Education

A Bright Future In Instrumentation And Control Engineering

Amongst the various engineering Courses In India, Instrumentation and Control Engineering deals with the development and designing of control systems as well as the development of sensors, transducers and other devices.

IC started off in the periphery of EC engineering, but has forged into an entirely separate division with immense possibilities in emerging fields like robotics and automation.

Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering

The curriculum for Engineering Colleges In India include a four-year degree program, which consists mainly of mathematics and science courses. The program coursework in instrumentation engineering includes:

  1. Instrumentation
  2. Instrumentation electronics
  3. Electrical instrumentation
  4. Process instrumentation
  5. Industrial networks
  6. Hydraulics and pneumatics

Instrumentation and Control engineers are responsible for designing, installing, managing, developing and maintaining equipment, used to monitor and control the engineering systems, processes and machinery. The job is to make sure that these systems and processes operate effectively, efficiently and safely. Nuclear and renewable energy companies and environmental agencies, manufacture and supply the equipment or for the companies who use it.

One needs to understand the operational processes of an organization thoroughly, as his role involves multidisciplinary activity, working closely with colleagues across a number of functions, including operations, purchasing and design.

Responsibilities

Developed skills in specific control disciplines is prudent in this field. One needs to have knowledge about:

  • Advanced Process Control (APC)
  • Distributed Control Systems (DCS)
  • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).

The use of these disciplines depend on the exact nature of the individual job. In general however, tasks and responsibilities can include:

  1. To produce and implement designs and develop new control systems.
  2. Test, maintain and modify and calibrate products and instruments in existing systems.
  • Analyze data and present the findings in written reports.
  1. To manage operations.
  2. Work with operation engineers, design engineers, purchasers and other internal staff, collaboratively.
  3. Liaise with clients, contractors, suppliers, and relevant authorities.
  • Provide advice and consultancy as well as technical support.
  • Undertake relevant research and purchase equipment.
  1. Keep the project management within cost and time constrained environments.
  2. Understand and ensure compliance with relevant health and safety regulations and quality standards.
  3. Write computer software, test procedures, reports and documentation.
  • Develop new business proposals.
  • Prepare and agree to the project budgets, timescales and specifications offered by clients.

Qualifications, Eligibility and training required

This profession is for both school pass outs and graduates. Candidates are required to give the engineering Entrance Exam In India, after passing the 12th boards with min 60% or equivalent CGPA, in order to secure a seat in the renowned colleges. For graduates, a degree in electrical, electronic or mechanical engineering, computing or applied physics is prudent.

A postgraduate qualification can be advantageous in many ways and may be necessary for some posts. If you are aiming to work as a technician, it is possible to enter the profession with a higher national diploma or through an advanced or higher apprenticeship in an appropriate subject such as electrical engineering, electronic engineering, systems engineering or manufacturing engineering. Relevant experience can also be beneficial. There are few employers, who offer final year project work, vacation work and industrial placements, degree sponsorship, etc, which can provide valuable contacts and a useful insight into the profession.

Specific degrees in instrumentation and control engineering are available and are typically of four years in length. Electrical and electronic engineering degrees are also popular with instrumentation and control engineers and may include specific C&I elements or modules.

There are other engineering, technical and scientific degrees which are considered to be appropriate for training:

  • Applied Physics Or Physics
  • Systems Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Skills Of An Instrumentation And Control Engineer

It is prudent for an instrumentation and control engineer to have certain skill set which includes:

  1. Troubleshooting  and creative problem-solving skills
  2. Excellent critical thinking and a high level of numeracy skills.
  3. Interpersonal and good communication skills
  4. Strong team work management skills, with the ability to motivate others and to lead or manage teams and projects
  5. Flexibility and the ability to adjust to various work conditions
  6. The willingness to accept responsibilities and make decisions accordingly
  7. High level of attention to each and every detail
  8. Good commercial awareness and exceptional customer care skills
  9. Understanding and the ability to work with, high-level computer technology.

As an instrumentation and control engineer your skills will be in demand in a range of engineering sectors, including:

  • Automotive
  • Rail
  • Construction
  • Telecommunications.

Employers

The most widely-recognized recruiters of IC engineers, however, are the following types of organizations:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Fast-Moving Consumer Goods
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil And Gas, Power Generation And Energy
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Utilities.

Other sectors include aerospace, marine, materials and defense engineering, and environmental agencies. IC engineers are also employed by companies who produce control and instrumentation equipment.

Instrumentation And Control In Thermal Power Plants

The role of instrumentation and control in thermal power plants is like any other process plants. Various parameters like pressure, flow, temperature, level, vibration etc, needs to be monitored and controlled in such power plants. Automation systems like DCS and PLC along with many interlocks are there in some modern plants.

Popular Career Options and Job Opportunities

Graduates with a 4-year degree in instrumentation and control engineering are qualified to work in a variety of industries, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas production
  • Food processing
  • Energy production
  • Chemical processing
  • Avionics

Typical employers of control and instrumentation engineers

  • Power generation companies
  • Manufacturers and installers of instruments and control devices/systems
  • Process companies

Though the IT companies usually hire IC engineers, the future holds something much more exciting and dynamic for them. Its level of application in robotics and automation ingratiated into human life is unimaginable.

Regardless of the level of entry, the work experience of an IC engineer is as valuable in this sector as in any other. Large recruiters offer structured internship programs and vacation placement schemes, providing an excellent insight into the nature of the work.

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