Mike Sullaway, principal engineer, president and owner of Sullaway Engineering Inc. in San Diego, Calif., presented a campfire session “Working with Engineers” at IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Throughout the presentation, Sullaway offered tips and advice on the best ways to go about working on a project with an engineer.
How to find your engineer:
- Referrals. Look for projects similar to the one on your agenda and then begin networking.
- Google. Use key words to see what firms are located within your region.
- Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of engineers and their credentials.
- Connect with associations (IFAI, American Society of Civil Engineers, etc.).
How to qualify your engineer:
- Check with your city government to see if the work you are planning needs a consent or if it will conflict with any local bylaws.
- Determine the type of engineer you will need (structural, geotechnical, civil engineer, etc.).
- Inquire about licenses the engineer holds.
- Ask for the engineer’s professional portfolio and samples of completed work.
How to partner with your engineer:
- Communicate what you want and look for an engineer who is committed and not just interested in a one-time project.
- Review the engineering firm’s policies and procedures.
- Define the scope of the project.
- Discuss contracts. Include simple agreements for multiple applications and/or more comprehensive agreements for substantial engagements.