Engineering is a vast and varied discipline. Engineers may specialize in anything from civil engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, or systems engineering. Each of these large branches of engineering also has many additional sub-specialties. While there may be some overlap between fields, each requires its own expertise and skills. This makes an engineering firm’s experience in a particular area of engineering extremely important for ensuring the success of the project. Let’s take a look at several key ways experience in a particular area matters.
An engineering firm needs to have more than simple, theoretical knowledge; they need the practical ability that can only be gleaned from real-world experience. This practical ability will help the engineering firm come up with a better initial design and strategy. It will also help them adapt that strategy as needed when setbacks or unexpected events occur.
Going hand-in-hand with practical ability is relevant knowledge in a particular area. This refers to more than simply knowledge of correct engineering principles and core information. While this is obviously fundamental and must be in place, past experience also grants the engineering firm additional knowledge that may be related to the project itself. For example knowledge of the priorities and expectations of a typical petrochemical plant, or the understanding of how school districts or municipalities approach a project.
Engineering does not occur in isolation. Instead engineers typically work closely with a host of other professionals including architects, construction companies and contractors, vendors and suppliers, and more. Practical experience in a given area of engineering will increase the likelihood that the engineering firm has already developed key industry relationships that will be advantageous to the project. Simply knowing the work habits, contact methods, and general personality and temperament of industry colleagues will help ensure that everyone is able to work in harmonic synergy with each other.
Even in cases in which the engineering firm will not have the opportunity to work with past colleagues on the new project, experience and familiarity in the particular field will still be a major advantage. That is because the engineering firm may still be familiar with a company or professional by reputation and will also have a background understanding of how to work with someone from a given industry.
Over the course of various projects, the engineering firm is likely to accumulate a reserve of company resources that will aid them in future endeavors. For example they may acquire software, equipment and machinery, or other tools that will be of service. Experience in an area also allows the engineering firm to better train employees and helps ensure that they have sufficient manpower and a capable staff. All of these resources will be invaluable during future projects.
One of the most important advantages that experience in a particular area breeds is the ability to anticipate problems before they occur. No two projects are exactly alike of course, but there are likely to be enough similarities, especially if the engineering firm has a great deal of past experience to draw upon, that the firm will be able to recall past difficulties and take proactive steps to overcome them.
Fittz & Shipman has over 30 years of experience serving the Southeast Texas area with outstanding engineering services. During this time we have worked with a variety of clients from many different areas and we have amassed a wealth of resources, knowledge, relationships, and practical experience. We look forward to applying this past experience to benefit our future clients.