In Summary - Electrical Control Engineer
The Work - Electrical Control Engineer
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.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Prepare technical drawings, specifications of electrical systems, or topographical maps to ensure that installation and operations conform to standards and customer requirements.
- Operate computer-assisted engineering or design software or equipment to perform engineering tasks.
- Confer with engineers, customers, or others to discuss existing or potential engineering projects or products.
- Direct or coordinate manufacturing, construction, installation, maintenance, support, documentation, or testing activities to ensure compliance with specifications, codes, or customer requirements.
- Design, implement, maintain, or improve electrical instruments, equipment, facilities, components, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, or domestic purposes.
- Prepare specifications for purchases of materials or equipment.
- Perform detailed calculations to compute and establish manufacturing, construction, or installation standards or specifications.
- Investigate customer or public complaints, determine nature and extent of problem, and recommend remedial measures.
- Oversee project production efforts to assure projects are completed on time and within budget.
- Plan or implement research methodology or procedures to apply principles of electrical theory to engineering projects.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- 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.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interests - Electrical Control Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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.