How do you mentor another engineer? As an example, the IEM has a mentoring scheme thats based around a logbook. The mentor meets up with the mentee at least once every 3 months, and reviews what the mentee has done. The mentor is meant to provide guidance as to whether the work done allows the engineer to develop.
When I go through a report, what I look for is:
- Breadth of experience (I use the IChemE‘s report structure for this). The mentee should be exposed such as to develop her all her skills. This would mean the opportunity to explore as much as possible all engineering topics. Project management, safety, design, operations are just some of these.
- Appreciation of engineering as a whole. A young engineer might think that running Hysys is cool, but you want them to understand why they are doing what they are doing. You don’t want to have only an technical software pilot, you do want an analysis as well. The tool is a means, not a ways.
- Presentation of report. Engineers need to present their products. So clear writing skills and an proper flow is important. Highlighting important items and findings, and focusing on the deliverable would be something I would want to see.
- General well-being. Is the mentee happy, is she getting enough support, is the mentor someone she wants to throw a brick at… you get the drift. The mentor should decide whether it is something she can help with, or the mentee should be able to deal with it herself with some tips of the trade.
- Opportunity to influence exposure. You as a mentor should have enough clout to get your mentee into projects or activities that help broaden their horizons.
- Inspiration. It does help if you can get your mentee excited about work. Explain why they are doing the work that they do (need to build up experience, enhancing skills, exposure to client/site/software tools)
And you can do this more than once every three months, depending on the requirements. Engineers do get up and down days, you know.