What is a Consulting Engineer?
Consulting engineers are individuals who, because of training in one or more engineering specialties, are licensed professional engineers in private practice.
They serve private and public clients in ways ranging from brief consultations to complete design and coordination of a project. They are often the technical liaison between architects, process specialists, contractors, suppliers and the client.
A consulting engineer’s specialty may be anywhere in the broad spectrum of engineering technology, including the fields of civil, structural, mechanical, chemical, metallurgical, geotechnical and highway engineering. A firm may also concentrate in specific fields such as soil mechanics, sanitation, hydrology, transportation or petroleum.
A consulting engineer can provide general consultation, feasibility reports, design, cost estimates, rate studies, project development, patent assistance and preparation of environmental impact statements.
Locating the best available consulting engineer and negotiating the fairest fee requires research, organization, evaluation and responsible decision-making. Engineering value is obtained when the most qualified firm—engaged for a fair and equitable cost—develops a design which best serves the client by holding down present and future costs.