How to Write an Engineering Proposal

by Mona Harte; Updated September 26, 2017
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Engineering proposals are created for a variety of reasons. Some are written for funding research projects while others are in response to the bidding of mechanical, civil, structural and electrical engineering services for construction projects. Request for proposals (RFPs) are generated by private companies, government agencies and military branches. Engineers, or the staff of an engineering company, will create a document that answers the RFP's requirements, shows the engineers' past similar work and offers proposed costs to produce the project.

Step 1

Read the RFP completely before writing. Highlight important areas, such as the due date. Also focus on the time due, as many RFPs dictate specific times, and any definitive requests, such as a the project requiring LEED certification.

Step 2

Write a cover letter that thanks the RFP issuer for the privilege of being considered for the engineering project as well as advises how the company can best fill the needs required for the project. The cover letter should briefly discuss the contents of the entire proposal and the satisfaction of past clients.

Step 3

Describe the qualifications of the engineering team. Make sure all of the resumes are up-to-date and reflect the experience requested by the RFP. For example, if the RFP requires engineers familiar with sustainable engineering practices in HVAC, the engineers must pass the LEED exam and be LEED-accredited professionals.

Step 4

Highlight the engineers' experience with projects similar to the one in the RFP. If a construction site has environmental issues or the facility is specific like a prison or hospital, the proposal must reflect the engineering company's expertise.

Step 5

Create and include project costs and work schedules, which will advise the potential client how the engineering team will tackle the project's tasks and successfully bring it to a conclusion on time and on budget.

Step 6

Create informative captions for all graphics that will accompany the proposal's copy. Photos should be used to illustrate past projects.

Step 7

Write a conclusion. Similar to the cover letter, the conclusion is the time to reiterate why this proposal should be selected as the winning bid.

Tips

  • Hand deliver or send an engineering proposal with a trackable mode of delivery such as FedEx.

Warnings

  • A cover letter should never be more than one page.

    Often the RFP will dictate exactly how many pages an engineering proposal can be. Delivering more pages than asked for can render the engineering proposal immediately unusable.

About the Author

Since 1993 Mona Harte's work has appeared in various publications, including "NYTimes Regional Newspaper Group," the "Calgary Sun," the "Great Falls Tribune" and the "Tahoe Daily Dispatch," as well as international magazines "Atlantica," "Portfolio," and "Open Skies." She holds an Associate of Arts in layout/design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

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