In Memoriam: Bridget Fitzpatrick

In Memoriam: Bridget Fitzpatrick
In Memoriam: Bridget Fitzpatrick

Bridget Fitzpatrick, ISA Fellow and process automation technical expert, died suddenly last month. She was 57.
According to her obituary, Bridget Ann Fitzpatrick was born in Portland, Maine, on Dec. 27, 1964, during an ice storm. The 8th child (6th surviving) of Ada Fraser and James Fitzpatrick, she entered the world determined. Her determination, kindness and brilliance were always a part of who she was. She died suddenly on May 4, 2022 while traveling for work. The morning of the trip she posted on Facebook, “Feeling happy.” Bridget enjoyed being with people, cared about people, and looked forward to sharing her latest thoughts with her peers.
According to her long-time partner, Byron Lemmond, “Always the smartest person in the room, Bridget was also one of the most caring and kind. When you were with her, you were with her. She had a ‘wicked’ sense of humor and could find the funny in any situation. Her determination and brilliance produced impressive accomplishments while her kindness led to many life-long friends. She was salutatorian of her class at South Portland High School in 1982. She could have chosen any college major, loved the classics but chose engineering in a time when few women were entering the field.”
Bridget attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a work/study scholarship, ultimately earning a B.S. in chemical engineering. At Michigan State, she continued with graduate studies in chemical engineering and later attended the University of Phoenix, earning an MBA in technology management. After graduation from MIT in 1987, she didn’t have a particular career path in mind.
“Always at the back of her mind was a desire to solve big problems and ‘save the world.’ Throughout her career, she sought out the most interesting and difficult problems she could find, while at the same time forging friendships with people all over the world. She cared about you and your story,” said Lemmond.
Bridget joined Celanese Chemicals in Bishop, Texas, in 1989, where her initial interests led her to start as a process engineer. She “then moved into process control engineering when the control engineers wouldn’t implement control schemes to her satisfaction,” Lemmond said. After completing her MBA, she moved into Celanese middle management and then began working for Mustang Engineering (now Wood Group), in Houston in 2003. Holding many positions over the years at Wood Group, she eventually became their Global Technical Lead for Automation.

Bridget Fitzpatrick (left) gives her ISA Fellow 2016 acceptance speech; shown with Peggie Koon, PhD, 2014 ISA President.

Professional accolades

Bridget was a highly knowledgeable professional with deep expertise in control and automation, and she generously utilized her people skills to share her technical expertise with a wider audience. For decades, she participated in setting industrial automation standards for the world. She worked with numerous standards setting organizations, among them ISA, API, ANSI, and the Open Process Automation Forum, and was a member of the board of directors for In 2021 she was inducted into Control magazine’s Process Automation Hall of Fame. 
Bridget was an active and enthusiastic ISA volunteer and industry thought leader whose body of work was honored and recognized. She was named an ISA Fellow in June 2016 for innovative improvement of alarm management and human machine interface [HMI] design practices. She also served as a U.S. expert to an International Electrotechnical Commission committee developing an architecture for distributed industrial automation systems.
Bridget was a member of the ISA Standards and Practices Board as well as managing director of the ISA18, Instrument Signals and Alarms standards committee. In 2010 she received ISA’s Standard and Practices Department Award (ISA-18.2) in recognition of her outstanding contributions as a technical editor in the development of ANSI/ISA-18.2-2009, Management of Alarm Systems for the Process Industries, and for pioneering work in developing the first ISA standard on alarm management. She also served the wider automation community as a member of the ISA84, ISA101, ISA105, ISA106, and ISA112 standards committees.

Bridget Fitzpatrick (fourth from right) shown with other 2015 ISA Standard & Practices Department award recipients.

Bridget is survived by her beloved long-time partner, Byron Lemmond; her siblings Michael Fitzpatrick and his wife Jennifer, Martin Fitzpatrick and his fiancé Debbie Walton, Barbara St. Clair, Beth Horne, Melissa Skahan and her husband Patrick; and her nieces and nephews Paula Deas, Geoffrey Deas, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ashley Fitzpatrick, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Liz Mireles Quevedo, John Mireles, Meaghan Anderson, Mary Willis, Bridget Skahan, Will Horne, Ada Horne; and her great nieces and nephews Arianna, Molly, Maggie, Riddick, Ryder, Addilyn, Ruby, Ada, Mia, Patrick, Donovan, and Devin.
Lemmond said Bridget had a deep love of the ocean and her home state of Maine, and her ashes will be scattered there. Services will be private. Donations in memory of Bridget Fitzpatrick may be sent to the ISA scholarship fund or to The Cattery Cat Shelter in Corpus Christi, Texas.

About The Author

Renee Bassett is Chief Editor of

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