THE NEW BREED OF ENGINEERS
As far as engineers are concerned, their role has been broadened to cover aspects of organisational competitiveness. The modern competitive nature of organisations has placed more emphasis on integrated roles and the ability to manage projects on a cross functional basis.
The new breed of engineers with broader education has been described in various ways such as manufacturing engineers, systems engineers or industrial engineers.
Manufacturing engineering is considered to be the integration of industrial engineering with electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science, with the addition of business and finance.
Systems engineers are those people concerned with the design, commissioning and operation of:
- Machine systems (minis, micros, instruments, machines, processes);
- Computer aided engineering support systems (CAD/CAM);
- Manufacturing systems (integrated assemblies of computers, people organisations, systems, market interfaces and business planning system interfaces)
- The industrial engineer (IE) is sometimes referred to as the integrated engineer as the nature of the training is broad, giving general knowledge on methodology, people systems, problem solving approaches, innovativeness and the ability to link designs, products and manufacturing processes as an integrated system.
The engineer as manager:The transition of an engineering specialist from a technical role to a managerial role leads to a dramatic change in time utilization as far as skills and knowledge are concerned.
Step 1 Technical specialist: An individual with practical and technical training and experience in a given field;
Step 2 Project manager:An individual assigned the direct responsibility of supervising a given project through the phases of planning, organizing, scheduling, monitoring and controlling;
Step 3 Group manager:An individual who is assigned direct responsibility to plan, organised and direct the activities of a group with a standing charge;
Step 4 Director:An individual who oversees a particular function of the organisations. This is a critical responsibility that directly affects the welfare of the organization.
Step 5 Administrative manager:An individual who oversees the administrative functions and staff of the organization.