Design engineering covers areas such as mechanical, civil, electrical, and industrial engineering. Design engineers are different from drafters and designers because they take care of total systems as well as the internal workings of a system. Usually, the engineer works with a group of designers to develop the concept and detail the design of critical parts. Structures are usually designed with help from sources to make the end product feasible. The engineers play a critical role in building structures, designing infrastructure, propulsion, and power distribution systems.
Design engineers are important professionals who offer their expertise in many areas of architectural engineering. They oversee building designs before implementation, and they conduct regular checks to ensure the work is being carried out according to the original plan. The engineers make decisions together with other team members who are responsible for ensuring that the project does not exceed the limits set by the budget. The design engineer must understand what the client requires before putting down ideas on paper, so as to ensure the final design meets the expectations of the client and is cost-effective.
Design engineers must stay in touch with construction site managers and other superintendents, so that the work at hand is well supervised. On-site inspection of building facilities must be performed regularly by the engineers, who also check equipment for necessary repairs and maintenance. Other duties of a design engineer include checking materials used for construction, ensuring they meet the recommended threshold, reviewing master plans and cost estimates, and considering other specifications prepared by architects, so as to ensure the design is feasible before construction begins.
It is also the responsibility of the engineer to ensure all drawings are done in compliance with building codes in areas such as installation of fire alarm systems, marking fire exits, and having facilities for disabled people put in place, such as elevators and escalators.
Design engineers must have a good grasp of architecture, understand the functions of various construction equipment or machinery, and be proficient in reading blueprints and drawings. It is important for a professional design engineer to have problem-solving capabilities and make recommendations or suggestions where necessary. Working in the construction industry is highly demanding, so the engineer requires great communication skills, a passion for the job, commitment to the profession, and genuine interest in maintaining good relationships with fellow team members.
It is common for highly experienced design engineers to take a lead on projects and create models (also known as prototypes) as their blueprints. Technological advancement has made it possible to use computer programs to assist designers to make detailed drawings. Most engineers in the designing field use advanced computer applications such as the popular CAD software. There are also certain programs where designs are put through virtual simulations in order to test their efficiency, integrity, and effectiveness. People who wish to undergo training in this field have to obtain a degree from an accredited university. Most countries require graduates to pass written licensing exams that test their understanding of fundamental designs and the engineering profession.
Abbas Hussain is a blogger who talks about design engineers and Steel Buildings for companies like Cyclone Steel Buildings.