What is instrumentation and control (I&C) engineering?

SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) generally refers to industrial control systems (ICS): computer systems that monitor and control industrial, infrastructure, or facility-based processes.

These processes can be for industrial purposes such as manufacturing, production, power generation, fabrication, and refining. They can also be for infrastructure processes and may be public or private, and include water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, oil and gas pipelines, electrical power transmission and distribution, wind farms, and large communication systems.

Profiles of I&C engineers in the water/wastewater industry.

BAYWORK agencies have gathered profiles, photos and videos of I&C engineers working in the water/wastewater industry, to give you an idea of what they do, how they feel about it, and how they got there. These case studies will take you behind the scenes at some of the Bay Area’s utilities.

Carlos GarciaProfile Video
Rick Scholten Video
What do I&C engineers do in the water and wastewater industry?

Working within the water and wastewater industry, an I&C or SCADA engineer will design and support SCADA and PLC (programmable logic controller) systems, condition monitoring, and project work including the commissioning and integration of new I&C/ SCADA projects.

Some of their responsibilities in the water sector include:

  • work on projects that involve multiple applications including SCADA, plant controls, telecommunications networks, and related systems;
  • prepare P&IDs (piping and instrumentation diagrams), process control narratives, instrument lists and I/O (input/output) lists as part of project design and ongoing maintenance; and
  • prepare specifications and associated bid documents including cost estimates, schedules, and transition plans.
Educational requirements

A bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering or electrical and computer engineering is generally the minimum educational level that employers will consider for a position as an I&C engineer. Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in design, mathematics, physical and life sciences, and hands-on laboratory classes. An Engineer-In-Training Certificate is also highly recommended.

High school students planning to become I&C engineers should take college preparatory courses such as English, mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mechanical drawing or computer aided design courses.

Where can I learn more about I&C/SCADA engineering?

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