Here is a "Job Description" for the Lead Piping Material Engineer on a typical project.
Project Lead Piping Material Engineer
Supervises, assigns, schedules work and does work for a major project or several minor projects simultaneously under general direction of the Project Piping Engineering Lead (PEL).
Duties of the Project Lead Piping Material Engineer include the following:
*Develops or supervises the development of all Piping Material Deliverables
Specifications (as required)
• Piping Material Line Class Specification
• Piping Commodity Purchase Specifications (Pipe, Fittings, Flanges, Valves, etc.)
• Piping Specialty Item Specification
• Piping Pressure Testing Specification
• Piping System Internal Cleaning Specification (Standard)
• Piping System Internal Cleaning Specification (High Purity)
• Positive Material Identification, Traceability, and Certification Specification
• Piping Painting Specification
• Pipe Commodity and Safety Marking Specification
• Galvanizing Specification
• Hot Piping Insulation Specification
• Cold Piping Insulation Specification
• Acoustical Piping Insulation Specification
• Coatings and Wrapping of Underground Piping Specification
• Welding - General and Hygienic Systems Specification
• Piping System NDE Specification (non destructive Examination)
• Non-Metallic Lined Piping Systems Specification
(others as required)
• Specialty Item Data Sheets
• Specialty Item (Vendor Catalog or Certified Drawings)
• Piping Line List (originate and maintain)
• Piping Specialty Item List (originate and maintain)
• Piping Commodity Catalog (originate and maintain)
• Maximum Allowable Flange Ratings
• Pipe Wall Calculations
• Relational Data Base (3D geometry for electronic modeling)
*Reviews and approves bidders list.
*Develops and submits recommendations for materials inspection, identification, certification and expediting
*Reviews quotation summaries.
*Provides direct supervision for the personnel assigned to them.
*Responsible for developing estimates, schedules, and staffing.
*Reports to the project Piping Engineering Lead regarding status of material engineering.
*Submits material engineering Specifications and Line List to Project Piping Engineering Lead for issue.
*Ensures communication flow, both verbal and written, is maintained within piping engineering and with other design, engineering, and purchasing disciplines.
*Coordinates material engineering activities with other design, engineering, and purchasing disciplines.
*Identifies deviations in job scope, estimates magnitude of changes, and initiates trends or change orders.
*Monitors and controls budget/schedule including labor hours, costs, trends, change orders and progress.
*Represents piping material engineering in meetings with suppliers, subcontractors, licensors, clients, and other Company disciplines, and produces documentation required for conference or meeting notes.
*Assists in the development of the piping engineering project completion report.
So, You need technical knowledge to develop all the various specifications required for the pure technical side of the project, you need to know the fundamentals of procurement and you need to know how to supervise people and manage work. These are three very distinct areas of your "Job" and if you fail in one you fail in all.
You must want to succeed before you can.