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Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

(OP)
Hello all,

I am not sure whether this is a correct sub-forum I shall post. So here is the situation:

I was not following this one project from the earliest stage. (For info I am a graduate engineer). Currently we are in the construction stage. Now, due to some unforeseen circumstances, instead of this designer, I would be the one who take over i.e. attending the meeting etc.

My problem is how you gonna deal with the sudden responsibilty given to you? Since I am new in the working phase, maybe most of the questions they would ask that I might not be able to answer, then what should I do?

#LoveWins

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Try to familiarize yourself with all of the relevant documents. Spend the hours needed to read through all of the site instructions, various disciplines drawings, any sort of site reports, etc. You should have the most current documents printed out so that you can highlight the information that is relevant to whichever meetings you're attending. If someone who was involved in the project early on is still around you could ask them pointed questions about why changes were made, or if there were any unforeseen circumstances that came up throughout the earlier stages of the project. Something I like to keep in my back pocket is saying "That's a good question, I can take a look at that when I'm back in the office". It gives me room to think things over before giving an answer when I might not have all the information I need.

What type of project is it specifically? The fact that you're having responsibility pushed towards you is likely a good sign that your employer is confident in you, provided that they're still willing to answer questions you have or provide guidance.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

One piece of advice I was given a long time ago was to never have a pen with me. People will be throwing things at you to sign, and if you do it in a rush, you'll make mistakes. Tell them you'll take it back with you, and sign it in the office.
I don't know how that translates to the electronic world. Maybe never have a your implanted chip with you?

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

I second both Shotzie and Clamps posts...don't be afraid to say "I'll get back to you with an answer"

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

As others have stated, don't be afraid of saying that you'll need to get back with them later.

One thing I think is very important is finding out what your responsibilities are for this project. Depending on what is expected of you, you may not be qualified (especially if you don't have your PE license). Depending on the type of work, if a PE certification is needed for the construction, you better be certain who's going to be doing the certification if it isn't you. If your purpose is to be the eyes & ears for the PE, make certain that you keep notes for them and if you see something wrong with the construction, don't be afraid to let them know about it quick. It's easier to fix rebar spacing before concrete has been poured versus after.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

(OP)
Thanks for your advices.

For this projrct my responsibilities would include dealing with the client, a person who will the other consultants and the contractor go to if they have any enquiry, attending every meetings and site inspection.

"I'll get back to you with an answer" is a good move to reply. However how you deal with those who are rushing you to make a decision at the spot?

#LoveWins

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

"Do you want it fast or do you want it right?"
After you've used that a few times, tell them that you need to check the contract documents as all questions can be answered in there.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Suddenly thrust into leading a project, eh? Be careful. In my experience, mostly projects that are perceived to be "doomed to failure" have that happen. Take some time. Figure things out. Then, execute.

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Ask lots of questions.

Review the estimate. If you need a bigger budget, now is the time to ask for more money. In fact you almost certainly need to ask for a bigger budget. Let them tell you exactly why you don't.

I used to count sand. Now I don't count at all.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Welcome to the working world of engineering, don't be surprised if every title, company, personnel, management, or other change in your working environment leads to being dropped onto a project you know little about but are expected to make a success of. As always remain flexible, open to new/different/unexpected experiences, and above all else remain ethical by only speaking/working within your experience. New to you = peer review.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Practice saying, "I don't have the answer to that right now, but I can look into it and get back to you."

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

When I was first working in this industry, my boss said "Never make a guess or make up an answer. When people ask you something that you don't know, simply say 'I'll have to get back to you'. AND THEN DO SO. People will respect someone who gets the right information to them, but will quickly lose respect for anyone who always has an answer but can't be depended on for that answer to be right"

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

As a wise old controls lead engineer said to me a long time ago. When the customer says something and you don't agree just say ok. OK - does not mean you will do what they said, does not mean its a change order, does not mean your saying no. Just means you heard them is all.

Saves you a lot of heartache in the hear and now.

But it does mean you put on an actions list or punch list to see what it is they are asking for from your company.

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

As others have said, don't rush to approve or respond.

It may take 2 hours to write a 2 sentence memo approving an RFI, since you'll need to need to review all pertinent drawings and documents. Also, sometimes it takes a few days to find the time to perform that review. You need to wait rather make someone wait rather than send off a response you haven't fully though through.

-JFPE

RE: Grsduate Engineer suddenly become main coordinator in a project

Really good advice from the prior posters. I once was a resident engineer in another country and another engineer who had been in the country on another project cautioned me that I had a bad project just before my project started. He said to keep a daily dairy, type it up at the end of the week and send it to your home office. This was the best advice I had ever had and followed through on the suggestion. About two years into the project, the contractor complained in a 28 page letter about all of the bad things that had happened. At that time I had all of the dairies (a number of full school note books)to substantiate my actions and conversations as well as all of the correspondence to the contractor (which I numbered each letter - in English and the countries language). I had to prepare a 80 page response, but the interesting thing was my superior was blamed rather than me. The project finished by another contractor.

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