ISA EXPO 2009 technical conference program: An insider’s view

Each year, the ISA EXPO technical conference program covers the critical topics of the day, and this year I have the honor of serving as the ISA EXPO 2009 technical program chair. The ISA EXPO technical program committee is comprised of more than 30 volunteers who work together on these six technology track sub-committees: The committee is formed a year in advance and we meet face to face, elec...


Each year, the ISA EXPO technical conference program covers the critical topics of the day, and this year I have the honor of serving as the ISA EXPO 2009 technical program chair. The ISA EXPO technical program committee is comprised of more than 30 volunteers who work together on these six technology track sub-committees:

  • Environmental track %%MDASSML%% Sessions on water/wastewater treatment; combustion monitoring and control; and gas measurement and analysis techniques

  • Enterprise Integration track %%MDASSML%% Integration trends in chemical/petrochemical, food and pharmaceuticals and power industries; and integrated enterprise information modeling and management

  • Process Automation & Control track %%MDASSML%% Instrumentation applications and selection; process control project management; advanced process control applications; and using process data to improve performance

  • Safety track %%MDASSML%% Implementation, operation, repair and maintenance implications for SIS; designing engineered safeguards; and SIL verification techniques

  • Security track %%MDASSML%% How information leakage can compromise industrial facilities; wireless security; and cyber security for alarm and event traffic

  • Wireless & Networking track %%MDASSML%% Enterprise data management; wireless HART and HART 7 overview; wireless technology applications and user experiences; and Power-over-Ethernet.

    • The committee is formed a year in advance and we meet face to face, electronically and via teleconferences throughout the year to discuss the progress of the program. The track committee members develop session topics, identify potential speakers and contact speakers to solicit their involvement. A call for unsolicited speakers also goes out to help round out the program. The technical program committee also provides recommendations for keynote topics and speakers.

      Our program committee volunteers are active in cutting-edge research, the development of new technology and the creation of standards used globally in our industries. They have the contacts within industry and government to deliver a top-notch technical program with some really groundbreaking sessions such as a live “hack and protect” security session, a live social engineering and open source intelligence demonstration and a panel session that connects academia and industry to talk about the future of our profession.

      Program topics are developed based upon attendee feedback, surveys and industry demands and developments. One of the new topics for this year’s ISA EXPO program is the addition of an energy component to the environmental control exchange. Energy has been identified as a topic of interest among previous EXPO attendees, and this year, we’re pleased to be able to present a program that covers energy aspects from both the end-user and the producer perspectives.

      For a content program to be successful, we need participation and interest from users and suppliers, and with the rising demand for alternative energy; reducing CO 2 footprints; creating green collar jobs; and President Obama’s New Energy for America plan, the interest among key constituents on both sides of the spectrum %%MDASSML%% end-users and suppliers %%MDASSML%% validates developing this new, exciting EXPO component.

      The energy component is chaired by Dave Hardin of Invensys Global Management. The track will include tutorials on hot topics such as Smart Grid, NERC CIP and transportation fuels. According to Hardin, the message is becoming clearer that we must move toward a future driven by sustainable energy. Energy must be harnessed from a wide range of diverse sources and delivered cost-effectively, efficiently and securely to consumers of all types and sizes. This is the role of the Smart Grid. The ISA EXPO 2009 Energy track will explore Smart Grid and the many opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for industry and industrial automation as the world’s energy supply-chain is modernized.

      Panel sessions for the energy component will focus on distributed generation, alternative energy sources, the future of energy management and applying industrial automation to building management. A paper session on nuclear energy is also being planned.

      Being part of the ISA EXPO 2009 conference program planning is truly exciting, and to see it all come together at ISA EXPO 2009 will be rewarding. The true reward, however, is the sharing of information between industry and users and the potentially unlimited outcomes and possibilities these types of exchanges can have. This year’s ISA EXPO will be held October 6-8 in Houston, TX. For more information, visit .

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