United Academy

From Engineer to a Manager

Er. Rajendra Prasad Koirala

May 11, 2020
Last updated July 15, 2021
KMC Lalitpur

The word engineering is an action of working artfully to bring something about in an architectural form with the help of scientific, economic, practical knowledge, and social values, whereas the management is the action of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees to accomplish organizational goals through the application of available resources. When these two different strata come together and form a solo as an 'Engineering Manager', the formation of a very essential position takes place to run any engineering or non-engineering-related organization scientifically and systematically for optimization of production cost including time and boost up with production quantity, quantity, and organizational profit.

The Bachelor's, as well as the Master's level engineering programs in Nepal, gives more emphasis on technical knowledge rather than the management part. In the Master's there are many specializations like structure, water resources, geotechnical, environmental, renewal energy, information systems, etc. but to transform engineers into managers there are a few like Engineering Managemnt or Construction Management.

The 'Construction Management' particularly focuses on the scope, time, and cost-efficient of the ongoing construction projects like hydropower, tunnel, solar plants, highways, buildings, water supply & sanitary, wind, gas/oil plants & pipelines, etc by forming a project management triangles. Simply it focuses on the construction industry considering only a limited engineering stratum. 

Similarly, the 'Engineering Management' lies at the interface between engineering and business; it contains elements of both as well as subjects unique to its area of study. In practice, it combines the engineer’s technical problem-solving ability with business acumen and skills, which leads engineers to the overall development of service, manufacturing as well as production engineering industry including scope, time and cost of construction projects with superior quality on them, depending upon the resources available and as per the goal of the organization whether service, manufacture/production or construction industry by planning, organizing, and executing an organizational or project’s agenda.

An engineering manager is expected to carry out tasks like planning, scheduling, designing with accuracy, staffing, training and coordinating, finance and budgeting, supervision, research inside or in between the organizations with which the engineering managers are found to be the problem solver and well in the field of sustainable development of the nation from their practical and experimental knowledge with social norms. Those qualified resources are involved in developing and well managing of industrial products surface and undergrounds mining and constructions, agricultural, environmental resources & bioengineering management as well as network & communicating engineering, electronics & digitalization engineering, etc. on the baseline of developed countries, it is found that they have the skills to turn harvest of the imagination into real-world innovation and their proper management by playing a key role in supporting the growth and development of a country’s economy as well as in improving the quality of life for citizens. As such, there is an important connection between a country’s engineering managerial capacity and its economic development.

In the Context of Nepal 

We know that Nepal is a developing country where the knowledge and needs of the society are also increasing day by day, which demands the lots of engineering inventions-innovations, re/design and construction of infrastructure along with their proper utilization and management in the field of hydropower & water resource, tunnel & transportation (air, rail, water & land), water supply & sanitation, high-rise building, Information Technology, plant & accessories, electrical, communications & networking, economic, education, research, etc. for its overall development and power acquisition in face of the world, and it is a continuous ongoing process for the betterment of the nation. To fulfill this aim and goal, the nation requires a number of energetic and skilled engineering managers for the timely implementation and completion of any construction projects as well as for the more production of goods and better service of the organization, which will help in the overall economic growth of the particular organization, and ultimately leads the country to the development. However, the point to which engineering managers can give support to development is also dependent upon governments committing finance and resources required for infrastructure projects, as well as developing a favorable business environment with tremendous regulation and without any corruption.

Engineering managers typically require training and experience in both general management and the specific engineering disciplines. Engineering managers are in great demand in under developing countries like Nepal for the economic growth and technical development of a country.

Er. Rajendra Prasad Koirala is a student of Engineering Management and is actively interested in research activities, mass participation, and teaching activities. The views expressed in this article are his own.

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