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Thread: Field Engineer/Project Engineer Internship

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Field Engineer/Project Engineer Internship

    I am working as an engineering intern for a construction company this summer. I am actually a Mechanical Engineering major and will be a Senior next year. So far I like the is quite different from a design engineering internship (at least from what I can tell so far). I like the fact that I get to do a little of everything (business, planning, project management, engineering, etc). No I don't design anything, but it seems like a good way to gain overall engineering experience. Would you disagree?

    Anyways, if I decided I liked the internship, I would be hired on after I graduate and the goal would be to become a Project Engineer.

    I have a few questions for those of you who have experience as a field/project engineer or those of you who know something about the position.

    1. If I decided I wanted to be a design engineer sometime in the near future, would the skills of a project engineer be appealing or transferable to a design engineer position?

    2. What are your general opinions on the project engineering position? Good experience, bad experience, etc?


  2. #2
    Lead Engineer Cake of Doom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Welcome to the forum!

    To address your questions:-

    1) Short answer: yes. On site experience is always an advantage. Having knowledge of how things fit together can make your designs a lot more efficiently. Or at least, make it easier for the chaps that have to put it all together.

    2) I enjoyed my time on site. Having to solve real time problems puts you on top of your game and the variety of locations allows you to meet some interesting people that you wouldn't have access to, being consultancy/drawing office based.

    I had a great site experience but others I know didn't. They couldn't take the pressure of being the "go to guy" so it's not for everyone.

    If you're not planning to settle down anytime soon, stick with it. It's great experience for a young engineer.

  3. #3
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    After a few years in field work, one phrase that will stick with you the rest of your life is: "Who the hell designed this?" It will be in the back of your mind as you are designing stuff to be understood, installed, debugged, operated, and maintained by folks who don't have your mind's "vision" of your little baby. The only thing they will have to go on is the written documentation you leave behind.

    You will learn to ask yourself several questions: "How can this be misunderstood?" "How can it be mis-assembled?" "How can it be misused?" "How difficult will it be to use the very first time?" And many others.

    You will also understand this truism: If someone else misinterprets your work and gets mad, or even worse gets hurt, its NOT their fault. Its yours!

    Hands-on work is always valuable.

  4. #4
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Well that's good to hear. Like I said it is a construction company so I won't be designing anything. If I don't like the work over this summer then I will find something else for after I graduate.

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