The Tale of the ‘Small Engineer’

Frank Bennardo PE ~2002

I often tell the tale of the companies that use the ‘small engineer’.  I can tell the story because I used to be that engineer.  That’s me in the photo in the early 2000’s in my ‘small engineer’ room when things were very different in our industry and we ‘small engineers’ ruled the ‘small project’ engineering world that we now call Component Engineering here at Engineering Express®.

The Tale

I used to answer the phone, seal and mail my own plans, visit job sites often, and I let my clients tell me what my services were worth, how soon I needed to get it done by, and get paid when they told me I would get paid. We ‘small job’ engineers were popular because no ‘established firm’ was interested in taking on these pesky ‘smaller projects’ because of the administration, liability, and processing expenses.  “What 20 person firm would take on a project for $200?” I thought.  That’s $200 I didn’t have and I took them all day long.

It all worked back then because that engineer seal was all that was needed, there wasn’t any follow up need, calculations were rarely if ever needed and if they were needed then a page or two of handwritten scribble would do.  Back then building departments didn’t discuss things on their discussion groups, storms and failures were mostly a folktale, and the construction industry just settled in with the status quo of things.  It’s not like that at all anymore, and the trend is engineering work is getting more and more demanding.

As many of these smaller engineers do, I had another full time job, I answered voice messages as I could, my clients just had to wait when i took vacations and was unavailable, and I was extremely limited as soon as I was asked to explain or defend my work, not having the resources or deep knowledge to produce calculations, follow up designs, attend meetings, and answer for my work when called upon.  It was a small price for the client to pay for the expedited work and low fees I offered.

The Vision

But computers were getting faster, the Internet was becoming popular, smart phones and iPads were popping up on job sites, and

A sample of Florida's Building Officials Group Discussion Thread
A sample of Florida’s Building Officials Group Discussion Thread

building officials were starting to talk to each other with these tools, educating their peers on topics of all kinds. What I saw the industry needed was a ‘real’ company specifically designed for component engineering work while still maintaining the personal needs of these types of clients by making best use of these new and amazing tools.

‘I’m an engineer’ I thought, I could design a system to be responsive to these clients, be competitive on pricing, be there for my clients like no small engineer can, and provide the most professional service possible.  Engineering Express® was born from that passionate vision in 2003 and has helped thousands of clients across most of the eastern US ever since.

The Reality

What Engineering Express® uniquely does is replace the small engineer role with a trusted system offering every benefit of our peers but with professionalism, dependability, and great customer service.  We created a system for each component engineering segment, over 50 product types and industries and growing.  Deep resources are compiled, calculations produced, details created, workflows are generated, pricing is structured, and a dedicated team is assigned to assist those in need.  The quickest solutions are placed for sale in our online plan store and now even Amazon Prime.  Calculations are put in the hands of the client when feasible to help in quoting, quick answers are a search away in our growing knowledgebase, and work is sent to us by a number of high tech and ‘old-fashioned’ methods to suit every need.  This is the work of many engineers solving a growing industry need.  Engineering Express® even extends many resources and assistance to helping those one-man-band engineers grow and learn when they are called to explain work beyond their capabilities.  Having Engineering Express® help you and your engineer is likely your ideal solution to transition to the new way of getting your projects engineered if you’re not ready to take the leap to a new firm.  We’re glad to help with any project too, even if you still want to use your ‘small engineer’ for the simple work.

The Direction

Engineering Express Project Kiosks Ready for Rollout
Engineering Express Project Kiosks Ready for Roll-out

It’s obvious this engineering movement is in great need and our resources are still expanding to keep up.  2017 Is yet another pivotal year for the firm.  With the ever increasing technologies available to help with smaller component designs, plans are in the works to establish a virtual and physical distribution chain of engineering and distribution systems to help many more clients in need that are currently outside our current geographical range. Our 100% cloud-based systems are being readied to help many more than ever before, and our brand is being further established as industry leaders in our work.  Training and knowledge of both staff and the public is paramount as well as the complete systematization of new and existing project segments as well as the pipeline to access these technologies in more ways than ever before.  We’re getting the word out in 2017 about what we can do for you in ways Engineering Express® has never marketed before using more appealing business models to suit more needs.  Pretty soon the small engineers will all rely on the core infrastructure of data systems like Engineering Express®.  The question is when will you, the customer, realize the incredible benefits we have to offer over the way things ‘have always been done’?

Visit to learn more and experience our incredible resources. And as always, I’m accessible to you day and night, just call me at 954-354-0660 or email me at [email protected].

Let’s change the world together.    -Frank Bennardo P.E. SECB  Licensed in 44 states across the US.

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