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  Niamh Briggs
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Engineer - Electrical Control

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

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Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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At a Glance... header image

Control engineers research, design, develop and manage the equipment used to monitor and control a wide range of systems and machinery.


The Work header image

Control Engineering is a branch of electrical engineering concerned with controlling the behaviour of engineered and natural systems.  
 
Some control engineers research, design, develop and bring into production the equipment needed to monitor or automate an industrial process. For example, they may work on transmitters, analogue and digital instruments, control values, meters and sensors. There is a very wide range of uses for this type of equipment, including measuring temperatures in jet engines and measuring the flow of oil or gas in pipelines.  
 
In manufacturing companies, control engineers may then work in teams, discussing how best to produce, market and sell the finished products. Control engineers may travel to visit customers to explain developments.  
 
In order to design a complete control system, control engineers need an in-depth understanding of the processes that will occur. This may involve talking to staff who currently operate process equipment and the engineers who designed it. Control engineers then choose the instruments they will need to do the right measurements for the system. They may write the computer software the system will need to analyse data from these instruments. Control engineers may need to purchase equipment before overseeing its installation.  
 
Once a system is installed, control engineers train staff in how to use the system and how to deal with any problems that may come up. They may lead teams including other engineers, technicians and crafts people.  
 
Control engineers also modify existing systems, improving them to make them safer, more efficient and more economical. They are also responsible for the repair and maintenance of plant and equipment.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.

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Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.

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Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.

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Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.

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Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.

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Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.

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Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.

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Investigate customer or public complaints, determine nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures.

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Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.

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Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment:  Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Design:  Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Time Management:   Managing one's own time and the time of others.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be a control engineer, you need to have technical ability and an interest in mathematics, science and technology. You must be able to combine an analytical, logical approach with creativity and imagination to solve problems.  
 
Engineers must be able to work as part of a team. The ability to encourage other people's ideas is important, and you must also be flexible and able to compromise. You will need strong communication skills to write reports and to explain complex engineering information to people from non-technical backgrounds.  
 
You will need organisational skills to plan your own time and to co-ordinate resources. Willingness to take on responsibility and to lead and motivate other is essential. You need to be able to prioritise and plan efficiently.  
 
Engineers must have good information technology skills because a lot of engineering work involves computers.  
 
You should be willing to keep up-to-date with advances in technology in this fast changing area.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Measurement and Control Engineer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Electricity Supply Board (ESB)
  Address: Head Office, 27 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 676 5831
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: MIDAS Ireland, (Microelectronics Industry Design Association)
  Address: Tyndall National Institute, Lee Maltings, Dyke Parade, Cork
  Tel: (0) 21 234 6375
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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