Engineering changes reflect downsizing

Utilities made significant changes in engineering staff and functions as recent downsizing slashed through the organizational ranks.

In a recent Altran Corp., Boston, Mass., survey of 261 respondents in the utilities sector, 79 percent reported decreases in plant staffing. Sixty-four percent reported on-site plant engineers and technical staff as the area of engineering with the most significant change.

Additional findings included:

– Forty-three percent reported their organization`s centralized engineering staff underwent the most significant change, and 39 percent said the greatest change occurred in management. Other areas of change included centralized technical staff (28 percent), maintenance (26 percent), and program engineers (23 percent).

– Seventy-two percent cited self-assessments as an area receiving increased attention. Sixty-five percent said their focus on maintaining plant design basis/documentation increased, two-thirds said their focus on being aware of plant/system performance increased, and nearly three-fifths said outage preparation and support emphasis increased.

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