If you are a student interested in this field or an electric engineer thinking of a career shift, it is important to know what hydraulic design engineering is. It is generally defined as a section of civil engineering concerned with how fluids (sewerage and water) flow. Hydraulic engineering uses gravity to force the movement of these fluids. Such engineers are very important when designing infrastructure such as bridges, canals, dams and levees.
A hydraulic engineer's job covers pneumatics as well. Pneumatics has to do with the mechanical nature of gases. He or she must among other things be aware of contract specifications for the project at hand and prepare a price-list for all diagrams. In addition to that is researching new technologies in the industry for more effectiveness and efficiency in projects in the pipeline. In the process of running a project, hydraulic engineering falls on many shoulders. This includes the project engineer, hydraulic design engineer and regional hydraulic engineer.
As a hydraulic engineer in a project, you will essentially do the following:
Management and Preparation
Your tasks will involve managing all the hydraulic equipment on site. You will prepare all specifications for procurement of equipment and technical procedures as well as the bill of materials for the project. In some instances you will have to assist in preparing prototypes if the project.
Monitoring and Analysis
It is the hydraulic design engineer who monitors the equipment and ensures they are efficiently operating. In case there is a problem, it will be you who troubleshoots to find out how to solve it and provide the necessary support for other engineers. You will constantly analyse all equipment and recommend any improvements. Hydraulic engineers implement the improvements and ensure workers involved in the project who need equipment handling skills are trained.
Communication and Preparation
As a hydraulic design engineer one of your tasks will be to manage communication within the team and other engineers involved in the project – structural, electrical engineers among others. It will be your duty as well to oversee the preparation of analyses and designs on the drainage system, focusing on bridge hydraulics, storm drains, open channel hydraulics, hydrology, culvert hydraulics and pump stations.
Oversight and Documentation
It is the hydraulic engineer who ensures that the laws, regulations and policies that apply to that area are followed. You will be required to develop and maintain a systematic form of documentation throughout the project, capturing the experiences of that facility at a local or regional level.
Any professional misconduct by a hydraulic design engineer in Australia will lead to penalties including a fine depending on the issue. The Building Practitioner's Board oversees practitioners in the building industry and contributes to creation and execution of policies which ensure proper conduct among the members.