2017 EIT Outstanding Student Award Runner-up
Course completed: Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation
Date of completion: 25th September 2017 (DIA 22)
I am Mr. Dominique Mutombo Hoyi, a Congolese (DR Congo) who is now living in South Africa (Johannesburg). I was born in Kinshasa (DR Congo) on the 15th October and did my Pre-primary and primary school there before my entire family moved to Mbuji-Mayi (Kasai Oriental Province, 1997). Then the family moved again from Mbuji-Mayi to Lubumbashi (Katanga province, 2003) due to some economic problems, and in Lubumbashi is where I did all my high school studies (2006).
Then from the 20th July 2007 I flew to South Africa for my University studies of which I had the opportunity to join Vaal University of Technology to do my National Diploma in Electrical Engineering (Heavy current) from January 2009 up to July 2012. After my National Diploma course completion, I was hired at TECMED Africa (LTD) as an X-rays Trainee Technicians for one year to complete my in-service training (WIL, Work integrated Learning) before the graduation.
Then from December 2012, I have joined AGE Technologies JHB as Learner Technician of which I have become a Project Technician then a Project Engineer after a lot of hard work and determination on my daily works and tasks.
My decision to apply at The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) for my Advanced Diploma in Industrial Automation (DIA 22) came after I started working for AGE Technologies (JHB) as a Project Engineer or a Control System Engineer. I realized that I was missing key information to apply to an application or project while working on a giving project or task, be it a simple or complex one.
Since Age Technologies (JHB) is an Integrated and Control System company dealing with process control and industrial automation, to work for a Control System company like this one or to become a good Process Control Engineer you need all industrial automation knowledge and information and these kinds of knowledges are available at a well-known, recognized and accredited Institute such as Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT).
Experience at EIT
What impressed me the most at EIT while I was doing my Advanced Diploma (DIA 22) are the course program, the structure of the course, the content of the course learning materials. The course programs are classified based on the engineering discipline, for example if you want to become an Electrical Engineer, you need to do the Advanced Diploma in the Electrical Engineering and if you want to be a Control System or a Process Control Engineer, you need to do the Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation like me.
The structure of the course is planned in the hierarchy order such that the next module is the continuous of the previous module. This means if you did well on the previous module, the next one will not give you issues.
The information contain inside the course learning materials is helpful and very rich base on your engineering discipline (Industrial Automation, Process Instrumentation, Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering and so on….). For myself, the course learning materials or manual information is helping me a lot during my current career and especially while I am working or writing my engineering (software) application for any of my given projects.
Talking about my course (DIA22) lecturers and Learning Support Officers, they were well organized and had a lot of experience in their specific engineering fields. They were skilful as well since they were using lifetime experience to explain about a topic of the subject, this method was helping the students to get a clear understanding of what the module is all about.
The remote class method used at this Institution was helpful to me in many aspects. Sometimes attending classes will require students to stop whatever they were doing and be at location (school building) at specific times and for some time. But with remote classes what I needed was just the internet connection regardless where I was located at that moment.. The technology used for me to communicate with my follow students was advanced and good.
Sometimes I had difficulties with my course while using the software to login, how to convert the GMT time to South African Time (Pretoria time), be on time on each remote class and the module assignments.
EIT in the workplace
The knowledge gained from EIT while doing my Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation helped me a lot in many fields of my current career position (Project Engineer or Control System Engineer at AGE Technologies JHB).
This information helped me first how to differentiate the types of control system (ON/OFF Control, Continuous Control, Batch Control and Sequential Control System) I am working on at a period and how to react while working with any types of these control systems.
This information gain from EIT make me able to do the fault finding or to do the troubleshooting in any build control systems.
Since electrical service technicians and engineers of today must understand the communications problems that crop up in multilayered building control systems, the advent of electromechanical controls in the 1970s, analog controls in the 1980s, direct digital control (DDC) in the 1990s, and complete building control integration in the 2000s has progressively offered building owners and facility managers powerful new options for reducing energy costs and improving occupant comfort.
However, as these multiple generations of pneumatic, electromechanical, digital, and integrated controls are layered on top of each other, communications problems become much more difficult to identify and troubleshoot.
Integrated control systems facilitate smart manufacturing for your industrial automation solution. The knowledge gained from EIT while doing my Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation enables me to deploy an industrial control system individually at a machine or line level to solve specific needs.
The knowledge gained from EIT while doing my Advanced Diploma helped me to improve my design skills while working with control systems, this knowledge is applied in these fields:
- Control System Devices Input Output Processing
- Input Control Devices: Input devices are used to sense a condition, detect movement or position, indicate a limit or set point has been reached, sense intervention by an operator, detect an alarm, etc. Typical input devices may include limit switches, photoelectric sensors, pushbuttons, proximity sensors, an operator interface, etc.
- Output Control Devices: Output devices are used to control actions such as motion, start/stop of equipment like conveyors and pumps, on/off control of valves, operator alerts/prompts, status indications, etc. Typical output devices include relays, motor starters, pilot lights, operator interface graphics and numeric display, etc.
- Processing Control Devices: All control systems can typically be defined as having inputs, outputs and some form of decision making going on in between so that outputs are controlled based on the status of the inputs. This brings us to our third category, the “decision making” element. The microprocessor used on the motherboard, along with its memory, the operating system, and the application program would serve as the decision-making element. As a matter of fact, PCs are used in some automated control systems as the decision-making element, together with industrial input and output (I/O) modules.
I have also applied the knowledge gained from EIT while doing my Advanced Diploma while optimizing, upgrading and commissioning the control systems (Mine systems, factory systems, etc…).
An example of this is when I was upgrading the plant called Kubili Recyclers (from Rockwell SLC 500, 5/04 CPU to SIEMENS TIA Portal V14, S1500 CPU).
My future vision in my current position is to become a great senior Process Control and Software Engineer, and then later, I can join the engineering management team within a well-known and organization.
The motivations in my current position are the senior Project Engineers whom I am working with since they can solve complex problems (Networking, Control and Power circuits within the industries (sites or plants).
Training and career goals for the next 5 years...
- First, to become a Process Control Engineer in life, you must be qualified. This means obtaining at least a Bachelor Degree in the field of Electrical Engineering (Process Control and Instrumentations). That is why I am pushing my engineering study as far as possible even to obtain a Master Degree if possible in Process Control (Industrial Automation then another one in Robotic).
- Secondly, a good Process Control Engineer is one that has more years of experience in the field of control systems. So far, I have five years of experiences in this field and I am still giving myself a chance to learn practical work as many times as I can while I am still working at my current employer (AGE Technologies JHB).
- .Thirdly in my future career, I would like to be a Great Process Control Engineer who conceives designs, complies, writes the control philosophy and the application (software) of a control system then perform the commissioning and the optimization of the entire project