Today, I will discuss the basic outlines of Starship engineering and Station engineering. Now what is an engineer, do you ask? Well, a Starfleet engineer is the fixer-upper of the Ship or Station. Whenever there is a problem, from a warp core breach to a burnt out food replicator, these "Miracle Workers" as Jim Kirk once called them are able to fix anything. They also find creative solutions to problems that are faced during a mission, such as creative ways of fighting off the borg. The first thing you have to know about Engineers is that they can be found from any department, anywhere. Which means you can be one too even if you're stuck in a deadbeat job controlling waste management. For instance, take Geordi Laforge; an ex-helmsman, and Chief Miles O'Brien; a former Transporter chief, but now the Chief Engineer on Deep Space Nine. There are different job specifications when an engineer is on a Starship or a Station. When on a Starship, the most important task an engineer must do is to preserve and stabilize the warp core. As Geordi Laforge once said, "If Starfleet made the Warp Core Obsolete we [Starship Engineers] would be out of a job!" For not preserving the warp core can lead to a certain number of things, from being stranded in an unknown sector of space for months to destroying a whole ship due to a warp core breach. On a starship, an engineer also has to be around for other propulsion needs and the personal needs of the crew.
However on a Space Station, it's a whole different kind of work atmosphere. On a Starfleet Station, there is no warp core to take care of, so that eliminates the most painful and grueling tasks in the business. The only propulsion you would have to master would be the occasional maneuvering thrusters. However, you must learn a whole set of new parameters that are extracurricular to the Starship Engineer. There are isolinear chips, holosuites, docking clamps etc. But the biggest difference on a Station is that everything on a station isn't Starfleet Standard issue. There's Klingon to read and Cardassian orders to punch in; it can be very confusing. But the men and women of Station mechanics are up to the task.
So here are a couple of things that can help you in your engineering career:
- The Chief Engineer (CENG) Is the head engineer. He or she gives assignments to the other Engineers (AENG). He or she also has the power to eject the core. Only the CENG and the CO have the power to eject the core.
-To eject the core, you must authorize it using your authorization code.
-If there is no Repair chief on the ship, the Engineering Staff must take care of all broken instruments and parts of the Starship.
-If there is no Science Officer onboard, the Engineering team can figure out scientific methods to solve problems. They are allowed to use astrometrics and the Science labs for these purposes.
-Engineers have to have knowledge of all different kinds of systems; from transporters to holodeck design. They are a "Jack of All Trades" so to speak.
-Engineers must do anything in their power to fix major problems, such as life support or weapons.
One final thing to mention is the exaggeration rule. This nifty rule, invented by Montgomery Scott (Scotty), states that if something takes 1 hour to fix, the Engineer reports to the Captain that it will take 2 hours, but he will try to cut it down to 1 hour. This makes the CO seem impressed with your engineering ability. Perhaps this was the reason why James T. Kirk called engineers "Miracle Workers." But now, you can be one of those miracle workers and solve mysterious problems, be popular on the ship for finally fixing the only holodeck, and most importantly, get promoted very quickly!