• January 30, 2020
  • Association News

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Local learning: Gruhn to speak on safety, HMIs, more

ISA past president Paul Gruhn, PE, CFSE, will be presenting at local meetings around the country during the first quarter of 2020. As a global functional safety consultant with aeSolutions, a process control and process safety consulting, engineering, and integration services company based in Greenville, S.C., Gruhn has gained extensive experience consulting with sites around the world.

Gruhn presented at the ISA Toledo, Ohio, section meeting on 14 January; the ISA Manchester, Conn., meeting on 29 January; the ISSS Northeast Chapter (Plantsville, Conn.) meeting on 30 January; and the ISA Brazos (Freeport, Texas) meeting on 6 February. He will speak at the ISA Wilmington (Newark, Del.) meeting on 25 February. Contact the meeting manager to attend.

If your group would like Gruhn to speak in your area, just ask. Gruhn says he has a long list of possible speaking topics he is happy to share. Below are the topics of his first six talks of 2020.

The Next Bhopal

Preventing disasters-and the incidents of lesser consequence leading up to them-requires probing beneath their seemingly superficial, distracting, and highly visible exteriors. Doing so shows how similar all industrial disasters are. The patterns that led to the Bhopal disaster are in many of the processes that we operate today. This presentation summarizes fundamentals of a portion of the Bhopal plant's process design, changes that were made contrary to the original specifications, problems encountered, and the numerous design and operational changes that were made (with the best of intentions) that simply led to further problems. It also covers how these issues came together to cause the worst industrial disaster in history. We need this awareness to prevent major industrial disasters and the more frequent "minor" process safety events that precede them today. This was the topic at the ISA Toledo, Ohio, section (14 January) and ISA Brazos (Freeport, Texas) 6 February talks.

Human-machine interface (HMI) design

Poor HMI designs have been identified as factors contributing to abnormal situations, accidents, fatalities, and billions of dollars of lost production. HMIs often impede rather than assist operators. Although decades of research have identified better implementation methods, change is difficult, and people continue to follow poor design practices. Just as a computer is not a typewriter, new HMI designs should not mimic those of old. The problem is that many designers simply do not know any better. This presentation will review why certain HMI designs are poor (with many examples) and show how they can be improved. This was the topic at the ISA Manchester, Conn., (29 January) talk.

Process industry accidents

Using a collection of videos, photographs, and stories, this presentation covers lessons learned from a variety of process accidents. Topics include: Do not hire low bid (you get what you pay for); everyone needs training (yet they often do not get it or accept it); even trained people make mistakes (and sometimes they do really stupid things); we are not as immune or indestructible as we may think; reuse of software is not always successful; near misses are often not followed up; the past is often ignored (and history definitely repeats itself). This was the topic at the ISSS Northeast Chapter, Plantsville, Conn., (30 January) talk.

Process safety management

Subtitled "Jenga, Drift, and Preventing Process Industry Accidents," this talk covers many well-publicized process industry accidents over the past several decades. Much has been written about them, and many lessons learned have been proposed. However, evidence indicates that the number of industry accidents has not decreased. More recent realizations of the complexity of modern processes, and the organizations responsible for designing, building, running, and maintaining them, has brought a broader understanding of accident causation, and what can be done to prevent further incidents. This will be the topic at the ISA Wilmington, Newark, Del., (25 February) talk.



Scenes from the 2019 Leadership Conference

ISA volunteer leaders gained new skills and new friends at the annual leadership conference held in San Diego in October 2019. The 2020 conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 23-26 October, will mark ISA's 75th birthday.






Anniversary snapshot: Milestones of industrial transformation


- Mechanical systems give way to electronics

- 4-20 mA standard settles signal controversy
- Adaptive control introduced

- Microprocessors invade measurement and control
- Births of the DCS, PLC, and process modeling
- ISA accredited by ANSI

- Rise of the personal computer, Microsoft Windows, HMIs, and Fieldbus standards
- Birth of historian software

- Fieldbus Wars, IS88 Batch and IS95 Enterprise Control System standards developed
- Rise of the Internet

- OPC UA developed
- Germany introduces Industrie 4.0
- Wireless 802.15 standard enables WirelessHART and ISA100a
- Birth of the Internet of Things
- Rise of process optimization

- ISA becomes the International Society of Automation
- Rise of Industrial Internet of Things, edge and cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and drones, industrial virtual reality
- Birth of 5G communications

2020s and beyond
. . . to be continued



Congratulations new certification holders!

New CAPs and CCSTs

Below is a list of individuals who have recently passed either our Certified Automation Professional (CAP) or one of the three levels of our Certified Control System Technician (CCST) exam. For more information about the ISA CAP and CCST certification programs, please visit https://www.isa.org/certification/certificate-programs.


Certified Control System Technicians

Level 1

Neal Andrews
Andeavor, U.S.

Michael Bouse

David Brant
University of Florida, U.S.

Todd Braun

Daryl Buschmann

Nicholas Carlson

Andrew Hildenbrandt

Keith Kuehn

Daniel Malinowski

Antonio Mar

Kevin Martin

Clifford Standridge
Facility Services University of Florida, U.S.

Daniel Whitacre

Thomas Whitehead
Boston Scientific, U.S.

Nicholas Fiddler

Michael Gaskin

Martin Plym

Peder Winkel
University of Florida, U.S.

Jeffrey Hyder

James McShane
Inland Empire Utilities Agency, U.S.

Federico Sordo Mendo

Yassir Sheikhaldeen

Daniel Ellis
IIS Inc., U.S.

Richard Roggenkamp

David Trumbull



Certified Automation Professionals

Thomas Quattlebaum

Edward Johansen
Ascend Performance Materials

Bryan Salmon
Chevron, U.S.

Jerry Pablico

Muhammad Asad Ghaffar
Intech Process Automation,

Dheeraj Kumar
Saudi Arabia


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