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An engineer helps ensure a starship or space station's systems are running optimally and correctly. An engineer can be responsible for hardware, software or other areas. This includes maintenance, systems checks, improvements and upgrades.
On Starfleet vessels, the chief engineer usually bears responsibility for the ship's other engineers, with several teams responsible for different areas. The main area responsible for engineering on a starship is main engineering. Starfleet starbases, space stations and other outposts usually have a chief of operations bearing responsibility for this, with the main engineering hub usually being the operations center.
Areas and equipment engineers could be responsible for include, but are not limited to:
- warp drive;
- computer core;
- computer processors and circuitry;
- holographic emitters and equipment;
- tractor beam machinery;
- transporters and their components;
- sensors, probes, satellites;
- offensive and defensive equipment, such as phaser arrays and shields;
- hull plating;
- environmental systems, life support and gravity control;
- deflector array; and
- communications array and equipment.
Some engineers are members of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers.