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Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the automation community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

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Jonas Berge on Becoming an ISA Fellow

The International Society of Automation (ISA) sat down with Jonas Berge, one of four individuals to be elevated to the distinguished grade of ISA Fellow in 2024. The esteemed Fellow member grade is one of ISA’s highest honors, recognizing only those Senior Members who have made exceptional contributions to the automation profession, in practice or in academia.Jonas-Berge headshot


ISA: What does becoming an ISA Fellow mean to you?

Berge: ISA is a highly respected organization in the industry thanks to the ISA standards and ISA automation books, so being recognized by ISA for the work I have done is huge. It helps rationalize the additional hours put in every day to understand plant challenges, find solutions, and share them with the automation community.

 

ISA: What contribution to the automation industry got you nominated?

Berge: Well, I have my fingers in a few pies. Perhaps the overarching theme is “digital.” And we should keep in mind that when we say “digital” in a plant context that means industrial automation, because for the past few decades plant automation is digital. Automation is software and digital communication with underlying instrumentation and controls.

The citation is first and foremost for digital transformation, bringing it on track to solve longstanding plant operational problems around reliability, sustainability, integrity and maintenance as well as occupational safety and productivity by applying a new breed of industrial automation in new innovative ways. To put this in context, digital transformation and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) at first got sidetracked with attempts to apply consumer industry gadgets and analytics methods in plants. However, consumer solution capabilities did not match the industrial use cases. So, we took another approach: using sensors and software more akin to instrumentation and controls, albeit wireless sensors and web-based software accessible across the internet. And we did this going ‘beyond the P&ID’ with a ‘second layer of automation’. Call it industrial hyper-automation if you will. This includes engineered analytics in ready-made apps based on mechanistic AI and with permanent sensing. This has been very successful, so in this new wave of digital transformation, plants are now deploying new solutions to solve old problems. And the best part is that these solutions can be supported by the plant’s regular I&C team.

The other mention is working on a team for time-synchronized safety communication using a publisher-subscriber model. Safety communication is very much about detecting communication errors, so we developed a mechanism to find errors in time synchronization and publication beyond ordinary client-server communication. It was new at the time. Today it is common.

 

ISA: How has being an ISA member and now Fellow positively impacted your career?

Berge: ISA membership is how I met the people that got me started on my first book and then the second. The books helped significantly and thus propelled my career. Then there is the ISA Connect online forum which is a more structured form of social media for exchanging automation know-how. And through ISA I have built a personal network with experts in areas such as enterprise integration, industrial communication, and functional safety, etc. that I tap on when I have a question. And I wear the ISA lapel pin at industry events, which other ISA members notice, so it becomes a talking point that leads to being invited to speak at regional ISA events where I meet new customers I can help. ISA is an ‘automation-hood’ that has helped me a lot and continues to help me.

Since ISA is a highly respected organization, this recognition lends me additional credibility in the industry. Only a few weeks have passed, but people are already taking notice.

More from Jonas Berge

In an exclusive interview with InTech magazine, Jonas Berge answered questions about his distinguished career.

 

Watch a video where Mr. Berge discusses digital transformation.

Liz Neiman
Liz Neiman
Liz Neiman is the managing director of strategic engagement for the International Society of Automation (ISA), with oversight of marketing, communications, PR, events, and outreach activities. Prior to joining ISA, Liz led marketing, communications, and events activities for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), as well as for edtech nonprofit MIND Research Institute. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

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