Category Archives: Engineers in Engineering

I will use this page to share useful information and resources for those in the engineering disciplines. People outside of this discipline may also find many takeaways from the posts.

How To Easily Register With NSE and COREN in Nigeria

The NSE registration for the April exam is upon us, I thought I should be more detailed on how to go about the registration in this post. NSE checks your qualification and conducts the exams while COREN will use your merit certificate from NSE to grant you a license without having to write any exam. As a graduate of a university with 4 years postgraduation experience, you will be applying to the B1 corporate membership cadre of NSE.

NSE logo 2
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The requirements for sitting for the exam have not changed. You will prepare two reports and sit for written and oral examinations. The two reports are your Postgraduate Experience report and a Technical Design of a development (eg. a building, road etc. for civil engineers). You will need these two reports to successfully register for the exam. If you are looking for sample reports, you can visit any NSE branch office closest to you for their assistance. There are two registration windows; one in February (closing on the 29th) and the other in August. Although this might vary a bit. Keep checking the NSE website for dates and full timetable of the examinations. An initial payment of ₦20, 000 is required for gaining access to the online portal. Payments can be made online.

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During the online registration, you will need to upload your bachelor’s certificate or transcripts of results. Before submitting the reports or even confirming you will sit for the exam, an eligibility test will be performed on your online profile. Your credentials and number of years after graduation are cross-checked to certify whether you can sit for the exam or not. It is after this you will be notified to continue with the registration by submitting your reports. If you fail the eligibility test, the money you paid will not be refunded and you will have to pay again for the next registration window. Ensure you have your transcripts or certificate and at least 4 years of experience before making your payment to avoid disappointments. Some branches like Abuja Branch will require 5 years (4 years + NYSC), assuming the service year was not spent in an engineering role.

Do you want to get a step by step guidance on how to go about registration, please fill this form.

You can take the exams in any state in Nigeria. All you need do is to locate the state branch office of NSE. The branch will normally charge you for writing the exams at their branch. For Abuja Branch, Branch Processing Fee is ₦5, 000 and a compulsory Branch Registration of ₦3, 100 must be paid .

After your successful registration, while you wait for the exams that will come up about 6 weeks after the deadline of the registration, compulsory workshops on how to write the exams will be held by both the branch (held in the state) and the national body (held in Abuja a week before the exam). Abuja branch workshop is ₦15, 000 and national workshop is ₦20, 000. Summing all these up amounts to ₦63, 100.

Do you want to get a step by step guidance on how to go about registration, please fill this form.

The oral will test you on your experience, mostly through the reports you submitted earlier. The written test will entail among others, 2 essay questions; one on a local issue and the other on a national issue. Most engineers find this particularly difficult and often times fail it. If you fail any part of the test, you will have to re-sit it during the next examination period.

The computer test is mostly a walk in the park. You can be asked simple questions like to open an excel sheet, save a work or the likes. Generally, all the tests are not difficult.

My advises are prepare your reports in time before the registration window closes. Ensure you have at least ₦60, 000 prior to the exam for the registration. Candidates  who pass the exam will be asked to pay an election fee between ₦53, 300 and ₦61, 300 depending on when you graduated. This election fee is for you to be fully incorporated as a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. This totals to more than ₦100, 000. When you have your certificate from the NSE, you will apply to COREN with a token of about ₦40, 000 to be given a license and your seal. COREN has detailed the procedures of getting the license on their website here.

Do you want to get a step by step guidance on how to go about registration, please fill this form.

Now, subscribe to my blog and go get registered.

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Sadiq Gulma.


How to Jub Hunt in Dubai

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are an Engineer or any other professional and interested in working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Middle East, well, here is the good news, there are numerous opportunities existing there waiting for people to grab them. And I want to share with you how to grab one for yourself. The easiest way of securing a job in the UAE, specifically Dubai or Abu Dhabi, is to travel and reside there for a period of time. When you are close to employers and you have a local mobile phone number, you make it a lot easier for the employer to pick up the phone and place a local call to you. Although, this doesn’t mean they won’t call you if they are interested in your profile (I received a call from a potential employer from Oman while in Nigeria). However, by making yourself physically available and being able to show up for an in-person interview quickly makes the process a lot easier. They will easily opt for potential employees who are already present in the country, even though you will still have to seek for work permit when employed.

source: Marcia Peel
Jobs! where art thou?

If you happen to take that risky decision (of spending some of your hard earned money to travel to Dubai) not everyone around you might support, then you are almost there. Upon finding yourself in the UAE, the easiest path to start looking for possible recruiters is through the internet. All you have to do is log in to the sites, upload your CV and mark it “looking for a job”. Potential employers normally will see your profile as “looking for a job”. It is from here that they will get your number and place a call to you. The most popular site now is Dubizzle. Others are Naukrigulf, Careerbuilder, Bayt etc. All these job sites have openings in Middle East countries like UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.

Motivational quoted from Dubizzle

However, other employers prefer the other way round. They put up job vacancies on these sites, then you look them up and apply according to instructions by the recruiter. If you are lucky, you will get called. The idea is to apply as early as possible because once they find the candidate they want, they might not take down the ad and so you will be applying for a filled position.

For my 12 days in Dubai, I and Bashir, about to conclude our graduate studies then, decided and tried to job hunt in Dubai from two different angles. The conventional walking up to offices and dropping our CVs and applying on the internet. Of course, there are hundreds of construction companies in Dubai and we cannot possibly visit all of them. We used a strategy that will make this task very easy.

Bashir studying the map of Dubai closely

Actually the robust Bashir came up with the idea (talk of what someone said about ‘lazy’ people, give the hardest job to the laziest person in the room, he will find the easiest way of doing it). There are two metro lines in Dubai, one passing through the Sheikh Zayed road and the other through downtown. We simply agreed to look up online, companies with offices close to metro stations only. So that at each metro stop, we don’t have to work far or spend a lot on metered taxis to get to a location.

Dubai rail network

You might not get the best of receptions when you show up at a place without an appointment. One of the offices we dropped our CVs who informed us, like other firms, no vacancies, eventually called Bashir. So yeah, they might say no at first, but there is no harm in trying. While through the online platform, I personally received 2 calls from potential employers asking further details about my expertise. I left Dubai without securing any job in 12 days. Bashir who I met and left there eventually got called for an interview and offered a job in Abu Dhabi. So yeah, it totally works if you match the requirements.

One thing you should keep in mind however is some employers prefer Indians and Filipinos, who I heard are the cheapest labour in the UAE. So let it not be a surprise to you when an employer asks about your nationality and doesn’t call you back again or he offers you a salary you are not expecting. Talk about equal employer opportunity. Again, employers will ask whether you have any Gulf experience; experience working in the Gulf region. You still can get hired without those. There is a starting point for everyone.

Are you ready to work abroad? Or you want another young man to tour the world with your old guitar.

How To Be a Registered/Licensed Engineer in Nigeria

If you are intending to be a registered or better put, licensed engineer, then you should read this blog. The procedure to do it can no doubt be confusing to many people, but I assure you, it is very simple. There are two steps involved; register with NSE then go to COREN for the final step. Registering with COREN is more important, when practicing engineering is concerned. But you have to go through  NSE to get there. Last year, (see blog post below), I mentioned you do not need to go through NSE to register with COREN. Actually, that new procedure was only done in September and October last year for reasons best known to themselves. After that period, COREN stopped accepting applicants without NSE registration.

But going through NSE makes it a lot easier to go to COREN. NSE has two registration windows, in April and in October. Once you get your registration with NSE, getting your license from COREN is simplified.

So if you are intending to get your engineering practicing license, now is the time to do it. Application to sit for NSE exams has started and will not end till February the 28th. NSE website has given a step by step instruction of how to do it. I have also made a specific blog post for that here. Should you need more guidance in doing this, I would be happy to help. Please comment below or send an email.



The procedure of registering with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) has once again changed. It actually reverted back to what was the norm about 5 years ago. Now, you do not need to go through the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). You can acquire both membership in parallel. However, going through the NSE first before approaching COREN may be easier. This is because when you register with NSE, you will neither sit for an interview with COREN nor will you need to submit a detailed technical report.  Again, to clear the misconception of who gives you the requisite license to practice engineering in Nigeria, it is COREN. It is the organization decreed in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

A Registered Engineer, according to the Engineers Code of Conduct of 2015 prepared by COREN is defined as someone who maybe engaged in research, production, supervision of engineering construction, management of engineering activities or as a designer; or he may be retained as a consultant for professional advice, inspection, certification adjudication, or be engaged in any combination of these.

Back to the matter, how do you get your license now without going to NSE?

The process is clearly detailed on the website here. For a summary, all you have to do is download and print two forms. One form is to be completed by two registered engineers who are up to date with their payment of dues, endorsing you to be registered. The other form is to be completed by your employer, endorsing your application. Until you have these two forms, you should not start the online registration.

With the forms duly completed, you are ready to begin the online application. You will be asked to upload the two endorsed forms and other credentials of yours. In addition, you will need to request your alma mater to send your bachelor’s transcripts to COREN. This you can do early on in the process, assuming you are certain you will get endorsed, which I believe is not difficult. However, you may face a challenging period looking for engineers with up to date payment of dues. Ensure you ascertain they are up to date with the account office of COREN before you upload the form.

During the completion of the online form, you will be asked to pay a registration fee of 12,000 Nigerian Naira. Thereafter, you will submit 3 copies of a technical report. When the board reviews your application, an invitation for interview will be sent to you. On the day of your interview, you will also bring a single copy of the report you submitted earlier. One advice about the report, do not include what you cannot defend. Your interview will assess you on what you wrote and basic engineering knowledge. If you need help writing this report, please contact me.

The assessment interview is organized at the beginning of each quarter. So the next interview should be in September. Confirmed dates haven’t been announced yet. After passing your interview, which I have no doubt you will, you will complete the process by paying 38,500 NGN. And with that, you have the requisite license to practice engineering in Nigeria and use the title ‘Engr’ before your name.

For those who have master’s degrees, you do not need to submit your M.Sc transcript. You can do so if you wish though. Your first degree transcript suffices. If you have any more questions regarding the process, please comment below. If you also need help with the writing your post-graduate experience report, I will be happy to help.

Please forward this post to someone who is intending to register.

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Many of us are a bit confused as to what body licenses engineers in Nigeria; is it the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) or the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN)? Well, it is COREN that can authoritatively grant you license to practice engineering in Nigeria. The process of getting there is dependent on time and experience though, and must be through NSE. Nigerian engineers practicing outside the country are also eligible for registration by COREN.

From last year, the procedure for getting registered changed. Then, COREN administers potential engineers with an exam before registering them. Now, it is the NSE that administers the examination, and all you have to do after passing the exam is to apply to COREN for registration. You normally pay an amount of money together with your application. Your applications must be supported by a registered engineer, who has to sign her/his name, including her/his license number. This engineer should be the one you have been under her or his tutelage.

The first eligibility you need to meet before getting registered is the duration of your engineering practice. Normally, COREN says you have to practice for four years before applying. However, you can be registered with a lower number of years, if you have partaken in a sophisticated engineering project. These rules also apply now to NSE before you get registered with them.

NSE organizes a mandatory workshop (at a fee) for aspiring engineers twice a year, in March and in October. The same time period that COREN accepts application for registration. After the workshop, you then sit for the exam, depending on your discipline. A 3 part exam is organized; essay, oral and technical. For civil engineers, you are normally required to submit a full manual design of a development project you have worked on before, complete with structural detailing. The essay part is a general examination covering the disciplines of engineering; perhaps testing your general engineering knowledge. You will also be tried on your proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the technical exam. The oral examination will test you mostly on the design of the project you have submitted. I know oral examination sounds scary but am sure you will nail it if you get there.

Engineering seal
A COREN engineering seal which each COREN registered engineer is given, customized with your registration number.

Upon the acceptance of your application showing you have passed the exam and meet the duration of practice, you will be granted license to practice and an engineering seal (pictured above) which you will use on the engineering drawings you will submit for development authorities to approve. Development authorities (such as FCDA that is in charge of developmental projects in the FCT) will only accept engineering drawings with a COREN seal before they will approve the development project.

So how many years of practice do you have left before you can register?


Written by Sadiq Gulma (LEED AP BD+C)…your freelance engineer.

Letter to a Young Engineer

This letter, from a father to a son, was written by professional engineer Bob Breeze upon his son’s graduation as a mechanical engineer. The letter was published in a collection entitled, Letters to Young Engineers, published by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and edited by Daniel Hoornweg, UOIT associate professor and Jeffrey Boyce Research chair. Inspired in part by Ranier Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, the book was presented to recent engineering graduates at the university to inspire and encourage their continued development as professional engineers.


Letter to a Young Engineer

BY  Guest


Congratulations on your graduation!

You have good reason to be proud of your accomplishments.

Now take time to reflect: Take time to think about your personal and professional goals. Reflect as well on what it means to be an engineer in this ever-changing world and, more importantly, what it means to be a fully contributing member of society. How will you take your place in your community, this country, and the world? There are tough personal and career decisions ahead that will challenge the very idea of who you are.

Engineering teaches that you can think your way through any problem when it is broken down into manageable parts. But today’s broader societal problems can’t be broken down in the same manner. Our problems are intractable. They are multidimensional. Sound decisions require us to consider the ethical, social, cultural, environmental, and economic sides of any issue. They didn’t teach us that in engineering school.

I can’t help you make the tough decisions ahead. Frankly, I’m not sure what tomorrow or these decisions will look like. But here are some things that you can do to prepare yourself for the future.

Read Broadly

Engineering students don’t receive a broad education. The curriculum focuses on the narrow confines of our profession. Many argue that it must focus given the amount of material engineering students have to master.  I won’t argue either point, but you need to catch up and develop a broader understanding of the world around you.

Read literature, history, economics, philosophy, biographies, and poetry. Build an appreciation of the arts. Go to the symphony as well as the jazz festival. Listen to TED lectures and download podcasts for those long flights or commutes to work and back.

There are many points of view, and many solutions to any problem. The key to taking a broader role in your community is to understand these points of view, develop sound judgment, and use it to guide you in the future.

Follow Current Affairs

We aren’t just taxpayers. We are citizens first. To be good citizens, we must follow what is happening around us and seek to understand root causes. Take an interest in what’s happening in your community, nation, and world affairs.

What was the “Arab Spring” all about? How are its effects shaping our world? What should we do about it? Can we do anything about it?

And at home, what caused the Lac-Mégantic disaster and the Walkerton drinking water tragedy? Were these caused by lazy or drunk workers? Or by greedy companies? Or by the current focus of our society on profits? It’s up to you to decide and to use this understanding to guide your professional and personal decision-making.

Get Involved Politically

Politics isn’t a dirty word! Politics is how societies consider issues and make decisions. Being a politician is a noble profession. Yes, too many politicians have been found lining their own pockets at our expense. And political parties have become far too introspective. They cater to the needs of the party base and not the good of the province and country. You can help change that! Politics must focus on the broader public good and not just the good of the few.

It doesn’t matter what political party you choose to support. Just make sure that the vision and, more importantly, the actions of your chosen political party align with your personal views.


Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Remember the two years your mother and I spent in the African bush teaching science and languages? It was a tough assignment, but in the end we gained far more than our students. It taught us self-reliance and judgment, and it gave us an appreciation [of] how difficult life is in many developing countries. It was a personal growth experience and … we found ourselves!

Your mother and I have done well personally, financially, and in our careers. You could argue that it was because of hard work and good judgment. Yes, but there was a lot of luck involved too. We were born and grew up at the right time and place. Reach out to those who are less fortunate and in need of help. Volunteer in your community. Give back!

Be Ready for Opportunities

You need to have career and personal goals and sound plans to achieve them. After your time of reflection, you need to decide what you want to do with your life and your career. But you still need to maintain a good measure of flexibility and be ready to seize opportunities that present themselves.

This will often mean a move out of your comfort zone. But that’s a good thing. The psychological high after you’ve accepted a challenge and achieved what you set out to do is amazing!

Just don’t be complacent. Keep moving forward. Challenge yourself.

Learn to Communicate Effectively

Engineers are poor communicators! We think once we have worked through the calculations, the solution should be obvious to everyone. But it is not obvious to everyone.

The best ideas are often lost because they weren’t well communicated or the timing was wrong. Senior decision-makers have limited time and are being pressed from all sides. Make it easy for them to see the benefits from their perspective.

Join Toastmasters, or take a course in public speaking and making presentations. And before the big day, practice, practice, and practice!

Speak Truth to Power

Let’s stop building subways to city wards when there is no business case. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars to extend a subway to solidify votes for the next election is dishonest! Let’s push for evidence-based decision-making.

It’s easy to follow the path of least resistance, and we all need to do that at times. You can’t keep hitting your head against the wall. But when the issue at stake is fundamentally important, stand up and speak truth to power. Engineers need to let their voices be heard on issues of public importance.

In conclusion, engineers can continue to be small, bit players in community, provincial, and national decision-making by providing technical solutions to narrowly defined problems. Or they can get involved in helping define the problem, thinking through the broader social, cultural, environmental, and ethical implications, considering the broader options, and communicating to the broader society. They can make sure that engineering thinking is part of problem definition, analysis, and solution.

I have a tee-off time this afternoon. Here’s the torch! Let me know how it goes.


BobBreezeRobert (Bob) Breeze, P.Eng., graduated in 1975 with a degree in Chemical Engineering (Honours) from Lakehead University in Ontario. Over his career, he has worked in the petrochemical industry, with government, with NGOs and, most recently, with multilateral and bilateral aid agencies. He is currently working as a consultant to the World Bank with a focus on hazardous and solid waste management in SE Asia and East Africa. Bob wrote this letter for his son, Glen, who graduated as a mechanical engineer in 2004 from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.


Culled from ASCE Roundup- The civil engineering blog and news network.

Why you should join an engineering association

“A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” Will Rogers

The best way to know everyone in the game is to attend a party of the players. The best way to acquaint yourself with fellow engineers is to attend their activities. There are numerous engineering associations and societies you can engage with; either as a student or an engineer (graduate, licensed or unlicensed).

Merits for students

Participating in such professional associations will give you an opportunity to interact with certified engineers practicing the profession. They get to answer all your curiosity about the career you want to pursue, and if you have none, they can give you a heads up of what’s going on.

By the time you graduate school or sometime close to it, and you begin searching for jobs and places you want to intern at, the members of the engineering societies you have been interacting with will help you in either absorbing you in their companies or at least recommend you to others. This is because of the commitment you have shown to grow as an engineer. Your participation in their activities translates to how you can balance your academic challenges with extra-curricular activities.

Just by mere acquaintance of the professionals in your field can be fruitful for you if not in the present, then in the future. You might want to get your bachelor’s degree and proceed for a Master’s; maybe one of those members in your professional organizations might be the person in charge of reviewing applications in the department you are applying. Maybe she is in charge of scholarships or best, she is highly respected in the field and when she writes you a recommendation letter for the job, scholarship or graduate admission applications, your chances of success dramatically goes up. Christine Comaford-Lynch said, “Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.”

Merits for graduates

You also get to grow in networking and knowledge. Attendance at weekly lecture series, meetings, guest lectures will enrich your database beyond what you will learn from classrooms. And if you have figured out where you want to go in your engineering career, you will most likely find someone practicing that and you might want to approach her or him so that she or he can mentor and counsel you, for free.

Often times, when you grow professionally as an engineer, you might come across opportunities in form of contracts you can’t accomplish alone. You need to supplement your knowledge with others’ in order to deliver the project. The acquaintances you met by networking at those events would have probably matched the right person you are searching for. The network you created also gives you an opportunity to talk to many professionals who will help you in finding the right person for the job. It saves you a lot of time if you have a trusted network which you can always refer back to for suggestions.

While I was on vacation/job hunting in Dubai, I got the opportunity to attend a networking event of Young Entrepreneurs in Property UAE at the Hilton Hotel, for free. I was able to make acquaintance with the professionals practicing in the Middle East. It was there I met a British lawyer working for an engineering firm, who suggested to me a powerful networking event that holds on every month in Dubai and other member countries. The events are normally attended by highly influential company owners who have the authority to employ you on the spot. As a trusted friend of mine always says, “it’s about the dots, the ww (world wide) dot in your life that matters.” And I couldn’t agree more with him. He always advocates that we should know people from all over the world and from all spheres of life.

Societies, associations and affiliations

Here, I have identified some professional associations I suggest you visit their website right away and register. However, the first association or society you should associate with is the local association around you. If you do not know any, ask your colleagues or lecturers. Engage in both student and professional associations. The second association you should engage with is the national association of the country. Most countries have a national body of engineers. In Nigeria, you can visit which is the website of Nigerian Society of Engineers. There are different membership levels in all of these bodies from students, to graduates to professionals and fellows. And you should choose the membership level according to your profile.

For those of you who will like to have titles and affiliations after your names, the societies are the fastest bet for you to get one. For example if you are a member of NSE, you can append MNSE after your name to mean (member of the NSE). So here is the list.

  • Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE)
  • Young Nigerian Engineers Forum
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) (Even those not in the electrical and electronic discipline can register as members)
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE)

Have you participated in any professional association’s activities and you found it very useful? You can tell us about it in the comments box below by naming the association, the activity and the experience you took out of it. Do you belong to any student or professional association? Go ahead and list it in the comment box so that someone might attend your next event.