A Career as a Mechanical Engineer


As part of our Career in Building Services series, today we meet Konstantinos who works as a Mechanical Engineer. If you have any questions about this career path, you can contact us at yepg@cibse.org.

Konstantinos Tachtatzis Studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Liverpool

and gained an MSc in Mechanical System and Engineering from the same University. He also has an MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering from Heriot-Watt University. He has a total of seven years of experience within building services and has worked on both consultant and contractor roles on a variety of buildings such as residential offices, temples, galleries, theatres, and hospitals. Konstantinos is also vice-chair of the CIBSE Young Energy Performance Group (YEPG), supporting the ongoing events and liaising with external and internal parties.

What do Mechanical Engineers do?

Mechanical Engineers are eclectic as they can choose to specialise in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), Public Health, or to have wider responsibilities and do some or all of the above. There is also the option to be mainly office-based and focus on the concept design. This includes selecting suitable plants and producing drawings, or collaborating with key stakeholders such as owners and the design team. Alternatively, a Mechanical Engineer can be mainly based on-site to influence and implement the final design and installation of the services.

Tell us about your typical tasks.

A day in a Mechanical Engineer’s life widely varies and every day is different. I liaise with clients, architects, main contractors, and sub-contractors. Typical tasks include developing the design from RIBA stage 4 to RIBA stage 5 by reviewing and producing drawings, calculations, carrying out the plant selection and their procurement, raising Request For Information (RFIs), and issuing technical submittals to the design team. I am often on-site, where the installations take place to bring the building to life. I have to supervise trades and carry out QA checks of site installations and deal with day-to-day site engineering issues and queries. Towards the end of the project, I am involved in the commissioning of the services and building hand over. Moreover, I have to ensure that the project follows the sequence of the programme and that the project is completed within the timeframe and budget provided.

Why did you choose this role?

I love solving problems with creative solutions, delivering more efficient buildings for a better future for the world, whilst offering a comforting habitat to people.

What qualifications could be suitable for this industry?

The majority of Mechanical Engineers have studied either Building Services or Mechanical Engineering. However, we have seen Architects and people with various backgrounds who started from apprenticeships or construction sites ‘on the tools’, moving their way up and becoming Mechanical Engineers. Hence anyone with a mechanical-minded background can accept this challenge!

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