This post is authored by Brian Curtis, president of ISA 2018.
During my years as an ISA member I have witnessed the dedication and sterling contributions of ISA members first hand. Whether I’m attending ISA division and section events, participating in Society leadership, or going to budget meetings, I have always been impressed and excited about ISA members’ passion and dedication.
Today, I am asking ISA members: Are you getting the full value of your ISA membership? To the reader who is not an ISA member, I am asking you to learn about some of the benefits and make an informed decision about joining our Society.
ISA membership costs just $120 per year and gives you access to dozens of benefits. But even more than these line items, it gives you a way to belong to the profession that you’ve chosen for your life’s work.
ISA provides its members access to technical information, professional development resources, and opportunities to engage with other automation professionals. Our mission is to enable our members—including world-wide subject matter experts, automation suppliers, and end-users working together—to develop and deliver quality, unbiased automation information, including standards, training, publications, and certification programs.
You can meet and network with some of the world’s finest automation professionals, and you can engage with people right in your backyard through our geographically oriented sections.
ISA’s 140 sections, located throughout the world, connect members with technology, expert advice, and world-class programming at the local level, while ISA’s technical divisions feature opportunities to network and learn from industry leaders in specific topical or industry areas.
Given their local/regional structure, ISA sections offer a convenient way for members to take part in ISA initiatives and events happening nearby. Some ways that members can get involved and contribute at the section level include:
- Attending regular section meetings to explore mutual professional interests with like-minded people
- Inviting technical experts to present at section meetings
- Speaking at local schools and universities to generate student interest in automation careers
- Funding scholarships for local college and university students who demonstrate potential and interest in the automation field
- Receiving local newsletters with market trends, technical articles,
- Accessing training courses, technical conferences, and social events
As an ISA member, you should also take full advantage of your two free technical division memberships… and why stop at just two? Additional memberships cost only $10 US each.
ISA’s annual technical division symposia allow ISA members and the automation community to meet face to face with renowned experts and presenters, and hear first-hand about the latest technologies and trends. You’ll be able to exchange best practices and success stories, attend executive keynote presentations, sit in on standards committee meetings, take training courses, and experience leadership gatherings at ISA events like these:
- Leak Detection and Repair-Fugitive Emissions Symposium (LDAR)
- Analysis Division Symposium (AD)
- Power Industry Division Symposium (POWID)
- Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium (WWAC)
- Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division Symposium (FPID)
- International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS)
- Process Control and Safety Symposium and Exhibition (PCS)
Extensive technical resources
Are you using the technical knowledge that’s available and could benefit you given the challenges in your day job? Why not step up and participate in these industry groups or attend their events?
In addition to ISA’s geographic sections and technical divisions, ISA membership also gives you access and discounts for ISA’s renowned products and services, including these favorites:
- ISA standards: Get free online viewing of ISA’s collection of more than 160 automation standards that streamline processes, and improve industry safety, efficiency, and profitability. ISA standards serve as best-practice guidelines through design, construction and operation, and they are developed by thousands of industry experts. In addition to viewing the standards, you can also participate in a standards committee and help shape the industry’s future.
- ISA training: Your ISA membership includes discounted rates for ISA’s training courses, known and respected worldwide for their practical approach to technology You can take courses online, in classroom settings, or in your plant.
- ISA publications: Get access or discounted purchase rates on more than 180 print and online technical resources, including books, newsletters, articles, technical papers, and more
- InTech magazine: Members receive a free subscription to InTech magazine, which informs automation and control professionals about technical innovations, ideas, product information, news, and Much of the magazine’s editorial content is provided by ISA’s members, who are encouraged to submit articles.
Perhaps most valuable of all, you’ll grow as a professional by joining this Society. We have programs and opportunities that help you develop and practice your leadership skills, and by getting more engaged, you’ll meet people who can change and shape your career in the years to come.
Networking, mentoring, career advancement
In my case, one of the main reasons that I joined ISA was to meet other people with an automation and instrumentation background that could offer advice about challenges I was having in my day job. I found ISA members were always willing to help me in my early years. And now the table has turned, and there is a younger networking group in my section who look to me to give advice on their challenges. Being an engaged member in ISA is like belonging to a real family, where everyone is always there when you need them with no strings attached.
If you’re an ISA member and you haven’t taken advantage of all we have to offer, start now—pick an area to explore and start doing new things with your membership. If you’re not a member yet, consider joining us—we’d love to welcome you to the ISA family.
About the Author
Brian Curtis, I. Eng., LCGI, is the Operations Manager for Veolia Energy Ireland, providing services to Novartis Ringaskiddy Ltd. in Cork, Ireland. He has more than 35 years of experience in petrochemical, biotech, and bulk pharmaceutical industries, specializing in design, construction management, and commissioning of electrical, instrumentation, and automation control systems. He has managed complex engineering projects in Ireland, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. A long-time ISA member, Curtis has served on the ISA Executive Board since 2013, the Geographic Assembly Board (2012 – 2015), and the Finance Committee (2013 – 2017.) He was Ireland Section President and Vice President of District 12, which includes Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Curtis has also been active on several Society task forces, including Cybersecurity, Governance, and Globalization-related committees. He received the ISA Distinguished Society Service Award in 2010. He is the Former President of Cobh & Harbor Chamber of Commerce (2013-2015) and Former Chairman of the Ireland Southern Region Chambers (2015-2016) and is an active member of the Ireland National Standards Body, ETCI.
A version of this article also has been published at ISA Insights.