RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced that Carey E. Hidaka from IBM’s Smarter Water Group will be giving the keynote address for this year’s 2013 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls (WWAC) Symposium. Taking place Aug. 6-8 in Orlando, Fla., the 2013 ISA WWAC Symposium focuses on the challenges associated with automation and instrumentation in the water and wastewater sectors.
The 2013 symposium features over 40 technical speakers, two full days of technical presentations, a tour of a local water treatment plant, a general reception, networking events and a supplier showcase. This highly focused event has a long tradition as an event that caters to the needs of automation professionals in the water and wastewater sectors.
Advances in computer technology have meant that process data now can be collated, cross-referenced and analyzed in ways never before possible. Hidaka’s keynote will introduce the concept of smarter water management and use examples to illustrate how the innovative application of data analysis and visualization can play a pivotal role in addressing industry challenges. He will talk about how modern software can leverage existing and new data sources and apply analysis/visualization/optimization tools, aggregate siloed data and create situational awareness and insights to help people make better and timelier decisions.
Water supply and distribution systems and wastewater collection and treatment systems generate and rely on significant amounts of data, from supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems to computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) and enterprise asset management systems (EAMS), to geographic information systems (GIS), to web-based data, like that from the U.S. Geological Survey.
When this data is harnessed appropriately it can be used to drive better decision making, whether used in treating/conveying water or in repairing/replacing infrastructure prior to catastrophic failure, to ultimately improve water/wastewater operations and efficiencies. Better decision making, underpinned by strong data analytics, also facilitates planning processes and maintenance and repair operations to better manage and forecast future water/wastewater needs and requirements.
“Fresh water, a fundamental requirement for life on the planet, is becoming a scarce resource as the world’s population grows and competition increases for available water,” says IBM’s Hidaka, a seasoned professional with over 35 years of experience in the water and information technology sectors. “Against this backdrop, the world’s cities will require new and innovative approaches to address these significant challenges. Business-as-usual and traditional engineering solutions won’t be enough.”
In addition to Hidaka’s keynote address, this year’s symposium also features several distinguished speakers. This year’s invited speakers include:
•Bill Hollifield, of PAS, a long-time member of the ISA18 alarm management and ISA101 HMI standards committees, and published author, will talk about the advantages of high performance HMI design and real-world proof about how better design results in real operational improvements. Bill returns this year by popular demand.
•P. Hunter Vegas, co-author of the book “101 Tips for a Successful Automation Career,” will talk about how to successfully manage SCADA retrofit projects and how to manage schedule/risk and context of the differing perspectives of team members, such as system integrators, operators, maintenance technicians, middle management and ultimately the utility owner.
•John Cusimano, from exida security services, will provide an update on the current state of cybersecurity in municipal water plants and what sorts of risk management programs owners can put in place to protect themselves.
In addition to this year’s keynote, invited speakers and the 40-plus technical papers being presented, guest speakers from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) will also give state of the industry addresses.
“This year’s WWAC Symposium technical program is a fascinating mix of instrumentation, SCADA, cybersecurity, data optimization and human factor topics,” says general symposium chair Graham Nasby, of Eramosa Engineering. “Our 2013 symposium offers a full range of ideas, insights and lessons-learned of a wide range of technologies that are of interest to the plant manager, operator, programmer and maintenance manager.”
For a copy of this year’s symposium program schedule, including information about each technical speaker, visit www.isawwsymposium.com/program. Online registration is now open, and a symposium brochure can be downloaded at www.isawwsymposium.com.
Early-bird registration for the three-day event is $425 and includes breakfasts/lunches as well a printed/bound copy of symposium proceedings which attendees receive upon arrival. Early-bird rates are available until July 2, 2013.