Apr 22, 2012
WHAT IS AN ENGINEER?
Engineers are those who work to develop economic and safe solutions to practical problems, by applying mathematics, scientific knowledge and ingenuity while considering technical constraints. The term is derived from the Latin root "ingenium" meaning "cleverness". The industrial revolution and continuing technological developments of the last few centuries have changed the connotation of the term slightly, resulting in the perception of engineers as applied scientists. We must always remember that, the work of engineers is the link between perceived needs of society and commercial applications. In more specific to the construction industry, an “engineer” as said by R.M. Jackson & J.L. Powell, is referring to a person in the engineering construction contract performing the same function as an architect under the traditional construction contract. It means that engineers are someone who replaces the architects in the work of construction engineering or the building works that need the work of construction engineering. Referring to commonly found the Memorandum of Agreement between client and consulting engineer of professional services, the meaning of “consultant engineer” is an engineer engaged by the client to provide the professional services as described and detailed in the Contract Terms.
In the case of Holland Hannen & Cubitts (Northen) Ltd. v. Welsh Health Technical Services Organisation, the court also explains that “engineer”, as a person appointed for matters regarding building project, based on the specific skills which are not acknowledged by an architect, for example a civil or structure engineer. In specific, referring to the Article 4, Article of Agreement for Form of Contracts PAM 1998 and Article 6 and 7, Article of Agreement for Form of Contracts CIDB 2000, “engineer” (a civil and structure engineer of a mechanical and electrical engineer) as named by the clients (including the person who replace the said engineer if he/she dies or discontinue the services). Furthermore, as emphasized by Abdul Aziz, for the definition of an engineer practicing his/her professions in Malaysia, according to section 2, Registration of Engineers Act 1967, he/she must be a registered engineer.
It shall be noted that, Registration of Engineer Act 1967 does not define what is an engineer. But according to section 2 of the Act,
"Engineering consultancy practice" means a sole proprietorship, partnership or body corporate,providing professional engineering services, registered under section 7A or 7B;
"Graduate Engineer" means a person registered under subsection 10(1);
"Professional Engineer" means a person registered under subsection 10(2);
"registered Engineer" means a Graduate Engineer, Professional Engineer, Temporary Engineer or Accredited Checker;
"Professional Engineer in private practice" means a registered Professional Engineer (other than a salaried employee) who is engaged in advising on engineering matters or in designing and supervising the construction of engineering works whether he is so engaged alone or in partnership;
"Temporary Engineer " means a person registered under section 10A
 National Society of Professional Engineers. 2006. "Frequently Asked Questions About Engineering". http://www.nspe.org/media/mr1-faqs.asp. [Retrieved 21.9.2006]. Science is knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system that can be validated and communicated to other people. Engineering is the creative application of scientific principles used to plan, build, direct, guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain and improve our daily lives.; Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. 2006. "Engineers". Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition.
Concise Dictionary, 1995. Oxford :OUP. Oxford
 Jackson, R. M. & Powell, J.L. 1992. Jackson & Powell on Professional Negligence. London: Sweet & Maxwell Ltd.
 (1985) 35 Build. L.R. 1
 Abdul Aziz, Hussin. 2006. Ahli Professional Projek Pembinaan Perspektif Undang-Undang. Pulau Pinang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, pp. 12-13 and 17-21.