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Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technician

Kingston Campus | Program Code: 0731 | Open for International Students
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Overview

Concerned about robots and machines taking your job? Learn to control and maintain those machines in the Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technician/Technology programs at St. Lawrence College. Concerned you may be unemployed in a pandemic? Learn a skill that will keep you employed.

“Instrumentation describes the control, maintenance, and design of any process. It is the practice of calibration, control, design, electric hookup, and programming.” Urban Dictionary

Few colleges in Ontario offer an Instrumentation and Control Engineering Technology program and the workforce with these skills is shrinking due to retirements. As a result demand for these skills is high and continues to grow stronger every year.

Program Details

Code 0731
Start Date May, September
Credential Ontario College Diploma
Campus Kingston
Program Length 2 Years
Delivery Full-Time
Open for international students
Special May Intake - International Students Only

Program Highlights

Hands On: The program is practical and hands-on. Core subject areas have approximately a 2:1 ratio of lab hours to theory hours. Students will be working with the equipment found in the industry. The program provides students with a sound knowledge of process measurement and control theory. They will be trained to work in the modern team-oriented organization with emphasis on productive interaction with peers.

Flexibility: The program accommodates high school graduates, mature students making a career change and post-graduate students wishing to acquire practical skills. Students enrolled in the two-year technician program may, upon graduation, transfer directly into the more rigorous and theoretical third year and earn a technology diploma.

Job satisfaction: Control systems are the brains behind the devices that produce everyday goods and keep our environment and utilities safe. Jobs are found in municipal waste and water utilities, building environment controls as well as assembly and manufacturing. In control systems, different tasks and problem solving are performed daily. Our graduates have told us; “You never do the same thing twice”. The control systems field is continuously evolving.

Technologists will often work with equipment in a complete system, ensuring that the individual devices work as a unit. Technologists have a greater theoretical understanding of control systems, communications, programming and technical project planning, allowing them to become involved in engineering design, as well as device and system specification.

Co-operative Education Opportunities: Both the technician and technologist programs now offer co-operative education opportunities – depending on availability of positions. These paid work­place educational opportunities will expand as we cultivate more co-op positions with other firms.

Co-op opportunities occur during a four month summer term after the second and fourth semesters and/or a full year term between the fifth and sixth semesters. The number of co-op positions available each year is not predefined. Students are able to apply for positions posted by various indus­trial firms and government agencies through­out the year. These opportunities give our students valuable on-the-job experience, financial help with their educational costs and enhanced employment possibilities.

Program Outline

2020-2021

In this course, students explore ways of communicating technical information to laypersons and to specialist readers using standard professional formats. Particular emphasis is placed on professional written communication, lab reports, and technical description. Assessments and discussions emphasize effective collaboration, audience analysis, appropriate formats and tone, clarity of communication, and the mechanics of correct syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Attention is also given to general reading, writing, editing, and collaboration strategies.

This is an introduction to the exciting field of measurement systems. Students will learn the how physical parameters such as pressure, temperature, flow, level, speed, vibration, etc. are measured and recorded. General topics such as measurement accuracy, error, etc. will alert students to the need to understand measurement quality. Data collection, presentation, and usage will be studied including and introduction to the concept of feedback control. A laboratory component will include hands on computerized data collection.

This course is designed to introduce the student to the fundamental relationship of voltage and current in circuits containing resistance and/or capacitance and/or indictors with D.C. sources. Included in the course is a comprehensive lab component which introduces the student to the standard lab equipment used in measuring fundamental D.C. circuit parameters. The application of the devices is stressed to ensure the student has the necessary background to recognize: (a) the device and its operation in a larger circuit and (b) the probable cause of a fault within the circuit.

This course provides instruction in the fundamental concepts and operations of algebra and trigonometry: linear, quadratic, and trigonometric functions, graphs and equations. Students study operations with algebraic expressions and equations in preparation for further topics in applied mathematics. An emphasis is placed on building fluency with foundational skills through practice and conceptual understanding.

This course addresses the occupational health and safety requirements for the program including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Tag and Lockout Procedures and other relevant requirements. Students learn the proper and safe use of simple hand tools. A mandatory Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training session is arranged for students in this course.

In this course, students learn the fundamentals of digital circuits, number systems, and microcontrollers. Students configure, construct and troubleshoot a variety of circuits and develop associated microcontroller programs. Concepts and applications of computer programming languages are explored. Students employ theoretical and applied knowledge to combine microcontrollers, various sensors, and mechanical systems to achieve specific tasks.

This course is an in depth study of pressure and temperature control systems. It covers the theory and mathematics relating to the conversion of parameter to electrical signals and the selection of appropriate equipment for a given application. The laboratory projects will allow the student to install, connect, investigate, calibrate, and repair a variety of sensors and related equipment used in typical industrial applications.

Prerequisite(s): IETT111

This course focuses on the use of the microcontroller as a basis for robotic control, instrumentation measurement and control, data communications and higher-level programming. Students explore methods for analog to digital and digital to analog conversion and methods for acquiring analog signals into the microcontroller. The course also emphasizes display, retransmission and control using analog systems and devices interfaced to the microcontroller. Students use sensors to detect distance, obstacles, light and temperature. Students create their own indicating and transmitting instrumentation devices.

Prerequisite(s): IETT 210

This course introduces Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC). Students explore fundamental elements of PLC hardware and interconnection, using simulations software and real hardware. Students gain experience in programming a PLC, including Ladder Logic. Students translate and implement control requirements into PLC programs. Knowledge and skills are developed through a mix of theory and lab components.

Prerequisite(s): IETT410 + IETT 210

In this course, semi-conductor devices are studied by examining their behaviour in electronic circuits. Students develop intuitive and mathematical understandings of semi-conductor behaviour. Students use rectifiers, power supplies, filters, regulators, and semi-conductor switches to create functioning circuits. Students gain an understanding of electronic devices such as diodes and bi-polar junction transistors.

Prerequisite(s): IETT410 + MATH2 

This course introduces vectors and the complex number system, including conversions between polar and rectangular forms. Fundamental statistical concepts are introduced to inform technical evaluation. Students manipulate and solve exponential and logarithmic functions in order to apply in technical lab and theory. The course concludes with an introduction to differential and integral calculus.

Prerequisite(s): MATH2

This course is an in-depth study of level and flow measurement systems. It covers the theory and mathematics relating to the conversion of parameters to instrumentation signals and the selection of appropriate equipment for a given application. In laboratory projects, students install, connect, investigate, calibrate, and repair a variety of sensors and related equipment used in typical industrial applications.

Prerequisite(s): IETT121

This course is designed to provide students with a general understanding of pneumatic systems. Topics include compressors, accumulators, driers, filters, pumps, relief valves, regulating valves, control valves and other related components. In addition, pneumatic process control valves, control valve sizing, and other process control pneumatic components are investigated. Students are introduced to electro-pneumatic devices and control systems.

Prerequisite(s): IETT121 + IETT321

This course introduces students to the fundamental relationship between voltage and current in circuits containing resistors, capacitors, and inductors with an Alternating Current (AC) source. Included in the course is a comprehensive lab component that introduces students to the standard lab equipment used in measuring fundamental AC circuit parameters. Students employ mathematical strategies to analyze AC circuits.

Prerequisite(s): IETT421

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge of documentation systems used for specification and presentation in the Instrumentation and Control Industry. Students acquire the knowledge needed to produce a number of Instrument Society of America (ISA) standard documentation tools such as ISA symbols, Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&ID), Wiring Diagrams and Installation Drawings. Students develop an intermediate level of proficiency at using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to produce industry standard documentation.

This course introduces students to the history and fundamentals of data communication and computer interfacing. The OSI 7-layer model is introduced and various communications standards are investigated including serial communications standards, Ethernet, and Wifi. Unique aspects of industrial networks are explored. Networking topologies and interconnection equipment such as switches, routers, and bridges are investigated. The Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things are investigated. Cybersecurity for networked control systems is also explored.

Prerequisite(s): IETT 210

This course provides students with an understanding of the automatic feedback control loop and the various modes of control that can be used to accomplish a regulated output. Students study control objectives, quality, stability, and tuning methods and procedures. Electronic and computer-based controllers are studied along with the necessary circuits and algorithms. Practical lab projects require students to connect electronic and computer based controllers to a variety of typical industrial systems, record system behaviour with computerized data collection equipment, tune process loops to achieve optimum control, and troubleshoot control systems.

Prerequisite(s): IETT122

This course is an advanced level study of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC).  Students gain skills with advanced elements of PLC hardware and interconnection.  The student gains extensive experience in programming a PLC using various applicable programming languages.  The student enhances skills in converting control requirements into PLC programs and implementing the programs through PLCs and associated Human Machine Interfaces (HMI).

Prerequisite(s): IETT321

This course is designed to introduce the student to heavier power circuits and devices. Course topics include working safely with high voltage; power generation and motors; transformation and distribution; switching and protection; electrical code and wiring conventions; and circuit documentation and interpretation. The course will be presented from the perspective of providing the necessary background for effective machine and process control design, troubleshooting and maintenance.

Prerequisite(s): IETT430 + IETT321

In this course, students explore how multiple process systems are combined within facilities to achieve a specific goal. Using a case study approach, typical industrial systems are explored such as electrical generation, distillation, and air conditioning. Further topics may include process separation and purification methods, heat exchangers, pump and valve types and characteristics, and process analyzer types. Students consolidate their learning in the context of a real-world facility, identifying and discussing various common industrial processes and their component make-up. Students supplement their learning through self-directed study of topics related to processes used in the case study.

In this course, students explore ways of communicating technical information to laypersons and to specialist readers using standard professional formats. Particular emphasis is placed on research methods and formats, and job search materials and skills. Assessments and discussions emphasize effective collaboration, audience analysis, appropriate formats and tone, clarity of communication, and the mechanics of correct syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Attention is also given to general reading, writing, editing, and to developing strategies for communicating and collaborating with industry professionals.

Prerequisite(s): IETT110

Requirements

Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) with the majority of Grade 11 and 12 courses at the C, U or M level including the following prerequisites:

  • Grade 12 English at the C or U level
  • Grade 12 Math at the C or U level (or MCR3U); MCT4C Recommended

For OSSD equivalency options, see Admission Requirements.

If you are missing prerequisite courses, enroll in the Career/College Prep program - free for Ontario residents who are 19 years or older. 

Fees

2020-2021

Tuition
Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
Total
CAD
Tuition
$2,721.36 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$1,390.92 CAD
Total
$4,112.28 CAD

Tuition fees are subject to change pending confirmation of provincial Ministry Funding rates for 2021-2022.

Tuition
Program Fees
Ancillary Fees
Total
CAD
Tuition
$14,600.00 CAD
Program Fees
$0.00 CAD
Ancillary Fees
$2,102.25 CAD
Total
$16,702.25 CAD

Tuition fees are subject to change pending confirmation of provincial Ministry Funding rates for 2021-2022.

Kingston

Our Kingston campus has seen significant renovation over the past few years, including a brand new Student Life and Innovation Centre that houses a new gymnasium, fitness centre, pub, and more.

New Gym
Kingston Campus Exterior
Kingston Campus

Career Opportunities

Control Systems are the brains behind the devices that produce everyday goods, and they keep our environment and utilities running smoothly. Jobs are abundant for technicians and technologists across a variety of sectors such as municipal waste and water utilities, assembly and manufacturing plants, building automation, medical simulation labs, research labs, etc. In control systems, different tasks and problem solving are performed daily. Our graduates have told us; “You never do the same thing twice”. The control systems field is continuously evolving. Technologists will often work with equipment in a complete system, ensuring that the individual devices work as a unit. Technologists have a solid theoretical understanding of control systems, communications, programming and technical project planning, etc., all of which allow grads to become involved in engineering design, as well as device and system specification.

Industry

  • Smart Building Automation Systems
  • Hospital Simulation Labs
  • Aeronautical Simulation Labs
  • Nuclear Facilities
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants
  • Automation – anywhere there is a need for human-computer interaction
  • Process Plants
  • Municipal Utilities
  • Aerospace and Rail

Job Titles

  • Instrumentation Field Technician
  • Controls Technician
  • Measurement Technician
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Technician
  • Instrumentation & SCADA Support/Operator
  • Laboratory Technician

Companies

  • Northern Cables Inc
  • 3M-Brockville
  • Ontario Power Generating Station (OPG)
  • Lennox Thermal Generating Station (OPG)
  • Johnson Controls
  • Bombardier
  • Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA)
  • Queen's University Medical Simulation Lab
  • Providence Care Hospital
  • BOJAK Manufacturing
  • Transformix Engineering
  • Invista
  • Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Utilities Kingston
  • Canadian Royal Milk
  • LaserDepth Dynamics
  • Kimco Steel Sales Limited
  • Ministry of Natural Resources White Lake Fish Hatchery
  • Siemens Building Technologies, Ltd
  • St. Lawrence College, Physical Plant
  • Durham Combustion Inc,
  • Roseburg Pembroke MDF
  • Union Gas
  • Riverside Opticalab Group
  • HTS Ottawa-Automation
  • Newterra
  • IPG Photonics Inc.
  • Kingston Process Metallurgy
  • Witron Group

Testimonials

"The faculty was unbelievable. They really help you reach you goals and push you to succeed. This applies to all facets of the program, from the academic to the practical and physical components. You learn how to prioritize, set goals and objectives, and how to balance work and play."
Constable Lisa Castelvetri

Program Contacts

Program Contact
Julie Cruickshank
jcruickshank@sl.on.ca
613.544.5400, ext. 1391

Admissions Information
Contact a member of our recruitment team
ask@sl.on.ca
1.800.463.0752 and ask for Recruiting

International Students Contact
international@sl.on.ca
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514