ISA attendance a record at Water/Wastewater Symposium |

ISA attendance a record at Water/Wastewater Symposium

August 14, 2013 - The International Society of Automation (ISA) is pleased to report that the 2013 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium enjoyed record attendance numbers.  Held in Orlando, Florida, USA, on 6-8 August at the Crowne Plaza Orlando-Universal Hotel, the symposium attracted more than 250 attendees. Additionally, the symposium’s two short courses, one on in-depth cybersecurity and the other on water flow meter selection/sizing, were sold out with more than 40 participants from water and wastewater utilities from across North America.

The record attendance numbers, which represent more than a 50% increase from the previous year, highlight the growing importance of automation, data analytics and cybersecurity in the municipal water/wastewater sector. The surge in attendance is also testament to the symposium’s continued focus on today’s challenges in automation, instrumentation and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) for the important role that water/wastewater holds in our public infrastructure.

Now in its eighth year, the annual ISA WWAC symposium is experiencing a new-found growth in popularity thanks to growing alliances with the Water Envi-ronment Federation (WEF), the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (FSAWWA), the Florida Water Environment Association (FWEA) and the Instrument Testing Association (ITA). By forming strong partnerships with other associations, the symposium has been able to reach out to automa-tion, instrumentation and SCADA professionals across the industry. For mem-bers of these associations, the symposium represents targeted professional development, training and networking opportunities that they could not find elsewhere.

“Our secret is our focus,” says Bob Lindeman, the past-President of ISA who gave the opening remarks at the symposium. “Our annual ISA water/wastewater symposium specifically caters to the needs of professionals involved with automation, instrumentation and SCADA in the municipal water and wastewater sectors. It is a niche event and we are proud of its increasing popularity. There is no other event like it in North America.”

The symposium is also specifically positioned so that municipal utilities could easily send their staff. Thanks to the symposium’s sponsors, including Schnei-der Electric, Phoenix Contact, Cooper Bussmann/Eaton, IBM, Yokogawa, and Eramosa Engineering, among others, the symposium was able to offer inex-pensive registration rates for all its attendees. Additionally, thanks to partner-ships with the AWWA and WEF, attendees were able to gain approved Continu-ing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDHs) that could be used towards continuing education requirements for a wide variety of state-issued operator, engineering and technician licenses.

Attendees were treated to hot breakfasts, fully catered lunches and an exhibitor hall where they could learn about new products and services. The symposium’s exhibitors, who were all focused on automation, instrumentation and SCADA products and services, enjoyed the show’s focus and the ability to talk with attendees in a targeted, yet intimate, atmosphere.

This year’s technical program featured some 42 speakers, arranged in two par-allel speaking tracks, who spoke on a variety of SCADA-related topics. Presen-tations ranged from advanced process control, instrumentation and alarm man-agement techniques to better control room design, SCADA retrofit, and cyber-security best practices.

Headliner speakers included a keynote by IBM’s Carey Hidaka on the ad-vantages of data analytics; an invited talk by John Cusimano about the state of cybersecurity in municipal water plants; and an invited talk by P. Hunter Vegas who gave a humorous, yet highly informative, presentation on some of the challenges associated with SCADA retrofit projects. Guest presenters also included speakers from the ISA Tampa Bay section, the Water Environment Federation, and the Florida Section of the AWWA.

As a lasting benefit of the symposium, this year’s participants also received copies of the conference proceedings in a two-volume bound book and PDF-based digital versions, which made it easy for them to take their newfound knowledge home with them.

In the symposium’s closing remarks, the General Symposium Chair Graham Nasby, of Eramosa Engineering, spoke about the need for greater collaboration in the sector. He also talked about the growing importance of automation, instrumentation and SCADA in the municipal water/wastewater sector, and how the ISA WWAC Symposium is a natural “niche event” that specifically caters to professionals involved with these unique aspects of our collective public infrastructure.

The 2014 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium will be taking place 5-7 August 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Orlando-Universal Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

About the ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium
Presented by the ISA Water and Wastewater Industries Division, the ISA Wa-ter/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium helps professionals in the water and wastewater industries understand how instrumentation, SCADA (su-pervisory control and data acquisition) and automatic control applications are vital to the treatment and distribution of water, the collection and treatment of wastewater, and the management of storm water. As a three-day event, the symposium features technical speakers, invited speakers, an exhibit hall, plant tour and a general reception. The 2013 ISA WWAC Symposium was held in Orlando, Florida, USA on 6–8 August 2013. The 2014 symposium will be taking place 5-7 August 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Orlando-Universal Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

About ISA
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (ISA) is a leading, global, non-profit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capa-bilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops stand-ards, certifies industry professionals, provides education and training, publishes books and technical articles, and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals.

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