The Society of Piping Engineers and Designers is an International organization promoting Excellence and Quality in Piping Design and Engineering through networking, training and certification programs. It is comprised of a headquarters in Houston, Texas with chapters in Houston, Calgary, Perth (still forming), Louisville, Ontario and a world-wide community of individual members. Corporations supporting SPED and providing membership benefits to employees and contractors are listed on the Corporate Membership page.
History of SPED
1980 - Present
It all began when a four year (BS) engineering technology program in Process and Piping Design was started in the Fall of 1977 at the University of Houston –Downtown. An industrial advisory committee for the program was formed consisting of piping managers from several companies such as Dow Chemical, Bechtel, Lummus, etc. During committee discussions, the members realized the need for a forum or organization for piping designers, engineers and piping professionals.
In response to the need expressed by this industrial advisory committee, the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers (SPED) was founded in 1980. The organization was designed to promote excellence and quality in piping design and Engineering, through professional development, training and certification for piping designers and Engineers. To that end, SPED organized chapter meetings with Piping Industry leaders presentations. Additionally, SPED developed online piping design courses, challenging exams and programs like the PPD 100% Club. These efforts help pipers achieve excellence and document their skills with Professional Piping Designer (PPD) Certification.
Thirty three years have passed and SPED continues to serve piping designers and the piping profession world-wide with chapters in Houston, Calgary, Louisville, KY, U.K./Eire, Burlington, Ontario and partners in Spain and Malaysia. Current membership includes piping designers around the world and 34 corporate members. Chapter meetings and events such as the Annual SPED conference provide professional development and networking opportunities for piping designers and students. Membership is open and encouraged for all piping designers, students of piping design and corporations worldwide. Please consider joining SPED.
Volunteers are needed to carry on the charter; if you are interested in volunteering for a task or there is something you wish to see SPED provide to its membership and are willing to organize an event, please contact us.
A Word from Ron Waldon, President of SPED
On Thursday, December 3rd, C&I’s Senior Plant Designer and Quality Coordinator, Ron Waldon, formally accepted his position as the new President of SPED—the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers.
SPED was first established in 1980, and was created to promote excellence and quality in piping design and engineering through professional development, training and certification. Today, the organization serves the piping profession worldwide with chapters in Houston, Louisville, UK, Ireland, Calgary, Ontario, Edmonton, Iran, Pakistan and Australia, with partners in Spain and Malaysia.
Ron is the first individual outside of the Houston area to serve as President. He became a member of the organization in 1992. In 2010, Ron earned the first certification in Louisville, after a diligent three months of preparing a 27½-page application to SPED. He began lobbying for a Midwest SPED chapter in 1994 and received backing and support to start a Midwest SPED chapter in 2011. Since then, Ron has served as the Midwest chapter’s President and also became the first officer of SPED elected outside the Houston area headquarters.
As President, Ron’s duties will involve certification review and financial oversight, in addition to leading its many chapters. He is assisted by a secretary and executive director in the Houston office. Ron plans to expand the scope of SPED’s influence on piping engineering professionals while expanding the global membership-including adding a chapter in India. Ron’s first board meeting as President will be held in early February.
Next on the list? Ron plans to update SPED’s educational videos and marketing materials. He also intends to expand SPED’s social media presence. In Louisville, Ron’s goal is to reach out to tech schools to expand the teaching and education of piping locally. By doing this, Ron hopes to start filling the void that will be left when several senior-level piping engineer professionals retire in the coming years.
“The chapter will begin promoting SPED to local tech schools in 2016, as a means of introducing the piping profession to young people and ultimately get training set up in these tech schools for piping design,” says Ron. “We’re going to be setting up webinars for lunch-time meetings, so that more folks can attend locally. We are also looking forward to recruiting more members to the Louisville Chapter.” SPED’s Louisville chapter recently held elections for 2-year terms on its board. Board members include: President, Keith McKinney (VP, PLC); Vice President, C&I’s Chief Plant Designer, Lee Jewell; Treasurer, C&I’s Senior Plant Design Designer, Bob Maurer; and Secretary, C&I’s Senior Plant Design Designer, Rick Rice. Together at C&I, Ron and Lee (who also serves on the SPED International Advisory Council), conduct a SPED-developed Piper Boot Camp training course to help develop entry-level piping engineers and designers. They also write recommendation letters for C&I Associates to join, in addition to helping them achieve the proper status for their varying levels of experience.
Please join us in congratulating Ron in his new role as President of SPED International!
A Word from Kerry Millen, President of SPED
2013 – 2014
It is a great honor and privilege for me to assume the role of the SPED President. SPED plays a critical role in serving the needs of our Corporate Members and Individual members by fostering excellence and quality in the field of piping design and engineering. Therefore as the President, I commit to provide the leadership that SPED requires in order to achieve SPED's mission and objectives, I also commit to listen and respond to your needs as members and to work closely with SPED Executive Board and other Technical Boards.
With the average age of a piper being 55 and over, the industry is losing the knowledge base as many retire or move into other fields due to economy down turn. There is a major shortage of skilled pipers in the industry worldwide, and SPED is helping to bridge these gaps, by offering certification and training. SPED is nonprofit, learning society. Our priority is to provide affordable, accredited, high-quality learning opportunities for our members.