Control and Instrumentation Engineer

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Control and instrumentation engineers (CI engineers) apply control theory to the design of instruments that monitor the control systems of automated machinery and processes. They have a broad role in developing a range of modern products, from temperature feedback systems in air-conditioners and refrigerators, to navigation systems in satellites and aircraft.

They may be employed by water, electrical, and manufacturing plants to design or maintain computerised control systems ensuring safe and efficient operation of equipment. Additionally, CI engineers may be employed by consulting firms, working for clients on a project-by-project basis. They require good problem-solving abilities, an aptitude for understanding how things work and a sound knowledge of mechanical and electrical engineering principles.

Some common work activities of the control and instrumentation engineer include:

  • Designing, programming, and testing computerised control systems.
  • Liaising with plant managers, contractors, and technicians on various projects.
  • Installing, maintaining, and upgrading electrical or mechanical equipment.
  • Diagnosing faults and breakdowns regarding control or systems issues.

Entry level positions typically require an undergraduate degree in engineering, although a focus in mechanical, electrical, mechatronics or computer engineering may be particularly relevant. As with all engineering positions, work experience in the field can be highly advantageous.