Where can one network with professional engineers?

I am an Atlanta-based software developer who is interested in taking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's registration exam, so that I will be qualified to work on certain aspects of the patent application process. Unfortunately, a Computer Science degree does not meet the requirement to sit for that exam unless you have a very specific set of classes on your transcript, which does not match my case.

The alternative method for qualification is to show a passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, administered at the state-level to college students and recent grads as the first step toward a career in engineering. I have reviewed the NCCE-published material for that exam, and have little doubt that I could pass it on the first attempt (if I could keep my brain going for 8 hours straight!).

The new problem there is with the requirements to take THAT exam in my state. I meet all the requirements, except for having three signatures from licensed (in any state) professional engineers vouching for my character. Unfortunately, I don't even know any licensed PE's in passing. I contacted some old faculty from my undergraduate years, but none of them are licensed PE's. The best they could offer was to write a letter of recommendation, vouching for me to any PE I may meet. I'm still at square one as far as meeting engineers in the first place.

Can anyone suggest any professional groups (IEEE, etc) which hold regular meetings, where I could meet and network with PE's in person? I see that joining IEEE costs about $150, and I would pay that if I HAD to... but they don't seem to meet much in Atlanta anyway, and it somehow feels a little "creepy" to buy a membership and show up for meetings that don't concern me just to solicit a few character witnesses. That really brings me to my central question, how DO I go about this process without looking like a flake or a heel? Does anyone have any suggestions for how I should (or should NOT) be approaching engineers once I do find a suitable venue for meeting them? Thank you very much!

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googled professional engineer atlanta and got the above response. The = first, the Georgia Society of PEs in Atlanta, looks promising. Try = sending your letter of introduction to them, see what they recommend. = Then follow it up with a visit. Or take up golf and head for Florida. I = can't imagine any other place in the universe that you'd run into more = of them.

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David Janes

An alternative approach would be to review the USPTO registration exam requirements, options B or C, and see what classes you are lacking. You might be able to take a few classes at a local junior college to satisfy the chemistry or physics requirements.

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You know, that may be the smartest suggestion after all. I spent some time yesterday afternoon going over my transcript, and all I would need to take is ONE physics class from the local 2-year college. That is, if I can also get my old college to send me photocopies of the course descriptions for my old classes IN THE YEAR THEY WERE TAKEN. If the registrar's office doesn't archive course catalogs from 10+ years ago, I'll be screwed again.

Gotta love the government! :)

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