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Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

I am in HVAC right now, but spent most of my 10 years in mechanical engineering in either DDC controls (for HVAC), instrumentation manufacturing (for liquid level control) and HVAC equipment manufacturing (again, mostly controls-related).

I just earned my PE license and although I realise I still have a lot to learn, I am considering breaking away and beginning my own engineering firm. It may be just me for a while. It may be just me forever.

I am looking for ideas for someone with my background.
What types of clients might I pursue?
What types of work mught I pursue?

I am not so much interested in nuts and bolts, strict engineering design work, although I can do that if necessary. I am skilled in AutoCAD and have worked to design control systems as well as to program DDC controllers for HVAC control systems. In addition, I have done some trouble shooting for controls and equipment related to VAV units and electric heaters.

I appreciate any thoughts.



RE: Mechanical Engineering


Congrats on the PE first off!

I noticed a good idea on this web site. Read thread784-59666 specifically Drazen's final posting might offer some good ideas. I didn't notice you post there or anything. thread784-150171 might be a potential idea, technical documentation might be a potential market. A lot of companies that want to go ISO have their documentation all screwed up because they grew faster than expected,bad management, etc.

What about adding HVAC cost eng/estimation or smoke control to the business prospectus? Try posting the same question on the nspe business site. www.nspe.org

I think you should just do it, you've got the experience you've got the PE. If not now when?

Good Luck

RE: Mechanical Engineering

Thanks so much for the links, encouragement and advice. That's a great attitude to have. I'm sure you must be doing well in your endeavors.

I haven't looked at the links yet, but will when I can.

As far as waiting and when to do it, I'm not sure. Right now my wife has a business that is in its infancy and we are hoping that as that stabilizes within the upcoming year, my income will not be as important and I will have the chance to spread my wings a bit.

Thanks again!



RE: Mechanical Engineering

from what you describe yourself, you are not qualified to work as an HVAC Engineer, just because you were doing controls for years does not mean that you can do HVAC design. You will get into serious change orders, and I don't think that you are likely to chose the best and most effective HVAC system.

What I saw in folks with your expertise, is that they go into Controls commissioning, BAS commissioning, get your LEED certification and become a "Commissioning Authority", write BAS controls commissioning plans.
Write Control sequence of operations with points lists for school systems for example, having a school system integrate all their schools into one system, etc..
MEP construction management is another thing, but hard to get into.

You expertise is valuable, but you seem to underestimate the HVAC trade. It is complex, and there are so many codes, components and systems that you need to be familiar with that you can't afford signing blindly your documents.

The other thing is that you are jumping from controls to being on your own in HVAC. I can see you jumping into a company with peers to work with but on your own...

A plumber once told me that "you Mechanical Engineers know enough to be Dangerous". I think he was right.

Give it some thought, are you dangerous?

Good luck and I envy you for jumping into it and going on your own.


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