You say potato, Engineers say a starchy, tuberous crop.

@Grabcad says they now have 18,181 registered CAD engineers. What makes them all engineers? I know it’s just semantics, but are we all really engineers now because we know how to use CAD software? I’ve heard a lot of discussions lately on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ as to what defines an engineer as an engineer, what makes a designer a designer and what are we supposed to call those people who just know how to use the software. There tends to be plenty of gray areas nowadays with CAD software being so easy to use with built in tools that make those once difficult design decisions fairly easy to make.

The official definition from most dictionaries of an engineer is rather lame:

One who is trained or professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.

So if you read into the Wikipedia definition of an engineer, it really could apply to anyone:

An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical and practical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, safety and cost.The word engineer is derived from the Latin root ingenium, meaning “cleverness”

This is a subject I’m going to be posting more about in the future. Consider this post my warm up. I would really like to hear from you all as to how your companies operate and how they classify engineers, designers, modelers, drafters, etc.


VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Permanent link to this article:


  1. I think that to call yourself an Engineer, you ought to have a qualification to show that you have trained to reach a level of proficiency.

    I like to think that what I do is pretty clever – but I wouldn’t call myself an Engineer, because it takes away from those who’ve worked hard to earn the right to the title.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/3 (0 votes cast)
    • scott on August 12, 2011 at 6:02 AM
    • Reply

    if you use CAD software to create drawings you are a drafter or setterout.
    if you use CAD software to engineer designs (simulation, FEA & CFD etc) AND you have a degree in engineering you are an engineer
    but you aren’t a true engineer until you are a chartered engineer (well in the UK at least)
    if you use stylised design software and don’t model anything that can actually be manufactured, until its been modelled by a (Drafter, setterout or engineer), you are a designer. I see there being more or a grey area here with regard to a requirement for a degree..

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0.0/3 (0 votes cast)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *