Advancing the Engineering Craft

I wrote this post while on a flight back from a meeting in Rome. As an engineer, one can’t help but be inspired by the buildings and architectural wonders created by the engineers in the Roman Empire. Talk about built to last!

I think about engineers today who worked on this mobile smartphone I used to compose this post while on the plane. These phones have a life span of a couple of years at best. I saw a colleague with a newer version of my model. It includes a global positioning system (GPS). He downloaded Google Maps and it automatically connected with his GPS. This is not only cool, but also very useful as it gave real-time positioning information as we walked the streets of Rome.

Imagine the contrast of old and new as we used it to find historic monuments like the Pantheon. Here is something with a life span of a few years to find something that has lasted thousands of years.

Thankfully, in our world of process automation our work may live on a decade or two. These systems are not without change as the hardware and software continues to advance. These systems take advantage of the work of really smart engineers who keep advancing the technology.

I tie this all back to a press announcement of four really smart Emerson engineers, Terry Blevins, Deji Chen, Mark Nixon, and Willy Wojsznis receiving an excellence in documentation award from the ISA. The award was for their ISA EXPO 2006 technical paper, Improving PID Control with Unreliable Communications.

As part of the DeltaV technology team, they have played a major role in some of the innovations automation engineers around the world use every day to improve their process operations and their business results.

A sample of the innovations include Foundation fieldbus, OPC, on-the-fly process modeling for real-time control performance, EDDL, embedded MPC, fuzzy logic, neural network with the other common control block.

Congratulations to Terry, Deji, Mark, and Willy on their award and helping to advance the craft automations engineers apply.

Posted Monday, November 12th, 2007 under Technologies.

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