There is another great book coming out for automation professionals. Just in time for the 2012 ISA Automation Week conference, Control Talk and ISA Interchange blog’s Greg McMillan along with Hunter Vegas have written 101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career. In the preface, Greg and Hunter highlight the genesis for the book [hyperlink added]:
This book was inspired by what the authors have learned from the ISA Mentor Program. As guides for ten (10) talented and enthusiastic individuals, we have developed an appreciation of how formidable is the challenge faced by new engineers. Success in the automation profession depends on each engineer’s being able to deal with largely undocumented user knowledge, an incredibly diverse range of applications, vast quantities of un-analyzed data, and expertise increasingly residing outside of the plant. In a creative, concise format, this book seeks to provide perspective, understanding, direction, and guidance on what has been, and will be, important for an engineer’s advancement in an automation career. Growth in skills and knowledge is important to your company, to this profession, and to you in terms of promotion and marketability.
If you’re subscribed or have been following Greg’s ISA Interchange posts, he’s been sharing overviews of some of these tips. Here’s a sample:
- Tip #57: Be a Team Player
- Tip #32 – General Project Management Tips
- Tip #56 – Learn New Skills and Explore Technological Advances
- Tip #29 – Tricks for control panels
The tips range from the practical to the philosophical and reflect the accumulated wisdom of Greg and Hunter. Their mission is to get this wisdom from their gray matter out to where it could be put to use by the next generation of automation professionals.
I can’t help but smile when I read the headlines of some of the tips such as:
- Tip #7: If You Have to Tell Everyone How Smart You Are, You Probably Aren’t.
- Tip #23: Anticipate Murphy; He Is Alive and Well
- Tip #40 – Engineers Are Generally AWFUL Communicators. Do Not Fall into That Trap.
Other tips are very technical in nature:
- Tip #71: Achieve Best Disturbance Rejection and Setpoint Response
- Tip #73: Use Coriolis Meters for Mass Flow and Concentration Control
- Tip #80: Use Sliding Stem Valves for Tighter Control
If you’ll be at ISA Automation Week, make sure to connect with Greg and Hunter and check out their new book. There just might be a couple of tips that launch you on the path to a very successful automation career. When that happens, we’ll look forward to your tips to share with the next generation of process automation professionals!