Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) and Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) come to one’s mind when thinking about electronics in engineering. Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering (EIE) is yet another available option. Though 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the subjects in EIE are common to those of ECE students, EIE must be mentioned as a special course. Like Information Technology (IT) is a definite necessity in all domains of the modern world, Instrumentation too is a definite necessity for the engineering domain in all manufacturing and production processes. Instrumentation was not a specialisation until a few decades ago when mechanical instruments ruled the roost. However, with the advent of modernisation and increased use of electronics, EIE evolved into a special branch of engineering.
What can be learnt?
The word measurement brings to the mind common parameters like length, width, or weight. Apart from such common ones, industries require standard values of several other parameters such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and quantities of solids and liquids, permissible levels of such parameters at various times, physical and chemical processes, quality standards, and so on. Monitoring and measuring all such requirements, controlling various industrial processes accordingly to ensure that the manufacturing/ production follows the desired protocols may be defined as ‘Instrumentation’. The domain of EIE was developed to modernise and automate these operations using the technological advancements in the realm of electronics. Even outside the industry, common household appliances — such as washing machine, air-conditioner, geyser, and microwave oven — cannot attract customers without features such as auto cut-off after certain time or temperature, which is again an example of instrumentation. The field of Instrumentation Engineering is also core to the recent advances such as smart home appliances, smart cities and automobiles. It is thus not far from the truth to claim that the fourth industrial revolution of today cannot budge an inch forward without the role of instrumentation engineering.
The main aspects that must be mentioned about EIE would be: Sensors and Measurement, Control Systems, Industrial Process Control, Analytical Instrumentation, and so on. The fact that these aspects are of high importance in all modern industries emphasizes on how important EIE really is.
The domain of Instrumentation is omnipresent and limitlessly spreads across public and private sector units, small and medium scale industries to large scale industries in manufacturing sector, pharma- petrochemical. It is also seen in industrial and production engineering domains, defence organizations and defence research organizations.
Thus, students of BTech in EIE definitely find their presence and even establish their uniqueness in electronics domain like ECE students, in instrumentation domain like mechanical engineering students, in industrial process control domain like chemical engineering students, and so on.
Opportunities for higher education
There are several opportunities for students of EIC to pursue higher education after completing BTech programme. In IITs and IISc Bengaluru, EIE students can choose MTech in any of over 20 disciplines. And the NITs and other Universities too offer career opportunities in this field. Control Systems, Process Control, Digital Signal Processing, Robotics, Biomedical Instrumentation, Microelectronics, Embedded Systems, VLSI, Image Processing, and Aerospace, are among those major disciplines that students of Instrumentation have been choosing the most. Considering opportunities available abroad, other disciplines like Engineering Physics, Engineering Management, and Nanotechnology, Data Analytics also add up to the wide variety of choices. Students may also choose to pursue PhD in reputed institutions in abroad after their MS. Students in this field can have promising career in Germany, Sweden, the USA, the UK, Australia, Italy, and Israel. It is also possible that students can find employment in these countries after their higher education.