Midlands Business Journal | December 13, 2013
How to Choose an Engineer
Enlisting qualifications-based approach, thorough homework to find an engineer
Schemmer's Matt Sutton, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, Associate, Group Leader Site Engineering and Senior Civil Engineer, was quoted in a recent article from the Midlands Business Journal regarding applying a qualifications-based approach to choosing an engineering partner for important projects. "In a slow economy there is often pressure to select the lowest priced professional regardless of the level of experience or expertise," Sutton said. "Owners need to be aware that the design will influence the entire project, not only construction costs, but also operating and maintenance costs for the life of the project." The article also mentions other local Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) professionals and their perspectives on providing engineering services to clients. Civil engineers are responsible to provide functional elements that people often take for granted, like running water, smooth roadways, sewer systems, etc. An overarching message from this article points out that QUALITY is a key component when looking to select an engineer. Quality is defined as meeting the client’s expectations to create dependable designs that are sustainable for years to come. Civil engineers have one of the world's most important jobs: they build our quality of life. During the search for the right engineering firm, Owners ask themselves, "Can the prospect firm do the project? Do they have experience with similar project types? When can they begin work?
When reviewing engineering firm qualifications, it is recommended to evaluate a set of criteria: experience, reputation, ability to meet or exceed schedules, resumes and project experience. Conducting a thorough interview and reaching out to client references is a good way to make the best decision on which firm to choose to work on a project. Other helpful methods to narrow down the search include reading communication styles and getting to know the personality of the engineer during the interview. Cultivating an enjoyable professional relationship will lead to greater project success. Overall, when it comes to selecting an engineer, qualifications, not price, is the most critical differentiator to make the best choice.
For more information on how to choose an engineer for your next important project, read the full MBJ article on page 37 titled, Enlisting qualifications-based approach, thorough homework to find an engineer.