What is an engineer?

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by MGW, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    I do hate working for the “Engineer” customer though.
    Know-it-all types typically and all brains but no ability.
  2. furious_customer

    furious_customer Active Member

    It is what engines use to hear with.
  3. MGW

    MGW Well-Known Member

    Much is historic. "The run away train went down the hill ----the engineer said he did like h---" we called them firemen, suppose the county fire brigade guy should be called an "Antifireman" as they try to put out the fire. They were also called stokers.

    But I suppose the guy who looks after an engine could be called an engineer, but we would call them an engine room artificer. They would normally hold Petty Officer rank, so were reasonable high up in the services, but like many trades working on large ships steam engines is not the same as working on a wagon engine, the first time I was put to work with pipe fitters on the building of a power station I realised these guys were highly skilled, 36" heavy walled pipes are nothing like 15 mm copper.

    I remember working on a mobile pipe bender, it must have weighed something like 60 ton, it was used to bend 40" pipe and was towed behind a D8 earth mover.

    It is so easy to forget that any tradesman or professorial will have a whole range of jobs, and just because some bits are very easy, it does not means it's all easy. OK I have level 5 so a poor degree, but I am not really an engineer.

    There has been a move to rename things, and also to retain old names. But I thing it is more to do with people trying to look to others better than they are. The people who call themselves heating and ventilating engineers in the main are simply technicians, there are exceptions of course, but my fridge breaks down, and I have a maintenance contract, they do not send out a technician, they send out there engineer.

    Where it all falls down is where a firm who employ highly skilled electricians find these guys don't have the skill required, so as the manufacturer to send out an engineer, they arrange travel to some far flung place like the Falklands, but we he arrives he has no more idea than the on site electricians, in fact less.

    Clearly the bosses are not amused, it has cost them £1000's to get him there, only to find he does not have the skill, he wants to ring his firm, this means he has to wait until the satellite is free, and both he and his firm are really now being hounded, why is it not running yet. It is not really fair on the guy, he did not select his title.
  4. rmurph17

    rmurph17 New Member

    I don’t want to sound snooty or as if I am trying to be superior or anything like that but here in the U.K. the term “Engineer” is not a protected title and pretty much anyone can call themselves an Engineer.

    Me? I have a BSc(Hons) in Civil Engineering, MPhil in Materials Engineering and (in less than 2 years) a PhD in Materials Engineering as well as a BA in Business Management. I am a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Manager (CMgr). I am a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institions of Structural Engineers, Engineering Technology and Non-Destructive Testing as well as the Chartered Management Institute (FICE MIStructE MIET MBINDT MCMI). Therefore I consider myself an Engineer.

    However despite my lengthy post nomial letters some guy who left school without qualifications can call themselves an Engineer the same as I can. Hell, some plumbers call themselves “Gas and Heating Engineers” in the same vein as a random guy putting together office furniture could call himself an “*** and Seating Engineer”.

    My point is that the term “Engineer” has become watered down to the point it no longer means anything in the U.K. and USA. In English speaking western countries we spell the word “Engineer” which conotates people into associating an Engineer with the internal combustion engine. This is in contrast to how it is spelled by every other Latin based language in Europe who retain the original Latin genus of “ingenium” (intellectual) and “ingeniare” (create/ devise). One simply needs to look at how the others spell it:

    Dutch = ingenieur,
    French = ingénieur,
    German = ingenieur,
    Italian = ingegnere,
    Spanish = ingeniero.

    In the U.K. there’s no respect for the title Engineer unlike in Germany where it is highly regarded and you are addressed as Herr Ingenieur from respect.

    Long story short is that Engineer is a completely arbitrary term in the United Kingdom and could literally mean any old **** the person calling themselves and Engineer wants it to mean.
    Jord86 and rogerk101 like this.

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