Chief Engineer

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Chief Engineer
Commanding and organizing engineers to preform their duties.
Difficulty: Hard
Access: Engineering, Bridge, Maintenance, AI Upload
Related guides: Guide to Engineering, Hacking, Atmospherics, Guide to Construction, Supermatter Engine, Solars, Substations, R-UST, NTNet and Computing
EC branch ranks: Lieutenant(O-3)
Fleet branch ranks: Lieutenant(O-3), Sub-lieutenant(O-2)

The Chief Engineer, also called the CE, is in charge of the integrity of the SEV Torch and the ship AI's structural well-being. That means making sure that breaches are sealed promptly, that equipment remains operational, and that the AI doesn't get any weird laws. As the head of the Engineering department, they have authority over the ship's Engineers and Maintenance Assistants, and issue orders to ensure that they set up the engine correctly, that Atmospherics is properly configured, and that any mechanical faults are corrected quickly and efficiently. Towards this end, they have the Senior Engineer to act as their right hand; the Chief Engineer issues orders, and the Senior Engineer ensures that those orders are carried out. This frees up the Chief Engineer from having to worry about the details of execution, allowing them to focus on coordinating with the rest of Command and making big-picture decisions, rather than having to perform standard repairs.

As a line officer and department head, the Chief Engineer answers directly to the Executive Officer and the Commanding Officer.

The Role

As the ultimate Engineering authority on board the Torch, it is generally expected that the Chief Engineer has at least a basic knowledge of how the various fields of the department work. It is particularly vital that any given Chief Engineer possess a detailed knowledge of the engine and all associated power-management machinery, as well as Atmospherics, airlock electronics, and construction. Knowing the details of AI maintenance and being able to maintain a working Telecommunications network are also important, but are less commonly needed than the aforementioned skills. This does not cover everything that a Chief Engineer might know, but does contain the most vital issues.

As might be apparent at this point, the Chief Engineer's role is one of the most technically demanding in the game. Engineering as a department has a wide, wide variety of specific sub-fields and specializations, each with its own specialized mechanics. While it is a rare Chief Engineer that has exhaustive knowledge of all of these disparate fields (this is why the rest of the department exists), it is still worth noting that only experienced Engineering players should attempt to take this position.

Like the rest of Command, however, it is generally not expected that the Chief Engineer actually apply their extensive knowledge, save for emergency situations. They are an administrator rather than an executive, in charge of coordinating and enabling the rest of the department. Ideally, the Chief Engineer's job consists of finding out what needs to be done, deciding on what issues are priorities, ensuring that the department has the needed supplies, and then telling the Senior Engineer to get it done. In the case of the department lacking a Senior Engineer, however, or the rest of the staff lacking the required expertise, the Chief Engineer will be expected to do whatever is required to maintain the integrity of the Torch and its systems.

Generally, the Chief Engineer's priorities at the beginning of any given round should be to set up the engine and its various associated power-management systems, Atmospherics, the solars, and the shields, in approximately that order. Past that point, they are free to undertake whatever construction projects they feel are appropriate (and which they can get authorized by the CO), so long as they ensure that any damage or other mechanical issues throughout the ship are quickly repaired. They should also communicate regularly with the rest of Command to let them know when there are breached areas that other personnel should stay out of, or, conversely, if there is an area where Security has a criminal cornered, and which the ship's Engineers should avoid for the time being.