January/February 2012
Association News

Path set for 2012

By Robert E. Lindeman

2011 was a busy year for me as the ISA President-elect and went by quickly. I was honored to attend multiple ISA events, including division symposia, summits, leadership conferences, section meetings, and numerous web meetings and teleconferences. These events opened opportunities for me to interact with hundreds of ISA members and witness the amazing depth and breadth of knowledge they have to offer the automation community. As a Society, we are indeed setting the standard for automation throughout the world.

As your 2012 ISA President, my main focus will be to provide tangible benefits for ISA members and to be instrumental in the continued advancement of the practice of automation. My focus aligns with the Society's 2012-2015 strategic goals:

  • Serve students, professionals, and industry by delivering knowledge resources via publications, conferences and exhibits, training, and other programs.
  • Develop globally recognized standards, publications, and certifications for the automation community.
  • Attract and retain automation professionals as members and customers worldwide.

To make these goals a reality, we must continue to provide current technical content to support ISA's technical conferences and events, actively support divisions, strengthen sections, and offer exceptional programs to automation professionals.

ISA is committed to enhancing its position as the source for authoritative standards and practices in all automation areas. We can benefit from initiating discussions with other professional organizations to understand how to make access to ISA standards for their members more applicable to them. For example:

  • Collaborating with the leaders of automation companies and educational providers to encourage wider acceptance and usage of ISA standards as part of their culture
  • Working with political entities to raise awareness of the availability and applicability of ISA standards to government procurement policies

ISA offers excellent certification programs, but they do not have wide-spread acceptance throughout the automation profession. I plan to establish a special task force to market these programs to industry, government, and educational institutions. I would like to reach the point where holding an ISA certification becomes a standard requirement in the automation field, much like the Project Management Professional (PMP) has become for Project Management.

In the coming years, the Society has a number of training and educational goals. We will continue expanding our effort to establish community college, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs in Automation Studies as part of the Engineering Curriculum. ISA will push forward with providing flexible, affordable training programs that best serve individual and company needs. The Society will also look at how companies are training their automation engineers and technicians and discuss ways to implement its own programs that will augment companies' existing training.

Last, but certainly not least, ISA Web 2.0 needs to be a portal to the technical world, while maintaining trusted content. Last summer, the first steps were taken with the roll out of ISA Interchange, and a larger conversation began between automation professionals on vehicles such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. ISA anticipates the technical posts and conversations will continue to thrive going forward.

Meeting our goals will take all of us working together. I urge you to contribute as an individual, section, district, division, department member, and leader to help strengthen ISA. As you develop plans and consider options in your role as an ISA volunteer, please keep these two questions in mind:

  • How are we benefitting our members?
  • How are we advancing the practice of automation?

I look forward to working with each of you in 2012 and encourage your input. Working together, we can set the standard for automation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert E. Lindeman, CAP, PMP, is the 2012 ISA President.