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Control and instrumentation engineer: Job description

A control and instrumentation engineer (C&I engineer) is responsible for designing, developing, installing, managing and/or maintaining equipment which is used to monitor and control engineering systems, machinery and processes.

C&I engineers ensure that these systems and processes operate effectively, efficiently and safely. They usually work for the companies who manufacture and supply the equipment or for the companies who use it, such as nuclear and renewable energy companies and environmental agencies.

C&I engineers need a thorough understanding of the operational processes of an organisation. They have a multidisciplinary role, working closely with colleagues across a number of functions, including operations, purchasing and design.

Typical work activities

Control and instrumentation engineers develop skills in specific control disciplines such as advanced process control (APC), distributed control systems (DCS), programmable logic controllers (PLC), and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The use of these disciplines will depend on the exact nature of individual job roles.

In general however, tasks and responsibilities can include:

  • designing and developing new control systems;
  • testing, maintaining and modifying existing systems;
  • analysing data and presenting findings in written reports;
  • managing operations;
  • working collaboratively with design engineers, operation engineers, purchasers and other internal staff;
  • liaising with clients, suppliers, contractors and relevant authorities (e.g. the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority);
  • project management within cost and time constrained environments;
  • troubleshooting and problem-solving;
  • understanding and ensuring compliance with the health and safety regulations and quality standards of the country in which work is undertaken;
  • providing advice and consultancy support;
  • purchasing equipment;
  • writing computer software and test procedures;
  • developing new business proposals;
  • accepting responsibility and a level of accountability that is proportionate to the seniority of the position.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
October 2012
 

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