SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH623621
Module Leader Ioan-Octavian Niculita
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Instrumentation and Control
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to develop in the student the ability to evaluate, in a given situation, the most appropriate strategy for acquiring and transmitting data and to understand the merits of this strategy with respect to other approaches. A wide range of different instrument communication and distributed measurement techniques will be studied. In addition the module provides practical experience of hardware setup and software development, relating to these techniques. An understanding of Safety Instrumented Systems


Open system architecture for condition based maintenance (OSA-CBM). Design of the condition based maintenance solution from a systems engineering perspective. Smart sensors: features and advantages; IEEE. 1451 standards; HART,Wireless HART & ISA100 Communication protocols. Distributed measurements: local area networks, intranet, internet. Industrial networks: e.g. Devicenet, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus; High Speed Ethernet systems, e.g. Foundation HSE, Profinet. The focus will be on the features and application of the various emerging standards. (e.g. Speed, determinism, implications for hazardous environments etc.) Network Security. Understanding and appreciation of safety systems, alarm management and historical data storage and databases for Energy and Safety Audits.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should have:1. A detailed knowledge and understanding of instrument communication and distributed measurement techniques.2. The ability to critically appraise the range of instrument and data collection techniques applicable to a specific industrial task, and to select from these the most appropriate solution for a given application.3. The ability to design and implement a distributed measurement solution for a particular application.4. The ability to carry out basic Safety Integrity Calculations (SIL) and appreciate the factors in the design of a Safety Instrumented System.5. Understand the importance of system analytics in integrated system design

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Full Time Students Lectures, with appropriate support material will be used to deliver a comprehensive overview of the syllabus material. There will be a full range of blended learning material available to aid students with their studies. There is considerable emphasis in this module on gaining practical experience to ensure that students have first-hand experience of developing a range of data communication for distributed measurement systems. The module will expose students to International Industrial standards through appropriate case studies. The practical element will be delivered in the computer controlled measurement laboratory using a combination of laboratory exercises and directed learning. Distance Learning Students Students will be provided with a study pack which covers the syllabus material. This pack, which will include lecture notes, tutorial notes, practical exercises, and worked examples will also be available on GCU Learn. The practical element will be delivered through relevant simulations as well as through the provision of software and any necessary hardware. Tutors will be available for consultation via GCU Learn, e-mail and telephone.

Indicative Reading

The students will be provided with a set of course notes and will be directed to relevant web sites, technical publications and standards to allow access to the most up to date information. Indicative reading includes: Securing SCADA Systems. R.L. Krutz, Wiley 0-7645-9787-6, 2006 Automating with PROFINET, R.Pigan, 978-3-89578-294-7, 2008 Catching the Process Fieldbus, J.Powell, 978-0-9782495-1-9, 2009 LabView 2009, R.H. Bishop, 978-0-13-214129-1, 2010 Integrated Vehicle Health Management - Perspectives on an Emerging Field, Jennions, I. K., ed. 2011. , ISBN 978-0-7680-6432-2. Integrated Vehicle Health Management - The Technology, Jennions, I. K., ed. 2013. ISBN 978-0-7680-7952-4.

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking and problem solving in relation to tutorial work and the assessments. Time management (organising and planning work) in undertaking directed learning and assessments. Independent working in undertaking the directed learning. Information retrieval skills in relation to the tutorial work and the design exercise. IT Skills in particular in relation to the development of skills in industry standard hardware & software Communication skills, written, through the preparation of the design exercise.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 94.00
Practicals (FDL) 24.00
Tutorials (FDL) 8.00
Independent Learning (FT) 82.00
Assessment (FDL) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Laboratory report (programming exercise) (LO 2,3)
Coursework 2 n/a 50.00 45% Group Presentation (Design exercise) (LO 1,2,3,4,5)