It's the last day of I'm an Engineer 2012. I'm going to miss these last two weeks very much. : (
Siemens (BBC Projects)
Instrumentation & Control (I&C) Engineer
Authorise designs for, and modifications “mods” to nuclear power plant systems.
I’m an Instrumentation & Control (I&C) Engineer for EDF Energy and I work in a Design Authority. We are trying to build and operate the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK for 15 years.
So, what’s an I&C Engineer? They are engineers that develop systems to help operators understand what’s happening in the power station. I&C Engineers use sensors to measure things like temperatures and pressures. These sensor readings are processed by computers and then presented to the operator. The operator can also tell the computer to start and stop things like pumps around the power station.
I work on something called a simulator. This is almost like a video game, but much more serious! A simulator is something used by operators to practice normal and abnormal situations on the power station. Computers are used to recreate real-life signals of temperature and pressure, pump start and stop – they even go as far as recreating sounds and lights operators would hear or see.
My major role is to ensure that the new power station’s simulator is a close to the real thing as possible – this is called “fidelity”.
My Typical Day
My bread and butter is reviewing system specifications to ensure safety, but I also have to do a variety of other things like calculations, process design, presentations and study (research)!
8:30: Grab a coffee and some fruit then scan any new emails. I will also read an article about new developments in nuclear.
9:00: Start to review specifications for a system to ensure it complies with safety principles and World best practice. The specifications could be for a computer system or the electronics in a diesel engine.
12:00: Lunch! I usually eat with other colleagues from different departments so I can get a feel for what’s happening in the bigger picture of the project.
13:00: French lesson – as part of my development at EDF Energy everyone can learn French. A number of my colleagues are from France too – so I have lots of opportunity to practice!
15:00 – 17:00: Discuss my findings from the morning with my team members and then write a report to return to our supplier.
What I'd do with the money
I would like to setup an Engineering Prize for some of London’s struggling schools.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Geeky, Committed and Friendly
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Built a maze solving robot
What did you want to be after you left school?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tell us a joke.
There are only 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.