Course dates: 2011-2012
Current occupation: Instrument and Protective System Engineer at BP
I had previous experience of working as an engineer in the oil and gas sector. This experience gave me the foundation for my MSc, where I was able to link my practical experience with the academic studies of the course. This is very important as a potential employer will see how well you can apply theories in practice, and vice versa.
I also made sure my dissertation topics were closely related to industry problems so I could show I have developed transferable skills to solve similar problems, within different sectors in industry using theoretical knowledge.
My day to day work at BP, as an Instrument and Protective System Engineer, involves responding to the technical queries raised by an asset and supporting the production and operations staff. The next part of my role involves project engineering and management skills. It consists of managing contractors and vendors as well as working with other specialists in other disciplines, such as chemical engineering and mechanical engineering.
This role gives me an opportunity to learn and develop my competencies in instrumentation engineering in a focused way. Sometimes, there is a possibility to work offshore for an operational asset which is really amazing. Being in a big engineering company gives me the opportunity to understand the different aspects of the oil and gas industry. Also the quality of training provided by the company is remarkable.
The modules and the related materials of the course were aligned with the requirements of the industry. The support given by the supervisors during the dissertation, in terms of facilities for research as well as practical guidance, were extremely beneficial. The staff in the School are helpful and give students a variety of options to research within control engineering. We also had guest lecturers from industry for one unit.
The content of the Process Control and Automation unit along with the Sensors and Transducers unit is useful in my current role. It gave me a fundamental understanding of instrumentation and control engineering. Soft skills like team work and planning, acquired during the dissertation, are also important aspects of learning how to behave professionally.
This course gave a complete overview of the control engineering world. The structure of the course was to study a particular module for three weeks and complete the coursework as well within the same time. This enables one to concentrate on the specific unit, as you would be working only on that unit during the three week period. The professors conducting each unit are experts in that particular subject.