March/April 2012
Association News

2012 Technical Division Symposia

By Graham Nasby

2012 brings a busy year for the ISA's technical symposia. Focused on a wide variety of specific industries and technical aspects of automation, these events draw attendees from around the world. "Our technical symposia are one of the ISA's major strengths. They promote knowledge sharing and allow automation professionals to get together to learn about new technologies, share ideas and network with each other. My first exposure to ISA was at a symposium, and I have personally applied knowledge gained from participating in them to the benefit of my company and career," said ISA President Bob Lindeman, a long-time attendee of many of ISA's technical symposia.

Fostering the development and sharing of technical knowledge for all aspects of automation is one of the cornerstones of what ISA is all about. ISA's technical symposia, sponsored by ISA's technical divisions, form a key part of ISA's mission of serving its members and the automation community at large.

A listing of this year's technical symposia is as follows:

  • 16-17 April - ISA Communications Division / ISA100 Wireless for Factory Automation Workshop
  • 22-26 April - ISA Analysis Division Symposium (AD)
  • 25-26 April - ISA Safety & Security Division Symposium (SAFETY)
  • 14-16 May - ISA Leak Detection and Repair - Fugitive Emissions Symposium (LDAR)
  • 3-8 June - ISA Power Industry Division Symposium (POWID)
  • 4-8 June - ISA International Instrumentation Symposium (IIS)
  • 5-7 June - ISA Communications Division Symposium (CommDiv)
  • 9-12 June - ISA Spring Leaders Meeting /Standards Committee Meetings (SLM)*
  • 7-9 August - ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium (WWAC)
  • 15-17 August - ISA Marketing & Sales Summit (M&SS)
  • 23-26 September - ISA Fall Leaders Meeting / Standards Committee Meetings (FLM)*
  • 24-27 September - ISA Automation Week (AW)*

*Note: The Spring Leaders Meeting, Fall Leaders Meeting, and Automation Week are not division symposia; they are shown in the above calendar only to provide context in terms of scheduling.

Each of ISA's division symposia are unique and focused on a specific technical area of interest. Some are focused on specific industries, like POWID and WWAC, while others are more technology or application specific such as IIS and SAFETY. The common thread between the symposia is they each welcome a wide cross-section of interested individuals including end users, vendors, consultants, system integrators, and engineering firms. The common goal is the sharing of practical information so everyone can better solve today's automation challenges.

The symposia also offer a unique way to satisfy the continuing education and professional development needs of automation professionals. ISA symposia are focused events that use a tried-and-true format of high quality technical presentations and papers, paired with targeted exhibitor space, networking events, and training opportunities. The result is a cost-effective and compact format that has found favor with automation professionals and employers alike. 

"CEUs (continuing education units) and PDHs (professional development hours) are an important and growing requirement for many employment types, certifications and licenses," said Lindeman. "Through its technical symposia and association with the IACET, ISA is committed to providing opportunities for automation professionals to gain CEUs/PDHs to keep their skills and knowledge up to date." 

ISA technical symposia are open to everyone in the automation community to register and attend. Attendees have the option of registering online via the ISA website or using traditional paper-based registration forms. Employers can also register their employees for technical symposia using a convenient online form on the ISA website that allows multiple employees to be signed up at the same time, or by contacting ISA customer service at +1 (919) 549-8411 and info@isa.org.

For ISA members, technical symposia are also a major membership benefit. ISA members enjoy a minimum 20% discount on technical symposia registration fees, not to mention early-bird notification of when registration opens for each of the symposia.

To find out more about ISA technical symposia, visit www.isa.org/events/ on the ISA website. On the events page, each symposium is listed along with a link to its individual symposium website. Symposia details such as program schedules, presentation formats, calls for abstracts/papers, submission timelines, optional short-courses, and registration details can be found on the individual symposia websites or by contacting the listed symposia contacts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Nasby, P.E., PMP is a senior ISA member and the general symposium chair for the 2012 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium, which is taking place 7-9 August in Orlando, Fla.