The title of chief engineer is used to signify a senior engineering role in an organization. The typical duties vary considerably depending on the industry.
In marine engineering, the chief engineer is a licensed mariner in charge of the engineering department on a merchant vessel.
A chief engineer (commonly referred to as"ChEng," "the Chief" or just "Chief") is responsible for all operations and maintenance that has to do with any and all engineering equipment throughout the entire ship.
Under many jurisdictions the chief engineer is of equal rank to the captain, with responsibility being split between the two posts; the chief engineer taking responsibility for engine room and maintenance, and the captain taking responsibility for navigation and deck operations.
In public works, such as for a city, county, military division, or federal program, the engineering department often has a chief engineer. This is typically shown as "Office of the Chief Engineer" in organizational charts. This person or group is separate from the other engineering offices, and functions to coordinate their activities from an engineering perspective.