The Engineering Profession
Being an Engineer
Engineers apply scientific and mathematical principles to solve problems, optimise solutions, maintain systems and spearhead the entire spectrum of human technological advancements. The distinguishing feature between engineers and technologists or technicians is the deep understanding of science and mathematics which enable them to have a foundational understanding of real world problems. For this reason, engineers generally have a substantial academic background by means of engineering degrees in specialized fields of engineering. These include but are not limited to mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and civil engineering.
The warrant and the title of ‘Inġinier’
In Malta, the engineering act defines the eligibility for the warrant as well as the duties and obligations pertaining to a warrant holder. An engineering degree is necessary, followed by at least three years experience. However any work experience during the degree itself can contribute by not more than a year towards the work experience. In practice most engineering warrants are obtained having has three years work experience after graduation.
The law stipulates an Engineering Board made up of members who are themselves warrant holders, partly nominated according to defined criteria by the Government, and partly elected directly by the warrant holders. Elections are held every two years.
Eur. Ing. Title and FEANI
This is a title awarded by FEANI (Fédération Européene d’Associations Nationale d’Ingénieurs) to applicants that are first vetted by national committees of FEANI member associations, NMC, and then brought in front of a central FEANI Board known as the EMC (European Monitoring Committee). There are precise rules for award. In practice many countries do not agree with all the conditions, and in some countries the award is simply not given. This applies particularly in Italy, and other Southern Region countries.
The Chamber of Engineers is the local body affiliated to FEANI, and it has been a member for more than twenty years. The Chamber has a local National Monitoring Committee, (NMC) called Inġiniera Malta which vets applications for the Eur. Ing. The criteria necessary are a first degree (an M.Sc. without a first degree is not automatically accepted) and five years working experience in an engineering environment. The range of acceptable areas range from civil engineering to forest and food engineering.
The Chamber has close collaboration with FEANI. It participates actively in the annual general meeting of FEANI.
It is important to note that the Eur. Ing. title is not an alternative to the warrant. The title has to be included after the person’s name (post-nominal). This is contrary to the “Inġ.” title which is pre-nominal.
The Code of Ethics
The Chamber of Engineers is, by law, responsible to issue a code of ethics. The full details can be found in the link below.
The code of ethics guides professionals to adhere to a standard code of practice to be adopted by all professionals with the ultimate aim being to ensure that the profession preserves its highest possible standards in serving society in general. The Chamber of Engineers’ ethics committee, from time to time, deals with cases of breach of such a code which is taken very seriously by the organization. Any breach of the code of ethics is punishable by law in accordance with the engineering profession act. The ethics committee also has a complaints procedure which can be accessed here
Other useful links