Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing


The Christie Society - Maryland Board for Professional Engineers


The Maryland law to register professional engineers became effective June 1, 1939. Professor Alexander Graham Christie, then the head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Johns Hopkins University, became the first Chairman of the State of Maryland Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

Nine hundred and fifty-five licenses were issued in 1940, and four hundred and eighty-four in 1941. Activity fell off immediately because of the war years, with only twenty-nine, twenty-five, and thirty-five being issued during 1940, 1943, and 1944. Then, during the next three years, 1945 through 1947, fifty-seven, eighty, and ninety-three licenses were issued. In total, during the first ten years, a few more than 1,900 licenses were issued.

Forty years later, in early 1990, the State Board for Professional Engineers proposed the creation of The Christie Society, an honorary organization to be established by the Department of Licensing and Regulation to recognize Maryland's professional engineers who have maintained their licenses for a period of fifty years. The Society was named in recognition of Professor Christie, the holder of License Certificate No. 1.

The Christie Society's induction ceremony and banquet are held at The Engineer's Club at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion in Mount Vernon, where Professor Christie's original license certificate can be seen. That same evening, newly licensed Professional Engineers are welcomed into the ranks of the profession.