Responsibilities of a project engineer

The scope of a construction project manager’s responsibilities can vary widely. In this article, the project manager is assumed to be someone who also has design responsibilities and is the client’s representative. For clarity this article uses the term ‘project engineer’ or simply ‘engineer’.

Typically, the project engineer will oversee the appointment of one or more contractors who will also have their own ‘project managers’. The contractors’ project managers will have different legal responsibilities to those described in this article.

All case law in this chapter is based on U.S. Law and cases in U.S. courts.




An overview of the life cycle phases from the perspective of the project engineer.

Engineer’s obligations to the owner

An explanation of the standard of care the engineer must provide, including contractual obligations and his or her liability for cost estimates.

Engineer’s liability to third parties

An introduction to subjects such as privity and foreseeable harm.

Engineer’s inspection responsibilities

The engineer’s responsibilities for inspecting the contractors work.

Engineer’s role in the claims process

Including the engineer’s role as agent and arbitrator.



J.T. Brown

The Handbook of Program Management

McGraw-Hill Companies 2008

T.J. Esque

No Surprises Project Management

ACT Publishing 1999

Project Management Institute

The Standard for Program Management

PMI 2008

Project Management Institute

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

4th Edition, PMI 2008


Mastering Project Management Basic

Boston University, 2005

Project Management Institute

Practice Standard for Earned Value Management

PMI 2005

S.J. Amos

Skills and Knowledge of Cost Engineering

AACEI, 2004


Strategic Risk Taking

WHARTON School Publishing 2007



Thanks to Ignacio Manzanera for providing this book


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