ISA Interchange

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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No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required

SM August“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever wanted to give back, to make an impact on the future of your profession? Do you wonder where to begin or if you have the necessary experience?

I have good news: Launching 1 September 2021, ISA is inviting YOU to join me and thousands of dedicated ISA volunteers to give back to the automation community through our global call for volunteers. You can find ways to engage, optimize your skills, and respect your busy schedule. While some roles may identify specific needs, the main thing we need is your enthusiasm!

What do you get back in return for contributing your time and expertise? You can hone your leadership skills, enhance your resume, and expand your professional network. You might also expand your technical knowledge to use in your day job.

I have been volunteering with ISA since 2008. While I might not have as extensive a volunteer portfolio as some of my peers, I am thankful for each of the opportunities in which I have engaged over the last 12 years.

My first step into volunteering with ISA was when the Automation Competency Model (ACM) development began. I was just a stand-in for a friend from Unilever who could not attend. He helped me find an opportunity in which I was passionate, and I signed up with ISA on the spot. I have been involved ever since, including every update to the ACM.

Over the years, I have contributed to training courses, certifications, publications, webinars, in-person and virtual events, as well as many strategic initiatives with governmental and non-governmental entities. I have met many great people along the way and extended my professional and personal networks. I have learned so much from those I volunteered with and call more than a few my friend. But the most rewarding part in all my work has been the opportunity to share my knowledge and contribute to building a better world through automation.

I believe in ISA’s vision and mission and find it a privilege to offer my time in support of this cause. I believe that you will find—just as I did—that you will get more in return than the time you give.

GCV-blog-imageOpportunities for giving back in ISA are wide-ranging, with Divisions and Sections, Society Committees, and Standards Committees. Contributions might involve technical content, events, training course development, certification, as well as Society activities such as strategy and peer recognition.

If you are concerned about impacting your schedule, do not worry. Opportunities are categorized according to expected time commitment: Micro-opportunities involve a quick task such as providing some content; Task opportunities are short-term appointments, such as contributing to course development; Society opportunities are ongoing, with an annual appointment, such as committee membership; and Standards opportunities are long-term, but include activities such as contribution, review, and outreach.

If you do not see something of interest, at least take a moment to complete your volunteer profile. New opportunities are added regularly as projects come up that fulfill ISA's mission and vision. And, if your profile is up to date, it is easier for ISA to match you with opportunities that align with your interests and qualifications.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts or comments. Let me know what you think about the new volunteer opportunity portal. If you cannot find something of interest, I am happy to help guide you.

Now, more than ever, I call on our global membership to work together to build a better world through automation.

Steve Mustard
Steve Mustard
Steve Mustard is an independent automation consultant and a subject matter expert of the International Society of Automation (ISA). Backed by more than 30 years of engineering experience, Mustard specializes in the development and management of real-time embedded equipment and automation systems. He serves as president of National Automation, Inc., and served as the 2021 president of ISA. Mustard is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas and Kansas, a UK registered Chartered Engineer, a European registered Eur Ing, an ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP), a certified Global Industrial Cybersecurity Professional (GICSP), and a Certified Mission Critical Professional. He also is a Fellow in the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Senior Member of ISA, a member of the Safety and Security Committee of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and a member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA).

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