ISA’s 2016 Process Control and Safety Symposium and Exhibition draws more than 300 attendees

  • November 23, 2016
  • Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Premier event for automation and control professionals in chemical and energy processing and other key process industry sectors

The 2016 ISA Process Control and Safety Symposium and Exhibition, held 7-10 November in Houston, Texas, drew more than 300 attendees to explore solutions to the varied challenges facing process measurement and control professionals in chemical and energy processing, pulp and paper, and other process industry sectors.

Uniting the global expertise of seven ISA technical divisions and with the support of ISA's Houston Section, the symposium featured: three outstanding keynote addresses; the perspectives of more than 100 process automation industry experts; interactive panel discussions and tutorials; a wide range of vendor demonstrations and exhibits; two ISA training courses; lively networking opportunities; and other value-packed activities.

Attending engineers, technicians and plant managers gained the latest insights, news and trends in process measurement and control across key process industry sectors. Particular attention was placed on the critical issues in instrumentation, communications, control systems, safety and security.

Three outstanding keynote presentations

Three distinguished automation and control industry professionals delivered keynote addresses.

  • Paul Gruhn, Global Functional Safety Consultant at aeSolutions and a highly acclaimed and awarded safety expert in the automation and control field, delivered a presentation titled: "Process Safety: Are we getting any better? Recollections on four decades of experience and more"

Gruhn is an ISA Fellow, the co-chair of the ISA 84 standard committee (on safety instrumented systems), and a developer and instructor of ISA courses on safety systems.

  • Bonnie J. Dunbar, Ph.D., a retired NASA astronaut, engineer, and educator, spoke on "Inspiring and Recruiting Engineers into the 21st Century." Dr. Dunbar worked at Rockwell International Space Division Company, the builder of the Space Shuttle Columbia. She also spent 27 years at NASA.

She is currently a Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Distinguished Research Professor in the university's Department of Aerospace Engineering.

  • Steve Mustard, an acclaimed industrial cybersecurity expert and automation consultant with extensive experience in real-time embedded equipment and automation systems, gave a presentation titled: "Safe and Secure? The State of Industrial Cybersecurity"

Mustard, a certified Global Industrial Cybersecurity Professional (GICSP), played an essential role in the development of the world's only consensus-based series of industrial cybersecurity standards-ISA/IEC 62443.

A world-class technical program and vendor exhibition 

The symposium's expert-led technical program covered the critical issues in instrumentation, safety, security, communications and control systems. Among the wide-ranging topics examined included:


  • Variability, Instrument Calibration
  • Automation and Control Systems
  • Flow Measurement Technology
  • Field Calibration Technology


  • Communications in SIL, ISA100
  • Wireless Technology in the Plant Floor
  • Field Instrumentations: Wireless, Foundation Fieldbus, and Other Smart Technologies
  • Bridging Prices Between SCADA and DCS

Control Systems 

  • Process Optimization
  • Fieldbus Control Systems with Focus on Higher SIL
  • Control System Strategies, Advanced Control
  • Instrumentation for Floating LNG Facilities
  • Automation and Control in Petroleum and Petrochemical Terminals
  • System Integrations
  • Advanced HMI and Alarm Management
  • Data and Document Storage in EDMS and Asset Management
  • Troubleshooting, Optimization, and Application in Petroleum and Chemical

Process Industries 

  • Safety Instrumented Systems
  • Cybersecurity

An exhibit showcase featured the latest product and service information at engaging vendor and supplier exhibits. Daily luncheons and nightly receptions allowed for ample networking and socializing.

An opportunity to obtain ISA technical training 

A group of attendees added value to their event experience by taking an on-site ISA training short course. The following two courses were conducted prior to the commencement of the technical program:

A note of appreciation to Houston-area engineering students

ISA expresses its appreciation to more than a dozen students from the University of Houston and other Houston-area schools who volunteered their time at the three-day event. Many of these students also participated in YAPFEST, an automation career fair organized by ISA's Houston Section that was held in conjunction with the symposium.

YAPFEST enabled visiting students to learn more about process automation, meet and talk with vendor representatives, and gain insights and suggestions from automation professionals regarding career paths and opportunities. A robotics demonstration also was conducted.

Watch for details on next year's event 

The 2017 Process Control and Safety Symposium and Exhibition will again be held in Houston during the month of November. Watch for details as they become available by visiting the event section of the ISA website: For answers to any questions, contact ISA.

About ISA

The International Society of Automation ( 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 40,000 members and 400,000 customers around the world.

ISA owns, a leading online publisher of automation-related content, and is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (, 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 ( and the ISA Wireless Compliance Institute (