Flow Control: Is It the Right Engineering Career For you?

The year 2018 has been dubbed the year of engineering. With the development of technology, engineering architecture and digitization of new structural processes, it indeed presents an exciting time for brilliant minds in the industry.

But the engineering profession has many aspects, ranging from mechanical to electrical, civil electronics, structural and even software engineering. It is a trove of opportunities for anybody in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

What is flow control?
In recent times, flow control has garnered notable interest from many experienced and upcoming engineers alike. The term may be used in data processing, where it is the process of managing the rate at which data is transmitted between two nodes to prevent a slow receiver from being overwhelmed by a fast sender.

In mechanical engineering, flow control is the design, manufacturing and installation of valves with sophisticated or simple outlets or electrohydraulic openings that automatically adjust to changes in temperature and pressure. Many engineering firms rely on this concept to build equipment that control flow of liquids to and from mechanical pipes and systems.

For scope of this post, we shall be exploring the flow control in mechanical engineering and why you should consider it as a possible career choice.

Why flow control?
As technology advances, many jobs are being rendered obsolete. From print to the photographic industry, there are professions that may not require expert services in the coming years.

However, hydraulics remains a critical part of many engineering systems. The flow of fluids from one point to another with considerations of pressure, temperature, cylinder diameter and so on, will continue to be relevant for a long time.

Control flow engineers also make sure that speed is regulated in any hydraulics system so that the receiving end is not deprived of the right amount of pressure. Volume flow rate determines the rate of transfer of energy at any given pressure. They also design and develop devices that control the speed of an actuator by automatically adjusting the flow rate.

Common applications of flow control in everyday life include water pumps, drilling machines, hydraulics elevators, brake systems, flow regulators, variable flow valves (temperature and pressure compensated), priority valves and so on. Even many oil rigs use pressure-regulated valves to direct the flow of oil from onshore to offshore locations.

If hydraulic systems and pneumatic devices interest you, flow control engineering may just be the right profession for you. You will also learn applications in structural engineering and principles from civil engineering courses.

Common jobs in flow control engineering
People who are hard-pressed when selecting a course or career change often like to know the demand of such jobs and their average remuneration. The following are some flow control engineering jobs and their average pay.

Note that the figures are an estimate and will often depend on experience and the hiring company.

  • Control systems engineer £34,000 – £40,000/year
  • Mechanical engineering manager £46,000 – £52,000/year
  • Energy and Cities engineer £38,000
  • Chassis control and vehicle systems engineer £30,000/year

Are you in the STEM education field? Consider your options and see if including a flow control engineering qualification can make all the difference in your chosen career.

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