Module Overview

Introduction to Instrumentation

To provide students with the knowledge and skills to define, explain, implement and analyse experimental procedures for scientific principles underpinning process measurements. A fundamental foundation is established in this module to enable learners to develop effective communication & the software proficiency skills required for technical presentations and report writing.

Module Code

PIAA H1012

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change


Review of the S.I. system, basic units, derived units, dimensions. Resolution and sources of experimental errors.


Temperature scales and thermometers. Measurement of temperature in terms of expansion, thermocouples, resistance thermistors and semiconductors. Heat properties of materials;- Specific heat capacity, Latent heat (fusion and vaporisation). Relative density. Transfer of heat: conduction, convection and radiation. Rate of transfer of heat. Expansion. Comparison of thermal properties of various materials. Heat sinks.

Mechanics of Fluids & Gases (Thermodynamics)

Basic Concepts of Thermodynamics. Laws of Thermodynamics. Closed and Open Systems, Forms of Energy & Work, Processes and Cycles, Pressure. Temperature and Zeroth Law, Properties of Pure Substances, Enthalpy, Ideal Gas Equation and Gas Laws, Bernoulli Equation. First Law, Heat Transfer/modes, work (Electrical/Mechanical), Steady State Engineering Devices. Second Law, Thermal Energy Resevoirs & Processes, Heat Engines, Refrigerators & Heat Pumps, Carnot Cycle & associated Principles. Fluid flow;- Volumetric/Mass/Velocity, Laminar & Turbulent flows (Reynolds number, Darcy's Equation)

Waves, Sound and Light

Basic properties of waves, transverse and longitudinal waves, wavelength, amplitude, period, frequency, principle of superposition, interference, diffraction. Characteristics of sound: frequency, loudness and timbre. Frequency characteristics of human ear and of voice and music. Concept of Bandwidth and its applications. Resonance of sound waves. Reflection and refraction of sound waves. Nature of light: EM Spectrum and units. Response of eye, colour vision and colour triangle.

Chemistry Principles

Periodic Table and Atomic Structure. Chemical Bonding. Stoichiometry, Formulas and Equations. Volumetric Analysis. Fuels and Heats of Reaction.

Engineering Mechanics

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics. Statics: Newton’s laws. Resultant, equilibrium and components of a force. Co-planar and concurrent forces. Triangle, parallelogram and polygon of forces. Centre of gravity. Dynamics: Laws of motion. Momentum, Principle of conservation of momentum.

Introduction to Calibration

Purpose of calibration. Errors encountered during calibration including: zero, span, linearity, hysteresis errors. Calibration standards and traceability in calibration. Calibration records. Calibration standards bodies. Calibration procedures. Practical calibration of temperature and pressure instruments.


The parts of a computer and their function, including the CPU, the screen, the keyboard and the mouse. The operating systems, in particular the windows based operating system. File management. The meanings of folders, files and documents. Memory storage – the meaning of RAM and hard disks, flash drives and cloud storage. Opening and closing files and saving different versions.

Communication and presentation skills

Formal and informal channels of communication in organisations. The meeting environment. Strategies for effective communication in meetings. Protocols in e-mail and letter writing. Preparing for individual and group presentations, effective presentation skills. Designing, structuring and delivering presentations. Handling questions. Utilising visual and technological aids. Non-verbal communication.

Computer and IT skills

Productivity software tools used to create technical reports, presentations and graphical representation & intepretation of complex data. Managing files, folders and disc space. Email, websites, web based communication and the appropriate usage of these media.

Technical writing for engineers

Structure layout and contents of technical documents. Revision of basic grammar and common mistakes. Technical writing style and techniques to communicate clearly in writing. How to structure sentences and avoid ambiguity in written communication. Formatting and the use of sections paragraphs to create a coherently structured document. Editing, proof reading assessing technical documents. How to conduct basic research and prepare for writing a report.

Teams and teamwork

Group dynamics and the social psychology of groups. How personal attributes can influence the behaviour of individuals in a group. The stages of group formation, the barriers to communication in a group and difficulties that may arise in teams. The composition of a team and its impact on effective team work. How to achieve effective team work.

Learning to Learn/Self Directed Learning

Effective reading and note taking. Read, recall and review. How to prepare effectively for formal examinations. Techniques for time management, including creating a study timetable with specific goals and objectives. Studying in groups. How to effectively utilise the resources that the institute makes available to students and how they can be used in preparation for an exam. Concept generation i.e. mindmaps, brainstorming. Basic project management skills i.e. produce a project plan, time management, working effectively in a team, setting targets and meeting deadlines.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100