There is much talk about process automation experience being lost as the wave of baby boomers retire. One man of action, ModelingAndControl.com’s Greg McMillan, has moved beyond talk into action. A few weeks ago, he announced on the ISA Automation Week website in a post, ISA Mentor Program: A Guide to Success, that he:
…will mentor four (4) end users in the process industry for a period of twelve (12) months, beginning with a kick-off meeting on 17 October 2011 at ISA Automation Week in Mobile, Alabama.
Greg describes his path to the acquisition of process control experience and the important role mentors played in an Intech magazine article, Mentoring, social media to eliminate deadtime in your career.
As part of this mentoring program, the folks chosen will receive a year of mentoring from Greg along with [hyperlinks added]:
- Copy of recent books Advanced Temperature Measurement and Control – Second Edition and Essentials of Modern Measurements and Final Elements by Greg McMillan
- “In-progress” drafts of Greg McMillan’s upcoming book to be published by ISA and titled 101 Ways to Become a Successful Process Control Engineer
- Email communication regularly with Greg McMillan following the initial meeting at ISA Automation Week 2011. Guidance from Greg will be in terms of concepts, principles, strategies, and resources. Conversations will not delve into instrumentation and process control details in order to avoid discussing specific automation suppliers and/or proprietary process information. All conversations will be confidential.
- An interview with Greg McMillan for an article to be published in InTech magazine at the conclusion of the program
- High-profile opportunity to present a paper at a premier technical conference, ISA Automation Week 2012
Greg shares his pursuit and realization of this mentoring program in one of his ModelingAndControl.com posts, Top Ten Limitations – Concepts. He explains the critical importance of conceptual knowledge, which is the basis of the mentor program.
I just received word from Greg that he selected 6 candidates instead of the original 4 and that they are in the process of being notified. The mentees include three from the United States, two from South America and one from the Asia Pacific region. We’ll check in from time to time on Greg’s account of their progress over the next year.
I hope this initiative becomes a model for other experienced process automation professionals to share their wisdom with the next generation of automation professionals.