Thomas Ian Surgenor |Student with National College of Technology – engineering courses online

Extreme accuracy for critical temperature measurement

Course: Instrumentation and Control

Ian has undertaken the course while working in a demanding job as a validation officer. He has worked in a steady and diligent way to produce high quality solutions to the in-course assignments. His work on the on-line end of practical work, using the NCT Virtu-Lab, was excellent and he is a worthy recipient of a Certificate of Merit.

Ian is now working on the Calibration module and we are anticipating the same high quality of work from a very good distance learning student.

“As a Validation Officer, the main component of my job involves performing validations and re-qualifications of our steam sterilisation cycles. In addition I also have responsibility for calibration and calibration verification of critical temperature measuring equipment used during this process.

Within the company, all manufactured product is processed through steam / air mixture autoclaves. This is one of the most critical stages of manufacture and as such is subject to rigorous control and validation. During qualification of our steam sterilisation cycles thermal validation data is obtained using thermocouples and data loggers. These measure the instantaneous temperature and cumulative heat history of manufactured product and the autoclave environment. The equipment must be calibrated to comply to very specific criteria and must be capable of consistent and reliable performance.

Calibration of this equipment as well as the operating mechanisms involved with the steam sterilisers means that I have a high level of interaction with many varying types of sensors, gauges and measuring equipment. Examples include Resistant Temperature Devices (RTD) and pressure gauges. Other processes within the mnufacturing area also use proximity sensors, humidity sensors and load cells.

Completion of the Instrumentation and Control qualification has given me a valuable insight into the control of systems and processes. It has furthered my understanding of the work that I perform on a daily basis as well as giving me information on other processes within the manufacturing area which could be beneficial to both me and the company in the future.”