When you've embarked on a new construction project, or decided to add a second site to your current operation, you'll need to bring on a team of engineers. And the chances are good that you'll need a consulting design engineer -- or, more likely, several -- on your team. A consulting design engineer can help you create the new factory, office building or facility your business needs.
But a consulting design engineer can specialize in a wide variety of fields, as there is a wide variety of design needs in the marketplace. Here are just a few.
Architectural Consulting Design Engineering. Unless you're building a parking lot, the chances are your site is going to have one or more structures on it. That's where an architectural engineer comes in. As far as informal conversation between non-engineers is concerned, an architectural engineer and an architect are essentially the same, though don't let any architects or architectural engineers hear you say that -- there are several technical differences that necessitate the separate nomenclatures.
Mechanical Engineering. If your firm is hoping to design and build a new factory, you'll need a mechanical engineer on your team. A mechanical consulting design engineer specializes in disciplines like materials science, kinematics and fluid dynamics, and can design heavy machinery, robots, heating and cooling systems, and more.
Electrical Engineering. Whatever you're creating -- whether it's a new hospital, an elementary school or an airport -- is going to need some source of electricity. In the rush to create greener and more sustainable energy resources, the field of electrical engineering is growing more and more important, and a highly-trained electrical consulting design engineer, along with architects and civil and materials engineers who know about sustainable building and LEED certification, can help you make your carbon footprint as small as possible (and possibly, in turn, lead to substantial tax breaks).
Civil Engineering. Civil engineering deals with the design and construction of the physical environment that surrounds us -- things like roads, canals and bridges. This is a broad umbrella category, and a consulting design engineer who considers himself a civil engineer will focus his efforts on a specialty like water resource engineering, construction, or surveying. If you're building an entire new site from the ground up -- like a high school, shopping center or municipal services campus -- your engineering design team may have a civil engineer on its roster.
Industrial Consulting Design Engineering. This member of your engineering team concerns himself with operations management, system engineering, and other concerns; it's his job to make sure that, once your site is up and running, it's running smoothly -- and will continue to do so long into the future. Industrial engineers deal less with materials and physical principles and more with the processes that go on once their colleagues have completed their work.