Engineering project managers work within an industry, a sponsor firm or service provider, or for a private or public firm. They usually report to a manager or director of engineering. Their assignments, which are desk-bound 90% of the time, usually involve the integration of a new system (energy, infrastructure, communication network, etc.).
Engineering project managers participate in writing specifications, researching and selecting suppliers and materials, and ordering preliminary studies as required. They make sure that the proposed installation fits in with existing structures. As needed, they may use the services of external engineering firm. They are often in charge of handling the call for tenders. They then determine the project’s provisional budget and assess potential credit requirements.
Engineering project managers are involved in the selection of a general contractor, and jointly with the engineering firm, follow up the call for tenders to select service providers. Once the partners have been selected, project managers set their contracts. At the end of the project, they ensure the receipt of the implemented systems and compare results with forecasts.
At the same time, they need to stay current with changes in techniques and regulations in effect in their sector (e.g. working conditions, safety, materials, the environment).
- Engineering degree, specialized graduate diploma or recognized civil engineering background
- Knowledge of the process in their field of expertise (e.g. manufacturing, building, construction, environment, hydraulics, fluids, electricity)
- Familiarity with the chain of responsibility, legislation in effect, players and legal constraints
- Knowledge of financial management
- Basic knowledge of fluids (energy, electricity), buildings and products
- Ability to translate a need into a recommendation
- Ability to supervise multiple teams
- Ability to mobilize human and material resources
- Perfect in English (proficiency in French for positions in Quebec)
- Proficiency with project management tools
- interpersonal skills
- teamwork skills
- sense of priorities
- resistance to stress
- industrial vision
A PROFESSIONAL’S ACCOUNT
Read the interview of Grant Thery, Supervisor Engineering Services, Alberta: Grant Thery heads a 10-person team, including six project managers.He supervises infrastructure works. He banks on the complementarity of the project managers he coordinates, who each have a particular field of expertise.