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Process Engineers / Mechanical Engineers - Responsibilities

mechanical engineering process engineering responsibilities training

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#1 PhilippM


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Posted 10 June 2019 - 12:55 PM

I was talking to a friend (he is also a process engineer) who works at another engineering company.

They do projects (Conceptual, Basic and Detail Engineering) for different chemical producers here in Germany.


What I found weird is that they don't have a team/department with mechanical engineers, but instead the tasks of a mechanical (static/rotating) engineer (like writing specifications, requisitions, technical/commercial bid evaluations, handling the vendor documentation/drawings, tender negotiations) are handled by the process engineers instead.


I can see why this might make sense in really small projects (let's say just replacing a pump) due to budgetary constraints, because it is difficult to justify having several people working on such a project. Another advantage of course is that a single person maintains the overview of the status of all pieces of equipment.


However I think that the necessary technical skills of a mechanical engineer are vastly different from what a process engineer is trained to do, so I was wondering if someone else could share their opinions and/or experiences about the responsibilities of process engineers in other engineering companies and if there are other pros and cons of not having a dedicated mechanical engineer (or at least someone with the proper specialist knowledge to check/approve the documents created by his/her colleagues) in a project.


P.S. Of course I think that with proper training, someone who studied mechanical engineering at the university can do the job of a process engineer and visa versa


Kind regards


Edited by PhilippM, 10 June 2019 - 10:22 PM.

#2 Chemitofreak


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Posted 11 June 2019 - 05:26 AM

Hi Philipp,


I had earlier worked in a German EPC company, they had mechanical rotating department under Process Engineering group, but the engineers handling rotating equipment (like writing specifications, requisitions, technical/commercial bid evaluations, handling the vendor documentation/drawings, tender negotiations) were Mechanical Engineers. 


I did not got their logic of putting rotating engineers under Process Engineering group.

Edited by Chemitofreak, 11 June 2019 - 05:26 AM.

#3 oilpmp


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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:24 AM

If the names mean what they are intended to mean (process engineer = process engineer, same for mechanical), I could not understand this type of work approach.

On a joke side, I may have an explanation to this:

Process engineers do not get along very well with rotating engineers and vice versa. So what happened is that, in that organization, process engineering group was more influential and they may have decided to treat the problem at the root: convince the management that the mechanical group was redundant...

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