Writing Contest Winners 2023-2024

Honorable Mention, Grades 6-8

Aidan Macinta
Grade 6, Gibbs School, Arlington
Mr. Travis Woodward, Teacher

The Water Warrior:
Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls

What is it?
The role of a Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls is very interesting because it is a job with many different tasks and goals. A Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls usually is the overseer of maintenance systems and repair of complex instrumentation equipment – tools that are used to do a scientific task. This means their job sees a project through many phases start to finish: design, implementation, maintenance, planning, and analysis. In the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) at Deer Island, this job oversees the many parts of the process that leads waste from regular households and businesses in Boston and the surrounding communities to Deer Island’s Wastewater Treatment Plant where a complex process of filtering comes into play.
Specifically, the Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls makes detailed designs and plans for new plant instruments but they also make the plans to modify the existing ones too. Deer Island’s plant uses two computerized systems to operate and maintain the plant. The first is a Process Information Control System (PICS) which monitors the process of the waste coming inside, being treated, and leaving the plant, showing the data in real time. The second is an Operations Management System (OMS) which compares the PICS with results from a laboratory to see if the performance of the plant passes the rules made by the US Environmental Protection Agency whose mission is to protect our country’s health and environment.

When problems in the plant occur, it’s this person’s responsibility to help the operation staff come up with solutions and provide them with recommendations to fix the problems. As a manager, they also help the maintenance people complete work requests. They inspect construction projects and create a system to document all the work that they have done.

Who does it?
          A person in this job must have a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering or a related field because they need technical understanding to run the computerized systems. Since this job also oversees the people who create, install, operate, repair, and maintain these tools, experience managing people is also required. Good communication skills are helpful because one task of this role is developing and managing the contracts with the people who produce and sell the tools.

The pay
The position of the Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls pays around $100,000 - $150,000 USD per year which is about 92,000 euro – 140,000 euro per year. This well-deserved high salary is due to the fact that the job is complex, oversees groups of people, and requires 7 to 9 years of experience as well as an engineering degree.
It’s a complicated job with a high responsibility but the Program Manager, Instrumentation and Controls supervises important systems to protect us from potential risks to human health and environmental damage making them The Water Warrior.

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