I work in the power generation field myself. I do notice that experienced technicians who install computer hardware/software(DCS) and maintain/troubleshoot said systems are in demand. They would have a strong background in networking and instrumentation and controls. Furthermore, they would have a solid understanding of combustion control systems, gas/steam turbines, environmental systems. A solid understanding of electronics is also desireable. Some of the popular distributed control systems include Allen-Bradley, Siemens, and Honeywell.
In a broader sense this person could work on control systems pertaining to any industrial process whether it be automotive plant assembly line system or an electronics assembly line control system. The idea job would be one focusing on the software/hardware side of the control system. The person would be responsible for installing hardware/software and building up screens for the HID. The modern systems located at my plant are fairly easy to work with setting up displays and graphics sets. They are window driven and most of the graphics nowadays are precanned and highly editable. The same person fine tunes the operating control system via the graphical interface. Many of the smaller companies who specialize in this field will train the right individuals and send them to appropriate schools to learn the particuliar systems that they specialize in.
This type of position would require quite a bit of regional travel. The outlook in my opinion is highly favorable for these careers. This is not a job for everyone and long work hours are not uncommon.
The satisfaction of troubleshooting and new system builds/startups can be very exciting and demanding. I have been involved with several large projects and can say that cool heads prevail. I being an operational engineer work with industrial technicians frequently and can say I have a very high respect for many I have worked with. I have helped manage several large projects on some very tight timelines and it is the experienced techs who were heavily relied on to ensure that timelines were met no matter what problems arose.
This may not be anything like what you are thinking I am just rambling from a field I deal with everyday. I think I am just trying to show a little more specialized applications of computer abilities mixed with some engineering/electrical background.Link
for a sense of applications
Edited by jtscustomcomputers, 28 October 2007 - 02:16 PM.