What is a Consulting Engineer?
Consulting Engineering is essentially the commercial branch of Engineering. In Namibia the focus is on Civil, Structural, Power, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
When a client, such as the Government, or a developer, wants to carry on with a project he must first decide if he has the skills and capacity to do it with his in-house staff. If not he will approach a Consulting Engineer.
In principle the Consulting Engineer will prepare the necessary reports, designs, drawings and documents that will be needed and will then prepare tenders, appoint a contractor and supervise the work to completion. In some cases, such as buildings, the Engineer works in a team with other professionals such as Architects and Quantity Surveyors, but in most instances you are working alone and are fully responsible.
Obviously the kind of project will depend on the individual client, but taking all of the possible clients in Namibia this means that there are a huge variety ranging from schools and hospitals, water supply pipelines and sewage ponds through to the planning of road user charges and cross border tariffs for vehicles. The scope is almost endless.
Consulting Engineering is conducted by firms or practices and not by individuals
A consulting engineering firm consists of a group of skilled and trained professional engineers with the high level of expertise required for the specific service that they provide. Examples of these services include:
- Reinforced Concrete and Steel Structures for Buildings, Bridges, Dams etc.
- Roads and Transport Planning.
- Water pipelines and Reservoirs. Sewerage Systems and Sewage Works.
- Electrical Installations.
- Computer System.
- Electrical Substations, HV Power Lines.
- Air Conditioning Installations.
- Refrigeration systems.
- Industrial Processes.
These items are subdivided into five major disciplines:
- Civil Engineering.
- Structural Engineering.
- Electrical Engineering.
- Mechanical Engineering.
- Power Engineering
In addition to the above mentioned professional staff, consulting engineering firms employ:
- Technical staff to work with the professional staff for such tasks as Surveying, Quality Control Inspections, Construction Supervision, Design Detailing, Testing and the like.
- Draughtsmen to do drawings.
- Administrative an support staff.
Namibian consulting engineering Firms have all of the above mentioned facilities and can provide expertise locally on request to clients.