71st Instrumentation and Automation Symposium Exceeds Registration Record

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The 71st Annual Instrumentation Symposium for the Process Industries was held on January 26-28, 2016, in the Memorial Student Center (MSC) at Texas A&M University. The symposium was hosted by the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center and the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering.

The instrumentation symposium has had a fifth consecutive year of record attendance since 2010. The 2016 symposium saw a pronounced increase of attendees over the past year with ~500 total registered attendees. Keeping up with the latest software, knowledge, and regulations as they affect the instrumentation world is what continues to bring professionals, students, and faculty together each January. This long-standing symposium provides a forum for technical presentations, workshops, networking, and exhibits offering the latest technology for the industry.

Again in 2016, the Instrumentation Symposium featured the 4th Annual Instrument Reliability Network Symposium, which was presented jointly to raise awareness and provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange and networking. The Instrument Reliability Network’s (IRN) mission is to share historical information and lessons learned in order to minimize environmental harm, improve industry safety, maximize asset performance, and reduce maintenance costs through better lifecycle management of instrumentation and controls applied in the process industry. The IRN is a natural addition to the instrumentation symposium due to the connections to instrumentation and the process industry. This year IRN hosted 3 panel discussions.

In keeping with the number of relevant topics discussed at the symposium, this year featured three Keynote speakers. The first keynote address was given by Jim Haw Manager of Technical Services at OXY Midstream Operations. His presentation discussed the technology and control systems within the big picture. The second keynote address was given by Pierce Cantrell Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University and he focused his presentation on “Safeguarding IT/Cyber Systems-Lessons learned”. A third keynote address was given by Mark Griffon, former board member of US Chemical Safety Board (CSB). His presentation was on lessons learned regarding instrumentation and controls from recent CSB investigations.

Along with the three keynote speakers, the symposium included 22 papers and 15 workshops over three days. The exhibit hall featured 31 companies showcasing their software products, instrumentation goods, and safety instrumented systems. The exhibits provided an opportunity for managers, operators, students, and instrumentation personnel to network with colleagues and seek out new trends and technology that is available to them in their respective areas.

For more information on the Instrumentation and Automation Symposium for the Process Industries, contact Valerie Green, Associate Director, at val-green@tamu.edu or Ms. Amarette Renieri at arenieri@tamu.edu.


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