One of my most important roles as Society President is to stay close to our members and listen to their feedback. Their perception is often the reality and not what we as leaders consider the reality. My predecessors could not travel and visit our members due the pandemic. This year I was lucky enough to be able to meet our members in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. This was one of the most rewarding and memorable experience of being ISA President and I wanted to share some details of my experience in this blog. I hope you enjoy and get motived!
Meeting Members from Brazil
I travelled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July this year to attend the Brazil District Leadership Conference (DLC). It was a great opportunity to meet all Brazilian leaders, explain ISA’s strategy, and talk about how important it is to have all Sections aligned with the Society’s strategy. We are all one ISA! We had representatives from all professional and student Sections in Brazil attending in-person and virtually.
- Sections launched a new local Student Mentoring Program supported by District leadership
- Discussions about growth opportunities for ISA in Brazil
- Presentations from Student Sections and their vibrant leaders
- Opportunities for Section collaboration for events and marketing
Visit to Petrobras
After the DLC, I had the opportunity to visit Brazilian petroleum company Petrobras. During the meeting, we discussed how ISA can support Petrobras’ industrial internet of things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 initiatives. Petrobras was an official sponsor, together with the Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo e Gás (IBP), of the ISA Brazil virtual conference, the first ISA conference delivered in Portuguese with simultaneous translation into English. The Committee formed by Petrobras and ISA staff is already working on the 2023 conference program, will more details to come.
Visit to Instituto Militar de Engenharia (IME)
I also visited the Instituto Militar de Engenharia (IME), one of the top Brazilian engineering colleges located in Rio de Janeiro, to discuss collaboration around industrial cybersecurity, training, and certification. IME is implementing a state-of-the-art cybersecurity laboratory for research and industry collaboration.
Visit to Universidade Federal de Itajubá (UNIFEI)
Finally, I visited my alma mater, the Universidade Federal de Itajubá (UNIFEI), welcomed by the Vice-Provost and head of the automation department and lecturers. The current Provost, Edson Bortoni, is an ISA Fellow and active in the Power Division. We visited the campus and the automation laboratories and afterwards I gave a presentation to more than 50 students from different courses about the future of automation and how ISA can help them be prepared for the future. With their interest and the support offered by the university, we are working with them to create a new Student Section there.
Meeting Members from India and Asia Pacific
Our Asia Pacific District leaders organized a very busy agenda to make the best of my time in India. I was in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune where I met with Section leaders, members, and students. My trip to India was a great experience that I will always remember as one of the best moments during my term as ISA President. People were so enthusiastic about my visit and about ISA that I considered them an example of how vibrant Sections can be. I was lucky to be in India during their 75th Independence Anniversary celebrations and felt their happiness and energy in the streets.
I travelled to Mumbai to attend the Asia Pacific District Leadership Conference (DLC).
Visit to Sections
I attended events organized by the Maharashtra and Pune Sections. The events were open to members and included honors and awards to local leaders and scholarships awards to students.
I was very impressed by an inspirational speech given by one of the recipients of the scholarship, Ms. Indraja Patil, student at the Cummins College of Engineering for Women, which you can see below.
"Good evening respected chief guest, honorable dignitaries on the dais and off the dais, members of the International Society of Automation, my friends, and everyone present here. First, I would like to thank the ISA Pune section for giving me the opportunity to share my experience of being an ISA member and a 2022 ISA Education Foundation Scholarship Award recipient.
It is hard to put this feeling into words, but I am truly obliged for this great honor and recognition given by the International Society of Automation. Many congratulations to my other fellow recipients for their immense hard work and time commitment dedicated to their respective works, which are truly commendable. To be honest, the way to this award was no child’s play, and I am sure we all agree to it!
My deepest thanks to Mr. Carlos Mandolesi, the President of the International Society of Automation, Mr. H.S. Pansare, the president of the ISA Pune Section, and all the working committee members—the backbone of our ISA Pune section. My sincere gratitude to you, Dr. Swati Madhe, the student liaison of the ISA Pune Section, and the faculty advisor of Cummins ISA Student Chapter. I truly value the insights and guidance you have provided.
Today I would like to share my journey as an ISA member: How and why did I join ISA? My first interaction with ISA happened when I was in my second year of studying instrumentation and control. For a long course of time, I was fascinated by robotics, radio dynamics, applied science, machine control, and so on. One fine day, an email popped up highlighting the term “International Society of Automation.” And these fancy words literally drew my attention, and I was curious enough to read the email which had three important points—vision, mission, and values. And the icebreaker was the vision: To create a better world through automation. And there I was like boom! I need to know and learn more about this society by being a part of it. And then there I was, a student member of ISA and the current treasurer of Cummins ISA Student Chapter.
ISA has always been a great opportunity for us to have contact with the real world of automation equipment, its applications, and to create our professional network. The technical event organized by the local and international ISA Sections is now the knowledge assets along with the other offered benefits like free access to standards, technical divisions, and pieces of training. And how can I forget about the Fieper projects, oh, they were the cherry on the cake. We as students have organized several events at the collegiate and national levels which engaged multiple students across different parts of the country. This not only made us technically sound, but also improved our organizational skills, taught us about time management and prioritization, and gave us a touch of emotional intelligence, too.
As a student representative, I would like to draw attention to one of the points which we as students encountered, and that is that currently, instrumentation and automation-related branches are concerned with ISA. So, my point refers to evolving and enlarging the ISA community by encouraging and including other branches or departments. Building the community, setting standards of automation, having sustainable development in this field, and thus, changing the mindset that only IT sectors will lead.
Last but not the least, the dedication of this award I would like to extend to my parents. I am what I am today because of their efforts. They left no stone unturned in providing me with the necessary resources in life. Most noteworthy, I can never pay back what they ever did for me. This award will always be dear to me. It will always be a reminder of the hard work that I have put in. Moreover, this award will only motivate me to achieve more success in the future."
Visit to the Automation Expo
I visited the Automation Expo in Mumbai, one of the largest automation expos in Asia. This event was focused on sustainability through innovative technologies. I also attended the CEO Forum that happened in parallel with the expo. It was a great opportunity to meet the automation community and meet with our members. We visited 20+ booths where we have ISA members.
Visit to India Automation Games 2022
Another amazing activity during my trip was to attend the India Automation Games 2022 held in the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering in Mumbai and meet students from different Student Sections across India. I felt their energy and enthusiasm about what they do and how they can change the world through automation.
Meeting Members from Europe, Middle East, and Africa
I travelled to Milan, Italy to attend the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) District Leadership Conference (DLC) in September. It was great to meet various Section leaders in-person for the first time, such as Oman and various leaders from Italy, France, and the UAE.
- It was a diverse, multicultural, and multi-language meeting, a demonstration that we’re truly international.
- The ISA Pakistan Section presented the case study of “Promoting Female and YP Membership.”
- The ISA Nigeria presented about their growth and challenges.
- Seeing the participation and interest of Student Section leaders and college advisors.
- The presence of two ISA staff from the Membership and Events departments during the DLC and seeing them for the first time in Europe.
Meeting our Staff and the Executive Board in the U.S.
The Executive Board had its first in-person meeting after the pandemic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a small city near Raleigh, in September.
New ISA Headquarters Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Before the Summit, we had a memorable ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new ISA headquarters. It was a great opportunity to meet our staff members and visit the new modern installations, training rooms, laboratories, and our warehouse. You can find more pictures here.
Volunteer and Staff Celebration
Cybersecurity Training Lab
The Executive Board members and Senior staff met for two days to review the 2022 results and define the first draft of the strategy for 2023. The strategy included new Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for the Society next year. The Board will approve the 2023 Strategy and associated budget during the Automation & Leadership Conference (ALC) in Galveston, TX in November. If you want to know more about how OKRs work, I recommend taking this free training available here.
What’s Next? The ALC Conference!
This November, join ISA for the Automation and Leadership Conference (ALC) that will bring together professionals in automation and engineering from around the world! This two-day conference will include workshops and events discussing manufacturing, cybersecurity, digital transformation, process automation, and everything in between! If you are an ISA Leader, you can also attend the various leadership meetings like Division, Districts, and Standards. It will a hybrid event, so you can attend in-person and if you can’t afford the cost or the trip you can also attend the virtual conference for FREE.
Additionally, we are honored to introduce Dr. Lauren Goodwin, Chief Information Officer of the Johnson Space Center and WSTF, NASA as our keynote speaker for #ISAALC. Dr. Goodwin was one of the first leaders to introduce automated expertise identification via data analytics, which throttled her global influence in the Tech industry. As CIO of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and White Sands Test Facility, she is accountable for enabling the technology, digital transformation, and cybersecurity of NASA’s missions for human space flight.
I love to connect with our members and listen to their opinions about automation, what ISA is doing now, and what ISA should be doing to answer to their needs. Please connect with me on ISA Connect, LinkedIn, or send an email to email@example.com.
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