A mechanical engineer is one of the professionals that are very instrumental to the success of any construction project.
Mechanical engineers work side by side with civil engineers and architects to ensure that construction work is effectively carried out.
The duties and responsibilities of site mechanical engineers may vary slightly, depending on the industry. But the constant thing they have in common is that their work is mostly concerned with construction machines, equipment, and installation.
They can also perform the duty of assigning tasks to lower-level engineering technicians like masons, laborers, and plumbers, especially when the tasks of the technicians have to do with mechanical things.
A mechanical engineer is, at least, a degree-certified expert who has a result from the professional training received from competent experts or engineering school to perform various operations that involve mechanical machinery, equipment, and components. The operations include designing, building, installing, testing, maintaining, and fixing or repairing in the case of any malfunction.
They are employed in various industries that heavily rely on the use of mechanical machinery and tools. Such industries are power companies, real estate, health centers, and manufacturing industries.
Mechanical engineers use the principles of engineering physics and engineering mathematics to perform the various duties required of them on construction sites.
From the selection of materials to the erection of mechanical machinery, their various duties are born out of intelligent analysis based on the application of physics-derived problem-solving techniques.
They are one of the various indispensable personnel needed on construction sites. As such, they must work harmoniously with other professionals and clients to enable them to bring any construction project to life.
This is done after they have perfectly outlined and prepared the techniques that will be employed to carry out the tasks assigned to them during the construction project.
As explained earlier, a mechanical engineer has a core role to play in the industrial or manufacturing sector, energy sector, automotive sector, construction sector, and other sectors.
This article focuses on the important duties and responsibilities of a mechanical engineer in construction.
It is a major duty of the mechanical engineer to give counseling service to the client regarding the suitable mechanical machinery, construction materials, and the conditions that will yield a satisfactory result before the execution of the project, following the agreed contract.
They discuss the goals and plans designed for the execution of the project with clients, as well as advise on the best methodologies and structures that can be employed for the successful accomplishment of the project.
Mechanical engineers can also be responsible for breaking down or simplifying construction drawings for fellow engineers and other construction site workers. They also explain safety protocols and how to technically handle the various instruments used on-site to the low-level engineers.
Just like other building professionals, mechanical engineers are responsible for the planning and analysis of the aspect of the construction that involves mechanical works.
They ensure the absolute compliance of suppliers in supplying the materials and machinery needed on-site. They equally resolve any observed non-conformity shown by the suppliers when discharging their duties.
Mechanical engineers must oversee the general activities of mechanical works and structures on-site. They plan and assign mechanical-related works and coordinate them to the right sector while ensuring that they are diligently carried out to accomplish the daily targets.
It is also required of a mechanical engineer to give estimates, prepare and assign resources such as manpower, materials, equipment, and consumables that will be needed for all mechanical and related works – before the execution of the project.
Proper installation, test-running, maintenance, and overall control of all activities related to mechanical equipment and facilities are the duties of mechanical engineers.
They carry out and monitor the installation process of the equipment to their appropriate places, test-run to check for any faulty parts, and ensure that they are used and maintained following the industry recommendations and standards.
They also train employees on how to handle and care for the construction equipment.
The mechanical engineer has to attend meetings and deliberate with clients and other co-workers like the civil engineer, architect, and other building consultants. They review the ongoing project, present an update on the project's progress, and share ideas on the different approaches the projects can be accomplished.
Regular visitation to the construction site to monitor and resolve any unexpected technical difficulties that might arise during work is also expected of mechanical engineers.
A site mechanical engineer is saddled with the duties of keeping records such as the record of maintenance and repair schedule of the various tasks involving the installation and maintenance of machinery and equipment.
In case of any problem, such records will provide the basis for troubleshooting and make it easier to detect the possible origin of the problem. It also serves as protection and proof in disputes that certain instructions were given to either client or co-worker.
The mechanical engineer is also expected to submit site daily reports, inspection requests, estimates, and all applicable monitoring reports either on request or regularly.
They are also employed as material control engineers and quality engineers. Hence, they are responsible for the thorough inspection of the supplied construction materials in addition to selecting the right materials for the construction project. They do a quality check and confirm if the materials are ideal for their needed purposes.
They also have to control the timely inflow and supply of materials for use on the site.
Mechanical site engineers are responsible for the safety of the workers in the mechanical department during working hours. They are in charge of providing safety wear like helmets and medical aid during emergencies.
They ensure that all projects are executed according to the applicable health, safety, sanitary and environmental standards.
The proper maintenance of mechanical equipment, regular check-up and repair or change of worn-out parts, and proper storage of various equipment properly when not in use are also duties carried out by mechanical engineers.
It is part of their responsibilities to detect and provide the necessary solution to any problem that might arise on the construction site when a project is being carried out.
Projects that are successfully done on time show how competent a mechanical engineer is. It’s a core duty of the engineer to ensure the timely accomplishment of the project by delegating work to workers in the mechanical department and providing the right equipment needed to get the job done on time.
This can be achieved when the engineer provides a good cost estimate that will be enough for the efficient completion of the project.
Other important contributions of mechanical engineers in construction projects include the installation and proper maintenance of the air conditioning system, turbine and pump erection, and giving support to other construction personnel.
This is to ensure that the targets and goals set out for the successful accomplishment of the project within the stipulated time and allocated budget are satisfactorily reached.
The duties and responsibilities of mechanical engineers are numerous. And just like every other professional in a construction project, mechanical engineers have some crucial roles to play to ensure the success of the project.
They are responsible for all construction activities that relate to mechanical equipment installation and maintenance. They also keep records and provide solutions to all unexpected technical problems that might arise.