If you’re a process automation professional and you haven’t been following Greg McMillan on the ModelingAndControl.com blog and his “What Have I Learned?” series of posts, you’re not in the flow of great knowledge sharing. Here’s the current list of posts:
- What Have I Learned? – Sharing Knowledge
- What Have I Learned? – Einstein and the Ultimate Limits for Loop Performance
- What Have I Learned? To Lag or Not to Lag?
- What Have I Learned? – Unexpected Wireless Benefits
- What Have I Learned? – Cascade Control –Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
- What Have I Learned? – Manipulation of Multiple Flows Part 1 – Split Ranged Control, Part 2 – Valve Position Control, Part 3 – MPC
- What Have I Learned? – Ratio Control Part 1, Part 2
- What Have I Learned? – Cost and Source of Oscillations Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
- What Have I Learned? – Wiring and VFD Problems
- What Have I Learned? – Writing
If you have wrestled with any of these control strategies, I hope you’ll find some of the experience Greg shares helps shortcut a path to a solution.
The first post in the series, Sharing Knowledge, ends with this exhortation for you to join the ranks of those who’ll share their expertise:
What distinguish humans from other animals are the gifts through art and science to discover, create, and disseminate knowledge and beauty expanding our understanding and perception of the universe. Art and science can both get at the essence and create new entities that take on an essence of their own. Both improve the quality and level of life. For me, good technical writing is both art and science. Try doing a weekly blog on what you have learned. I bet if you stick with it you will find it rewarding and create something that takes on an existence of its own.
I liked Greg’s shift from the technical aspects of process control to today’s post on writing. Greg gives his reasons for sharing these posts:
The main point of this blog like all of my writing is to share what I have learned. My goal for next year is to help prevent significant expertise and knowledge in process automation from being lost forever. I would guess 100 or more automation professionals are retiring each year who have published at best an infinitesimally small portion of their expertise for posterity. Also, new engineers are facing special challenges. My sense is the new kid in the control room doesn’t have the mentors or the internal technical training programs I took for granted. They may be thrown into the midst of a difficult problem with no guidance.
He then shares ten points on writing. I especially like number 9, Don’t get hung up on perfect grammar or a perfect piece. It reminds me of the unsolicited advice I offered a fellow Twitterer expressing his frustration with writers block. I pointed him to the Cult of the Done Manifesto.
I’d like to say great minds think alike, but I’ll not go anywhere near there when I’m writing about Greg!