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Set Your Sights on ISA’s 2015 Division Symposia

This post is authored by Rick Roop, president of ISA 2015.

Editor's Note: To get information on upcoming ISA conferences and events, click this link.

Each year, ISA organizes technical division symposia and conference events at different locations throughout the U.S. These events are dynamic, and provide opportunities for members and leaders to interact with their peers in controlled settings where they can learn about the latest trends in their industries.insights-april-working-layered-file

Over the years, I have attended many different symposiums and have always come away learning something new and valuable. Through the critical perspectives of expert speakers and insightful presentations, you’re sure to come away with the up-to-date information you need to stay competitive in the marketplace today − regardless of the symposium or technical conference you choose to attend.

The first ISA symposium of the year − the 2015 Food and Pharmaceutical Industries Division Symposium − was held in early February and was a great success. Nearly 130 professionals within the automation and control field and the pharmaceuticals and food industries gathered in Philadelphia to address the critical challenges relating to automation in food processing and drug manufacture and distribution.

There are six more ISA events on the schedule for 2015, the next one to kick off at the end of this month. Let’s walk through these events so that you can get a better idea of their focus and the content to be covered by each in order to make your decision on which one(s) to attend a bit easier.

ISA’s 2015 Analysis Division Symposium (AD)

Rapidly approaching on the schedule is ISA’s 2015 Analysis Division Symposium (AD), to be held 26-30 April at the Galveston Convention Center in Galveston, Tex. This event, which will explore the latest advances in analytical processes, techniques, and applications, is now in its 60th year.

This extensive technical program will introduce up to 35 peer-reviewed technical papers. All papers to be presented will have been reviewed by a panel of widely recognized subject matter experts representing more than 120 years of experience. Key topics to be covered are: sampling, chromatography, spectroscopy, chemiluminescence, and other analytical techniques and significant developments in instrumentation.

Additionally, the event includes :

  • Expert foundational and advanced training opportunities
  • Hands-on courses for technicians led by industry vendors
  • A Technology Forum and Exhibition

On Sunday, 26 April, the day before the technical program commences, a course on process analytic fundamentals will be conducted, providing attendees with excellent, foundational knowledge across a wide range of areas, including: gas chromatography, discrete gas analysis, system design, sample conditioning systems, communications networking and more.

On the same day, two advanced courses also will be offered:  Increasing Sample System Reliability by Better Design and Analytical Quality Assurance Fundamentals for Laboratory Test Methods and Process Analyzers.

After the technical program concludes, representatives from leading vendors and suppliers will provide valuable hands-on training, specifically designed for technicians, on their newest products. Vendor training workshops will be conducted by seven companies: ABB Analytical, AMETEK Process Instruments, Servomex, Siemens, Thermo Scientific, Yokogawa, and PAC.

61st International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS)

Next up is the International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS), which will be held 11-14 May at the Westin Hotel in Huntsville, Ala. This event is co-sponsored by the Society for Machinery Failure Prevention Technology (MFPT Society).

Now in its 61st year, the IIS is the well-established event that enables instrumentation professionals an annual forum for learning and sharing knowledge in their field. Based on the theme of Technology Evolution: Sensors to Systems for Failure Prevention, the symposium builds on this tradition through the collaboration between ISA and the MFPT Society. This partnership paves the way for a broader perspective for those seeking to explore what’s new and innovative in instrumentation techniques, solutions, and applications.

Through an engaging spectrum of paper sessions, presentations, short courses, workshops, tutorials, a vendor exhibition and various networking and social activities, attendees are sure to:

  • Discover − direct from leading experts − the latest trends and cutting-edge developments in instrumentation and in the process and measurement fields.
  • Receive in-depth and critical insights into the technologies and methodologies most relevant to them.
  • Gain hands-on instruction and training for real-world application.
  • Meet and interact with leading vendor and manufacturer representatives.

The 2015 IIS draws on the expertise and experience of a wide range of ISA divisions, including ISA’s Aerospace Industries, Test Measurements, Process Measurement and Control, Automatic Controls and Robotics, and Chemical and Petroleum Industries divisions, as well as the Propulsion Instrumentation Working Group.

15th ISA LDAR-Fugitive Emissions Symposium (LDAR)

The 15th ISA LDAR-Fugitive Emissions Symposium (LDAR), to be held 19-21 May at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, Louisiana, is centered on the theme of Next Generation Compliance.

Reflecting the EPA’s Next Generation Compliance initiative (2014-2017), this symposium plans to demonstrate how air compliance professionals need to be more proactive − and less reactive − in meeting newly-stated EPA compliance objectives and expectations, and in taking advantage of the latest technologies and best practices.

Particular emphasis will be placed on:

  • Preparing for both short-term and long-term regulatory requirements.
  • Delivering the latest news and updates in air compliance, direct from EPA officials and industry experts.
  • Overcoming the most common air emission reduction challenges.
  • Encouraging lively, interactive dialogue through tutorials, panel sessions, and networking activities.
  • Sharing real-world successes and experiences.
  • Outlining best-practice strategies and recommendations.

Critical issues and topics will be explored. In addition, leading vendors and equipment manufacturers will display their latest products and services, such as sealing materials and assembly devices and techniques.

58th Power Industry Division Symposium (POWID)

Scheduled for 7-11 June, the 58th Power Industry Division Symposium (POWID) will be held at the Kansas City Marriott in Kansas City, Mo.

This year’s theme, Power Generation: Instrumentation and Control Solutions for Today’s Industry Challenges, underscores the need for answers to the following critical dilemmas in power generation:

  • Maintaining reliability of power generation while managing fluctuating load demands (known as cycling)
  • Meeting increasingly stringent environmental controls regulation
  • Securing critical data and information through advanced cybersecurity

Keynote speakers include such experts as Mike Smith, senior cyber policy advisor within the U.S. Department of Energy; Robert R. Romanosky, Ph.D., advanced research technology manager, also within the U.S. Department of Energy; G. Scott Stallard, vice president of asset management services at Black & Veatch; and Pengju Kang,, Ph.D., technology leader of electrical technologies & systems at the GE China Technology Center. I’m excited to report that I’ll also be on hand at the event to deliver the welcome address to attendees.

The event is sure to provide attendees with a greater awareness and understanding of recent innovations in instrumentation, controls, and automation technologies. In addition, they’ll gain valuable knowledge on how to: apply security to control systems; improve power plant load demand response and low-load operation; and monitor and diagnose plant equipment and system reliability issues through the use of sensors and online monitoring technology.

2015 Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium (WWAC)

In August, plan to attend the 2015 Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium (WWAC), 4-6 August at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort in Orlando, Fla.

This three-day symposium caters specifically to the needs of automation professionals, technicians, and engineers in the water and wastewater sectors. Given its Florida location, the event is ideally situated for professionals in the field.

Focusing squarely on the challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the water and wastewater sectors, the symposium features content-rich technical sessions, a tour of a local water/wastewater facility, networking events, and a supplier showcase. Qualified attendees can earn continuing education units (CEUs) and/or professional development hours (PDHs), approved for licensed water and wastewater operators and engineers.

Sunny Orlando is inviting, with plentiful, reasonably priced hotels and many airline options to the area. Attendees are encouraged to bring their families along to enjoy world-famous theme parks − such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World − as well as other exciting attractions.

2015 Process Control and Safety Symposium (PCS)

The final symposium this year is the 2015 Process Control and Safety Symposium (PCS), which will be held 9-12 November at the Houston Marriott Westchase in Houston, Tex. Houston is a highly attractive venue as it is widely recognized as a global center for process industry and is the oil and gas hub of the US.

In this second year of the event, ISA is teaming up with MESA, which will provide key components of the technical program. Innovators, thought leaders, and other professionals in process measurement and control − particularly in the chemical and energy processing and other key process industry sectors − will gather to participate in a wide range of workshops, tutorials, keynote speakers, paper presentations, networking receptions, and exhibits.

Co-organized by ISA’s of Chemical & Petroleum Industries, Communications, Education, and Pulp & Paper divisions, this year’s PCS Symposium will tackle the critical issues in instrumentation, communications, smart technology, control systems, safety instrumented systems, and cybersecurity.

As you can clearly see, ISA’s 2015 Division symposia offer real-world educational value for automation professionals from all over the world. I encourage you to attend those events applicable to your industry and field of interest. These gatherings provide excellent opportunities for ISA members, leaders, and colleagues to meet and share knowledge in our quest for a stronger, more vibrant Society.

Get involved!


About the Author
Rick Roop has been a member of ISA since 1983 and established the Society's Evansville, Ind. and Terre Haute, Ind. Sections. Rick has held a variety of ISA leadership positions including district vice president and chairman of the Council of District Vice Presidents, Power Industry Division board member, and he has also served as chairman of the Finance Committee and chairman of the Investment Committee. Rick worked as a senior instrumentation engineer at Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (now Vectren). He then joined Hoosier Energy, REC, first as an instrument and electrical engineer, and later as general manager at the company’s Frank E. Ratts Generating Station. Since 2012, Rick has held the position of vice president, senior portfolio manager and owner of Donaldson Capital Management, an Evansville, Ind.-based SEC-registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion in assets under management. Rick earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering technology from Murray State University and a master of business administration degree with an emphasis in finance from Indiana State University.

Connect with Rick

A version of this post also has been published at ISA Insights.

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