ISA Mentor Program

Automation and process control systems are essential for a plant to function and go to the next level of operation at maximum efficiency and capacity. These systems provide the window into the process and the means and methods to affect the process. Smart transmitters, valves, and control strategies along with data analysis and controller tuning software offer opportunities for greatly improving process performance if Invitation-to-Join-ISA-Mentor-Programautomation and process control engineers are given the guidance and support to make the most out of advances in hardware and software.

The ISA Mentor Program is being revitalized to enable relatively new practitioners to learn how to apply and innovate with smart systems by access to the expertise of seasoned professionals. Benefits are improved process performance, creation of the next generation of resources, and better recognition and appreciation of the profession and individuals.

Mentor Program goals

The ISA Mentor Program, started by Greg McMillan and Hunter Vegas in 2011, is extending its invitation to prospective protégés/protégées and resources to include any engineer or technician currently employed in a plant or engineering center that is using or applying process control systems.

ISA’s Mentor Program enables young professionals to access the wisdom and expertise of seasoned ISA members, and offers veteran ISA professionals the chance to share their wisdom and make a difference in someone’s career. ISA’s Mentor Program is an online program, so there are no meetings to attend and there is no travel. ISA Members from all over the world can participate, and the relationship can develop and progress at the convenience of the mentor and protégé.

Program requirements

Protégés/protégées and resources must have at least one year and 10 years of industry experience, respectively. Protégés/protégées must be currently employed in an engineering office or plant and be actively designing, installing, or maintaining process control systems. As a protégé/protégée and resource you are expected to ask and answer, respectively, at least one generic question each year on using and applying process control. The questions and answers will be sent to Greg and Hunter. The questions and answer must be not vendor/supplier specific and not disclose the process, type, location, tag names, and operating conditions.

Greg and Hunter can help make the questions generic enough to be considered as non-proprietary. The question and answers will be first shared with ISA Mentor Program participants and then posted on ISA Interchange by Greg.

Program participants will also be asked to be featured InTech articles such as “Enabling new automation engineers” and Control Talk columns such as “How to effectively get engineering knowledge.” New protégés/protégées will receive a complimentary copy of 101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career. Protégés/protégées who submit at least two generic questions will also receive a complimentary copy of Good Tuning: A Pocket Guide, Fourth Edition.

How to join

If you are interested in becoming a member, please contact Susan Colwell, ISA director of publications at You will need to send her your current title and job description, education including any technical training or university courses in process automation and control, the number of years of industry experience and whether you want to be considered as a protégé/protégée (asking questions) or a resource (answering questions).

The current list of protégés and protégées includes Flavio Briquente, Brian E. Hartman, Danaca Jordan, Madhawa A. Somasiri, Bill Thomas, Keneisha Williams, Héctor Torres, Sridhar Dasani, Sumiti Lamicchane, Kenny Marks, Lakelyn McIntrye, Syed Misbahuddin, Marsha Wisely, Zachary Sample, Mohamed Fathy, Adrian Taylor, Wendel Rosa, and Mayer Silva. The resources besides the founders Greg and Hunter are Brian Hrankowsky, Michel Ruel, Leah Ruder, Nicholas Sands, Bart Propst, Terry Chmelyk, and Dale Reed.

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