The NAFE Board of Directors is pleased to announce Rebecca Bowman was confirmed to the position of Executive Director for the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) on February 26, 2021. Bowman is a registered Professional Engineer and a certified attorney, arbitrator, mediator, and Christian conciliator. Her engineering experience includes design and forensic analysis, construction/project management, and dispute resolution. As an expert, Bowman served in a wide variety of failure analysis situations and developed remediation alternatives addressing geotechnical, structural, building science, electrical, and environmental systems as well as construction safety, regulatory compliance, and alternative techniques. Her legal practice includes real estate, small business start-up, employment law, estate planning/administration, and nonprofit support.
She began her career with the North Dakota State Highway Department in 1974 and went on to work with Westinghouse Electric for more than 12 years. A highlight of her career was helping to build the then-largest gantry crane in the world for Offshore Power Systems.
Bowman has also owned a certified woman-owned business since 1976, providing engineering, real estate, legal and training services. She has appeared regularly as an expert witness in construction disputes, is a frequent lecturer on law and engineering, and provides technical translations from French and German. In addition, she writes a column called “Risky Business” for the PE Reporter—the magazine of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE) and has authored a book, “Residential Construction and Remodeling in Pennsylvania: Working with Homeowners and Small Contractors,” which is going into its second edition.
“Rebecca brings a fresh eye and clear enthusiasm to NAFE,” said Liberty L. Janson, 2021 President of NAFE. “Her dual perspective on the practice of forensic engineering is already informing how we communicate with our members, NSPE, and the public at large.”
Bowman joined National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) as the new Senior Director, Ethics and Professional Practice in 2020. In this role, Bowman is responsible for serving as the subject matter expert on engineering ethics, providing ethics counsel to members in need of guidance and providing management, policy direction, and guidance on ethics in all internal and external operations of the organization. She also serves as the in-house and industry expert on engineering licensure laws and liability laws affecting the profession. Bowman supervises the government relations and advocacy team and initiatives.
“I have taught, counseled, lectured, and written on the topics of ethics and professional responsibility for years, as well as drafted legislation and provided comments on regulations pertinent to the profession,” said Bowman in the initial press release announcing her NSPE position. “It is exciting for me to be on the front lines at NSPE, fighting for the integrity of our profession and priming the pump for future generations.”
Bowman holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of North Dakota, an MBA from Oklahoma University, and her law degree from Duquesne University. She is involved with the American Arbitration Association, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Bar Association. In addition to her workplace endeavors and achievements, she volunteers with Legal Aid, Habitat for Humanity, Family Promise, the Pregnancy Resource Center of the South Hills, MATHCOUNTS, and National History Day. When she gets bored, she makes jams and jellies.
Bowman is doing her best to fill the engineering pipeline. She and her husband, Jeffrey, a nuclear engineer, have two sons, Eric, an auditor, and Joshua, a nuclear/mechanical engineer, and three grandsons, all toddlers showing whatever engineering promise toddlers can show.