I have always considered the many and varied topics of cost engineering as a profession. As such, practitioners require ongoing and specialized educational training. Since the beginning of AACE International (1956), the increasing power of computers to harness ever-growing amounts of data supporting cost estimating, scheduling, project control, and all other facets of cost engineering correlates with our evolving profession. Now, we are at the cusp of utilizing big data, data analytics, and significant advancements in computing applications to allow us to work smarter and quicker in supporting decision-making. As in the end, the results of our cost engineering activities support decisions related to authorizing, modifying, or abandoning assets and projects.
I joined AACE over 30 years ago to stay atop this evolving cost engineering profession and effectively support my employers and clients. I recognized early that AACE International Recommended Practices support cost engineering practitioners in establishing consensus-driven guidelines for the fundamentals of the cost engineering profession while also supporting the advancements required by the ever-changing project environment. As AACE has published its 100th recommended practice, I am proud to have assisted (along with 455 other contributors) the development of many of these. I always recognize that I have gained so much more from my association with AACE than my efforts. I encourage all cost engineering professionals (whether AACE members or not) to continue to assist in the development and review of new practices to ensure that our profession remains based on current and sound principles in supporting effective decision-making.