Canadian Consulting Engineer

Public find “consulting” engineers a confusing term

July 24, 2001
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

What's in a Name?

What’s in a Name?
The national organization of consulting engineers in the U.S. has decided that “consulting engineer” is a poorly understood term, and have decided to change its title accordingly. The board of directors of the former American Council of Consulting Engineers voted unanimously in May to change its name to the American Council of Engineering Companies.
The decision was made after a public relations firm did research and found that the term “consulting engineer” did not mean much to the general public, nor to the courts or even the engineering industry. The new name, however, tested well among these outside groups as well as the member firms.
The president of the organization said: “This is an important develoment for ACEC, whose orgins date back nearly a century and whose future as the industry’s leading business association is bright. WE are still consulting engineers, but our practice has grown widely and the new name better describes that we are an association of companies rather than individuals.”
The Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada has no current plans to abandon the term “consulting engineer.” Executive director Tim Page points out that some larger firms here even think that firms would be wise to play up the consulting side of business as compared to their traditional engineering role.
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