• Communications Division


    ISA Communication Division
    Director's Message
    November 2014
    Dr. Peter L. Fuhr

    First and foremost, greetings to one and all!   2014 has come to a close, it's time for a snapshot review of what the ISA Communication Division (ComDiv) has been involved in during the 2014 year and what’s planned for the 2015 year. 


    ComDiv @ PCS Symposium (October 2014):

    The Communication Division (ComDiv) held a standing-room-only suite of linked presentations at the recent Process Control and Safety Symposium (Houston, October 2014).  The general theme involved present and visible-future communications, sensors and instrumentation.  Held in parallel with the other technical tracks of the Symposium many individuals including ComDiv Director-Elect Dr. Penny Chen, Security Track chairperson Brian Singer and myself were bouncing back and forth between the ComDiv and Security presentations - for as we all know they are (and should be) intimately linked.  The combination of end users, vendors, academia and government individuals led to wide ranging discussions frequently leading to essentially open forum discussions of best practices, what works and doesn't in all sorts of industrial settings.   The topics and conversations continued outside of the presentation room and was - no joke - just wonderful. A goal of ComDiv is to get these presentations (slide, not audio, maybe next year) onto the division website.

    The discussions involving communications and security are in lock step in terms of cybersecurity for all levels of automation and systems used in power, factories, chemical plants, waterworks - well, essentially everything.  The "visible future" discussions circled around the Internet of Things (IoT) which in terms of IoT for Automation leads to IoTA.  IoTA leads to a probable need for modifications and enhancements of the classical network design footing SP95.  ComDiv is approaching this topic from the perspective that automation end users have been requesting inexpensive sensors "for example, the often spoke of Peel and Stick sensors".  IoTA brings the possibility (and probability) of IP addressable edge devices...which instantly raises cybersecurity concerns.   Multiple presentations related to IoT for Industrial Settings were augmented by (or culminated in) a panel discussion specifically aimed at implications for industries with the upcoming integration of IoT devices, sensors, systems.  The panel discussion was aimed for a 90 minute duration, but blossomed into over 2 hours of lively, detailed, technical and logistical implications statements and speculations.  For those Symposium attendees who were participating I send a hearty "thank you" for the concerns raised and excitement over IoTA possibilities have continued long past the meeting itself.

    ComDiv is striving to provide ComDiv Members access to the presentations and papers from the Communcations track of the PCS Symposium.  Simply bounce over to the ComDiv website:http://www.isa.org/MSTemplate.cfm?MicrositeID=530&CommitteeID=5222

    You will see the Papers and Presentations links on the left hand side.  Partake of them all for the documents are chock full of relevant and informative material.


    That is so last month, so let's see what's upcoming:

    ComDiv is pleased to be supporting the Future of Instrumentation Workshop (IEEE affiliated) and the Passive Wireless Sensor Tags (PWST) 2015 workshop.  FIIW and PWST will be colocated in Arlington VA USA May 4-6, 2015.  ComDiv association with these combined workshop is most logical due to the combined needs of sensors, systems and communications resulting in Instrumentation for today and tomorrow.  Information related to that joint workshop is available at http://futureinstruments.ornl.gov.

    ComDiv receives an award

    Peter, Rodney, Penny

    with ComDiv award presented to ComDiv at the
    ISA Fall Leadership Meeting,
    Kansas City, MO USA November 2014





    ComDiv is supporting ISA's 61st International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS), Huntsville AL USA May 11-14, 2015.  IIS is recognized internationally as the outstanding forum for discussion of new and innovative instrumentation techniques, development, and applications.   You can immediately see why ComDiv is involved for all of these devices and systems need to communicate somehow!  Please visit the following link for more IIS information:

    Given the overall success of numerous ISA Technical Divisions joining forces for the aforementioned Process Control and Safety Symposium, the PCS Symposium 2015 is being architected right now.  Stay tuned for more details (date, location).

    ComDiv Receives an Award

    Hey ComDiv, our division was recognized by ISA Leadership as the Most Improved Division of 2014.  This is due to your ideas, thoughts, insights and participation in the various forums that ComDiv was involved in.

    So from Penny (Director-Elect), Rodney (ISA HQ), and myself...we accepted this award plaque on behalf of all of us.  Great job Communication Division members! 

    Pass the Baton:

    And now it's time for me to bid each of you adieu, for my tenure as ComDiv Director is coming to a close at the end of 2014.  Lucky for you - and me - the reigns are turned over to Director-Elect Dr. Penny Chen.  Penny has been the real leader of this ComDiv pack for 2 years, with her now being formally recognized as the Director.  ComDiv is rockin' and will continue to do so!

    I hope to see each of you - my ComDiv cohorts - someplace.sometime.

    Peter Fuhr's Signature



    To join the Commmunications Division, simply click on the following link and follow the instructions provided there.

  • Contacts

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    Penny Chen

    (408) 6368544