While Bruce Morris worked in several different areas of automation throughout his career—from control systems to instrumentation engineering—he found his true calling as a software instructor for process controllers. Within ISA, he is a past president of ISA’s Connecticut Valley Section, and currently serves as District 1 Vice President.
Could you provide some background on your education (degree/s received) and academic areas of emphasis?
I graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark College of Engineering) in 1975, with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. In 1986, I received a master’s degree in computer and information science from the University of New Haven.
What initially attracted you to the field of automation...and when was it? Was there any specific thing that triggered your interest?
Upon graduation from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, I took a job at an oil refinery (BP Oil, at that time) near Philadelphia. I was immediately assigned to the company’s Control Systems group, where I had my "baptism of fire" in instrumentation. It wasn't chemical engineering, but it was definitely interesting. Starting in 1977, I worked as an instrumentation engineer at Pennwalt Corporation. In 1980, I moved to Connecticut for a position with the Bristol Babcock company. There, I found my true calling as a software instructor for process controllers.
Please tell us about your current career responsibilities (specific position, company) and background, and area of specialty in automation.
I am retired now, but still involved as a consultant. My specialty is, as it has been, in process controller software and teaching.
How did you get involved in ISA and what is your current level/degree of involvement in ISA (leader positions, section involvement, etc.)?
I was strongly encouraged to join ISA when I was at Pennwalt, and it proved to be the true beginning of my career. I am a past president of ISA’s Connecticut Valley Section, and am currently serving as the section’s treasurer and newsletter editor. I am also serving as District 1 Vice President.
How would you say ISA has benefited you?
Meeting fellow engineers at ISA meetings proved to be inspirational and highly informative, but the best benefit I receive—and have received—from ISA is the ability to communicate and express myself as an instructor and public speaker. These experiences have been the cornerstones of my career.
Do you have any advice or suggestions to young automation professionals entering the profession? Are there things that you have learned that you might pass on…to help them better develop their careers?
Get to know other engineers, especially those in other industries than your own. Remember that every company has its own way of doing things, and the quicker you adapt, the better you will be. ISA has all the tools—in meeting, training, and online resources—to help you succeed.