What does a Consultant Engineer actually do?

Have you ever asked somebody what they work at and simply be told “I’m an engineer”? Did you know that there are several different types of engineers? One such type is a consultant engineer. What exactly does a consultant engineer do? Well, they hold many key responsibilities in the planning and implementation of a construction project.

A consultant engineer could find themselves hired to assist with projects for both public and private clients, including construction companies, government bodies, local authorities or factories. The projects that they work on can vary greatly from implementation of a factory re-design to co-ordinating the construction of bridges or roads. The duties can vary from project to project too. It depends on the area of engineering that they are qualified and experienced in. A consultant engineering company will typically include a team of employees from vast engineering backgrounds, so that they can cater for virtually any type of project. They can be hired to plan, manage, supervise and even implement a project.

A consultant engineer may simply be hired to provide advice on a particular element of a project. A business may be considering installing a new lighting system inside a factory. The consultant engineer would be required to advise on which lighting system would be most suitable to the needs of the business and the scope of the building. If the consultant engineer’s line of expertise falls under CAD, they may be required to adjust, create or implement designs and plans. Often, they are hired to act as the point of contact between various members of the project team. They can provide project management by co-ordinating between designers, architects, construction workers, suppliers, the relevant authorities and the person or persons who have commissioned the project. They may also be hired to find a solution to a problem within a structure or building such a persistant dampness, power failure, lack of lighting or flooding. They can help with grant and planning applications too, as well as ensuring that certificates of compliance are obtained.

If you wished to incorporate green or sustainable energy solutions into a building, a consultant engineer could help you to do so. They would thoroughly inspect the site and advise the most affordable and effective solultions and systems based on their inspection findings. It is a legal requirement now in many countries that any property for rent or sale must display their energy rating. A consultant engineer may be able to provide an energy rating for a building and help you to obtain certification of such.

Usually, the consultant engineers responsibilities occur in the early stages of the project. They may be hired to conduct a feasibility study, prepare estimated costs, or assist with securing patents. Indeed, the results of their findings may well lead to a project being called off as the costs are deemed too expensive, the implementation time too long or the project simply being found to be not feasible. You would typically hire a consultant engineer to solve a problem or to discover the most feasible, cost effective and efficient means of constructing a build.

This article was written on behalf of Vincent Brady Consultant Engineers.  Vincent Brady Consultant Engineers are a recognised name in the field of Civil and Structural Engineering, Planning permission, Fire, Energy and Forensic Investigation.