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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
In this course, students determine dynamic properties of control systems elements; determine transfer functions of first, second order, and dead-time systems; and select Proportional Integral and Derivative (PID) algorithms on basis of dynamic system analysis and response. More advanced control algorithms and topics including cascade, feed-forward and ratio control. Practical laboratory projects require that students analyze components and systems mathematically, simulate process systems, select appropriate control strategies, and evaluate the quality of control.
Prerequisite(s): IETT 123.
In this course, students design, build, and analyze a variety of integrated analog circuits, using OPAMPS, for multiple applications including inverting and non-inverting amplifiers; sensor and control systems signal conditioning; I/V and V/I converters; control systems amplifiers; output drivers and current boosters; and oscillators and timers. Emphasis is placed on computer simulation and laboratory experimentation to support systematic trouble shooting, repair, and circuit design.
The course centers on industrial robots and integrating and interfacing with complementary control systems. This course also acts as an advanced Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) class. Students explore how PLCs interact with robotic control systems and related equipment to perform useful automated tasks typical of what would be found in the industry.
Prerequisite(s): IETT431 + IETT322
In this course students study techniques and applications of calculus in preparation for use in the field. Students develop and practice algebra skills using several methods of differentiation and integration that they can employ in the industry. Topics include geometric series, limits, and trigonometric identities.
Prerequisite(s): MATH 7
In this course, students lay the foundation for their final capstone project. Students explore and select possible topics and develop a proposal for their project that includes a scope, a work plan, and progress reports. Students begin to build prototypes, proofs of concept, and/or elements of their final project that will enable them to complete their project during the second Capstone course. An emphasis is placed on developing and applying foundational project management skills in an experiential context. Students may engage with community partners to develop their projects in a real-world environment.
In this course, students complete key placement preparation documentation and certifications. Students develop career-readiness skills, including resume and cover letter writing and interview skills. Students find and confirm placement locations during this course. An emphasis is placed on developing a network through membership in professional bodies.
The course begins by a review of AC analysis including AC power calculations and power factor. AC induction motor theory and variable-speed drives are investigated. Power supply analysis of linear and switching mode configuration are investigated. Throughout the course, appropriate mathematical techniques are used. Investigation continues covering solid-state power devices, electromechanical relays (EMRs) and solid-state relays (SSRs), triacs and SCR devices regarding their application, reliability limitations, use, selection and classification. The course progresses to the study of three-phase power generation and distribution. Thevenin’s, Norton’s theorems and superposition theorem are also reviewed.
In this course, students connect, configure, and integrate various hardware and software elements of modern hierarchical Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems (SCADA) or Distributed Control System (DCS). Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) are configured, including trends, displays, alarms, logging, and operator control functions. Students connect a supervisory computer to a variety of equipment (PID Controllers, PLCs, Smart Instruments, etc.) and configure the appropriate control devices and communication interfaces.
Prerequisite(s): IETT631 + IETT322
In this course, students are immersed in a real world commercial or industrial instrumentation and control environment, promoting the integration of the curriculum in an applied setting. As part of this experience, students may access equipment and/or processes that are not available in college labs, enabling opportunities for specialization and providing increased exposure to the industry and job opportunities. Students have the opportunity to develop a professional network and reflect on their future career paths. Work Placement occurs at approved local, regional, provincial, national and international sites, both private and public.
Prerequisite(s): IETT 423 + IETT131 + IETT532
This course focuses on developing and delivering a formal technical report related to senior technical courses. The course guides students through the various stages of project development: proposals, research, progress and scope documents, writing and editing, document design, and oral presentation development and delivery. Assessments reflect individual work, but class time focuses on the collegial dialogue needed to develop professional reports. 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 be given to general reading, writing, editing, and collaboration strategies.
Prerequisite(s): IETT 400
In this culminating course, students complete their capstone project. The course begins with a reflection on the progress made during the first capstone course. Students adapt their project plans based on the challenges and successes encountered previously, while still achieving the project as initially scoped. In conjunction with the completion of their final project, students craft a technical report and accompanying presentation to share their completed project, including the key findings and possible additional applications.
Prerequisite(s): IETT 400
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Instrumentation Field Technician
- Controls Technician
- Measurement Technician
- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Technician
- Instrumentation & SCADA Support/Operator
- Laboratory Technician
- Northern Cables Inc
- Ontario Power Generating Station (OPG)
- Lennox Thermal Generating Station (OPG)
- Johnson Controls
- Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA)
- Queen's University Medical Simulation Lab
- Providence Care Hospital
- BOJAK Manufacturing
- Transformix Engineering
- 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
- IPG Photonics Inc.
- Kingston Process Metallurgy
- Witron Group
613.544.5400, ext. 1201
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International Students Contact
+1 613.544.5400 ext. 5514
Credit Transfer Opportunities
SLC graduates have many options to continue their studies with post-secondary institutions across Canada and around the world.
Graduates will be eligible to continue their studies in Ireland, earning a degree in Industrial Automation & Robotic Systems.
- Bishop's University - BSc Computer Science
- Memorial University of Newfoundland - Bachelor of Technology