All posts by DEPROF

WORKING WITH STANDARD ENGINEERING CODES by Engr. John Cee Onwualu

The engineering profession is guided by standards, codes, and ethics of practice which set minimum safety guides for the profession. However, because we are in a dynamic world with lots of complexity occurring daily, the codes of practice have also become revolutionised with many countries coming out with their codes of practice to suit the dynamics of their environment.

For this reason, the British Standard (BS) code is now used alongside the European Standard codes (Eurocodes) in many countries, including Nigeria. Most engineering books nowadays come in both British Standard (BS) code and European Standard codes (Eurocodes). The use of either code in design does not invalidate the work of the designer.

It is important to get familiar with recent developments by reading these volumes of codes instead of relying on the use of only familiar and simplified codes.

For a young graduate, probably, the first challenge and one of the major decisions upon graduation from engineering school is the type of job to start with.

This decision is of great consequence because it defines the path to professional development. Some may choose to work as planning Engineers, Quality Engineers, Structural Engineers, Design Engineers, or Site Engineers while some may choose to become Bankers.

The establishment a young engineer chooses to work in may not be much of a problem compared to their personal determination, quality of training, and mentorship. All these put together will have defining roles in their lives as engineers.

IMPROVING PROFESSIONAL EFFICIENCY AND QUALITY OF ENGINEERING PRODUCTS

To further improve professional efficiency and quality of engineering products, Government Agencies authorised with the approving powers can also play the role of external reviewers of technical documents seeking approval.

This will force engineering professionals to conduct their work diligently in accordance with professional codes and ethics, and produce quality jobs that will not be subjected to an embarrassing rejection by the approving authorities. It will also discourage quacks from the profession and reduce the incessant cases of infrastructural failures that are recorded almost on a yearly basis in our Country.


It is encouraging to note that some States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, like Lagos, Federal Capital Territory – Abuja, and Rivers have been implementing external review checks on Technical Documents submitted for approval. It will be in the interest of our developing economy if other States in the Federation emulate the earlier mentioned States in this practice.

This can be achieved through the recruitment of professional Engineers to manage these external review functions in the various Establishments vested with such powers. The essence of this is to ensure that set standards and recommended codes of practice are followed in the design and execution of engineering projects.

Most of these practising States require in addition to the calculation sheets and drawings submitted for approval, a letter of undertaking, passport photograph, and a photocopy of the COREN certificate of the designer to accompany these design documents. This alone portrays that enormous responsibility is rested on the Engineer, and demands that confidence, courage, and good quality product delivery for the safe use of the structure for clients and the public is not negotiable.

The Young Engineer: Importance of Training and Mentorship

A young engineer, who is at the threshold of a professional career, transiting from a fresh engineering graduate to a leadership role in engineering should bear in mind that there are many challenges along the journey. The challenges encountered in this transition are of great importance because when the necessary training and mentorship needed at those various stages of engineering are truncated, there is the likelihood to have engineering personnel that lack courage and confidence during execution and defence of their works.

CHALLENGES OF A YOUNG ENGINEER

In our engineering education, we were taught the use of science and mathematics which form the fundamental basis for the application of the knowledge to interpret, invent, innovate, and solve engineering problems. We live in a dynamic world whose environment is in constant disturbance by humans. These environmental disturbances create complex engineering problems yearning for solutions. But these complex problems are challenges that engineering through the application of the scientific and natural laws are constantly providing solutions for the benefit of mankind.