The primary focus of instrumentation engineering is the development and implementation of electrical and electronic instruments for the purpose of measuring, monitoring, and recording physical phenomena. Among many other types of instruments, instrumentation engineers develop seismic sensors, blood glucose sensors, fire detectors, and ammeters. Major users of these instruments include industries that rely on automated processes, such as chemical and manufacturing plants. They depend on these devices for safety, and for improving productivity and reliability. A very large field of work is also offered in biomedical engineering, and in metrology.
The scope of instrumentation engineering is vast, and appears to be growing, in part due to the increased use of automatic control in manufacturing and process plants. Growth is also tied to the development of more accurate and more robust sensors, which allow us to detect phenomena of interest with much higher precision than what we could do a generation ago.