/ Engineers or technicians

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Le Sapeur 02 Sep 2019

How many times have you been told by utility companies and the such like that they will send an engineer round to fix the boiler etc? No! It's a technician who will fix the boiler etc. The engineer will have designed the said product. As an engineer myself I think it is time to educate the call centre staff and tell the we want technicians to fix things, not engineers! 

6
Mike_Gannon 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Ha ha! Yes, my job title is  'XXXXX-engineer' but I don't have a degree and get told all the time that technically I shouldn't be allowed to hold that job title. But IT is like that.

There are some quite elaborate job titles in our company. Lots of "executives" "partners" "principal engineers"

Apples "Geniuses" are probably a bridge too far for me.

George Ormerod 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

It irks me a bit: I have Engineering accreditation in the UK, Europe and Canada, and only in Canada is the title of engineer protected by legislation. However I don’t think that this improves in any way the safety of the public or improves the quality of the engineering.  

Cheese Monkey 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Agreed I’m a technician not a pen pusher

2
Trangia 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

You are right, the utility companies are very bad at this job title misdescription. 

Did it start in the USA where the guy who drove a train steam engine was known as an engineer? 

I looked up a gas ad  to find that their engineers are also heroes......

 https://www.localheroes.com/heating/new?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Generic&gclid=CjwKCAjw-7LrBRB6EiwAhh1yX2WQAjEAfJYM90iG1L9PqdaRf6FJhdYMURAUm9SquzaovS51PBW5ABoCrgcQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Post edited at 07:31
wercat 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I agree in principle generally (my much missed fully qualified and chartered engineer uncle often commented on this silliness over the years)

However, I think there is a possible allowance for non qualified people where they are not simply assemblers or fixers of installations but have reached a proficiency level where they can extend to designing stuff themselves using their knowledge and long experience to do it predictably well and properly rather than bodge-trial and error.  Perhaps not engineers in the strict sense but I've come across people who are far beyond technician status but not formally qualified

galpinos 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Mike_Gannon:

What's wrong with Principal Engineer? Within engineering the structure and job titles are pretty simple normally and principal engineer will be the most senior/experienced on the job?

Graduate Engineer -- Engineer -- Senior Engineer -- Principal Engineer

Least Experience --> --> --> --> --> --> --> --> Most Experience

Eric9Points 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I'm a real engineer and it doesn't bother me although I suppose it would be nice if people made the distinction.

If people ask me what I do I tell them I'm a design engineer and they generally then ask me what I design. I like to think that once I've told them what I design they understand that there is a difference between myself and the bloke that installs central heating.

teh_mark 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

For some reason, in my industry lighting techs and video techs are rarely referred to as 'lighting engineers' except by the clueless, but sound techs are very often 'sound engineers'. But in fairness, we also call them some much less polite things to balance it out.

Philip 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Problem is the origin of the word in the same as the word engine, so that engineer is both the designer of the device and the operator of the device (train engineer is in the cab, a locomotive engineer is in a factory making them). Chartered Engineer is defined, and to be honest unless you are competent signing of the design/construction of the device you can call yourself what you like, it's meaningless.

So when it comes to repairing central heating it's quite sliding scale between the Engineers who designed the boiler / heat pump / control system, the engineers who designed the installation in the house, and the plumbers who assisted to run pipes.

In reply to Le Sapeur:

I'm a design engineer myself and i have little problem with the title "engineer" being spread about a bit i was employed as an engineer for 4 years before completing my degree! Plus i know quite a few "technicians" who could knock the socks off many degree qualified "engineers" within their field. 

As far as i am concerned talent talks more than job titles and qualifications hence all "engineers" should be time served, not fresh out of uni! 

WaterMonkey 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I have a Russian friend who is a sound engineer.
I have a Czech one too...

Martin Hore 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Yes, this devaluation of professional or senior titles is pretty prevalent. As well as technicians being called engineers, we have all manner of junior staff called "associates", check-out staff at Waitrose called "partners" (actually I think they technically are partners at Waitrose) and "managers" at my bank branch who are not empowered to make any significant decisions at all. I'm sure others can come up with many more examples.

I guess it makes people feel better if you give them a professional sounding title while paying them peanuts. It would sound less incongruous if companies actually paid their junior staff better - no less than one twentieth the earnings of their chief executives might be a start.

Martin

2
Ridge 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Martin Hore:

Lets not forget the legions of "Senior Assistant Project Managers" who seem to be about 14 years old and colour in visio charts for a living.

Post edited at 11:49
nniff 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

The grandest job title I ever encountered was held by a lady at L3 Communications. She was the 'Vice-President for Global Peace and Security'.  

On a more mundane level, a mate at university had a summer job as a 'Thermo-plastic Application Engineer' which involved painting the white lines in the middle of the road.

Ridge 03 Sep 2019
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> I have a Russian friend who is a sound engineer.

> I have a Czech one too...

That took me a while

Lemony 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

You think they're bad. Some of us are Software Engineers.

dread-i 03 Sep 2019
In reply to nniff:

>She was the 'Vice-President for Global Peace and Security'.  

The yanks seem very big on "Vice President of ..." SVP's, EVP's etc. I dont think I've ever met an American who wasn't a VP of some sort. To me, that means they are second in command. I wonder where all the presidents are.

andyd1970 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Well as long as they send a Technician out to fix the problem and an Engineer you’ll be ok.

LastBoyScout 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Where I work, we have QA engineers - they test software!

Kevster 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I'm an electrician. And electrical engineer is very different.

My plumbing mates who like clean hands call them selves heating engineers, they also think its a promotion.  I like to call them "reduced scope plumbers".  Gets a rise every time. 

jimtitt 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Philip:

> Problem is the origin of the word in the same as the word engine, so that engineer is both the designer of the device and the operator of the device (train engineer is in the cab, a locomotive engineer is in a factory making them). Chartered Engineer is defined, and to be honest unless you are competent signing of the design/construction of the device you can call yourself what you like, it's meaningless.

> So when it comes to repairing central heating it's quite sliding scale between the Engineers who designed the boiler / heat pump / control system, the engineers who designed the installation in the house, and the plumbers who assisted to run pipes.


Indeed, it's the Institutes taking over a previously widely used word and trying to restrict it's definition (actually it's the elitist members who are trying to make Chartered Engineer the same as engineer).

I'm an engineer by any definition but I'm not a Chartered Engineer.

GridNorth 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Project Manager is a similarly misunderstood and abused term that covers a huge range of skills and disciplines. 

Al

Post edited at 12:40
Jim Fraser 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Did you have to do this? You've started me now. 

The title of my online cv is a gif changing between four words:

ENGINEER - INGENIEUR - INGENIEUX - INGENIOUS

So if you are doing ingenious things and creating new devices and new ways of making things then you're an engineer. 

If you are solely concerned with performing maintenance, fault finding and repair tasks on in-service equipment then you are definitely NOT an engineer. Definitely definitely not because the engineer's mind is in a completely different place and trying to solve problems that are not relevant to the technician task. 

There will be a few people out there who can span both mental spaces but generally you are one or the other. 

I can fix all sorts of stuff, from cars and lawn mowers to computers and televisions. That's useful in a product/system development environment and it earns me a few bottles of wine now and again, but in a commercial environment I wouldn't last through the first day. 

I know what a good technician looks like and I have had the pleasure of working with a good number of them across the years. I am not one of them. I am an engineer and I design crazy stuff and measure stuff in new ways and write procedures for complicated stuff and specialise in preserving and enhancing complex IP.

Britain has a Technician crisis due to the collapse of proper technician training and exactly the faulty language discussed here degrading the understanding of the engineering industry amongst the wider population. That wider population includes political decision makers and educational professionals.

We are currently paying too much for under-trained and poorly managed technicians while often paying too little for innovators. There is a choice to be made in a technical career: money or innovation. Innovation is much more interesting then money.

"We can't all make a living by opening doors for each other."
Gore Vidal   

1
GrahamD 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Have to say that annoying as it is, its less annoying as main stream media calling engineers "boffins" or "geeks",

captain paranoia 03 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

It's one of the reasons why, in my 35 year career, I have never joined the professional body for my profession. Not having CEng after my name doesn't seem to have held me back.

And the silly thing is that to get CEng these days in my profession, they want you to be in a management role... If I wanted to be a manager, I'd have joined a different professional body...

Eric9Points 03 Sep 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

Never joined either and it's never made any difference to me.

I believe the magazine is good though.

Jim Fraser 04 Sep 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

Well, the whole Chartered fiasco is ridiculous. They now want you to have MEng which is full of lots of maths stuff to honours level and little or no management subjects, and then they want to you to do a management job where you spend your days doing budgets and staff appraisals which frankly your not qualified for. 

Post edited at 02:12
antdav 04 Sep 2019

Every few years i receive a link to a petition to make the title of engineer protected like Doctor, as it is in othet countries. It never gets traction as its too difficult to change the repair industry.

I did have someone come to replace a leaky valve who's invoice stated "aquatic engineer". 

Dave B 04 Sep 2019
In reply to nniff:

Surely that must be from 'Bad Omens' or the like...

Timmd 04 Sep 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> For some reason, in my industry lighting techs and video techs are rarely referred to as 'lighting engineers' except by the clueless, but sound techs are very often 'sound engineers'. But in fairness, we also call them some much less polite things to balance it out.

Do you stand in strategic places? 

;-)

Post edited at 12:58
Neil Henson 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

> How many times have you been told by utility companies and the such like that they will send an engineer round to fix the boiler etc? No! It's a technician who will fix the boiler etc. The engineer will have designed the said product. As an engineer myself I think it is time to educate the call centre staff and tell the we want technicians to fix things, not engineers! 


Here, here. Nice to see this topic getting debated for once. I work in the water industry in an engineering office full of Engineers (I am one myself). Yet even here we still get memos stating that an "Engineer" has been called to fix a toilet blockage / change a lightbulb etc...

Toerag 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> If you are solely concerned with performing maintenance, fault finding and repair tasks on in-service equipment then you are definitely NOT an engineer. Definitely definitely not because the engineer's mind is in a completely different place and trying to solve problems that are not relevant to the tech.

I'm not convinced. Engineers solve problems. Replacing a broken part or effecting a standard repair is tech work, I agree; but sometimes complex in-service systems require complex solutions beyond tech skills, especially when a standard repair isn't possible.  The thing is that the gap between tech skills and engineer skills is widening - engineering design and commercial pressure has resulted in things that are unrepairable. 30 years ago a telephone exchange engineer like me would have been repairing faulty equipment with a soldering iron and oscilloscope or desigining & building things like alarm systems.  Nowadays anything faulty simply gets replaced, and anything else gets bought off the shelf. Nowadays the engineering is either writing software to make user-unfriendly systems work nicely, or systems engineering to design the networks to provide customer solutions.  I don't need anything harder than GCSE maths to be a good systems engineer, just 'engineering aptitude'.

Timmd 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Toerag:

I don't know if it's relevant that I'm the son of an engineer (chartered), but I always think of the people who design bridges and work out the math for machinery and structures, and aircraft and dams and what have you. I think there's always an element of creativity in being an engineer, like in the Victorians who designed so many different engines and other useful things. Engineers do solves problems, but I almost think if somebody can't create something and (most importantly) use the maths required to make it safe, they're possibly not equipped to officially be called an engineer. 

'Maths equipped creative problem solvers' would be my definition maybe. The skills of individuals might overlap, but I think technicians are more people who follow recognised procedures towards diagnosing problems, an engine technician could fix an engine, but they plausibly couldn't design one with their official skill set. 

Post edited at 13:43
teh_mark 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I'm afraid that one has gone right over my head

Timmd 04 Sep 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

> I'm afraid that one has gone right over my head

Ha ha, sorry. Sound engineer, balance - standing in strategic places. 

Post edited at 14:12
jess13 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

When I see the crap washing machines,tumble driers.and fridges designed by engineers which we technicians are expected to repair perhaps they could collaborate with us and we could indicate where they are going wrong, That elusive word  'quality' has long disappeared from these products and one wonders at the calibre of engineers designing them, longevity is a joke (recent quote-'we only expect them to last four years' ,funny I was told five years last year). So if you engineers want to become Engineers perhaps a bit of pride in the products wouldn't go amiss.

3
Eric9Points 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Toerag:

> Nowadays the engineering is either writing software to make user-unfriendly systems work nicely, or systems engineering to design the networks to provide customer solutions.  I don't need anything harder than GCSE maths to be a good systems engineer, just 'engineering aptitude'.

The technology in your area of expertise has matured and as such inevitably becomes de skilled.

There are still plenty of very clever engineers designing and figuring out how to make some very clever things. Have a think about the things your phone can do now. It can recognise your face, take amazing photos, it knows where you are in the world to within a meter or two, it can measure the length of your stride and knows where the centre of the earth is and lots more besides. 

Planeandsimple 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Toerag:

Brickies solve problems with bricks. Joiners solve problems with carpentry. Wood engineers or brick engineering?

Personally the thing that gets my goat is the term over engineered. What it means is that someone who is a tradesman has empirically, ie without calculations, made something heavier in order to make it stronger.

Thisis not over engineering it's under engineering. Engineers do calculations and tests to PROVE that the product works with the minimum material.

I'm not knocking technicians, without technicians I wouldn't know what parts are actually suitable and wouldn't know where to start designing pretty much anything I've designed in industry. Techies have the empirical knowledge you need otherwise you're stabbing around in the dark, however an engineer takes the knowledge of the tech, potentially from different sectors, brings it together and then calculates the best solution. 

1
Eric9Points 04 Sep 2019
In reply to jess13:

> When I see the crap washing machines,tumble driers.and fridges designed by engineers which we technicians are expected to repair perhaps they could collaborate with us and we could indicate where they are going wrong, That elusive word  'quality' has long disappeared from these products and one wonders at the calibre of engineers designing them, longevity is a joke (recent quote-'we only expect them to last four years' ,funny I was told five years last year). So if you engineers want to become Engineers perhaps a bit of pride in the products wouldn't go amiss.

You get what you pay for. That's partly why Iphones are expensive, they posses better technology that's better made made than any other phone. The other reason is the obscene profit margin of course but they couldn't charge like that if they weren't technically brilliant and very reliable.

Aircraft don't fall out of the sky any more, well other than the 737 max of course. If you have a car crash you're much more likely to walk away from it now than you were 30 years ago.

2
captain paranoia 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

> Engineers do calculations and tests to PROVE that the product works with the minimum material.

And then we put a 200% safety margin in...

1
MonkeyPuzzle 04 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I was told when training that "Any Tom, Dick or Harry can make a bridge, but if you want one to a spec, a cost and a timescale you need an engineer".

Of course I can't talk because I'm a project engineer, i.e. it's my job to slightly underestimate the difficulty of the jobs of all the other engineers working on my project.

mff513 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I'm currently studying engineering at uni, I'm not arsed that some of my mates who done a level 2 in plumbing are "engineers" its just their job title. It's funny because in uni my course mates are doing electronics and electrical engineering but I'm doing mechatronics and robotic systems they imply that they are engineers and I'm not because it's in their course name but in the end those in the field will know the difference between a tech and an engineer, as for the chartered status I think a masters or masters equivalent is a good benchmark. I guess public perception of engineers is different to that of tradesmen and companies wish to capitalize on this, what sounds better? we are sending a technician or we are sending an engineer for those who dont know they will pick engineer every time because they associate engineer with something different to technician not to say their arent some technicians who are extremely good at what they do, another thing is machinists and welders they are considered to a step above a tech but a step below an engineer but they like to make the distinction of being in a class of their own sort of separate from this whole debate but also closely linked due to some of them actually being engineers or highly qualified and making the deliberate choice to not call themselves engineers.

Planeandsimple 05 Sep 2019
In reply to mff513:

To be honest I know lots of good engineers who only did bachelor's degrees. They then went in low down on the pecking order and spent enough time actually designing and calculating in industry to gain a good grounding before being promoted to management. Conversely I've seen plenty of masters qualified people fast tracked into management who don't even know the capability of the software and haven't really done any modelling or decision making after their dissitation, therefore they are awful at time estimates and end up over committing or developing bland projects. 

gravy 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

Don't worry about it - happens all the time, apparently Bettany Hughes is a historian...

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

I own and manage a manufacturingcompany. I do not have any engineering qualifications. Nor did I serve any form of apprenticeship

I am personally consulted by  for example Boeing and the likes of Caterpillar for example about our specialist area. 

In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king springs to mind when I read these posts. 

SC 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

It's possible that the person being sent to fix your boiler has an engineering degree and maybe even chartered. Unlikely but possible.

I don't really care that technicians are referred to as engineers. A title such as senior, lead or principle engineer distinguishes the higher level, more experienced engineers. Having said that, I'm a lead engineer, and don't consider myself to be all that special. 

I'm getting fed up with design and would be quite happy to take a nice job fixing boilers.

Post edited at 10:49
Dave 88 05 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Neil I was wondering if you could shed some light on the following questions which, along with liability insurance in some industries, seem to be the main benefits of professional registration.

1- do you think it would get more business in the door (not that you seem to need it!) if you had CEng after your name when you emailed people? Similarly do you think it would increase your chances of getting a job if you ever went back into employment? Are you more likely to look favourably on a candidate you are hiring if they are chartered?

2- do you ever feel there has been a period of having to ‘prove’ yourself to new clients/colleagues/partners, whereas they may otherwise be happy to just accept your chartered status as sufficient proof of ability?

I know these questions sound like I’m trying to trap you into an answer, but I’m genuinely interested. Anyone else feel free to weigh in too.

gravy 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Dave 88:

CEng - I very much doubt this has any effect on anyone not directly interested in getting a CEng themselves.

You always have to prove yourself and no number of dongs will remove that.

Timmd 05 Sep 2019
In reply to mff513:

A problem with the blurring of the term engineer, I think, is that people at school who are deciding what to do, may think that engineers are people who fix boilers or do grimy and greasy things, rather than doing things like designing aircraft, bridges, and being helpfully creative in a cerebral way while doing something interesting, meaning that people who might be keen to do something like that, and who'd be good at it, and who don't want to do something more practical like a technician would, can end up not going into engineering. 

Which isn't to imply there's anything wrong with being a technician, it more about accuracy being a good thing towards attracting people towards engineering, which is more beneficial for the country in the end (imho).

An accurate representation of things is probably good whatever the area...

Post edited at 13:43
DancingOnRock 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Le Sapeur:

We have a training manager with a chip on his shoulder. 

Came in, told us all we weren’t engineers, we were technicians. Waffled on about the difference for half an hour. Introduced his new training plan. Told us where we would all be positioned within his plan. 

I put my hand up and asked why I was at the bottom of the plan and now being called a technician and looking to possibly gain a degree, in the far distant future, when I already have a degree in engineering...

We are definitely not technicians, the guy had a complete lack of understanding of what we actually did out on site. What we do now doesn’t match our job descriptions in a any real way. Instead of renaming us, he should probably have updated the job descriptions. It would explain why he can’t recruit any technicians, as soon as they get interviewed they realise the job isn’t as described.

Hopeless. 

Post edited at 13:41
SC 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I don't think thats the case at all. If someone wants to design aircraft etc they will research this career path and won't be put off because someone who fixes boilers is also called an engineer.

What's really putting people off engineering is that it quite rightly involves a very tough degree course and then a salary which doesn't reflect the level of skill. I've designed machines which are operated by semi skilled personnel who earn more than I do. 

What's pushing people to leave the profession is the amount of paperwork an BS involved with every project. The amount I had to do while I was in the water industry took more time than the design.

Timmd 05 Sep 2019
In reply to SC:

It isn't helpful towards an accurate perception of engineers in 'the public consciousness', is the point I'm making. 

Post edited at 13:51
neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Dave 88:

Its just not relevant .

My business is in overseas markets including Germany and proof of ability via such a thing means nothing .

But I can understand your question from say a structural engineers perspective.

This is where these  type of things fall down.( if that is the right phrase!). Probably in 80% of engineering/manufacturing it is not critical to have such title. But when it is, then boy is it critical.

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I think that is a very  old style view of education from years ago. My daughter did all sorts of thinks like you describe at the high end at both GCSE and A level..( ranging from courses targetting female engineers to all sorts of stuff in Chemistry for example).

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to SC:

You are kidding me, there are loads of surverys well publicised showing that engineering is well paid. Talk to most young people and they understand that.

Its the same with computer science.

DancingOnRock 05 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Then you’d be a chartered engineer or working towards charter status. 

Rather than ‘just’ a Batchelor. 

Ultimately the term Engineer doesn’t convey the full picture. I know nothing about aerospace or mining, so I could be standing next to two engineers and none of us would have anything in common. 

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Widen the view.There are quite a number of professions etc where chartered status is common but not really relevant. Bankers, insurance, estate agents etc.

Unfortunatley engineer is the same.But in certain areas of engineering having that chartered status is critical.

Timmd 05 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I think that is a very  old style view of education from years ago. My daughter did all sorts of thinks like you describe at the high end at both GCSE and A level..( ranging from courses targetting female engineers to all sorts of stuff in Chemistry for example).

In an agreeable way, I wasn't talking about education. Within the past ten years, too,  I've seen something in the New Statesman, something promoting engineering, and it had with it a picture of a guy with a spanner doing something oily and physical.

Your daughter was doing the maths for designing aircraft and bridges...? That's quite remarkable.

Post edited at 14:53
DancingOnRock 05 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Isn’t that what I just wrote? 

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I am just trying to say that students are given opportunites these days. They usually do something with aircraft and bridges to attract interest.What this exaclty entailed I have no idea.

neilh 05 Sep 2019
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Just widening the view point so engineers do not fell as though they are not the only ones who face this issue.

Timmd 05 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I am just trying to say that students are given opportunites these days. They usually do something with aircraft and bridges to attract interest.What this exaclty entailed I have no idea.

Fair enough. I think we were talking about different things, to be fair. It's good that school kids get introduced to what engineering actually is. 

Post edited at 15:17
wintertree 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Dave 88:

I tend to look at people more suspiciously when they list qualifications after their name (*).  I think it’s the “Arnold Rimmer BSc SSc” skit in red dwarf that did it for me.

I once knew someone who listed “BSc, PhD, PGCAP” after their name.  It still cracks up thinking of someone going around listing a PGCAP.  Perhaps they did it at an institution different to the ones people I know have endured theirs at.  

(*) Excepting places like the states where it’s more conventional to use “Mr Bloggs, PhD” and not “Dr Bloggs”.

Post edited at 16:06
mwr72 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

> Brickies solve problems with bricks. Joiners solve problems with carpentry. Wood engineers or brick engineering?

Being a joiner/carpenter I can say that I'm not an engineer, technician or any title other than a joiner/carpenter (though there are sub categories to the trade, from cabinet maker to shuttering carpenter)

> Personally the thing that gets my goat is the term over engineered. What it means is that someone who is a tradesman has empirically, ie without calculations, made something heavier in order to make it stronger

Engineers (up until very recently) designed buildings that fall down in an earthquake.

Carpenters however, have designed buildings that don't fall down in earthquakes(https://multimedia.scmp.com/culture/article/forbidden-city/architecture/chapter_02.html)

1
lewmul 05 Sep 2019
In reply to mwr72:

You seem to have some goalposts on wheels in that comparison

jimtitt 05 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

> Brickies solve problems with bricks. Joiners solve problems with carpentry. Wood engineers or brick engineering?

Clearly the term "engineered wood" hasn,'t filtered into your field yet

SC 06 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Engineering is not well paid when you compare it to what you can earn in other professions which involve less responsibility, less qualification and less academic ability.

I earn less as a lead mechanical designer than anyone in either the sales or marketing department and I'm on an average salary for my job.

neilh 06 Sep 2019
In reply to SC:

Does that really stand upto scrutiny?I am sure accountants would throw at you the years of study to be qualified or certified.Most people do not understand some of the serious qualifications that for example go with compliance in Financial Services ( some require Masters degrees just to get on the starting block and its not unheard of for people to do these whilst having full time jobs)

Its a gripe that annoys me in engineering.

There are plenty of engineers in marketing/sales and other roles. Even met engineers who are accountants( heaven forbid)

captain paranoia 06 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> I am sure accountants would throw at you the years of study to be qualified or certified

Accountancy's professional body has worked over the years to increase the requirements.

I think when I graduated, their requirements for starting were o-levels. It's now degree level.

Planeandsimple 07 Sep 2019
In reply to jimtitt:

I've worked with Jabroc and other engineered plywoods. Also with glulam. These are engineered wood products, they have been tested and have proven structural properties which lie within fairly tight tolerances. These products are selected by engineers when ordinary timber is unsuitable. 

I don't see why so many tradesmen think they're not on the same side as the engineers they're all trying to make a product just do different job. Since neither a tradesman or an engineer can do each others jobs to the same standard maybe if we all communicated better we'd all have easier jobs and if you can't be bothered with that then maybe just take gratitude that most tradesmen earn more than most engineers they meet.

Planeandsimple 07 Sep 2019
In reply to SC:

It's amazing that the sales team can happily sell dangerous products and over promise to the customer, costing the company thousands, and command high salaries.

Engineers who deal with the issues that arise from this and make sure that it doesn't all fall down get shit for spending £100 on a valve that works every time for years when you could get one that breaks every 3 months for £70 and get paid bugger all for the pleasure. Or they get told something is 'over engineered' because it's heavy when they've proved that it needs to be that strong to comply with standards. 

1
GridNorth 07 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

I agree but sales salaries are usually based on commission which makes it slightly different. I used to have this argument with my Dad and Uncle, both Fitters i.e. Technicians, not Engineers.  They were always decrying salesmen using this argument and I do have some sympathy for it having been both a Technician and an Engineer but the bottom line is that the process starts with the Marketing and the Sales so it is wrong to belittle it.  Even though everything you say is true.

Post edited at 16:00
neilh 07 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

An out of date argument which I have rarely seen proven  and is just myth based on the old premis that salesmen can sell ice to the eskimos. 

Sales and marketing have moved on a long way. I  consider it poor that engineers do not get to grips with sales and marketing I today’s business environment .

good engineers get to grips with these and often end up running company’s. You also need accountancy and legal awareness 

Post edited at 22:02
Timmd 07 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> good engineers get to grips with these and often end up running company’s. You also need accountancy and legal awareness 

It's probably truer to say engineers with other useful skills do. My Dad developed his own company as an engineer, and eventually ended up with a team of engineers who he felt were probably cleverer than himself working for him. What their legal awareness and company management skills were I've no idea, people can be real brain boxes and not equipped for running a company, or they can be both - without it reflecting their engineering skills. 

Post edited at 23:19
neilh 08 Sep 2019
In reply to Timmd:

I have been told that in Australia they teach these attributes ton engineering degree courses.  I would not be surprised if other countries do. 

Post edited at 07:44
Planeandsimple 08 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

It depends on the company and industry. For example in an industry that makes repeatable products it is easy to quote, in timber frame design the quotes are, for companies with experience, in the right ball park and losses are usually easily accounted for by gains on other sites.

This doesn't really apply to manufacturing one off products, the two companies I've worked for that do have rattled between major losses and scoring big. The competitive tender market is structured so that the winner is most likely to be the one who has misquoted.

Having been a salesman, though not in engineering, I can see the benefit in bonus linked to sales performance. However in one off industries surely the bonus should be linked to the outcome profit, not winning the job. 

Legally I tend to find Engineers are switched on as their careers depend on compliance to standards. In small engineering companies project managers, salesmen and even CEOs who have no engineering background are often keen to overlook standards in order to satisfy clients demands. I've seen it happen enough that I've drawn a line under working for companies which make anything that could kill or injure with companies which are not ISO9000.

I'd be happy to share stories of how appalling all climbing wall companies are in regards to standards and engineering compliance but it would need an entire thread. At least one other contributor to the thread would agree. 

neilh 08 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

You should not be posting comments like that on a climbing forum unless you want to stand in courts and back those comments up.

can I suggest you be a bit more discreet in publishing those on a forum like this !! 

spenser 08 Sep 2019
In reply to Planeandsimple:

Even in massive companies where the design is done by competent engineers who have considered standards compliance it can be incredibly difficult to get them to actually demonstrate their compliance!

Tom V 08 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

I thought it was fairly discreet. 

Le Sapeur 08 Sep 2019
In reply to Tom V:

Agree.

captain paranoia 08 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

I'd like to hear about poor technical practice in the design and operation of climbing walls; sounds in the public interest to me...

neilh 09 Sep 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

Well the poster may open themselves up to a legal case. Ranging from breach of confidential info , defamation etc .So whilst you might be interested the poster should understand the implications. 

I suspect if it was serious they would just contact the HSE and keep quiet. 

So I would not read to much into it

DancingOnRock 09 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

Lifts and hoists legally have to have independent 6 monthly periodic assessments by competent person. Would this legislation not cover climbing walls? 

Are there any industry standards in climbing wall construction?

captain paranoia 09 Sep 2019
In reply to neilh:

> Well the poster may open themselves up to a legal case. 

Yes, I understand that...

neilh 09 Sep 2019
In reply to captain paranoia:

Well the poster may want to have a think about stating in a public forum.

"Id be happy to share stories of how appalling all climbing wall companies are in regards to standards and engineering compliance but it would need an entire thread."

The phrase "sharing stories" is not normal professional engineering practise.


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