International Society of Automation News Release
Contact: Jennifer Infantino Halsey
+1 919-990-9287
jenniferinfantino@isa.org

Nearly 200 attendees gathered at the 2015 ISA WWAC Symposium to explore automation challenges and solutions in the water and wastewater industries

Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA (25 August 2015) – The 2015 International Society of Automation (ISA) Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium drew 187 attendees, 35 expert speakers and 35 exhibitors to Orlando, Florida, USA in early August to examine and confront the varied challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the municipal water and wastewater sectors.

The three-day, highly targeted event—focusing entirely on the needs of automation professionals—included an extensive program of technical presentations; an interactive panel discussion; a tour of a local wastewater treatment plant; a vendor exposition; networking events; and two training courses—one on alarm management and the other on asset management and enterprise integration. The symposium was held 4-6 August at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort.

The ISA WWAC Symposium provided the ideal opportunity to gain the latest news and trends in automation and control systems, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), instrumentation, systems integration, optimization, cybersecurity, alarm management, and emerging technologies across the water/wastewater industry.

Attendees, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors expressed highly positive remarks about the event.

“I found the symposium to be exactly what I was looking for, as it is focused almost entirely on SCADA, which is a major part of my responsibilities,” said Dan Machado, Technology Support Group Manager, Cobb County Water System. “This is the only conference I have found that truly speaks to the needs of SCADA professionals in the water/wastewater sector.”

Maxym Lachance, a presenter from Tetra Tech’s Montreal Office, expressed similar words: “The ISA WWAC Symposium is an event where I know I can talk with the folks who actually use SCADA in their daily operations. This was a great opportunity to converse one-on-one with both the designers and the operations teams who use SCADA on a regular basis to carry out their jobs.”

The symposium’s technical speakers presented to a large audience of SCADA designers, programmers and users. Of particular note were presentations on High Performance (HP) HMI design, cybersecurity, and the role of SCADA in utilities of the future.

The symposium kicked off with a keynote address from John S. Young, a recently retired executive from American Water, whose presentation was titled, “The Water Industry – A Utility Perspective.” In his remarks, Young discussed the changing priorities and challenges faced by many water/wastewater utilities over the past five years, including deteriorating infrastructure, funding challenges, and an aging workforce.

A portion of his address highlighted the increasing role that SCADA needs to play in providing process data, which can be used to help utilities make better decisions, and how SCADA-provided automation can assist operations in more effectively operating their facilities.

Invited speaker John Krajewski highlighted how High Performance HMIs—covered in the just-published ISA101 standard on HMI design—have gained a foothold in the water/wastewater industry. Krajewski reviewed several projects where high performance HMIs have been used.

He also referenced the many ways in which HP-HMI projects can be approached, ranging from full-scale HMI replacements to just adding a few HP-HMI overview screens to an existing system. In addition, Krajewski showed how having a number of pre-built standardized screen modules in a SCADA software package or an HMI toolkit can make building HP-HMIs easier.

On the second day of the symposium, Tom DeLaura from WEF led a panel discussion about the role of SCADA in the utility of the future. The discussion, titled “What is the Future of Automation Technologies in the Water Industry?,” focused on where SCADA technology is likely to be headed in the next 10-20 years.

The symposium was also very well attended by both sponsors and exhibitors. Platinum sponsors for this year’s event included Schneider Electric, Phoenix Contact, and General Electric. Gold sponsors were Eramosa and Industrial Video & Control. In total 35 different exhibitors were represented at the symposium to demonstrate their various products and services.

“We had a very positive experience at the 2015 ISA WWAC Symposium,” remarked Tim Deschaines, Ph.D., a product manager at Process Analytics. “As an exhibitor, we had the opportunity to talk and meet with automation professionals from all over North America. Our conversations and interactions with key decision-makers in the water and wastewater sectors were highly educational, keeping us better informed of what’s going on in the industry and how to address evolving changes. We look forward to continuing our involvement in and support of ISA and ISA symposia.”

The exhibit showcase featured the latest product and service information and daily networking luncheons while an evening reception set the stage for mingling, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.

“The 2015 symposium was a resounding success,” said Kevin Patel, the 2015 general symposium chair. “I look forward to mentoring our incoming chair, Pavol Segedy, as he moves into the role of 2016 general symposium chair.”

Watch for details about the 2016 ISA WWAC Symposium, which will be held 2-4 August, also in Orlando. Stay updated by regularly visiting the conference website at www.isawwsymposium.com.

About the ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium

Presented by the ISA Water/Wastewater Industries Division—in collaboration with the Florida Section of the AWWA (FSAWWA), the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA), the WEF Automation and Info Tech Committee, and the Instrumentation Testing Association (ITA)—the ISA WWAC Symposium helps professionals in the water and wastewater industries understand all the key factors, technologies and processes that are vital to the treatment and distribution of water, the collection and treatment of wastewater, and the management of storm water. The symposium also provides an excellent opportunity to gain valuable technical information, networking, professional development, and continuing education credits (CEUs and PDHs).

Attendees receive 2.0 CEUs (credit equivalent units) from the ISA/Florida Section of the AWWA for attending the event. The two optional training courses this year provided additional CEUs. All CEUs and PDHs have been certified by the Florida AWWA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

More information on ISA WWAC Symposium can be found at www.isawwsymposium.com.

About ISA

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).