MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: what does an Electonics &Instrumentation engineer do & oppurtunities

Date: Tue Jun 17 18:12:52 2003
Posted By: Madhu Siddalingaiah, Physicist, author, consultant
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1054741394.Eg

Hi Rajeev,

That's a good question.
Professional titles are not always strictly defined and in many cases don't
accurately describe what a person really does. I can give you my
interpretation of what an instrumentation engineer does, but I'm sure the
meaning will vary depending on who you talk to and where they work.

Instrumentation often refers to electronic devices designed to measure some
real world phenomena or variable. For example, multimeters can measure
voltage, current, and resistance. Oscilloscopes measure voltage as a
function of time. Spectrum analyzers measure voltage or power as a function
of frequency. These are examples of general purpose instruments.

There are also special purpose instruments designed for a particular use.
Weather stations usually contain specialized instruments for measuring
temperature, wind velocity, and barometric pressure. Scientific research
laboratories are full of specialized instruments. The primary experiment
itself might be a specialized instrument. The Hubble space telescope is an
example. Any kind of manufacturing plant will also contain lots of
instrumentation for measuring variables all over the plant.

In any case, an instrumentation engineer is probably someone who designs,
builds, and tests electronic instruments. These engineers work in a variety
of fields, anywhere some kind of measurement is needed. If you can find
someone in that field and spend some time with them, you will get a good
idea of what they do. Maybe you can take a tour of their workplace.

I hope that helps.

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