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Feb
24

Engineers and Technicians Take a Bow

We owe our health, wealth, and quality of life to engineers, technicians, and scientists. Everything we take for granted today whether it be our car, home, job, media, medical care, recreation, and sports to the innovations and dedication of people seeking to advance knowledge and technology. During National Engineers Week it behooves us to realize the significance of what we have accomplished.

Engineers and technicians may not be seen as flashy but for me flash is a flash. We are are the source of achievements of long term significance. Maybe we just need to communicate more.

We have a good sense of humor as seen in the popularity of cartoons and top ten lists in my Control Talk Column Operators Unleashed and my half dozen humorous ISA books the most recent being the Funnier Side of Retirement for Engineers and People of the Technical Persuasion

My favorite list is:

Top Ten Reasons Why an Automation Engineer

Makes a Great Spouse or at Least a Wedding Gift

(10) Reliable from day one

(9) Always on the job

(8) Low maintenance – minimal grooming, clothing, and entertainment costs

(7) Many programmable features

(6) Stable

(5) Short settling time

(4) No frills or extraneous features

(3) Relies on feedback

(2) Good response to commands and amenable to real time optimization

(1) Readily tuned

What I like most about engineers and scientists is that we will put personal feelings and agendas aside when presented with the data. Even better, as part of the scientific method, we seek tests to prove our idea (hypothesis) wrong. I have learned the most from my mistakes. I would venture to say that this is quite true for the automation profession where the reality of the field performance of system design is made as visible as possible in the control room. In recognition of the significance of getting the feedback from the field, we have added a track on “Installation, Operations, and Maintenance” and Technician’s day to ISA Automation Week 2011.