Wednesday 25 April 2012

Making a splash in Florida!

The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the International Society of Automation (ISA) to co-promote ISA’s 2012 Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium.

Traditionally held in the Orlando, Florida, USA area, the WWAC Symposium offers a unique opportunity for automation professionals from the municipal water sector to come together and share ideas. As a technical co-sponsor of the 2012 WWAC Symposium, the FSAWWA is helping ensure that the symposium continues to meet the needs of water specialists in the Florida area and abroad.

“The FSAWWA is dedicated to ensuring Florida's present and future generations a sufficient supply of high-quality drinking water by providing critical information and opportunities to more than 2,500 members,” says Richard Ratcliffe, chair of the FSAWWA. “Automation is an important part of the infrastructure for providing clean and safe drinking water. We are pleased to have partnered with the ISA so we can jointly co-promote the 2012 WWAC Symposium as an excellent continuing-education opportunity for our members.”

Slated for 7-9 August, the 2012 ISA WWAC Symposium is a three-day event that focuses on the challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the water and wastewater sectors. It features two full days of technical speakers and presentations, a tour of a local water treatment plant, a general reception, networking events, a poster session and a supplier showcase.

“Automation has a growing and important role in the municipal drinking water sector,” mantains ISA Executive Director and CEO Pat Gouhin. “ISA has a wealth of expertise and resources in all areas of automation, and we are pleased to share this with members of the Florida Section of the AWWA. Through the partnership between the FSAWWA and ISA, we are able to bring together professionals from both associations focusing on the convergence of automation technologies and applications in the water sector.”

As a result of the memorandum of understanding, this year’s symposium is able to offer discounted pricing to both AWWA and ISA members. This is a first for the symposium, and underlines the mutual benefit the symposium brings to both associations.

ISA and the FSAWWA are also working to certify the hours that attendees spend at the symposium as approved continuing education credits for the state-licensed water operators and engineers in the state of Florida. This process requires several levels of approvals, but once it is completed it will enable the symposium to fill an important need for Florida automation professionals in the water sector. An announcement will be made once this process is complete.

With the help of the FSAWWA, this year’s WWAC Symposium keynote speaker will be Celine Hyer, a long-time AWWA member, who will present a keynote address entitled “Facility Utility Challenges: Managing Risk and Addressing Aging Infrastructure Needs.” Celine is a principal consultant with Red Oak Division of Malcolm Pirnie/ARCADIS in Tampa, Florida, where she leads the asset management practice for the South. Currently, she leads asset management projects throughout the United States for medium and large utilities including New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Dallas Water Utility, Lee County Utilities and Toho Water Authority.

In addition to the keynote presentation, the symposium will feature more than 25 technical presentations on a wide variety of automation, cybersecurity, instrumentation, plant optimization and system-integration topics. Two major themes this year are creating high-performance human machine interfaces (HMIs) to improve operational effectiveness, and developing supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and automation cybersecurity best practices. The symposium also continues with its traditional strength of sharing new ideas and lessons learned from recent plant upgrades and new-builds.

“The symposium is targeted at anyone involved with automation, instrumentation, and/or control systems in water and wastewater sectors. Attendees typically range from plant operators, maintenance and technical personnel to engineers, programmers and system integrators,” says General Symposium Chair, Graham Nasby of Eramosa Engineering Inc., who was the driving force that facilitated the newly signed agreement between the two organizations. "We are delighted to welcome the FSAWWA aboard as a technical co-sponsor for the 2012 WWAC Symposium.”

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