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Engineering Manager Spotlight

Engineering Managers in the industrial construction industry mentor, direct and pull together the tasks of a diverse team to successfully complete a major project. They are the overseers of all the engineers and engineering tasks on large oil and gas projects.

What a typical day looks like:

Engineering Managers are the conduit between an engineering team and the activities that are required to develop projects. They make or approve all the decisions from design, procurement and construction to commissioning and handover of a major project. They plan, organize and direct the activities of the technical team. They organize people, hours, costs, budgets and logistics.

This is a lot of hard work. Luckily, Engineering Managers lead a team of brilliant minds who they can trust to do most of the technical engineering work. Engineering Managers coordinate and review the technical work and then present any proposals, reports or findings to the client or management.

Engineering Managers see the big picture. They ensure all the engineering disciplines and their work fits together to accomplish a project goal. They may guide a compilation of project standards and specifications into one document, ensuring that standards from different disciplines don’t contradict or create problems for other disciplines. For projects, such as an LNG export facility or pipeline, specifications will be complex.

Typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P), oil sands, oil and gas services, and pipeline sectors of the oil and gas industry, Engineering Managers spend time in the office and in the field. As a result, they do travel and stay in camp while on the construction site. Some overtime hours may be required to meet project deadlines.

The kinds of problems Engineering Managers solve at work:

Part of the pressure and satisfaction that comes with leading teams is the need to solve complex problems. Engineering Managers are able to fit together all the pieces of a large puzzle in a way that makes sense and keeps the project on time and on budget. When a problem arises, they are able to quickly identify it and pull together the right people and resources to find a solution.

Skills used most on the job:

Engineering Managers possess strong leadership skills and highly-tuned technical skills. They advanced to this position because of their mastery of engineering but also because they have exceptional communication, organization and negotiation skills. They are able to motivate and mentor staff while working toward common goals. They are also able to manage personnel, material and financial resources.

Engineering Managers plan, organize and direct all the activities that need to happen to ensure oil and gas operations are safe, efficient, reliable and in compliance with all established contracts, agreements, policies, laws and regulatory procedures. They are at the heart of every decision and approval throughout each step of a project.

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