What is a Stationary Engineer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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Stationary engineers cover a great deal of ground within just about any given manufacturing facility. Considered a permanent position with the production complex, a stationary engineer oversees the general operations of the building, including and replacements, renovations, and repair of the various support systems. Often, the or she will work in conjunction with other engineers to ensure that all systems are maintained properly, and a regular schedule of testing and upgrades is observed.

Along with work in production facilities, a stationary engineer can also find work in just about any type of public building. Schools, shopping malls, and hospitals will all require the services of a person in this position. Depending on the size of the operation, the engineer may work as one of a team of operating engineers. In this environment, the engineer will be involved in such vital functions as the climate control, boiler and steam systems, power generators, and water systems.

One of the core duties of the stationary engineer has to do with the start up phase of new equipment. The engineer monitors the new equipment to ensure that everything is functioning within safety and efficiency limits. In the past, this was usually accomplished by monitoring a series of gauges and meters as part of the process. Today, these tasks are more commonly handled with a computer interface.


Along with aiding in the start up of the new equipment, the stationary engineer will also be involved in adjustments and periodic repair of the equipment. Once repairs are made, the engineer will evaluate the performance of the equipment, and order adjustments as needed. In the event that the equipment is not working within established standards, the engineer may authorize a shutdown of the machinery until another course of action is determined.

As a specialized type of operating engineer, the stationary engineer is usually permanently assigned to the facility. With a wide range of duties to perform, it is not uncommon for a senior stationary engineer to work with a team of assistants to ensure that all systems in the building are monitored and repaired quickly. By doing so, the engineer makes it possible for the facility to continue functioning with little to no interruption.


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