Questions on the key roles and responsibilities of the modern Engineering Manager

Engineering Manager duties usually cover Capital Project Management and Maintenance Management, two vital aspects that must be done exceedingly well in an industrial operation


 

Dear Mike,

I saw your professional site, and wanted to ask:

How can I be a professional Engineering (Projects & Maintenance) Manager?

Can you give me the base-lines to be good in this position?

Sincerely,

Hamdy

 


 

Hello Hamdy,

The Engineering Manager role is a massive responsibility. It is a senior management function in a company. The position is equally responsible, alongside the Operations Manager, for the technical and productivity future of the organisation.

The role covers the management and foresight of capital projects, and the management and foresight of plant and equipment maintenance and reliability. Be careful, maintenance is heavily related to business economics and far less so to engineering. Just because someone is an engineering manager does not also make them a good manager of maintenance.

These days I would want incumbents in an Engineering Manager’s position to have a solid engineering degree (honours level preferably) plus a strong commercial or business degree. Practical business exposure as a project engineer/manager and maintenance engineer/manager, each of several years duration, would be a great combination of experiences to bring to the role.

Qualifications in Project Management plus practical experience in several large capital projects as a Project Engineer/Manager would, for me, be a minimum level of competence for the function. The reason I say that is because in a project management role you are responsible for the financial management and resources management of projects. Knowing how to manage money and resources is a vital capability for an Engineering Manager. If the incumbent did not have much plant maintenance exposure they would need to make the learning of enterprise asset management and maintenance management their most urgent training priority.

Personal attributes include excellent management presentation skills and a capability to positively influence company management.

They usually are responsible for assembling the organisation’s capital budget, which implies they are responsible for keeping the company up-to-date with technology and the continual modernisation of plant and equipment used in operations and production. They would be technically literate with the range of modern technology applicable to their business and its information management. They regularly scan the technical horizon looking to understand what relevant technology will be suitable for the company’s physical assets and operational processes in 5 to 10 years’ time.

They are naturally inclined to encourage and promote efficiency and productivity improvements, always seeking to make project, maintenance and operational processes more optimal and more effective.

The desire to innovate and the drive to make innovation happen in the company are also core attributes you want in your Engineering Manager.

I hope the above is helpful to you. Let me know if you have further questions.

 

All the best to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ

 

P.S. If you require advice on enterprise asset management, industrial equipment maintenance strategy, defect elimination and failure prevention or plant and equipment maintenance and reliability, please contact me by email at info@lifetime-reliability.com