If you need an engineering job done but you’re not sure who to contact, you can browse our database of highly qualified engineers.
Our database includes Engineering New Zealand members and Chartered Professional Engineers under the CPEng Act 2002.
Types of engineers
There are many different kinds of engineers. There are now many more engineering disciplines than in the past. Some of the different disciplines are shown below. If you're unsure which type of engineer you should be engaging, please get in touch with us for assistance:
Most structural engineers work as consultants to architects or design-build contractors. It's the structural engineer's responsibility to calculate the loads (like snow, wind and earthquake forces), fit the structure to the architecture, and decide on what structural systems to use (steel, concrete, beams, etc.).
You need a structural engineer to:
- Provide designs for residential and commercial buildings to ensure they meet the building code
- Assess the strength of buildings after an event (eg. earthquakes)
- Assess the safety of a structure such as a retaining wall.
Every infrastructure is connected to the ground. Geotechnical engineers understand how kinds of infrastructures, such a tunnels, bridges, dams, buildings, and roads, interact with the ground.
You need a geotechnical engineer to:
- Assess ground conditions to determine suitable foundation design
- Design foundations for buildings, structures and retaining walls
- Assess the stability of slopes and embankment.
Engineering Geology is the profession responsible for defining the geotechnical problem, and identifying and characterising the hazards and material properties. Geotechnical engineers then take this information to design the appropriate solution. These two functions work together to ensure a safe design. If you’re not sure which you need, ask a professional.
You need a professional engineering geologist to:
- Undertake complex ground investigations
- Investigate complex landslides and advise about rockfall risk
- Assess the risk of geohazards for a site or project
Mechanical engineers are typically involved with the generation, distribution, and use of energy, the control and automation of manufacturing systems, and the design and development of machines.
You need a mechanical engineer to:
- Design a ventilation and air conditioning system for a large building
- Design specialised pieces of machinery
- Certify, repair or design modifications to machinery.
Software engineers specialise in computer software applications or computer software systems. They design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate the software and systems that make computers or anything containing software work, like computer operating systems and video games.
You need a software engineer to:
- Design applications that let users perform specific tasks on a computer or other digital or electronic device
- Design the underlying systems that run the devices or control the network
- Ensure software continues to function normally through upgrades.
Electrical engineers carry out analysis and design of large and small scale electrical systems. Many electrical engineers are employed in the energy utilities industry. They also work in industrial environments carrying out the electrical design associated with manufacturing processes, manufacturing plant, control systems and telecommunications. Some are involved in research and development and education. Electrical engineers typically work closely with other professionals like civil and mechanical engineers and legal and economic professionals.
You need an electrical engineer to:
- Analyse your electrical problem and design a sustainable and economic solution that is science-based
- Manage and oversee the electrical aspects of a large-scale project
- Provide optimal solutions in the design, management and operation of electrical networks and assets.
Recognised Engineer (Dam Safety)
Two types of Recognised Engineers will be required to audit and certify:
- Potential impact classifications (PIC)
- Dam safety assurance programmes (DSAP)
Recognised Engineers will be added to the register from 2023.