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With refreshing thoughts , I would like to write about the job search in Canada for Instrumentation & Control Professional mainly in Oil and Gas industry. This post discusses industries (EPC, Vendor & client) and  places ( Alberta province) type of jobs,  for finding right  job in  the Canada.

The story starts in the year 2000. I had applied for Immigration to the Canada. I was searching for the skills which are in demand for the Instrumentation and Control  professional. ISA came to my rescue. I wrote an e mail to Ram ( I didn’t knew him at that time. Now he is a good  friend of mine) an ISA member who was residing in the Calgary. He gave me good idea of skill set required for I&C Professional. Later help came from   Dipak Kataria and Kalpesh Patel. Thanks to Ram, Dipak and Kalpesh for giving right advise for finding the job  the Canada.  Now, I am giving back to our community which will be helpful to aspiring immigrants to Canada.

JOBS in EPC

These are the typical jobs  in the EPC ( Engineering Procurement & Commissioning) industry (Like Fluor,Jacobs, Bantrel etc..)

INSTRUMENTATION:

The job mainly involves Specify, Selection and Sizing of Instrument including Control Valve and Procurement. Some Engineering companies calls as Commodity Specialist .The Skill and Knowledge  in

(1) P &ID Development

(2) Selection of Flow, Level, Pressure, Flow  Control Valves and ON/OFF valves & Sizing of Orifice and Control Valve.

(3) Procurement (Request for Quote, Technical Bid Evaluation and Purchase Order )

(4) Preparation of Instrument Index , Control Narrative , Cause & Effect and  Datasheet

(5) Interface with Process for Data, Mechanical for mainly for Type of Material and Nozzle size etc.., Electrical for type of contact , cable Procurement etc..

DESIGNER

There is a Design component in EPC and the Knowledge and Skill set required are

(1) Intools – now known as Smart Plant Instrumentation. This will involve Understanding various modules like Instrument Index, Calculation, Loop drawing, Installation Drawing etc..

(2) Field design which includes Calculation of Cables, Junction box , Marshalling Cabinets, Instrument Location etc..

(3) Drafting – Mainly on Autocad or Autoplant for drafting all the drawing such as P &ID, Instrument Location Plan, JB drawing, Marshalling drawing etc..

AUTOMATION or CONTROL SYSTEM SPECIALIST/ENGINEER

They are responsible for

(1) Generating I/O Count for DCS, SIS, PLC etc.

(2) Specify,Selection, Sizing and Procurement of DCS, SIS, PLC,Plant Historian, Remote Instrument House/Enclosure

(3) Defining System Architecture including servers, Consoles and various Interface to Business Systems like SAP

(4) Generating enough information on Control Philosophy, Graphic Guidelines, Alarm Management Philosophy, Detail Control Narrative & Cause and Effect Diagram required by DCS/SIS/PLC programmer.

(5) Testing which includes  FAT and  SAT.

(6) Defining and producing enough information for Programmer for Communication Protocols like Profibus, DeviceNet,Modubus,OPC. This involves interface with Electrical, third party PLCs.

(7) Functional Safety related activities like Preparation of Safety Requirement Specification, Defining SILs and Verification. This may be done by separate Safety Specialist if the project is big.

(8) Reviewing FDS (Functional Design Specification) generated by Automation (DCS/SIS ) vendor.

(9) There may be a separate Specialist/Engineer for third party packages like Vibration Monitoring, Anti Surge Control, Vendor packages for process like Air  Compressors etc.,

(10) Process Fire & Gas which includes System selection (SIS), Detectors like Gas, H2S & Fire. There may be a separate Fire & Gas Specialist if the project is big.

ANALYZER SPECIALIST

Resposible for:

(1)Specifying, selecting and procuring various Analyzers like Gas Chromatographs, CEMS (Continous Emission Monitoring System) including Analyzers shelters

(2)Review of Sample Conditioning system.

(3)Specify,Selection and Procuring of LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)

LEAD I &C ENGINEER/SPECIALIST

He is responsible:

(1) Managing all of the above Engineers/Specialist/Designer

(2) Creating Manpower requirement, schedule and progress report on Deliverables

(3) Review of the Deliverables like P &ID, Datasheets, Guidelines, Technical Bid Evaluation

(4) Coordinating within his team and with other disciples like Electrical, Process,Mechanical, HSE and Project Management.

JOBS in Client

These are the typical jobs  in the Client ( Manufacturing Facilities  like Suncor, Imperial Oil, Encana, Conoco Phillips ) industry

I would like to segregate these on two accounts. One for Project and second for Manufacturing facility (Plant).

For Projects mainly there is a requirement of  Lead Engineer and Specialist who may over sees , review and Interface with EPCs.  There may be or may not be  a separate Instrumentation Engineer or Control Engineer.  The skill set and Knowledge required are

(1) Preparation and Review of Guidelines and Specifications such as Control Philosophy

(2) Guide EPC & Vendor and provide recommendation where ever there is a Technical clarification.

(3)Define scope, man power requirement and schedule requirement from I &C perspective

(4)Provide input to HAZOP and SIL Assignment

(5)Ensure Deliverables like P&ID, Datasheets, Configuration are in Compliance with Standards and Guidelines .

(6) Coordinate with key stake holders within organization such as Operations and Maintenance, Project and outside organization such as EPC and Vendor.

For Manufacturing facilities , mainly there is requirement for Commissioning  Specialist when the plant is being started. In Running plant there is a requirement for Instrument Supervisor who manages Instrument Technicians – who troubleshoots field Instrument related problems. There is also Control/Automation Specialist who does the System job which includes DSC, SIS, PLC programming and modify the Control schemes for on going Sustainable projects. There is a Lead Automation Specialist/Engineer also who manages these Specialist and participates in HAZOP/SIL and other reviews. The Lead also look after Sustainable project review and it’s implementation at site.

Having discussed the industries, another important thing to consider is the place. This post mainly focus on Alberta province. There are mainly three cities to focus – Calgary for EPC, Edmonton for EPC and clients and Fort Mcmurray for clients companies.

Hope this post will add some value for the job seekers looking for a great career in the Canada.

This is a “Last Lecture” given by Dr. Randy Pausch.  Very Inspiring and he tells us how to live life, full of fun and joy.

Worth listening.
Steve tells three stories. First one is about Connecting dots and how he was dropped off College and use his skill of Calligraphy for creation of Mac. Second story is about passion. He was fired from Apple and he created Pixar and he returned back to create iPod.
Third is about death. Live life-like you are going to die today. That forces you to make choices which are important.
This is an inspiring speech which tells us that to become successful one has to have passion, vision and dreams. The Education is enabler but not requirement in the your success. Believe in yourself.

Image by Digitalbob8

INTRODUCTION

The Internet has changed the way we upgrade our knowledge. It has provided various avenues that  never existed earlier like E- mail discussion list of ISA (International Society of Automation, www.isa.org), LinkedIn groups, RSS  (Really Simple Syndication) Reader such as Google Reader, You Tube and Knowledge Networks. In this post, I will discuss  how I am using these tools to increase my knowledge and add value to the client.

WHY

Dr Covey tells a story in his book ” The Seven habits of highly effective people” about a young man who was given a job to cut trees. On the first day he cut seven trees and subsequent day with same effort he could cut fewer trees. When, he asked owner why he was not productive, the owner asked him if he sharpen the saw. We tends to be driven in urgent and routine work and pay less attention to such proactive activity as “Sharpen the saw” which is the seventh habit of his book. The tools  discussed here will help us to make us proactive and productive.

ON-LINE COMMUNITY & E-MAIL LISTS

ISA has an E-mail list and the popular ones are “Instruments”, “Controls” and “Safety”.  You can subscribe to these E- mail lists. The advantage is that you can ask a question and get reply from experts from whole world. Even, if you just read the discussion, it will be helpful. I would like to acknowledge  contribution  from active contributor like Walter Driedger and so many others to these forums. You can subscribe them at:

http://www.isa-online.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?INDEX

Additionally, Foundation Fieldbus has a forum at: http://forums.fieldbus.org/  .  There are some great presentation on FF technology.

http://www.control.com/ is also online community for Automation professionals for sharing knowledge and updating.

RSS

Google Reader is the RSS reader,  I use for keeping myself updated to latest and greatest in our field. I was introduced to RSS by  Jim Cahill of “Emerson Process Experts” blog.  You can subscribe to the blogs, word specific search and then read in Google Reader. This is like customized newspaper. Hence, you do not go for searching content but, it is delivered to you by RSS.

You can import my subscription by importing this file. Go to Settings>Import/Export and then, Upload

Kamlesh_google-reader-subscriptions

Rename this file as .xml  from .doc as I cannot attach file with extension xml.  Also, unsubscribe to the subscription you do not want to read by going to Settings>Subscription and then, select the one you want to unsubscribe and click “Unsubscribe”.

LINKEDIN

One of my friends Ravi Tata sent me an invitation to the  LinkedIn and I joined that. However, after reading Guy Kawasaki’s blog about LinkedIn, I was into it.  Linkedin is a professional network site and is not only helpful for networking and job searching but, also for Professional Development.

Here is the link to Guy Kawasaki about ” How to use LinkedIn?”

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html#axzz0YqDWg4MG

You can join Linkedin by filling your name and  Email at : http://www.linkedin.com/home

Then, create your profile highlighting your skill and experience. Later, join the groups related to Automation like  ISA, Intools, Process Control , Automation Engineer, Process Safety Management etc…You can start discussion by creating asking questions and replying if you know the answer. There are vendor specific groups also like Delta V also.

Include all the companies you worked for and the Educational institutions you studied in your profile. This will help you to network with your colleagues and co-workers.  LinkedIn is one of the most powerful tools in the world of social media.

YOU TUBE

You Tube has revolutionized the way  we see video. Let’s say if you want to know the principle of Magnetic flow meter, just type in the search and you will see a video explains that. Whether, you are interested in product knowledge or theory behind any principle , just search You Tube. Even, lectures of prestigious IIT ( Indian Institute of Technology ) are found at You Tube.

KNOWLEDGE NETWORK

During my tenure at Cegelec & Honeywell, I was introduced to the concept of Knowledge network. Basically, a company community to share the Knowledge. Then, I joined Fluor. It has one of the best Knowledge Network and  is ” Global Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises”.

http://www.fluor.com/about_fluor/corporate_information/Pages/recognition.aspx

Use this network to learn and share knowledge. It provides relevant , useful and specific  knowledge pertaining to your company.  Read all the Specifications, Guidelines your company provides. Be the Knowledge Champion in your area of expertise.

CONCLUSION

Having these tools in arsenal, it really useful. However, not all the information on the Internet is correct. One should know the source and use judgment before using that. The best way it can work for you is to ask for expert opinion on new product or technology you are introducing in your company or clarify interpretation on clauses of a standard or maintenance strategy etc. . Do not ask an information which you can get directly from  a vendor or by googling.

Hope, you enjoy reading this post and start using these tools if not used earlier. This post is an expression of my gratitude  to Inst. & Control Community. Always remember to give back to the world in whatever way and capacity you can. Nothing is insignificant.

Image by peoplesystemsc

INTRODUCTION

So many professionals asked me about Certifications in Instrumentation and Control field. This post is an answer to their questions.  Having obtained P. Eng., CFSE &  CAP, I would like to shed some light on why professional certification is important, Which are the choices  and some of the strategies which have worked for me to prepare for these certificates.

WHY ?

Why do we have to obtain these certificates though we have enough experience and skill?

The reply is about creating personal brand. Distinguishing yourself from the  crowd. Just like Sony, Apple and Lexus are brands, we can create our own brand by obtaining these certifications. Brand gives you premium.  Secondly, it provides credibility, which is by third-party like ISA ,CFSE , APEGGA or ASET. Hiring managers have now so many choices with professionals for a particular job. You can create better  impression about yourself to these hiring managers not only for jobs, but also for pay rise.

Definitely,  right experience and skills are required for job and no certificate can replace that.  However, these certificates can complement to that. This shows commitment towards continuous improvement and strive for excellence. Polls have shown that higher education definitely gives you higher salary, similarly these certificates will provide you an edge and leverage to ask for higher pay/salary. Here is the details if you want to know more.

http://www.automation.com/survey-results/automation-com-2008-salary-survey-results

HOW ?

Having answered why do we need these certifications, I delve into the details of “how”.

Professional Engineering license is the first that comes to mind. If you are in Canada, Engineering is a regulated professional and one must have this license or must work under the person who has such license.

Even, so many jobs ask for P Eng. as a mandatory requirement.

The details on how to get P Eng ( for Alberta, Canada) can be obtained at:

http://www.apegga.org/Applicants/Engineers/toc.html

APEGGA also conduct seminars regularly to provide information on registering as P Eng.

Even though,  if you do not have the experience for applying (e.g. for foreign graduates , minimum 10 years of experience in Engineering is required, out of which one year must be in Canada), one can start preparing resume and talking to reference in advance. This will reduce the effort and simplify the process of applying for P. Eng.

The registration details for Technologist are at :

http://www.aset.ab.ca/pages/Membership/CertificationProcess.aspx

CAP/CCST

Once you get  P. Eng. or P.Tech. (Eng), the next certification can be CAP (Certified Automation Professional), CCST( Certified Control System Technician) and/or CFSE (Certified Functional Safety Expert)/CFSP.
CAP is the certificate provided by ISA (International Society of Automation).  According to ISA website, CAPs are  responsible for the direction, definition, design, development/application, deployment, documentation, and support of systems, software, and equipment used in control systems, manufacturing information systems, systems integration, and operational consulting.

CAP details are at:

http://www.isa.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Products_and_Services/Certification3/Certified_Automation_Professional1/Certified_Automation_Professional.htm
 
To write CAP exam, one must study all seven domains: Feasibility study, Definition, System design , Development, Deployment and Operation & Maintenance. In addition to distribution of questions in these seven domains, there are seven Technical categories, which are: Basic Continous Control, Basic Discrete, Sequencing and Manufacturing Control,  Advance Control, (Reliability , Safety and Electrical), Integration and Software, Deployment and Maintenance and Work structure.

If you would like to know some more details on PE and CAP, this article  from Control magazine will help you.

http://www.controlglobal.com/articles/2008/pe_cap_certification0810.html

You can find  CCST details at:

http://www.isa.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Products_and_Services/Certification3/Certified_Control_Systems_Technician/Certified_Control_Systems_Technician.htm

CFSE/CFSP/TÜV Functional Safety Engineer

If you are doing work related to Safety Instrumented System (SIS) then CFSE or CFSP is the way to go. According to  CFSE website:

This certificate ensure that personnel performing SIS life-cycle activities are competent as required by the IEC 61508, 61511 and 62061 standards.

The reason that  one should become CFSE/CFSP is that standards require a proof of qualification to insure safety knowledge & skill are up-to-date, and some companies now require CFSE holders to oversee safety projects & CFSP holders to execute them.

For CFSE/CFSP details:
http://www.cfse.org/process.php

Apart for CFSE/CFSP,  TÜVRheinland offers TÜV Functional Safety Engineer certificate. The details can be obtained at:

http://www.tuvasi.com/en/t-v-functional-safety-program/t-v-functional-safety-engineer.html

PMP

Other than, these certificates, Project Management Professional (PMP) by PMI (Project Management Institute) can be pursued if the work demands project management like many Automation companies like Honeywell, Emerson  & Invensys asks PMP for the Project Manager job handling project related to Automation.

Here is the link:

http://www.pmi.org/CareerDevelopment/Pages/AboutCredentialsPMP.aspx

STRATEGIES

Now, I will discuss some of the strategies which have worked for me to obtain these certificates.

(1) Consult the person who has already done such certificate. Ask him to be your mentor if possible.

(2) Buy/obtain the training material as suggested by these organizations.

(3) Take training class if you can afford or your company pays for that. I haven’t taken any training class for obtaining CFSE, CAP certificate.

(4) Create group and discuss. I personally feel that this really helps as one can share the learning and discuss doubts.

(5) Make a schedule and read every day. i.e, 25 pages on normal day and 150 pages on weekend. Discipline is the key to success.

(6) Practice and Practice…Keep practicing online questions or written questions. Treat as if you are giving real exam.

Hope this post will inspire at least one person to obtain any of these certificates. If you are looking for job, this is the right time to prepare for these certificates.

Creative Technology

Pranav Mistry is the master of technology when it comes to interfacing physical world to Digital world.

He is the innovator of Sixsense, a wearable device which provide awesome physical Interaction to Computing world.

Here is the video of his presentation at TED India.

http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

Do not give up

I am touched by this Video of  Nick Vujicic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uG2kSdd-4

This video will definitely uplift your spirit.

When going gets tough, the tough gets going..

Dell-Latitude-C500-keyboard

I am writing this post to demonstrate , how effectively one can use Internet to repair Computer.

My Dell Vostro Keyboard’s key  ‘P’  was not working. I tried usual stuff of cleaning the key , but all in vain.

Next step  was to search for keyboard on Ebay. I found 1 keyboard costing 15.00 USD. I ordered the same.

My friend Asit Shah sent me video from YouTube on how to replace Dell keyboard. After seeing the video, it took me less than 10 minutes to replace the faulty  keyboard.

Total money spent : 15 USD.

Total time spent : 30 minutes ( 20 for searching on Ebay and placing order + 10 for replacement of keyboard).

Special thanks to Asit Shah for making this possible.

I read “Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason. A classic on Wealth. A 5000 years old philosophy still applicable today.
Here are the key points:
(1) Save 10% of your earning minimum.
(2) Invest that to profitable venture.
(3) While investing take advice of expert of that Investment.
(4) Pay 20% of your earning to reduce debt.
I have personally implemented this and seen the result.
I do see that investing in your home is one of the best investment a person can make. Stock offers another good investment option. Automating the saving plan really helps. Another good strategy is making Bi-weekly payment on mortgage as you make one more payment in year.

This is my first blog post. I thought a lot about what to write. Then , a thought came about goals, vision, Blue print. This is the first step to success, Ultimate secret, pinnacle of Success. Reading through blogs of successful people and watching You tube and based on my own personal success, I realized that figuring out what we want to accomplish in life is of paramount importance. It’s the first priority.

Are we doing that? Taking time to think and write about our goals, vision …

As soon as you get time, write down your goals in a diary and reflect on it. It will take some time to become meaningful and relevent.

Start doing now.