There is recent news from the National Society of Professional Engineers concerning litigation in Mississippi for a company that insists on using the the term, “Tire Engineers,” in its business promotion. It’s an auto maintenance and tire company and as far as we can see, there is not any actual engineering being conducted there. Noone is designing, analyzing or engineering tires.

Does the name matter? The NSPE opens that topic up and they stated in their article, What’s in a Name? the following:

There’s no question public health, safety, and welfare has been better served by preventing unqualified persons from calling themselves engineers, and the good name of the profession has ensured public trust and the continuation of licensure.

We seem to understand that people cannot call themselves a doctor without getting a medical degree and practicing medicine. Same goes for calling ourselves lawyers if we don’t have the respective credentials and practice law.

In the engineering profession, there is still much education towards the public, especially since the term, “engineer,” is loosely used in so many descriptions to add credibility. It’s a way to parlay a highly trusted professional domain into marketing promotion.

The problem is that this can dilute the true credibility of real engineers who build machinery, systems, vehicles, spacecraft or high-tech equipment. These engineered products meet stringent requirements for performance, safety and required customer outputs.

Our value as real mechanical engineers is to bring engineering expertise to problems that demand a high level of performance and safety requirements. Thus, we add engineering where it is demanded, accordingly. And the licensing authorities that uphold professional standards expect a firm like ours at Meadows Analysis to perform and deliver real engineering services. It’s easy to see how tire engineers are not in the same category if they are not actually delivering such services.

You don’t want non-engineers building pressure vessels, cranes or tires for that matter. Failure of such engineered products can result in catastrophes. The math and efficient application of resources to solve the functional problems maintain the “public health, safety and welfare.”

The debate on the term, “engineer,” used in business promotion will likely continue for quite a time. Just know that we, as real engineers, maintain that high standard of integrity in our firm’s work. Our credibility is paramount for the public trust we work daily to maintain as engineers.