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    Q&A with Ananth Santhanakrishnan

    Ananth Santhanakrishnan

    Ananth Santhanakrishnan, an ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®) living in Singapore, serves as an Instrumentation & Control Engineer at CH2M HILL, a global engineering company that provides consulting, design, construction, and management operations services for corporations, and federal, state, and local governments. Within ISA, he is president of ISA’s Singapore Section.

    Could you provide some background on your education (degree/s received) and academic areas of emphasis? 

    I earned both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in applied physics with instrumentation as a core subject from Bharathidasan University in India. I also received a post-graduate diploma in digital instrumentation from Alaggappa University in India.

    What initially attracted you to the field of automation (and specifically your selected field)...and when was it? Was there any specific thing that triggered your interest? 

    While studying for my bachelor degree, I started to develop special interest in the ancillaries of measurement, automation and process control. This interest led me to the automation industry.

    Since my college days I used to wonder about the technology of automation and the difference it makes in everything we depend on-from the small things on to giant plants. This interest drove me to focus on a career in automation.

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

    I’m currently working as an Instrumentation & Control Engineer at CH2M HILL in Singapore. I began my career as a programmer and progressed on to become a testing and commissioning engineer and project engineer. As I continued along my career path, I became more focused on and specialized in field instrumentation.

    Could you tell me how you are currently involved with ISA?

    Currently, I am serving as president of ISA’s Singapore Section. Given that the section had not been very active for quite some time, I volunteered to help revitalize the section and make it more inviting and engaging.

    How did you get involved in ISA and what is your current level/degree of involvement in ISA (leader positions, section involvement, etc.)? 

    While I was in college I used to refer to ISA for industry standards and to stay up to date on new developments. After getting my CAP® certification, I wanted to contribute more to ISA; get involved in section activities, particularly the local Singapore Section; and network with other automation professionals through Society activities and social media, such as LinkedIn.

    What ways would you say ISA has benefited you?

    ISA has benefited me in many ways. For one, being a member keeps me constantly updated on trends in the automation industry. Through networking and collaboration, you can get guidance toward pursuing your optimal career path. In addition, the online training and certification have been particularly valuable to me. As an ISA Certified Automation Professional® (CAP®), I am recognized in the industry for my documented knowledge and expertise.

    Do you have any advice or suggestions to young automation professionals entering the profession?

    Automation is the mantra in the digital era, emphasizing the importance of gaining a superior degree of knowledge about automation processes. Almost all industries are focusing on automation to ensure safe, reliable operation of laborious processes. The Internet of things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 are taking the automation industry to a whole new level, a new dimension.

    Being involved in ISA is one way automation professionals can keep pace and stay on the cusp of all these dynamic changes.