Latest News

Remote automation diplomas possible with IDC Technologies

An engineering student with IDC Technologies’ distance learning centre is currently studying for an Advanced Diploma in Industrial Automation from a very remote location: on the Australian Antarctic Division station on remote Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean.

Forty-four-year-old Steve Szekely has a background as a radio/communications technician mostly in the mining industry but also contracting as a technician in a variety of communications fields, and is now able to study industrial automation through the convenience of distance learning.

The base is a sub-Antarctic settlement of between 15 and 40 people located at the northern tip of the 34 by 5km island. The island is world heritage-listed.

Szekely is able to study for his Diploma through live interactive webcasts with students from other parts of the world, which is one of the appeals of IDC Technologies’ distance learning programs.

Szekely’s job is as communications technical officer at the base, and he is one of two people who look after all the communications equipment on the island.

According to Szekely, the distance learning job-load can easily be fitted in with his day-to-day routine.

“On average I do about an hour and a half of study a night. Mostly reading text books and working on assignments,” he said.

“I have really enjoyed the work on PLC programming and control loop tuning as well as the chemical engineering module. It really helped me understand some of the processes that I had seen in the mining industry.

“I love the flexibility of the study and the access to the lecturers. They have all been excellent at responding to email queries.”

When Szekely returns home to New Zealand, he will pursue a career in the process control field.

“I already have considerable experience in industrial data and communications and this qualification helps to bridge these skills into other fields,” he said.

Send this to a friend