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Overview

  • What is a PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER?

  • Professional Engineer is the term for registered or licensed engineers in some countries, including the United States and Canada, who are permitted to offer their professional services directly to the public.

    The term Professional Engineer and the phrase practice of professional engineering is legally defined and protected both in Canada — by the provinces — and the United States — by the states. In most jurisdictions only registered or licensed Professional Engineers are permitted to use the title, or to practice Professional Engineering.

    The earmark that distinguishes a licensed/registered Professional Engineer is the authority to sign and seal or “stamp” engineering documents (reports, drawings, and calculations) for a study, estimate, design or analysis, thus taking legal responsibility for it.

    Wikipedia contributors, “Professional Engineer,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Professional_Engineer&oldid=172638782 (accessed November 23, 2007).

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    • What does an engineer do?

    Engineers apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work is the link between perceived social needs and commercial applications.

    Engineers consider many factors when developing a new product. For example, in developing an industrial robot, engineers precisely specify the functional requirements; design and test the robot’s components; integrate the components to produce the final design; and evaluate the design’s overall effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety. This process applies to the development of many different products, such as chemicals, computers, gas turbines, helicopters, and toys.

    In addition to design and development, many engineers work in testing, production, or maintenance. These engineers supervise production in factories, determine the causes of component failure, and test manufactured products to maintain quality. They also estimate the time and cost to complete projects. Some move into engineering management or into sales. In sales, an engineering background enables them to discuss technical aspects and assist in product planning, installation, and use. Supervisory engineers are responsible for major components or entire projects.

    Engineers use computers extensively to produce and analyze designs; to simulate and test how a machine, structure, or system operates; and to generate specifications for parts. Many engineers also use computers to monitor product quality and control process efficiency. The field of nanotechnology, which involves the creation of high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules, also is introducing entirely new principles to the design process.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Engineers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm (visited November 23, 2007).

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    CANADA

    Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 provincial and territorial associations and ordre that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and license the country’s more than 160,000 professional engineers.

    PEng.ca is a web site developed by Engineers Canada on behalf of its constituent members.  The terms P.Eng. and engineer are Official Marks held by Engineers Canada.

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    EUROPE

    The European Federation of National Engineering Associations (FEANI) is a federation of professional engineers that unites national engineering associations from 29 European countries. Thus, FEANI represents the interests of over 3.5 million professional engineers in Europe. FEANI is striving for a single voice for the engineering profession in Europe and wants to affirm and develop the professional identity of engineers. The title “EUR ING” is used as a suffix in front of the engineer’s name.