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  • help with British engineering qualifications

    In Canada, we have Professional Engineers, P.Eng's. They're what you mean when you refer to an "Engineer". They hold the professional designation allowing them to stamp drawings. The designation is a university degree in Engineering, followed by what might be called articulating, then they write the P.Eng exam. You want to build a bridge truss, it needs a P.Eng's stamp.

    Then we have Engineering technologists. 4 year college (vs university, different here) diploma. They design, do drawings, project manage....but they can't stamp drawings and aren't doing the hardcore number crunching on whether the truss will fall down or not.

    Then there's an Engineering technician, 2 year college course, they know how to put stuff together but aren't really up to designing like a technologist is.

    I'm confused in comparing UK designations. What's someone who says they're a "Design Engineer" - is that what I'd call an 'Engineer'; someone who can stamp structural drawings?

    In another case someone says they're a Mechanical Engineering Apprentice - and that involves milling, grinding, turning etc. Are your Mechanical Engineers what we'd call machinists? Cities and Guilds - is the a trade licensing or educational entity?

    Thanks for any insight!
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    seems that anyone can call themselves an engineer in the UK ..

    the companies ..such as drain cleaners etc with no qualifications, what-so-ever, call them selves enginners....and do .

    all the best.markj

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    • #3
      I think the difference in the UK is that the design rather than the designer has to pass through the stipulated process to achieve approval.

      However we do have professional engineers (university graduate) and chartered engineers who have university followed by specific work related experience/knowledge. Google "chartered engineer uk".

      Phil

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      • #4
        As Phibur implies the design gets checked more thoroughly in the UK so anyone can attempt a design. A properly qualified engineer holds chartered status usually designated C. Eng.

        In the US there is a need for properly licensed engineers to stamp plans because designs are not checked by the local authorities who also cannot be sued for their failings because they have "Sovereign Immunity", aquired at the time of independence. Ironically, government in the UK does not have sovereign immunity - only the sovereign.

        Canada tends to follow US practice.
        "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

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        • #5
          Engineer

          Over here anyone can be an engineer thanks to "political correctness".
          For example, a "Sanitation Engineer" used to be called a "garbage man".
          A housewife is now a "Domestic Engineer". There are many others.
          Kansas City area

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          • #6
            As far as I know, U.S. practice follows the founding of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in the 1800's after a series of steamboat boiler explosions. People doing work on such things and eventually the states wanted to ensure those building steamboat boilers were qualified. The various states' professional engineering licensing boards cover who can call themselves engineers in the US. In most U.S. states if you call yourself engineer you'll probably get away with it but if you call yourself a professional engineer or describe what you are doing as engineering, you could run afoul of them. In Texas, it's my understanding that they are especially strict about anyone using the word engineer in their title at all unless they are a P.E.

            On a trip to the U.K. a few years back however, I observed that most professions in the building trades that we would call contractors in the U.S. go by the word engineer. On the other hand, the U.K. title Chartered Engineer has a similar meaning to the PEng from Canada, and the P.E. in the U.S.

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            • #7
              Many mistake a "professional engineer" with an "engineer who is a professional" (hopefully we all are, but some are not).

              A P.E. carries the liability for his design himself. An engineer does not. The company carries the liability by selling products based on those designs, and arent likely to sue their own employees. As a non-licensed, I can design ALL of the same things, and can do the same work as a professional engineer, but I cannot sell my design alone (I would need to produce the product to sell) directly to the public. The company holds the ultimate responsibility. I can also freely use the word "engineer" anywhere, so long as I dont use the word "professional" or try to sell a design.

              A PE has taken the local (here its state particular) exam, and is bonded/insured yada yada...so he can be hired directly by the public. A non-licensed engineer cannot.

              In short...a PE sells designs, thus the ability to stamp them. A non-licensed engineer sells product, and worries about corporate policy regarding necessary QA/QC.

              FYI: Most of those with engineering degrees that I know (including myself) will not list "professional engineer" on their card, nor will they advertise it. The same applies (but less so) to those with a Phd.
              Last edited by justanengineer; 01-05-2012, 01:43 PM.
              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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              • #8
                In the US we also have "Professional Engineers" or those certified as a P.E. These are engineers who have completed at least a 4 year course of full blown calculus based study (Bachelor degree) from an ABET (American Board Engineering and Technology) accredited school. They then have to take a PE exam which is a lengthy test (8 hrs long) that will then check to see if you actually learned what you were supposed to learn during your undergraduate work. And the PE is specific to whatever field of study you specialize in, be it civil, mechanical, electrical etc. PE's are usually the only ones that can legally stamp engineering drawings as approved, especially in regards to architectural buildings or other designs that pertain to public safety.

                Other than that, many people in many professions loosely refer to themselves as "engineers." Including sanitation engineer, otherwise known as a JANITOR.

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                • #9
                  I can't help you regarding engineers in the UK. In the USA, the job of "engineer" is not definitive . College graduates with one or more degrees in engineering are usually identified as to their specialty; i.e. Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, etc. Such engineers usually work in industry , and have college degrees that take four or more years to obtain. If you are self employed, or work for a consulting engineering firm, then an additional qualification is required by the state you work in . That additional qualification is called a Professional Engineer (P.E.) license , which gives you the right to approve construction projects, public works projects, etc. If you work in private industry , there is an " industry exemption" which means you don't have to obtain the P.E. license to do your work. Obtaining the P.E. license involves passing some rather rigorous written examinations , which you can choose to do any time in your career. In the US, we also have "operating engineers" , who operate construction equipment and the like, but are not required to have an engineering degree . And of course we have train ( locomotive) engineers .
                  There are also a variety of " engineering technician" or technologist degrees, usually taking 2 years or less to obtain. Most states have laws which restrict you from advertising yourself as a consulting " engineer" or having an "engineering" business unless you have both an engineering degree and the P.E. license.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Machine
                    In the US we also have "Professional Engineers" or those certified as a P.E. These are engineers who have completed at least a 4 year course of full blown calculus based study (Bachelor degree) from an ABET (American Board Engineering and Technology) accredited school. They then have to take a PE exam which is a lengthy test (8 hrs long) that will then check to see if you actually learned what you were supposed to learn during your undergraduate work. And the PE is specific to whatever field of study you specialize in, be it civil, mechanical, electrical etc. PE's are usually the only ones that can legally stamp engineering drawings as approved, especially in regards to architectural buildings or other designs that pertain to public safety.

                    Other than that, many people in many professions loosely refer to themselves as "engineers." Including sanitation engineer, otherwise known as a JANITOR.
                    Here in the great state of Texas, you must have a certain number of years of practical experience after graduation before sitting for the PE exam. I think it is 5 years.

                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by justanengineer
                      A PE has taken the local (here its state particular) exam, and is bonded/insured yada yada...so he can be hired directly by the public.
                      I'm not aware of any bonding or insurance requirements for a PE to be hired by the public in any of the US states.
                      "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"

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                      • #12
                        Yes, the requirements vary from state to state to become a PE. But from memory I thought you could put yourself on the fast track to get a PE if you took your EIT test first? Can't remember the whole schpiel, but I thought this was a shortcut to the required X years of experience before being able to take the PE.

                        Originally posted by tmc_31
                        Here in the great state of Texas, you must have a certain number of years of practical experience after graduation before sitting for the PE exam. I think it is 5 years.

                        Tim

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                        • #13
                          Command line below an old cartoon over here (and Sir John will probably have a copy)

                          " Six munce ago I cutn't even spell ingineer and now I are one "

                          Regards Ian.
                          You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Machine
                            Other than that, many people in many professions loosely refer to themselves as "engineers." Including sanitation engineer, otherwise known as a JANITOR.
                            I know that BS pervaids in the non-engineering world, but not in industries or departnments involved in engineering, at least in Canada. You represent yourself as an Engineer here, and your not a P.Eng, you going to viewed as something akin to an imposter, at least in an engineering setting...and its illegal to represent yourself as a P.Eng if you're not.
                            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                            • #15
                              Quote by Circlip

                              " Six munce ago I cutn't even spell ingineer and now I are one "

                              Does this mean the guy below is an engineering genius? Read his description.

                              http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRILERS-AN...item45ffe5701a

                              MBB
                              Last edited by malbenbut; 01-05-2012, 03:08 PM.

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