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Roles and responsibilities: Engineers

General areas of responsibility

A practicing professional engineer:

  • Provides expert technical services in consultation, investigation, evaluation, project planning, project design, and design coordination.
  • Reviews and manages construction to ensure compliance with design standards and specifications.
  • Performs public or private work in connection with utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, control systems, communication systems, transportation systems, mechanical systems, electrical systems, chemicals, or the environment to safeguard life, health, and property, and promote the public welfare.
Subjects typically addressed by professional engineers
The following examples are general guidelines, and shouldn't be considered all inclusive.
Design area Subjects addressed by engineers
Project management
  • Planning
  • Design standards and specifications
  • Construction management and inspection
  • Incorporation of applicable codes
Buildings and structures
  • Significant structures, as defined in RCW 18.43.020
  • Seismic design and analysis
  • Foundations and soil-structure interaction
  • Truss, beam, and connections
  • Horizontal/vertical loading and forces
  • Load and stress analysis
  • Failure analysis
Civil engineering
  • Site design, grading, and drainage
  • Soil analysis and erosion control
  • Wastewater analysis and treatment
  • Traffic systems and analysis
  • Road and utility design
  • Building structures and retaining walls
  • Domestic water supply, distribution, and treatment
Electrical engineering
  • Power generation, distribution, and load use
  • Instrumentation and electronic equipment
  • Lighting and grounding
  • Communication systems
Mechanical engineering
  • Machines and equipment
  • Fuels, energy analysis, and heat transfer
  • Heating/ventilation and air conditioning
  • Fluids and hydraulics
  • Acoustics
  • Thermodynamics
Fire protection
  • Fire protection and suppression
  • Fire detection and alarms
  • Fire prevention analysis
  • Water supply
  • Risk analysis
Environmental engineering
  • Hazardous wastes and contamination cleanup
  • Air quality and pollution control
  • Public and occupational health and risk assessment
  • Quality assurance
  • Safety
  • Conservation measures
  • Materials selection


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