• Meet our Members

    Q&A with John DayJohn Day

    John Day is an Engineering Associate in Process Safety at Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He provides process safety engineering support for Air Products operating facilities in the Americas. Within ISA, Day serves as President of ISA’s Lehigh Valley ISA Section, Co-chair of the ISA84 WG9, and a member of ISA84 and ISA99 committees. Day is a voting member of the Process Safety Committee of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA). He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Drexel University.

    Please tell us about your current career responsibilities (specific position, company) and background, and area of specialty in automation?

    I am an Engineering Associate in Process Safety at Air Products and Chemicals in Allentown, PA. For the past eight years, I have provided process safety engineering support for the Air Products operating facilities in the Americas. My responsibilities include:

    • Serving as an in-house OSHA PSM and EPA RMP resource
    • Conducting hazard reviews for plant projects
    • Performing risk and consequence assessments that involve:
    • Likelihood analysis using Fault Tree and LOPA methodologies
    • SIL assessment and verification
    • Functional safety assessments
    • Consequence analysis using modeling software (PHAST) and internal software tools
    • Building siting studies

    Prior to my process safety role, I worked as a Process Control Engineer at Air Products for 22 years. My automation background has benefited me in my current process safety role. Many process safety professionals follow a more traditional training background in risk analysis and quantification. My automation experience has helped me better understand failure mechanisms and common cause event drivers within the automation space. For example, my experience in process control has enabled me to conduct:

    • Instrument specification
    • DCS and SIS equipment specification and programming
    • Instrument/electrical design drawings approval
    • Site start-up and commissioning

    How did you initially get involved in ISA?

    I became a member of the Lehigh Valley ISA section when I started at Air Products as a Process Controls Engineer. I enjoyed participating in the section technical talks and training events. I really enjoyed attending the ISA shows in Philadelphia. I’ve been an active member in ISA since 1989.

    Could you tell me how you are currently involved with ISA? For instance, I noticed that you are President of Lehigh Valley Section of ISA. What has your experience as section president been like?

    I have been the Lehigh Valley ISA Section President for the past 10 years. It has been a great experience for me, both from the perspective as a professional and growing my career, but also on a personal level. I have met a lot of people through the ISA who have become both friends and colleagues. The Lehigh Valley Section has a broad and diverse manufacturing base. I have learned much about how automation positively impacts a wide variety of business at the section events and meetings.

    Within our section, we’ve been excited to help support the development of new automation professionals through our annual scholarships at trade schools and community colleges, as well as through our awards at the local Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science Fair event. This year, we awarded $5000 in scholarships to local students studying automation at Northampton Community College (NCC), our local community college, and at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI). Details can be found on our section website at www.lvisa.org.

    In addition, our section is in the process of establishing an affiliated student section at NCC. We hope that this will help encourage more students to achieve rewarding careers in automation.

    Also, could you explain a bit about your participation on the ISA-TR84.00.09, Cybersecurity Related to the Functional Safety Lifecycle? Do you hold any other volunteer positions with the Society (local section, for example)?

    I helped develop and write portions of the 2017 version of TR84.00.09. It really is an honor to witness the sections I helped write being published. This report provides guidance on how cybersecurity can be addressed during all phases of the safety lifecycle. I was recently asked to become co-chair of the ISA 84 WG9. We are in the process of soliciting input and support from ISA84 and ISA99 members toward the next version of this technical report.

    What ways would you say ISA has benefited you?

    As a professional, I’ve benefited greatly by participating in ISA activities over the years. Particularly valuable have been the technical training and networking contacts I have developed during this time.

    It is very impressive that you recently received an award from ISA’s Standards & Practices Department relating to your involvement on ISA-TR84.00.09, Cybersecurity Related to the Functional Safety Lifecycle. Do you have any reaction to receiving the award?

    I didn’t expect to receive the S&P award for my work on ISA84.00.09. It is much appreciated to be recognized by the Society. I have the award hanging in my office.

    By participating in the ISA84 and ISA99 standards committee, I have developed a better appreciation for other global automation professionals’ opinions, business drivers, and priorities. The technical reports developed by these committees become recognized as “Good Engineering Practice.” My participation also helps me at Air Products develop internal standards and practices in accordance with these technical reports.

    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?

    I didn’t expect to receive the S&P award for my work on ISA84.00.09. It is much appreciated to be recognized by the Society. I have the award hanging in my office.

    By participating in the ISA84 and ISA99 standards committee, I have developed a better appreciation for other global automation professionals’ opinions, business drivers, and priorities. The technical reports developed by these committees become recognized as “Good Engineering Practice.” My participation also helps me at Air Products develop internal standards and practices in accordance with these technical reports.