and committees, working on legislative issues, and talking with students and young engineers about the profession. That dedication to supporting professional engineering was recognized this summer when Harclerode was named the winner of the 2022 NSPE Award.

“The reason why I do all those things is because engineering has been wonderful to me,” Harclerode said.

A graduate of the University of Maryland with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemical engineering, Harclerode earned his PE “at a time when I didn’t need it because I worked in industry.”

However, years later when he ended his industry work (after stints at Allied Chemical Corporation and StarQuartz Industries), the PE license proved essential to his career development. Harclerode started up a construction company then founded KBD Engineering Company Inc. — an environmental, chemical process, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, civil and structural engineering firm.

“When I got into consulting, I was very grateful that I had made the effort more than a decade earlier to get my engineering license,” he said.

Over the last 36 years, KBD Engineering has completed projects at manufacturing plants, healthcare facilities, historic sites, LEED buildings, luxury homes and elsewhere. At the same time, its founder and president dug into a long list of endeavors to support the engineering profession.

Harclerode who got involved in MDSPE in the 1970s, served as the chapter’s treasurer for two years in the 1980s, co-chairman of Maryland Engineers Week activities for more than five years, and became co-founder of the MDSPE Educational Foundation. Harcelrode was also selected as the NSPE Professional Engineers in Industry Congressional Fellow and served as a legislative aid to Senator Pete Domenici of New Mexico for a year. He later joined other NSPE-PEI initiatives, including serving as a member on the Legislative & Government Affairs Committee and the Critical Infrastructure & Homeland Security Task Force.

In 2003, Harclerode was appointed to the Maryland State Board of Professional Engineers where he has been board chairman, chair of the complaints committee and a driving force for ongoing professional development requirements for Maryland PEs.

An active member of the National Council Examiners of Engineering and Surveying, Harclerode has participated in numerous NCEES activities, including its Engineering Education Task Force, the Fire Protection Design-Build Task Force, the Examinations for Professional Engineers Committee and the Computer-Based Testing Implementation Task Force. He was awarded the NCEES Distinguished Service Award with Special Commendation in 2019 and the NCEES Distinguished Service Award in 2010.

Harclerode has been a tireless advocate for the engineering profession in several other ways. He has attended numerous ABET accreditation visits for engineering programs at University of Maryland campuses and Morgan State University and made many licensure presentations to students and unlicensed engineers at all major Maryland universities, the National Security Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and other locations.

“I always tell students — you are probably going to change jobs a minimum of six times in your career. You could be working in industry or government in a position that doesn’t require a license, but when you leave that job, the next job may require a license. If you get your license early, it will give you the ability to pursue more jobs. It truly gives you flexibility,” he said.

Harclerode is presently a member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Maryland Bio & Chemical Engineering Department. He is a fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers; a fellow and life member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; and a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

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