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What does a Site Engineer do?

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  • Written By: C. Webb
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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Site engineers cover a wide range of fields in which they work in various engineering capacities. In most cases, regardless of the field, the site engineer is charged with helping to develop manufacturing protocol and troubleshoot problems when issues arise. Industries that employ site engineers include the civil, sanitary, structural, and electrical fields.

Electrical site engineers usually help design and improve electrical tools and instruments. There are many areas for an electrical site engineer to find a job, including commercial, domestic, and industrial electricity. Developing manufacturing specifications for products involves the site engineer calculating proposed specifications and reporting on their potential for success. Applying the theory and methodology of electricity to address questions and projects is also part of an electrical site engineer's job. Electrical site engineers are instrumental in the design and layout of power plants.

A site engineer for a civil service company produces plans for and helps design tunnels, highways, and airfields. Once construction is under way, the site engineer inspects the work to be sure it is in compliance with the original plan. In the field of civil engineering, site engineers typically choose a specialty to work in, such as environmental or transportation fields. Civil engineers find jobs in the private industry as well as the government.

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Structural site engineers work with architects in the design of buildings. It is the engineer's job to be sure the building design meets safety and structural soundness criteria before, during, and after it is completed. Duties include choosing which materials should be used in construction, grading of land around the building, and thinking about anything that could go structurally wrong, then developing a solution before the building is complete.

Sanitary site engineers are charged with checking the water supply for drinking safety. Annual reports are often sent out to consumers, detailing test results conducted by the engineer. Determining what chemical amounts to use in water treatment to make it drinkable is also a task performed by sanitary site engineers. The design and construction of water waste treatment facilities are also dependent on the skills of a site engineer.

Some site engineers don't work in the field, but instead choose to work in a college classroom, helping others attain their engineering degree. Job openings for teaching are specific to different majors. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is usually required to get a job as a site engineer. Universities may require a masters degree or higher.

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everetra
Post 2

@MrMoody - Flooding is not the thing that would concern me as a site engineer. It’s the possibility of earthquakes.

How do you ensure that the commercial building will withstand an earthquake, and how strong of an earthquake can it withstand?

California experiences earthquakes all the time (so it seems) and they have buildings that are still left standing. I am more concerned about areas of the country where earthquakes are not as prevalent and so the buildings might not be up to snuff if the “big one” should hit.

MrMoody
Post 1

I don’t think that it’s possible to overestimate the importance of site engineering. In addition to standard water planning and stuff like that the site engineer has to ensure that building code will meet with flood plain requirements.

Some areas are just more prone to flooding than others, and this can impact commercial buildings as much as it can residential buildings. The engineering companies conduct surveys and provide encroachment services in this areas.

Of course from a practical perspective I can’t imagine that most commercial developers will want to develop in an area near a flood plain, but even an area not zoned for flooding could be subject to it under extreme weather conditions.

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