Fact Sheet
Engineer, Process Controls and Automation

Expert in process engineering, fan of technological innovations in automation and robotics, a Process Controls and Automation Engineer effectively contributes to improvements in the production chain. This engineer’s fields of expertise and theoretical knowledge are wide-ranging and varied.


One objective: improve performance

This engineer installs the tools that enable operators to control their processes. The same tools also serve to improve productivity and performance. The work involves regular intervention on the various control systems being used within the industrial complex, as well as proposing modifications to the automated processes and systems built into the production chain. And, to ensure other colleagues and workers can see how the controls and automation relate to their work, the engineer must keep all technical documentation up-to-date and ensure procedures and task descriptions reflect any changes.

A global view of the process

To achieve this goal successfully, the engineer must have a global view of the process and of the duties of the various people involved along the production chain. Indeed, improvements in performance cannot occur if the field operators are not provided with explanations of the changes made to work methodologies. Also, to be able to offer the most appropriate solutions, the process control engineer works closely with the production engineer. Lastly, thorough knowledge of the industrial equipment and tools used in the production chain is required, as well as an enjoyment of being frequently “in the heat of the action” to stay immersed in the industrial reality.

What are the essential qualities?

Have a knack for innovation

Process Controls and Automation engineers must stay abreast of the latest technological innovations in their fields of interest that could improve production performance and keep the heart of the process healthy. In addition, their home departments count on them to act as technological watchdogs and to help everyone stay up to date on the process control technologies.

Exude team spirit

Process Controls and Automation engineers interact and work with many people, from the manufacturing operator to the production engineer. They must therefore demonstrate a strong team spirit.

Educational requirements

The conventional path:
After obtaining a fairly scientific bac, it is necessary to prepare for the competitive entrance exams for the generalist engineering schools, e.g., by means of qualifying courses in “Math sup-spé” or by direct competition for the schools for a 5 year degree. These schools are in France; however, it is possible to complete the qualifying courses in New Caledonia, at Lycée Jules-Garnier. This is followed by three years of studies at the engineering school.

In short:
Scientific bac => qualifying courses for the major schools => entrance examinations for engineering school

The roads less travelled
There are other educational routes that lead to the profession of Process Controls and Automation Engineer.
One option is to earn a technical BTS (vocational training certificate) or a DUT (university technology diploma) in electrical engineering and automation, and from there complete qualifying courses for an ATS (senior technician adjustment), and from there take the entrance exam for an engineering school.

In short:
General or technical bac => BTS => qualifying courses for ATS => entrance examination for engineering school

Note: qualifying courses for ATS are offered in New Caledonia, at Lycée Jules Garnier.

There are also Master’s studies in production, process engineering and automation that lead to the profession of Process Engineer.

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