How do we define Field Engineering?

In answer to the question:
“Why is The Field Engineer community called The Field Engineer”.
This article discusses field engineering and who field engineers are.

How do we define Field engineering?

What is a field engineer?

A field engineer is someone who works in different locations and installs, services, repairs, tests, maintains and updates equipment, machines, and systems. Whatever the industry or technology, field engineers use their theoretical understanding of engineering concepts and practical designs to carry out their work.
Some field engineers train clients or end users. In other situations, they manage whole engineering or technical projects. They may also carry out on site inspections or perform safety checks.
More and more software installation or software updating is part of field engineers’ client visits because many equipment users do not want their equipment to be remotely updated in case it leaves them open to cyber-attack.
Field sales engineers are not as hands on but still need to understand the technology they are selling. They face many of the same challenges as other field engineering professionals.

Field engineering industries

Field engineers can work in any industry or technology. The most known industries are manufacturing, construction, electronics and semiconductor, telecommunications, energy, oil, and gas industries.
Other industries which need field engineers are medical, mechanical, electrical, chemical, civil, environmental, scientific instruments, consumer products, transport systems, rivers and waterways, server farms and IT …. The list is almost endless.

Types of field engineers

There are a lot of people working in field engineering who do not have the job title of field engineer or field technician.
Some examples of job titles without the word ‘field’:
Coiled tubing engineer,
Biomedical engineer,
Commissioning engineer,
Geotechnical engineer,
Offshore structural engineer,
Wind turbine technician.
Again, the list is almost endless.

How do we define field engineering , and Asian woman petrochemical engineer

What they do

A key part of working in field engineering is that technical skills and knowledge needs to be matched with customer facing, relationship building and communication skills.
Field Engineers can be the eyes and ears of their company within their client’s sites.
In addition to filing regular technical report detailing their visit, they may also report on a project status, feedback questions, concerns, and requests. Field engineers can be asked to conduct research and gather data whilst on site. Also, Field Sales and Service Engineers are key to selling and introducing new products to clients as often they are the part of the organisation who is seen in person.
Field Service Engineers can see how their equipment is being used, they speak to the people operating the equipment, they can find out what the operators think of the equipment and how easy and pleasurable it is to use. This can help with new product suggestions, and improvements in user interfaces, keeping clients happy, as well as helping to gain more orders for the company’s equipment.

Resources for field engineers

The Field Engineer

The Field Engineer community is an online community for all engineers who work in the field. Its aim is to provide all the resources engineers need from starting out in field engineering through the course of their career. Offering dedicated networking forums for engineers in different sectors and technologies. Forums for Manager and Director level field engineering leaders. As well as a dedicated Field Engineering Job Board.

Service Council

The Service Council™ is an exclusive community for executives working in the service and support industry. It offers networking opportunities for executives and holds an annual Executive level conference every year.

Future of Field Service

The Future of Field Service, also aims to provide leaders across industries and spanning geographies, a home for both information and inspiration on how to differentiate their businesses through service and lead through change. The have an extensive library of videos and audio media related to Field Engineering.

Field Service

Field Service has its focus on in person physical conferences across the globe for executives in Field Service – “The Conference for Leaders in Customer Success, Service and Support”.

The future of field engineering

engineer with equipment

Field engineering is changing all the time because technology is constantly evolving. As technology evolves, field engineers will need to adapt, learn new skills, and accept change.
Augmented Reality (AR) is increasing the amount and quality of remote support. However, it can only enrich the work carried out in the field and not replace it. The person on the ground still needs to have skills and experience and have strong communication skills in order to make best use of remote support.
The climate change is now a global problem.
By definition, field engineering requires travel, and often global travel.
One of the major challenges for the future of field engineering is how to get the job done, while reducing field engineering’s carbon footprint.
There are many locations which are inaccessible without using carbon emitting technologies.
With large tool cases and other equipment to transport, public transport is not always an easy option.
Smart cities will not function without different types of field engineering teams.
Some engineers, for example software engineers, can work in one location and never travel. However, end users need field engineers at their locations.
There are dozens of emerging fields in engineering that may not be well known yet but will soon become popular as they grow more sophisticated over time. As technology continues to improve, the future of field engineering will change as well.

Field Engineers and their experience and stories

The blog which is part of The Field Engineer community has a library of those who work in field engineering sharing their experience. Here are a few of them.

Field Engineers from over 100 countries

The Field Engineer community now has members from over 100 different countries. Within those countries, engineers are working in different regions, in different industries, and in very different conditions.
In this article we highlight twelve of our members to give a glimpse of the variety of field engineers globally. Some are near the beginning of their careers, and some have decades of experience.

Images of 12 members as The Field Engineer celebrates12 country Profiles from 100 member countries

Women in Field Engineering

Women working in field engineering share their inspirations.
International Women in Engineering Day 2023

Top row left to right: Adalet Yurtcu, Ifunanya Kanu, Aisha Hassan Mustapha, Judith Lesowiec, Laura McFalls Bottom row left to right: J.C. Newell, Ebi Tumbo, Denise Williams, Sheba Winfred Kirabo, Jessie Moffitt
Top row left to right: Adalet Yurtcu, Ifunanya Kanu, Aisha Hassan Mustapha, Judith Lesowiec, Laura McFalls Bottom row left to right: J.C. Newell, Ebi Tumbo, Denise Williams, Sheba Winfred Kirabo, Jessie Moffitt

Toolkits

Toolkits are vital to field engineering and so we ran a series of articles highlighting different types of field engineers and their toolkits.
Starting as a Field Engineer – what’s in your toolkit – part 7

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