Panel Builder System Integrator

Liam

January 10, 2018

Changes are coming hard and fast to the control and automation sectors, obligating a rise in knowledgeable and experienced engineers and integrators. Education is the path to ensuring the technological advances continue and are properly implemented and as such Panel Builder & Systems Integrator turned to a control systems student at the University of Waterloo. Liam Lawrence is in first year of work on his MASc, Control Systems and has provided a fresh perspective from someone new to the field.

  • 1) Tell us a little about your yourself?

 I'm from Vancouver, BC, but pursued my undergraduate education in Engineering Physics at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. My interests have ranged from creative writing to physics, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to settle on just one area to be passionate about. I’ve spent my past few summers exploring these diverse interests of mine: I was a research assistant at a particle physics lab in 2016, while last summer I spent two weeks working on an organic farm and made a trip to England to learn some family history!

  • 2) What got you interested in control and made you decide to pursue an education in it?

 I was first exposed to control systems in a digital electronics class, when we had to build a temperature regulator using PID control. I went on to read more about the field in my spare time, took a course on control in my fourth year, and talked to several professors in the area while I was researching graduate programs. I decided to pursue control because to me it combines the most interesting elements of both physics and engineering.

  • 3) Having started your studies, is the education in this area what you expected?

At this point, I’ve only taken one course in control, but so far, it’s what I expected: lots of math! Control theory is a deeply mathematical area of engineering, and the course I took reflected that. Most of the lectures involved studying the main theorems, and the proofs, of linear multivariable control. However, the course also involved a project that gave me a chance to see the links between the theory and its application to real engineering systems.

  • 4) Do you have a particular focus or speciality within the control field that you prefer?

At the moment, I don’t have a particular industry I want to pursue, mostly because I haven’t done enough research on what the possibilities are. Control is quite a broad field, so I’m definitely curious to learn more about its applications in different industries.

  • 5) Is there anything about studying control that was unexpected has taken you in a direction you didn’t initially anticipate?

Before beginning my studies, I hadn’t realized quite how much mathematical optimization plays a role in modern control theory. Optimization questions seem to naturally arise because there is so much design freedom in a controller, and we would like to know what design will result in the best possible performance. Because of this close relationship between optimization and control, I ended up taking an optimization course this semester to get some background.

  • 6) What do you see as having the biggest influence on control in the years to come, ie. Industrie 4.0, IoT/IIoT, PoE…..?

I’ve only just begun my studies in control, so I’m not sure how qualified I am to comment on its future. I will say that decentralized control is a major field of research, and I expect it will find many applications in IoT systems.

  • 7) Do you have any interesting projects or current research you are working on?

I started working on a research project with my supervisor this semester, which will eventually lead to my thesis. It’s a project that lies at the intersection of optimization and control: the idea is to design a controller that can guide a system to an “optimal” state. We’re using a number of tools from robust control theory to answer questions about the stability and performance of the system.

  • 8) After almost one semester have you done any work or research that has changed your opinion on control?

It’s not so much that I’ve had an opinion changed, but I’ve definitely learned how rich the field of control is, and how many potentially useful tools exist. I've also begun to suspect a lot could be done to improve the flow of ideas between academia and industry."

After only one semester in control Liam has good grasp and perspective for moving forward. His open mind and modesty have him well positioned to learn and push boundaries. His insights have also touched upon other topics that require further attention, perhaps the most important being made in the insightful response to the final question, that the communication between academia and industry could be improved. Panel Builder & Systems Integrator thanks Liam for providing these insights so early in his education in the field and look forward to the contributions he will bring to the industry in the years to come.

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Pilz Canada officially opened their Canadian Facility surrounded by Industry Partners, colleagues ...
Allied Electronics & Automation has announced the addition of the new TM Series of ...
Cybertech Automation is proud to announce the expansion of services into Texas, Pennsylvania and ...
Eclipse Automation recently announced the acquisition of D&D Automation, located in Stratford, ...
The Automation and Controls industry landscape is a very dynamic one in which technology, customer ...
Onyx Engineering has been registered to Intertek's ETL Panel Builder Certification Program for ...

One of Canada’s largest wastewater treatment plants at Annacis Island provides secondary treatment to approximately 175 billion litres of wastewater every year for over 1 million residents in 14 municipalities. After almost 20 years in operation, the variable frequency drives supporting the critical pumping systems for the primary treatment and secondary treatment facilities had to be replaced to ensure that the plant’s high operational availability and reliability will not be compromised in serving the plant, the surrounding municipalities and the environment. Metro Vancouver Regional District chose to deploy Rittal’s enclosure and power distribution solutions with E-plan software to efficiently support vital infrastructure improvements by reducing equipment replacement times and thereby minimizing risk to plant operations.

Latest Articles

  • Prev
  The threats that make enclosure thermal management necessary to begin with reach the ...
   Protecting the consumer and the manufacturer's brand are the key aspects of ...
Safety used to be treated somewhat as an afterthought, in that it was added as a separate system ...
  Over the last two and a half centuries, industry has embraced change and transformation. ...
 To support IT professionals in developing a strategy to deploy IT at the edge, Schneider ...

Coming Soon: The new EPLAN Pro Panel, Version 2.8, Virtual control cabinet engineering – fully matured

The new EPLAN Pro Panel, Version 2.8 is making its first big appearance at the SPS IPC Drives. The software for virtual 3D control cabinet engineering is characterised by its expanded flexibility, surprising users with a brand new 4K-capable user interface. It’s also causing decision-makers to sit up and take notice: during live, joint presentations in Nuremberg, EPLAN and Rittal will be introducing a whole series of innovations in the context of control cabinet engineering.

These include complementary software solutions for engineering and preplanning operations, innovative system technology for housings, power distribution and climate-control systems, automation technologies, and digital assistance systems for integrated automation of manufacturing processes. EPLAN and Rittal are thereby positioning themselves as solutions providers offering integrated solutions for optimising processes in control cabinet engineering: combined machine/hardware and software solutions, product-accompanying data and comprehensive on-site process integration services for customers.

Read More: < ...

Product News

  • Prev
Littelfuse, Inc., a global manufacturer of leading technologies in circuit protection, power ...
The device family of serial device servers and gateways from Phoenix Contact enables a variety of ...
The modular 19" plug-in test system FAME 3 rack from Phoenix Contact does not require an operating ...
AutomationDirect’s line of sensors now includes capacitive proximity sensors with ...
New HS1T interlock switches with solenoid deliver 5,000N of locking force in a ...
With Balluff’s new online RFID configurator tool, you can confidently and efficiently select ...
Festo has developed new advanced solenoid valves and coils for the petroleum and chemical sectors ...
Laird has expanded its thermoelectric assembly (TEA) product offering to meet the cooling needs of ...
One single turn of the tightening screw is sufficient for secure connection of clamping modules, ...
ABB has introduced a selection of Fusegear with 800V AC ratings to support the higher voltage ...
Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil