An accomplished Controls Technical Field Advisor, Leticia Oppong is a recent graduate of EIT’s Professional Certificate in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) & SCADA Systems. As technology and software in the PLC and SCADA industrial world has developed over time, the need for ongoing education in the sector is necessary. Leticia enrolled with EIT to broaden her expertise in the field and ensure she stays on top of industry developments.
A self-proclaimed natural problem solver, Leticia’s journey towards her engineering career began after graduating high school when she enrolled in Electrical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
“I’ve always had a knack for fixing broken things. I was the child who tore electronics apart and put them together. So, pursuing engineering was a natural progression.” Leticia said.
“I’ve continued in the field because I enjoy navigating the complex systems, with the ultimate purpose of solving problems.”
Shortly after graduating, Leticia undertook internships at Vodafone Ghana and General Electric (GE). After completing her internship experience in 2014, Leticia was offered a Controls Engineer position within GE, and in 2017 she accepted a position at FieldCore.
A GE company, FieldCore, is a global industrial field services company that Leticia is still working for today. With the experience she gained over the years, she was able to familiarize herself with power generation technologies. However, she notes that there is increasing development inside the industry.
She points to digital twin technology as a fascinating development in the industry. Digital twin technology is a virtual model of a process, product, or service. Utilizing this technology, Leticia says, helps with predictive maintenance.
“Being able to create a virtual model of a gas turbine to forecast performance issues in time for corrective action, optimizing operations, and having visibility of when a unit needs maintenance is pretty fascinating to me,” Leticia said.
As a field engineer, Leticia works on different projects over a period of time, so the daily responsibilities aren’t always fixed. There may always be something new to do. However, she is familiar with gas turbines and their control systems – and those are the constants in her work.
“I’m typically responsible for the installation, maintenance, and operation of the gas turbine’s control system. For a new unit, that would include calibration of all instrumentation, panel setup, logic verification, and systems commissioning. For unit maintenance, there’s still instrument calibration & inspections, part replacement, and returning the unit back online. And in operations, my job would be to support the customer in keeping things running smoothly: unit monitoring, fault-finding, and issue resolution,” she explains.
PLCs and SCADA systems in the industrial world help with the overall control of the industrial system. Mastering the machinery is important for engineers and engineering practitioners. With added automation technologies making the systems more complex but increasingly more efficient, engineers are beginning to face a learning curve.
“Throughout my career, I have worked with a particular control system, albeit with some variation. This year, I decided I wanted to expand my portfolio. After some consultation, a course in PLC and SCADA emerged as the best option to get that foundation I needed to broaden my expertise. Due to my work schedule, attending an in-person class was not on the table, so I started looking for online options. A colleague mentioned EIT, where he had taken a master’s some years earlier. So, I went to the website and got enrolled,” Leticia said.
Now that she has graduated, Leticia doesn’t intend on slowing down whatsoever. “I intend to remain in the engineering space, honing my skill set and ultimately taking on roles in project engineering and plant management,” she concluded.
We wish Leticia well in her ongoing engineering career and are immensely proud to have her as one of our alumni.