Archive | Education

ISA Education Division

Career Direction

Career Advice for Someone Beginning an Engineering Education

I have had a typical 37-year engineering career that I have thoroughly enjoyed, split between project engineering, production, production management, and consulting. I was recently asked for some general advice, from a nephew beginning an engineering education. Here is my reply: Engineering is a wonderful career if you have a technical mindset. Consider your engineering […]

Continue Reading · 0
Qualified or unqualified.

Are you qualified?

This week hundreds of educators and professionals from government and public and private industry sectors converged on Washington, DC to attend the US News STEM Solutions National Conference. The sessions covered an array of topics related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math); I had the honor of participating on a panel entitled “Customized Credentials […]

Continue Reading · 3
Promoting STEM education

Get involved in promoting STEM education

In last month’s ISA Insights article I mentioned I will complete a series of articles reviewing the 10 trends impacting ISA. Last month we looked at Cybersecurity and this month we’ll take a closer look at the STEM education initiative. Virtually all ISA members and automation professionals have benefited from their education in science, technology, […]

Continue Reading · 0
Auto Shop

Technical Expertise Across Multiple Platforms: What the Auto Dealership Taught Me the Hard Way

Several years ago, my family owned a Honda and a Chevy.  When we initially bought our cars, we took them to the respective dealers for routine maintenance and service.  It seemed like the obvious thing to do in this era of high-tech automobiles, since they should know their cars best.  However, after a while I […]

Continue Reading · 0
Control Room

The Molecule: Why Professionals Matter Over Equipment

At the end of the day, a process automation project is measured by how it delivered the unit of production – or in many processes, the “molecule” – to the client. I know, we hang our hat on a lot of other metrics, such as improved asset utilization, better selectivity, increased throughput, higher quality, less […]

Continue Reading · 0
During the FIRST Robotics Competition, high school students worked in teams to design, build, program, test and fine tune their robots to meet the challenges of competition.

FIRST Championship demonstrates young people’s passion for science and technology learning

If recent events in St. Louis, Mo., are any indication of the future of automation, then prospects are indeed bright. More than 10,000 students from around the globe, from ages 6 to 18, gathered April 24-27 at the Edward Jones Dome to put their engineering skills and scientific know-how to the test at the annual […]

Continue Reading · 0

ISA certification programs can position employees and employers to succeed

In today’s tough economy, many employees are searching for ways they can stand out from the crowd, both strengthening their hold on their current jobs and boosting their prospects for career advancement. On the other side of the coin, employers—facing tight hiring budgets and fierce marketplace competition—are expecting that workers have the proven experience and […]

Continue Reading · 0

How Do You Keep New Engineers From Leaving Your Business?

Recently, a customer of mine who resides on the Gulf Coast (but is not an oil & gas or petrochemical company) approached me with a very interesting problem.  He had lost all of his process engineers to other companies over the past three months, taking all of his process and control system knowledge with them.  […]

Continue Reading · 5

ISA training can provide the high-performing workforce that manufacturers and global economies need to grow

While the U.S. and world economies are still struggling to grow, there are important steps that manufacturers and process industries can take to improve their competitiveness. Workforce training can play a vital role in boosting operational performance and productivity. Well-trained employees are better able to adapt to change—a must in today’s economy—and less likely to […]

Continue Reading · 0
Two Workers Training

The Cure for the Automation Workforce Crisis

The U.S. manufacturing sector faces a crisis: Our nation’s skilled automation professionals are diminishing in number — just when we need them most. Retiring workers are leaving a huge void in the field, but new blood hasn’t rushed to fill it. Even new opportunities like shale oil extraction haven’t attracted the manpower they require. Why? […]

Continue Reading · 1