What You Should Expect from Your Project Engineer in the New Year

Three people looking at project blueprints on a table.
December 20, 2023

Open communication between team members is vital at every stage of a construction project. As a client, one of the most important people you will work with is the project engineer (PE). Since PEs maintain relationships with the whole team from the top on down, the PE on your project can be your connection to everyone from architects and consultants to the many subcontractors in the field.

Clients play an important role in building processes, as well. As you await groundbreaking, start preparing for the different kinds of information you can expect from the PE, as well as what you might be providing to them along the way.

1. Plan to Meet, Clarify Project Engineer’s Role from Day One

Before construction kicks off, plan to meet with your PE or their representatives. This allows both sides to understand and clarify the needs of the project. The PE doesn’t have the same role in every company, so it will be helpful to get a fuller understanding of what to expect from your new partner. They can identify the steps necessary for each stage of completion and set up a timeline that works for all parties involved.

2. Expect Your Project Engineer to Understand Field Work

A PE is uniquely positioned to understand every aspect of the job. As you discuss your particular project, they will be able to take your requirements and translate them into practical terms. They typically have had field experience in a variety of areas. As middlemen between the contractors, designers, consultants and customers, they will be running a tight ship.

3. They Set Up Workers on the Ground for Success

The end goal for a PE is to provide the highest level of satisfaction for the clientele. To that end, one of their main roles is to enable tradespeople to do their jobs properly and efficiently. That includes ensuring construction workers meet a high level of integrity and accuracy throughout the construction process. They may even do field work themselves; or, they will communicate with workers and even give technical advice to set them up for success.

4. PEs Can Address a Broad Range of Questions

In some cases, the PE may be more familiar than just about anyone with the particulars at each stage of your project. This breadth of knowledge enables PEs to answer questions that may arise. They oversees the nuts and bolts of every aspect of a job:

  • Layout
  • Quality control
  • Safety
  • Requests for Information (RFIs)
  • Confirmation of details
  • Insurance

As such, it’s their job to ensure any issues are reconciled. Doing so may involve negotiating changes and handling change orders. Since they’re familiar with the contracts, they will see that the conditions and requirements of a building project are all followed according to plan.

5. Teamwork is Key: Expect to Collaborate

It takes a large team to finish a project, involving an entire community of moving parts. The PE should build good relationships with the people around them to get the job done. In a single day, they may respond to project managers, construction superintendents, field engineers and carpenters laying the hardwood. But collaboration happens off site with consultants and developers, as well.

6. The PE May Step in to Resolve Problems for You

View your PE as a problem solver who most likely has hands-on experience doing construction work themselves. It’s their job to field questions about the finer details so they can enable trade partners to get the job done the way you want it. Issues that sometimes need to be addressed by a project engineer include:

  • Meeting client expectations
  • Shared understanding of goals
  • Budget concerns
  • Moving timelines

We Value Open Communication Throughout Our Construction Projects

At W. A. Randolph, Inc. we view construction as a people business in which every team member plays a vital role in building projects. That’s why we ensure that open communication is maintained between project engineers and the other players on each project. We check in regularly with clients to communicate both short-term and long-term visions, which in turn helps us achieve the best possible results.

Ready to put your vision into action? Contact W. A. Randolph, Inc. online, or call us at 847-856-0123 to get started.