Engineering Experience: Example 1

This is the first in what will be a series of posts, breaking down my own engineering experience record. In total, my record included my graduate studies (Master’s degree) and 4 different jobs. In this post, we’ll review my entry for my graduate degree. The entry is anonymized, but should still contain plenty of information to give an idea of how one might fill out their own experience record.

Graduate Degree Experience

The first section is self-explanatory. Describe when, where, who, and what.

Start Date(a while ago)
End Date(a while ago + 2 years)
School(A Canadian University)
DepartmentBiomedical Engineering
DegreeMaster of Engineering Science
Supervisor & P. Eng ReferenceDr. (My Supervisor)
(Mailing address)
License: 123456789 (PEO)
ResponsibilitiesI conducted scientific research on the use of (imaging technology) for (medical application). The research consisted of two projects: (1) (measurement 1) and (2) (measurement 2), and relied heavily upon implementing signal and image processing techniques through software (SW) development. I also worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate (Programming for Engineers) and graduate-level (Introduction to Medical Imaging) engineering courses.

2.2.1 Application of Theory

This section is fairly straight-forward. Typically whenever you design or develop something, you’ll work through the steps listed here. Remember to clearly state what you (and not team members or colleagues) did.

AnalysisI performed a technology assessment (scientific literature review) of existing methods to measure (measurement 1) (acoustic microscopy, histological analysis) and (measurement 2) (magnetic resonance imaging, small angle light scattering, polarized light) for (human anatomy) in order to gain a better understanding of how these measurements had previously been obtained.
Design and SynthesisI designed and developed software in Matlab and LabView to (1) compute (measurement 1), (2) interface with a digital oscilloscope and mechanical ultrasound probe mover to collect radio-frequency (RF) data, (3) calculate and plot RF spectra, fitting the results to a model for tissue anisotropy.
Testing MethodsI planned and executed a test to measure the speed of sound in a controlled saline-based solution in order quantify the error introduced by this measurement. I also used tissue of known anisotropy (e.g. muscle and liver) as a sanity test of the anisotropy measurement apparatus and software.
Implementation MethodsUsing the software I developed and experimental tissue-holder apparatus that I co-designed, I imaged 13 (description of specimens) and used the software I developed to measure and map their (tissue characteristic 1). Using software that I developed, I measured the RF back-scatter from 8 (description of specimens) to characterize their tissue characteristic 2.

 2.2.2 Practical Experience

This is where the vagueness starts, in my opinion, and for that reason where breaking out the response into separate table entries really helps. It ensures that you hit all of the points that the PEO is looking for.

Function of components as part of the larger systemTo design SW interfacing with an ultrasound system through a digital oscilloscope, I achieved an in-depth understanding of how the ultrasound signal, originating from the transducer and echoing off the specimen, was travelling through the ultrasound system (analog and digital components) and digital oscilloscope to arrive at a point where the SW could read it.
Limitations of practical engineering and related human systems in achieving desired goalsImaging the (specimen description) for (measurement 1) required the tissue to lay flat and remain stationary while in solution. I iteratively co-designed a jig designed to secure the tissue for imaging, while applying minimal compression and obscuring as little of the tissue surface as possible. This necessary jig, however, partially limited the surface area of the tissue that could be imaged.
The significance of time in the engineering processAfter being excised from the (organ description), the ex-vivo (specimen description) deteriorates in a matter of hours in a process that is accelerated by excessive handling. I developed and adhered to an efficient imaging protocol to ensure the integrity of the collected data.
Knowledge and understanding of codes, standards, regulations and laws that govern applicable engineering activitiesAll my laboratory work was completed in a WHMIS-compliant environment. I completed the appropriate WHMIS training being completed beforehand.

2.2.3 Management of Engineering

You’ll notice there are a few N/A’s in this section and that’s fine. No one is going to get a lot of management experience fresh out of undergrad and especially during a Master’s degree. I put N/A’s in the categories that I did not accumulate experience, knowing that I covered these areas in subsequent jobs.

PlanningIn order to fund the engineering research, grant and scholarship applications were written. I, along with my thesis supervisor, developed a high-level plan for the research to be completed. We documented our hypothesis, proposed methods, and justification for the project prior to the work commencing.
SchedulingI performed all scheduling of the data collection, analysis, and reporting segments of the project. This scheduling accounted for the use of resources with limited availability (ultrasound and CT imaging systems), high priority resources with unpredictable and expiring availability ((description of specimens)), and predetermined milestones with required deliverables (conference presentations, journal submissions, thesis completion).
BudgetingN/A
SupervisionDuring this research, I also worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate engineering courses (Programming for Engineers and Introduction to Medical Imaging). I tutored both graduate and undergraduate engineering students on these subjects. Additionally, I co-supervised a group of summer students as they completed small-scale research projects in our lab.
Project ControlN/A
Risk AssessmentN/A

2.2.4 Communication Skills

If there’s one thing you get exposed to quite a bit during graduate studies, it’s communication. Heck, I took a graduate level course on scientific communication. Whether it’s the endless writing (scholarship applications, abstracts, papers, and your thesis) or the presenting (as a scientist or a TA), grad school is not as insular as some may think. In how many other positions, for example, will you be in the position to present something to the “general public” (whether it’s useful or not is another story..)?

Preparing written workI wrote up experimental and research findings in conference abstracts, a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Journal Name, and my Master's thesis.
Oral Reports or PresentationsI presented technological problems & solutions during weekly laboratory meetings and presented research updates to thesis advisers.
Presentations to General PublicI gave a 1-hour lecture of my thesis work to an audience composed of academics and interested members of the general public.

 2.2.5 Social Implications of Engineering

This was typically the most difficult section for me to populate and I suspect it will be the same for many others. Luckily with my later experience in medical devices, impact on the public and the significant of regulation are not difficult to cover.

The value of benefits of engineering work to the publicThe research I performed worked towards establishing new measurement methods for a novel biomedical technology. (This novel biomedical technology is) considered the u201choly grailu201d of (solutions to a biomedical problem, offering numerous advantages over current (current solutions) for the patients who need them. A proven method for monitoring the development of this novel biomedical technology is critical to this concept becoming a reality.
The safeguards in place to protect the employees and the public and mitigate adverse impactsAll WHMIS and other laboratory safety guidelines were followed during procedures to ensure employee safety. All published findings were peer-reviewed to ensure the correctness and integrity of the scientific and engineering methods used.
The relationship between engineering activity and the public at largeN/A
The significant role of regulatory agencies on the practice of engineeringN/A

And that’s it, folks! I’ll have 4 more of these entries, one for each of my past jobs. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, send me a tweet, or even an e-mail.

57 Replies to “Engineering Experience: Example 1”

  1. Hi,

    I am writing my engineering experience (As a biomedical/Electrical engineer) to submit for P.Eng. certificate. I would like to have some more examples as above to have an idea to consider mine. Your mentioned examples were really useful. I have had 10 years experiences and have done different works in my field. I would like to be familiar with types of works that we could mention and how we should explain them (I mean in which words we should explain them).
    You are appreciated to send me more examples if you have.

    Thanks and best regards,
    Mojgan

  2. Thank you for your sharing. All of the informations are really helpful.
    I have a question:
    If you worked for more than one companies, should you list the work experience chronologically or reverse chronologically?
    Thanks
    Stephen

    1. Hi Stephen,

      The PEO, in their guide, states “You must give a clear summary of your engineering experience in a reverse chronological format by month and year.”. That being said, my experience record was in (forward) chronological order, so it doesn’t appear that this requirement is strongly enforced.

      Good luck with your application!

  3. Hi P.Eng Applicant,

    I have a really short timeline of relevant experience to work with (11 months). I worked on one project throughout this period. It was majorly structural engineering drafting (I have a chemical engineering degree). The first 2 months went into mostly software and project management training. Following that, I was assigned to the structural engineering team and drafted till the end of the period.

    There are moments within were I attended client review meetings and monthly in-house departmental reconciliation meetings. there was also my period with QC team, new staff understudy program… things like that.

    My issue is, how do I pass on the first two months of training?, Secondly, how do I avoid redundancy in the rest(seeing that I did the same throughout, just with different deliverables).

    Thank you.

    1. Hi John,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and ask a question. As you noted, you are applying in NS and the application process appears quite different from the one in Ontario (which is the only process I have experience with). So please take everything I say with a grain of salt. There are a few potential issues I see with the information you’ve provided. First, your degree is in chemical engineering, whilst your experience was split amongst software and structural engineering. From what I’ve read and heard, the regulators awarding licenses are generally looking for your education and experience to align within a single engineering discipline. I was even wary about my application because my bachelors was in Comp. Eng., Masters in Biomedical Eng., and work experience in medical device software. However, that seems fairly aligned compared to your experience.

      As far as doing the same thing for 9 months, I wouldn’t worry about that. Many engineering projects last years, so the fact that you spent 9 months doing more or less the same activities shouldn’t be a problem as long as it is relevant experience.

      My question for you is: are you applying now and then hoping to accumulate more experience? Or does NS not require 48 months of relevant experience? Or perhaps you’re only talking about one of your work stints in the above comment.

      1. Thanks a lot for your reply. P.Eng Applicant.

        Sorry it took so long. I intend to apply just for the Engineer-In-Training position, so i figured i didnt need to submit an experience form, but on submission i was advised an experience form no matter how small. The advantage was that i might be eligible for at least a couple of months of engineering experience and it will provide a broader picture for the board of examiners to determine whether i have to/how many confirmatory examinations i will need to take (Seeing that i am an international student with a canadian master). So the P.Eng is the long term plan.

        Also, i wanted to ask, with regards to the training period (about 3 months). I can provide a break down of the training requirements and examples of the exercises i carried out. Just need to confirm if recording this matters. i figure seeing that i had to do presentations and was mentored by a P.Eng during this period it should count under communication.

  4. May I also add that I am applying with Engineers Nova Scotia, the Sample Engineering Experience Form format is quite different from the one on your link. We are required to provide a periodical breakdown of our engineering responsibilities, and provide a percentage breakdown of how we feel the experience outlined fulfill the requirements (application of technical theory, practical experience….).

  5. Hi Pengapplicant,

    Thank you very much for your great effort and sharing. This is a very good site for those who want to become licensed. I followed your guidelines that made my forms successful. I got it man!

    Again, thanks a lot buddy!

  6. Hi P.Eng Applicant.

    Great effort. Appreciate your work honestly. Got a little confusion…i am in the process of compiling documents to apply for P.Eng. I possess an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Degree from backhome (non-CEAB). I have around 15 years of backhome experience as well. Just want to know how my experience summary that i have to submit with application should look like, should it be just a resume, or elaborated version of resume or on an appropriate form which is available on PEO web site and wants us to split our experience under five elements mentioned there. Sometime i wonder if that particular form needs to be submitted once my academic evaluation is done and i am through to PPE. Please suggest as calling PEO i get different responses, sometime they say submit resume and PEO will ask if they need anything extra from you but the email they sent says that submit experience as dictated in the guide !!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Hasni,

      This is just my opinion, but I would definitely write up your work experience using 5 categories format suggested by the PEO. A resume is usually not a sufficient representation of the whether your work experience is actually engineering experience (by PEO standards), because typically it does not contain enough details about what you did. In any event, it is better to provide too much information rather than not enough.

      Good luck!

  7. Hello P.Eng Applicant

    Thanks for all the effort been made to help mankind.

    I am also passenger of this journey. My back ground is (NON-CEAB)Electrical Engineering in Electronic. I made only one task in purely Electronics and other were construction/ development / installation of machines/ programming and designing of PLCs and HMI. From total of 12 years of experience, I have 6 years engineering exp. and remaining project management and maintenance.
    I got a call from PEO for being interviewed by ERC. I am feeling nervous and confused that how can I achieve it.

    Please help me to prepare my presentation and get this done. What kind of questions PEO panel can ask, would be helpful too.

    Thank you

    1. Unfortunately as a CEAB grad myself, I have no experience with the technical exams or interviews, and therefore it would be irresponsible of me to provide guidance on them. I recommend contacting the PEO directly for information as your first option. Good luck!

    2. Hi, I’m preparing my application for PEO and I would like to know if you submit your experience record with the application
      I’ll. Appreciate your reply I’m feeling nervous even before applying

  8. Hello P.Eng Applicant,

    On many of the work experience examples the tables show the error: “Attention: The internal data of table “#” is corrupted!” and the data is missing. Can you please look into this, these examples are very helpful and would be invaluable to future applicants.

    Thank You

  9. Hello,

    I am preparing my P.Eng. application.

    I have M.Sc in Mineral Processing/Process Metallurgy. I worked 4 years for consulting company that has a its own laboratory for testing.
    I am writing the Experience Summary Record and have some issues with the “The significant role of regulatory agencies on the practice of engineering”.

    Can someone help me regarding answering on this question???

    1. Regulatory agencies usually (but not limited to) public or government entities that regulate your industry or field. In fact, the PEO itself is a regulatory agency as it regulates the field of engineering. In this section, I would recommend talking about any rules or limits imposed on your work by any such agency. In my field of medical devices, this was generally the FDA or Health Canada. You may work under certain standards (e.g. ISO 12345) that could be relevant in this section as well. Good luck!

  10. Hello,

    Thanks for sharing such an informative stuff.

    I am preparing my P.Eng application. I have a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering. I have been focused on mechanical part of my degree throughout my university and even after my graduation. I have almost 6 years of experience related to mechanical engineering works. 2 years experience in the construction and supervision of an airport project+ 4 years of experience in the design and consultancy of various big scale projects.

    I have compared my courses with list provided by CAEB and they comply almost 95% with whats required for the accreditation of mechanical engineering. I just need to know if they will accept my application for mechanical discipline as my course comply with it.

    Regards.
    Saad

    1. Hi Saad,

      Sorry for not replying earlier, as I was on vacation. In any event, unfortunately I am unable to provide you with much clarity on this as it these kind of things are determined on a case-by-case basis. I remember wondering about this during my own application and asking the PEO directly and all they were able to say is that it would be evaluated as part of the application.

      Good luck

  11. Thanks this is very useful.
    Do you think it is important to divide each section (application of theory, practical exp., management etc.) into its constituting subsections? For example, for Application of theory do I need to break up Analysis, design, testing and implementation or can I just write it as a single section containing all the information, without subsections.

    1. I don’t think there is one right answer, but that being said, when I did my application, I remember considering doing it that way, but I thought it became too granular. I also thought it unnecessarily drew attention to areas I might be lacking experience (whether that actually would have made a difference, I have no idea). If you can fill every subsection with something meaningful, then by all means, I don’t think it would hurt.

      Good luck!

  12. Hi P.Eng Applicant,

    I found this site very interesting and helpful. I am in the process of applying for my P.Eng and will surely use this guidelines. Do you have any more Engineering Experience Examples, especially in Civil or Construction Engineering.

    Rolyn

    1. Hi Rolyn,

      I’m glad the site was helpful to you. Unfortunately I only have my own experience record and collecting and anonymizing other engineers’ records is a task that I don’t have time for these days (although I’m happy to post ones that people are willing to share). I know it’s not a free option, but up-to-date and more comprehensive help can be found from Gavin Simone here.

  13. Hi P.Eng Applicant,

    I’m and applicant as well and have no idea how to proceed with filling up or how to present my engineering experience.

    On your Graduate Degree Experience
    Attention: The internal data of table “1” is corrupted

    Would you be able to fix this or send it to me so I would be able to use this as guide.

    Thank you so much,
    Kris

    1. Hi Kris,

      Thank you for spotting this error – the blog is built with WordPress and from time to time, updates in software and plugins can cause issues like this. I have fixed the problem and the tables should show up correctly now.

      All the best!

  14. I have civil engineering major with construction site project management experience. Any examples of experience records to PEO? thanks in advance. Regards.

  15. Hi,
    I am a new immigrant and I am applying for Financial Credit Program. I would like to know whether experience letter should cover all the work experience I have or only those relevant to the field I am applying for? I have almost 5 years experience (58 months) of experience in Instrumentation Engineering and I can cover almost all areas required in experience record. But I have another 13 months of experience in IT where I cannot cover all areas. Since these are separate fields, I would like to know whether it is necessary to include both in my experience record. Or is it possible to skip the experience record by claiming that I have less than 5 years experience in the field I am applying for? Please advice.

  16. I am an internationally trained civil engineer. I submitted my application for p.eng. After they have reviewed my accedemic background the Academic Requirements Committee (ARC) assigned me to a confirmatory program in CE. I will then given an option to attend an interview with the Experince Requirement Committee (ERC) so that they can assess if my engineering experince can be taken into consideration towards waiving the examination program. Does anyone has any suggestions or examples of their preparation for the ERC interview?

    1. Hi Francis,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a question. Unfortunately it is outside of my experience and expertise. I have forwarded your question to Gavin Simone of PracticePPEExams.ca and hope he will answer it on his next Q&A for the blog. So stay tuned to this site in the coming weeks!

    2. Hi there, I realize this is going to be late to make a difference for you but maybe others who read this will benefit from it.
      I was in the same position a few years ago – came to Canada after holding a number of jobs in Europe and graduating there. ERC was a bit of a weird experience for me. I (as a mechanical building science engineer – not licensed yet) was expecting a conversation about what I do, which I was perfectly competent to carry. In a weird turn of events they were more interested in grilling me about physics, friction, viscosity and really basic stuff, which I last used in high school or in a long-forgotten physics lecture at uni. The unexpected thing was they gave me a pass! So, not sure what to tell you – brush off on your basics? be prepared to give them a lecture on how to arrive with a Watt as a unit? It was this kind of thing for me. All the best for those yet to pass this interview

  17. Hi P.Eng Applicant,

    This question is a bit off topic but I hope you’ll entertain it none the less. You’ve mentioned that you did your masters in biomedical engineering. I’m interested in pursuing the same field of studies and would love to get a feel for it from someone who’s been through it. I did some research and each university varies a bit from what they offer/specialize in within the biomedical field and even the name of their degrees.
    If you don’t mind, could you tell me where you did your masters from, what you liked (or didn’t like) and what your advice would be for someone who is hoping to get into it (employability, learning, preparedness, etc).

    Thank you so much! I’d also like to thank you for having this blog. This post has been a tremendous help in getting my gears turning to write my own PEng application.

  18. Dear
    i am looking for an agency that can help me out to fill out the PEO experience form in professional way
    do you know any one can help me with that
    thank you

  19. Hello,
    I am starting the application process to become a PEng in Canada (Ontario). Your website has been extremely useful so far!
    I have a BSc and MSc in Engineering, both from outside Canada and 13 years of experience, again, outside Canada. There is also a period of time I did not work (stayed at home to raise my family) and have now begun to gather experience in Canada, some of which may not be directly engineering. Would you be willing to take a look at my experience to give feedback? It will likely be in a few weeks.
    Thanks in advance,
    Sherry.

    1. Hi Sherry,

      Thank you for the kind words about the blog! I’m glad it has been useful to you. Unfortunately, I do not have the expertise needed to competently review your experience record. Although writing about my own experience has helped others, it doesn’t mean that I’ve been exposed to more experience records than my own. However, there is a service that provides exactly what you’re looking for. Gavin Simone at PracticePPEExams provides an experience record course and review service. Full disclosure: I get a commission for a referral, but I have only ever heard glowing reviews of Gavin’s services and have never received a complaint. I wish you all the best with your application!

  20. Hello,
    Thank you for these useful posts
    I am international trained engineer(chemical) I have accumulated more than 48months of experience overseas, however I have accumulated only 11 months in Canada in direct employment with P.Eng supervisor . After I finished my employment I am working independently for projects overseas through my registered company in Canada. Now,PEO emailed me that they are about to close my file because I didn’t submit my application for licensure yet, do you think I can submit my application for licensure using my own company as employment for the month that is missing?

  21. Hi there,

    I am in the process of applying to receive my EIT/ PEng in Ontario. I completed my Undergrad in Chemical Engineering and have all my work experience (co-op and full time) from the same company which is predominately Civil Engineering/ Project Management (they are a popular constructor).

    I am writing my work experience record and was wondering if they can reject my EIT application based on the work experience not directly lining up with my degree. Does my work experience record have to be perfect for the initial EIT Application or will I have guidance from PEO on how to complete it once I receive EIT designation?

    While I have experience in many different sectors of this company (and have touched on the Environmental side)- I am wondering how I can word my experience in such a way to combine the 2 streams the most effectively. Do you have any advice/ suggestions for this? I am most stumped about the Application of Theory.

    Thanks very much

    1. Hi Allie,

      So sorry for such a late reply; I’ve been busy with other projects and my presence on this blog has suffered for it. We have an environmental experience record here (https://pengapplicant.ca/environmental-engineering-example-experience-record/) but for the EIT transition, I think talking to PEO is your best bet. Otherwise, I always recommend Gavin at PracticePPEExams for professional guidance. Sorry again for such a late reply. I hope you are well on your way to getting your license!

      All the best 🙂

  22. Hi,
    Thanks for your great information on this blog. It has been really helpful. I have an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and M.Sc. degree including research thesis in Geotechnical Engineering (i.e. a field in Civil Engineering)from outside Canada, and Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering from an accredited university in Canada. I am preparing my document for P.Eng. application. My both M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses are industrial related research theses in the field of geotechnical engineering. I have experience of working in geotechnical engineering outside of Canada and more than one year in Canada in a geotechnical consulting company. I will be thankful if you could give me help by answering the following questions:
    1. I want to apply for Civil Engineering discipline and I do not know based on my academic background and working experiences, I have to pass some technical exams as my undergraduate and graduate degrees are not similar?
    2. Whether my graduate studies are considered as a working experience knowing that my undergraduate was not the same as my graduate degrees. However, my working experiences are fully related to my M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies.
    Thank you very much for your quick response.
    Regards,

    1. Hi, thanks for reaching out and so sorry for such a late reply. A lot of projects have kept me away from blog. Question #1 is not something I feel confident answering and I would recommend either speaking with the PEO directly or, if you want outside professional help, checking out Gavin and PracticePPEExams. For Question #2, my undergraduate and graduate degrees were not very related (computer and biomedical engineering) and it didn’t seem to hinder my application. My work experience was related to both of those degrees, however. Sorry again for such a late reply and I hope you’re well on your way to getting your license.

  23. Hello,

    Thank you for the guide, it is very useful.
    A two part question here:
    1. When you apply for your EIT status immediate upon finishing school, you have to attach any pregraduation experience. Do you have any insight on whether approval of EIT status means that this experience has also been vetted?

    2. Similarly, as an EIT you are allowed to have your experience reviewed annually. Do you know whether this evaluation constitutes a formal decision for the time of the actual P.Eng application?

    Thank you once again.

    1. Hi Jay,

      Thanks for asking. Unfortunately I don’t know much about the EIT program as I didn’t participate in it (and the parts you’re referring to may have come out after my time). Your best bet is ask the PEO directly – I don’t think they’re intending to be secretive about the process.

      Good luck!

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