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Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 12:15 PM

I am an instrumentation engineering student and was planning to do masters in process engineering so could someone tell me whether a instrumentation engineer can work as a process engineer and would it be a good choice to pursue masters in process engineering after obtaining a bacherlor degree in nstrumentation engineering?

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#1

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 12:51 PM

Do it the other way round IF you want to be a process engineer.

My experience with the instrument guys who have worked for me is that they know instrumentation very well (why I hired them) but do not know processes and must have that part of their job brought to them by a process guy.

Where I worked at the time we had numerous processes to work with and there was no way one guy could have ever done both.

Sadly, we KNOW NOTHING about you or your talents, what field you want to go into, so that's about it.

I'll add this, if you came to me with an instrumentation degree, then a masters in process, I would not hire you as a process engineer.

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#2

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 2:49 PM

You could work as a process control system engineer.....maybe

Education/Experience:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in appropriate and related basic science or engineering field with a PE license preferred
  • Ten (10) or more years working in one or more of the following service areas: Chemicals, Petrochemicals, Polymers, Utility, Energy, and Manufacturing
  • Knowledge of all facets of process instrumentation and control systems project design and implementation
  • Ability to perform and check sizing calculations for flow meters and control valves
  • Experience with PLC specification, Operator Interface, and Process Automation Controllers; configuration knowledge is a plus
  • Experience with P & ID’s, instrument loop diagrams, wiring schematic diagrams, panel layout and detail drawings
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Access, PowerPoint and Excel); familiar with Revit and Autodesk CAD (3D preferred) software

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/Chemstress-Consultant-Company/jobs/Process-Control-System-Engineer-c898a2b06f5bfaf3?sjdu=QwrRXKrqZ3CNX5W-O9jEvVAqVsPWlF0EFv8nwAMQJlLe__B_44-gbVeF_PS335iZCUhD0W1B7gbMnmtRL72392bt4ZHJ-xol4PtP7m79kZI

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#3

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 8:26 PM

You could always go for a job with Velveeta Cheese--that's process at its purest.

Instrumentation and Process are closely enough aligned that there should be quite a bit of overlap and transferable skill.

On the other hand, anal bureaucrats and company or national cultures may pretend that there is some stark divide between these emphases.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 9:12 PM

"Instrumentation and Process are closely enough aligned"

Depending on your definition of the two words and the industry concerned.

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#5

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/30/2016 9:35 PM

Our instrumentation guy has been here for many years and knows the instrumentation and how it works very well. It's amazing how much he has in that brain of his. He is also often very hard to understand when he is talking.

However, he knows our processes extremely well. He has to know the processes by necessity. How can you control something without knowing intimately how it works?

Ideally, this combination of disciplines would sequence: Process Engineer first, then Instrumentation Engineer. The disciplines do go hand-in-hand though, and I don't see anything wrong with pursuing a Masters in Process Engineering.

One thing that is extremely important in ANY engineering discipline is communication. I realize that English is probably not your original language, and you are doing very well at it. Keep in mind however, that prospective employers look very closely at punctuation and spelling on resumes.

Best of luck!

P.S. If you end up having an opportunity to work for Lyn, it's best not to submit your Masters in Process Engineering resume anyway, as he'd be a real hard-a$$ to work for.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/31/2016 12:38 AM

GA!

"Keep in mind however, that prospective employers look very closely at punctuation and spelling on resumes." I definitely agree!

Since the OP gives no information on his/her location, we can't tell, but I certainly hope you're right that English is not his/her first language.

The advent of texting and other similar forms of communication has fostered a great deal of shortcuts and just plain laziness. I see no appropriate use of such in science and engineering, where poor sentence structure can communicate totally wrong ideas.

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#7

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

07/31/2016 5:46 PM

The only person who can answer that question is the individual making the hiring decision.

To ask a bunch of anonymous contributors to a global engineering forum is rather obstruse!

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

08/01/2016 1:45 PM

Obstruse.

Is that a new word - abstruse and obtuse at the same time? Hmmm... deep AND dense (thick, if you will).

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#8

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

08/01/2016 10:38 AM

I fully recommend going for your masters in process, however stay in instrumentation for your career. You have to fully understand the process in order to effectively automate the process. When we hire new grad program engineers the first thing we train them is in process.

Side note…my company specializes in instrumenting powder handling processes. When we exhibited at powder shows, most of the process engineers visiting the booth had no desire to learn what the controls were doing. In many cases they were repulsed and ran the other way.

However when we exhibit at the Rockwell Automation Fair, all the instrument engineers were fascinated about the process equipment in the booth and always wanted to learn more. In my mind this makes the instrument engineers more valuable.

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#10

Re: Can an Instrumentation Engineer Work as a Process Engineer?

08/02/2016 8:51 AM

You can end up working in any field, you just have to get that particular job. The hardest part is getting the job.

Your education/degree should let you get your "foot in the door", as it were. Where you can go from there is up to you and your employer. It really depends on what you are willing to learn once you have graduated and what opportunities you are given or make for yourself once you have become employed, and here is the kicker, by an employer that is flexible enough to give you the opportunities and not just pigeon hole you in one specific area. It may not be your first employer.

Personally, my degree is in Agricultural Engineering, but I have spent most of my career in other fields, from railway track maintenance to structural engineering and to automotive related.

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