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    Discussion in 'The main mechanical design forum' started by michaelpryor, Jul 26, 2012.

    1. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      I'm not exactly sure about this, but I think if any of your engineering work can affect public safety and the device or product you are engineering will be used in the USA market, I think you still need to have the engineering certified by a PE licensed in the USA, in particular, licensed in the state where the device or product will be used. I think this would be true even if the engineering was produced by someone like yourself in the UK but the device or product is still used in the USA.
       
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    3. andysuth

      andysuth Member

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      Carl,

      The PE thing is American, in UK we are CEng or IEng (CEng is higher qualification and closer associated with academic qualifications that include a Masters in Engineering).

      There are several people on Linked In who are pushing for the protection of the title "Engineer" in UK similar to the US system, so I read with interest the post from Maniacal Engineer about how well the system is working there.

      If you are a Mechanical Design Engineer there are two organisations in UK you need to contact: Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) or Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

      I'm a member of the IED and can highly recommend them.

      Do you need CEng in UK?
      - No. 99% of the time. Though I do recommend you get it. I always compare it to an insurance policy: you don't need that 99% of the time either, but when you do need it you are so glad it's there.

      Incidentally, if you ever do need professional indeminity insurance, CEng or IEng MASSIVELY reduce your premium as it shows oyu aren't a fly-by-night engineer operating out of your depth.

      Final Point: if you are operating in Europe there was a new title brought out about 8 years ago, European Engineer -"EurIng" that sits in front of your name.

      I never use my EurIng title, exept on business cards and "Hammer down" emails.

      Let me know if you need more info on the above.

      -Andy Southern,
      CEng MIED ACGI
       
    4. AndrewNew

      AndrewNew Well-Known Member

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      There is no protection of the use of the word "engineer" in the UK. However, you may only call yourself a "Chartered Engineer" (CEng) or "Incorporated Engineer" (IEng) in the UK if you are registered and accredited by one of the professional bodies like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers or Institution of Engineering and Technology. Some employers/clients in certain sectors (public sector in particular) might require you to be chartered, depending on the work you are doing, but it's not common in my experience. I have rarely been asked to produce any evidence of competence at all, although more and more often these days I'm asked if I carry professional indemnity insurance. I defer to more informed opinions for other jurisdictions, but I suspect that the approach for consumer devices or products (as opposed to one-off pieces of engineering or industrial components) in most countries is that the authorities don't really care who designed and made it, as long as it is demonstrably safe (in reality if it passes a set of standard tests, which is probably not quite the same thing). Assuming that "designed by a rubber-stamped engineer" is equivalent to "functional and safe" is a pretty risky approach, but sometimes I guess it's the best that can be done.
       
    5. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      I kind of agree that the term "engineer" sometimes does get overused and abused. However, I have met many individuals that call themselves "engineers" that are highly qualified and competent regarding their engineering field. So, discounting someone who goes by the title of "engineer" but does not have an extensive engineering education or certification is not always valid. As an example, I worked for a chief mechanical engineering manager for a machine tool company many years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He managed a mechanical design engineering department with about 20 individuals and showed himself to be highly competent and experienced regarding machine tool design and manufacturing. Years later, I got a job as an engineering manager at a machine tool company (not the same company) and this past chief mechanical engineering manager interviewed with me for an engineering job I was offering. I was very surprised to learn from his resume (or CV is you like to call it that) that he had no formal engineering school education or degree beyond completing drafting school. All of his knowledge and experience regarding mechanical engineering was obtained on the job over his career and he rose far enough in his career to become an engineering departmental manager. So, in the end, don't place too much weight on fancy engineering titles and certifications and restrict who should have one and who should not have one. It's your own competence and experience that counts in the end, not some fancy title such as "P.E." after your name here in the USA, or even "PhD" after your name to show you completed several years at a university. I've met many engineering professionals with a certification or an advanced degree that really did not show they know what they were doing regarding their engineering work.
       
    6. AndrewNew

      AndrewNew Well-Known Member

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      Agreed, and that's sort of what I meant to imply by the "rubber stamped" comment.
       
    7. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

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      I am not a registered PE, so take my comments for what they're worth. In my 31 years of working as an engineer (my degree says "aerospace engineer" though my job title has always been "mechanical engineer"), I've never done anything requiring PE certification, never applied (or wanted to apply) for a job requiring certification, never been asked if I was a PE. My reputation and experience are far more important than any piece of paper. From what I observed when some of my colleagues on my first job were cramming for the EIT exam, nothing in it would have any bearing on the kind of work I was doing, then or now (no, I'm not doing calculations for ASME pressure vessels; I'm in automation, though I did consulting work in tooling and product design for a time). And all of the PE's I've worked with (not generalizing, just speaking from my own experience) were mostly heavy on the theory and weak on the practical. YMMV.
       
    8. maniacal_engineer

      maniacal_engineer Well-Known Member

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      I have heard a lot of comments like this on other threads that discuss this issue. It saddens me that it might well be true. I also have never stamped anything, but someday I may want to start a maniacal engineering company (if engineering is applied science, then maniacal engineering is just applied mad science) and I wanted to be able to use the word "engineering" on my card and on my title without worrying about legalities. But I get my hands dirty, I can run machine tools, or bash-to-fit sheet metal, so I hope I am well balanced between theoretical and practical.
       
    9. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      Sometimes "maniacal engineer" rings true on a lot of engineering projects out there. Some of the greatest frustrations trying to expedite an engineering project is dealing with difficult engineering management and difficult customer directives. Sometimes you think the direction being demanded for a project is just plain nuts. One time, I worked on a project for designing an inspection probe for a CCM that was driven by an electrical engineering manager (with a "Phd" title after his name). The manager insisted that we had to design a pivot in the mechanism that would be truely "frictionless" or his electrical design for the probe would not work. I'm not talking very low friction or negligible friction. I'm not talking hydrostatic or air bearing friction. I'm not talking magnetic bearing friction. I'm talking total zero friction, nadda, nothing, zilch, you name it. As a mechanical design engineer, it drove me to the brink of insanity to work with that electrical engineering manager who had Cheez Whiz for brains.
       
    10. andysuth

      andysuth Member

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      Protected Titles including Engineer

      I'm now fascinated by what Dana and Maniacal are saying here, as it is at odds with what a lot of US engineers are saying on discussions for protected title "Engineer" in UK.

      Dana, how can you have a job title of "Mechanical Engineer" if you are not a PE, is that tolerated throughout the US, or are you at risk of being sued if you say you are a "Mechanical Engineer"?

      Thanks,

      -Andy.
       
    11. Carl Cherko

      Carl Cherko Member

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      In the vast majority of engineering jobs here in the USA, you can have the title of "mechanical engineer", "design engineer", "staff engineer", etc. and not have a P.E. license. There is nothing illegal about that provided you are an employee of an engineering or manufacturing company and are not required to certify or "rubber stamp" any engineering work directly. Usually someone in an engineering or manufacturing company is a licensed P.E. if any work needs any certification, but for the vast majority of work expedited, nothing is being done illegally if most of the engineers employed are not licensed. Again, the P.E. license here in the USA tends to only become an issue if the work has a direct affect on public safety, such as civil or public works engineering where by law, any engineering work or drawings needs to be stamped and certified. For the vast majority of work done that is considered to be "engineering", the certification is not needed.
       

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