Date: March 13th to March 16th, 2019
Venue: Southern Alberta Institute od Technology (SAIT), Calgary, Canada
The ISA SAIT world student Games 2019 saw one of the biggest turnout of students at the games till date with 60+ students from all around the globe split into 20 different teams. The sponsors and participating colleges are in the following poster:
The ISA-SAIT World Student Games (referred to as the Student Games) will be the 7th annual event hosted by the ISA-SAIT Student Section. This year, the event will take place over four days (March 13-16).
The purpose of the Student Games is threefold:
To this end, students from each school will be split into one of sixteen teams. Each team will have one SAIT student and three other students, all from different institutions. By distributing students in this manner, we aim to provide participants with an atmosphere that is more conducive to cooperation than competition. Each team will attempt to solve six challenges based in different areas of instrumentation.
The “2019 World ISA Student Games” is proud to host 110 international and local instrumentation students from 18 post-secondary institutions. These individuals will come together to compete in various scenarios based on real-world problems, putting their knowledge and skills to the test. By encouraging cooperation, collaboration, and problem- solving with students they have never met, our aim is to have all participants grow as both instrumentation technicians and professionals.
This event is among the largest student-organized games in the world. This year’s competition will host 18 schools including students from ISA Sau Paulo (Brazil), ISA Bangalore (India), Cork Institute of Technology (Ireland), ISA Houston (Texas), Bellingham Technical College (Washington), Francis Tuttle Technology Centre (Oklahoma), Virginia Tech (Virginia), and 10 other Canadian universities and technical colleges.
The following institutions will be attending the Student Games:
The Student Games is not intended to be an inter-school competition. Each team will be composed of:
The schedule for 3 days is as under:
The first day (March 13th, 2019) saw an informal introduction at Tipperary’s Pub where participants and faculty advisors from SAIT and participating colleges came together to get to know each other.
On the second day (March 14th, 2019) we kickstarted the competition with my team (Gold) going in to the Analysers lab. The sub-tasks in the lab were as follows:
The lab was quite easy as every instrument in there worked on the principals of analytical instrumentation.
The second lab on day 2 was the Device Maintenance Lab which had the following sub-tasks:
This task mostly involves basics of level and flow measurement from Measurement and Instrumentation (MSI) and Sensors and Transducers (SET) courses. In addition to this, this was also the first task that saw the use of HART RTUs to commission and control smart sensors and field devices.
Day three> started with the Distributed Control Systems (DCS Lab) for my team which basically involved commissioning our own plant which would fill and empty out a tank as required by the operator to maintain the water level.
The task involved programming on DeltaV using Functional Block Diagrams (FBD) to create the logic for the working of the plant and a front-end HMI design to control and monitor the tank level. The hardware would communicate with the system and the controller via Foundation Fieldbus and it had its own set of tasks like finding out the failsafe of the system and its Manchester encoded waveform.
The next task on the third day was Loop Tuning Task< in the Process Lab. The task involved communicating with a Siemens 353 controller in cascaded loop mode to fine tune process parameters so as to make the system reach stability in a reasonable amount of time. The tuning involved PID loop tuning principals.
The MacGyver Task in the Maintenance Lab was probably the most awaited task of the whole competition. The task involved bending and creating the right pipe to go from the outlet of the pressure line to the inlet to a pressurized diaphragm valve which was to be commissioned, calibrated and controlled using a portable HART RTU.
The other part of the task involved soldering components to create a simple bridge rectifier circuit with a smoothing capacitor. This was to be used to supply DC current to the valve from an AC supply line.
The lab had strict safety rules to be followed like safety goggles and steel tip boots. It also t]had the toughest marking scheme of all challenges with points being deducted even for the slightest mistake in the bending of the tube.
The final task was the SCADA Pack in the Data Dungeon which involved establishing a wireless connection between wireless RTDs and a system in the field and transmitting the same wirelessly via routers using the TCP/IP protocol to a system in the office. Both of these systems would be used to transfer, view and control the RTD and the data coming from it.
The task also involved building our own ethernet cables to connect to the routers and the Schneider SCADA Pack.
With the SCADA Pack task, the events concluded with a Panel Discussion and the announcement of the results which are as follows:
This year, we were pleased to welcome 62 students from schools around the world to the SAIT campus. After three days of competition, here are the final standings:
1st place: Team 18, Light blue (Randal Gabel, Jake Peregrym, Rowen Kowk, Kevin Buch)
2nd place: Team 1, Gold (Jordan Eliason, Kanishk Rai, Carter Park, Keith Tang Kong)
3rd place: Team 20, Dark green (Kyle Morris, Gursimran Sidhu, David Herbert, Yoonsun Kim)
In addition to the tasks, day 2 and day 3 also saw Lunch and Learn where students would sign up and go for learning tours around the campus during the lunch hours. This was a great opportunity for all of us visitors to look at all the facilities available at SAIT.
The panel discussion also saw some of the biggest names in the industry as the panel members and ISA President Brian Curtis himself hosting the discussion.
More than winning, it was a great learning experience. I got to work on technology that we are only ever taught about in our classrooms and get to observe from a distance during industrial visits. Working on gas chromatographs, dew point analysers, remote HART RTUs and programming on DeltaV using Functional Block Diagrams has taught me more about Field Instrumentation than what I learnt in 7 semesters of engineering.
Coming from an education system which very little to no hands-on practical experience; I felt a little short-handed when compared to everybody else. But where our education system shines is when it comes to solving problems using basic principles of engineering. With my expansive knowledge about the basic principles of loop tuning, process control, sensors, transducers and various transmission protocols I was able to diagnose and solve problems where others would apply a trial-n- error method to arrive at the solution.
All in all, this turned out to be a once in a lifetime chance to work on and learn on some of the best technology and equipment available in field instrumentation today.
I hope more students from India get to experience this and maybe bring back gold next time.
BMS College of Engineering