CE: How to Obtain Engineering Services

CfA Projects Funded Through SAO :

Once a project has been funded, the mechanism for formally requesting engineering support is to submit a form called an 'Assignment/Support Request' (ASR). An ASR functions both as an internal purchase order for engineering services, and as a planning document for engineering management. It serves the SAO Financial Management Department (FMD) as a funds obligation document, and the project Principal Investigator, Program Manager, and/or Project Administrator as a vehicle both for describing the engineering support required, and for negotiating specific staff assignments and project schedules with the Engineering Manager.

An ASR can be submitted to CE (Patricia Brennan, (617) 495-7293) either on the screen fillable ASR form, or in the format of the originator's choice. CE will then incorporate the request into its master schedule, and either make preliminary personnel assignments or contact the originator for additional technical and/or schedule detail. At the same time, CE will route the ASR through the Financial Management Department for funds verification and approval. If the project is one for which previous planning information has been submitted, CE will provide the originator with a computer generated ASR for approval signature on the basis of a telephone or e-mail request: it is not necessary to submit duplicate paperwork. After the original submittal, all subsequent revisions to personnel, schedule, or funding can be initiated via e-mail, with CE generating the ASR for signature; or by annotating the project Fiscal Year cost-to-complete report, which is issued monthly. Prior to project implementation, the Principal Investigator or his/her designee must give final approval to all schedules, personnel assignments, and cost estimates.

The ASR process is designed to facilitate a rapid response to requests for engineering support, and flexibility in handling the many revisions to schedule and manpower requirements that are inherent to a research and development engineering environment such as the CfA. In the case of emergency support requests, work can be initiated with a phone call to the Engineering Manager or Administrator, and the necessary paperwork processed in parallel.

CfA Projects Funded Through HCO or Harvard University:

The process for arranging for engineering support for projects funded through the Harvard College Observatory is the same as described above except that administrators of these projects must submit a Harvard University Purchase Order to SAO Central Engineering along with the approved ASR.


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