Computing increasingly addresses collaboration; sharing; and interaction involving distributed resources. This has been fuelled in part by the emergence of Grid technologies and web services. Drawing on our expertise in the Geodise project 1. We argue that there is a growing requirement for knowledge engineering methods that provide a semantic foundation for such distributed computing. Such methods also support the sharing and coordinated use of knowledge itself. In this paper we introduce a service-oriented knowledge engineering approach that seeks to provide knowledge orientated support for distributed grid-based computing. This approach has been implemented in a generic integrated architecture. The application context is the process of design search and optimisation in engineering. It demonstrates how knowledge has been captured and modelled, as well as illustrating how ontologies have been developed and deployed. The knowledge acquired has been made available and accessible through a portal that invokes a number of basic services.