The International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a nonprofit professional association that sets the standard for those who apply engineering and technology to improve the management, safety, and cybersecurity of modern automation and control systems used across industry and critical infrastructure. Founded in 1945, ISA develops widely used global standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; hosts conferences and exhibits; and provides networking and career development programs for its 36,000 members and 350,000 customers around the world.
ISA owns Automation.com, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org), an association of non-profit organizations serving as “The Voice of Automation.” Through a wholly owned subsidiary, ISA bridges the gap between standards and their implementation with the ISA Security Compliance Institute (www.isasecure.org) and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute (www.isa100wci.org).
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ISA and Automation Federation take part in annual FIRST Championship, an international celebration of young people’s interest in science and technology
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2015 ISA Power Industry Symposium features five acclaimed keynote speakers, an extensive technical program, training opportunities and more
Automation Federation releases report commissioned by LOGIIC that studies the use of virtualization in IACS environments
ISA’s Executive Board votes to reinstate membership benefit that enables unemployed ISA members to extend their Society membership by nine months
Beamex is pleased to announce its cooperation with Mark Draghicescu Racing at Silverstone race circuit
ISA and Beamex to co host web seminar on how to avoid the pitfalls of calibration system implementation
Honeywell Named Best Industrial Wireless Provider at 2014 Asian Manufacturing Awards
Beamex launches Mikes Calibration Corner
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This month's Q&A is with Peter Baker CAP, CTech, the owner of IVy Automation and the president of IVy Automation, LLC., a company that provides instrumentation and automation consultancy with a specialization in measurement and control solutions. His range of expertise includes global product and business development, technical documentation, and consulting on technical issues and training.
One of Baker's primary responsibilities is helping to manage the global business of The Alia Group in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade zone, and consulting with the firm on business and product improvement, research and development, and technical issues. The Alia Group develops products and systems to meet the evolving needs of public and private energy and water suppliers, utility services, and industrial companies.
As a volunteer, Baker is highly involved in the Future City Competition, a national, project-based learning experience where students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades use their science and engineering skills to imagine, design, and build cities of the future.
The Twin Cities ISA (TC-ISA) is a contributing member to a local association in Minnesota called the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science and Technology Societies (MFESTS). The purpose of the organization is to coordinate and advertise inter-society events. The TC-ISA board member appointee to this organization, Kurt Nordstrom, PE, suggested that I might be interested in their work and serve as a judge at the final competition of the Minnesota Future City Competition held at the University of Minnesota during National Engineering Week. It was shortly after my first experience judging for MFESTS at the competition and getting a feel for the event that I thought it might be a good avenue for promoting the TC-ISA and the new ISA Building Automation Systems Division. That's why each year, TC-ISA presents an automation award at the regional event of the Future City Competition.
It's been great. During the first couple years of the event, student interest and involvement was marginal. Students were slow to identify with automation and instrumentation. At that time, in fact, some students and teachers thought industrial instrumentation was the use of trumpets by General Motors. As time has progressed, though, more students have become more involved, primarily by word of mouth. In addition, the competition has been promoted and covered well by the local media.
At the end of our second year judging at the regional event, Kim Hovey, CAP,PE, one of the TC-ISA team judges, suggested developing a video communicating the value of the competition and awards that we could post on YouTube. Since I had the video equipment and a YouTube account, I offered to take on the challenge. Our new video defines automation and instrumentation and the technology involved, and also provides real-life application examples. At the same time we completed the video, we broadened the scope of our Future City Competition award, presenting it to honor the "Most Creative and Innovative Use of Instrumentation and Automation in your City of the Future." We believe the video does a good job of explaining, through sound and visuals,this aspect of the automation profession and revealing some real-life examples, locally and from around the world, of automation processes and solutions. (Watch the TC-ISA video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3K8TFhyMsY)
When I first moved to the Twin Cities from Vancouver, B.C. Canada, the TC-ISA was in a bit of a decline. A local member, Bob Pickering, decided to revitalize the section. Some other local members and I met with Bob to help rejuvenate the section. My past experience and involvement at both the Vancouver, B.C. and Calgary, Alberta ISA sections--to plan tours, talks, socials, and organize local trade shows and educational sessions-- allowed me to contribute my capabilities for the benefit of the TC-ISA. As a result, I became the section secretary and then later re-established the section's newsletter. I then became the ISA Section Delegate for a short time, until moving on to the position of Future City Competition promoter.
Please contact me, Peter Baker (Pbaker@ivyautomation.com) or Bill Knight (Bknight@futurecity.org) at the Future City Competition's head office in Washington, DC.
The Future City Competition gives students an opportunity to do the things that engineers do-identify problems; brainstorm ideas; design solutions; test, retest and build; and share their results. This process is called the engineering design process. With this at its center, Future City is an engaging way to build students' 21st century skills.
During the Future City Competition, students work as a team with an educator and engineer mentor to plan cities using SimCity™ software; research and write solutions to an engineering problem; build tabletop scale models with recycled materials; and present their ideas before judges at regional competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at the National Finals in Washington, DC in February. All of these activities help promote an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education during National Engineering Week. For more info visit www.futurecity.org.