To keep current with new techniques and technologies, many professions require an ongoing education process. Engineers in the industrial automation sector certainly fall into this category. The good news is there's lots of help out there. All you have to do is know where to look.
Wherever there are trade shows, you're bound to find symposiums, conferences, and training courses. And these events are a good place to look for educational opportunities. But don't limit your search to these high-profile events. Schools and companies offer some very intriguing lectures, classes, and seminars—all of which can help you stay on top of the latest and greatest in your area of interest. Let me point out some of the more valuable and interesting offerings out there.
The American School of Gas Measurement Technology (ASGMT) held its annual meeting in Houston, September 18–21. The school consists of a two-and-a-half day series of 1-hour lectures, hands-on classes, plant tours, and exhibits. The ASGMT is the largest school in the U.S. devoted to natural gas measurement, pressure regulation, flow control, and other related areas.
This fall, IOtech is offering a series of no-cost vibration seminars around the U.S. Learn about easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions for common vibration monitoring and analysis applications. The seminars will feature IOtech's data acquisition hardware, along with relevant software.
The SMMA Motor and Motion College is offering a special course called "Continuous, Dynamic and Intermittent Thermal Operation in Electric Motors" during the SMMA 2006 Fall Technical Conference, November 1–3, at the St. Louis Airport Marriott Hotel.
Snell Infrared, a thermographic training organization, is offering a WEBINAR called "Basics of Radiometric Temperature Measurements" on Thursday, October 12, with Rob Spring, a Snell Infrared instructor and ASNT Level III certificate holder. For more information, go to the organization's Web site.
Emerson Process Management is now offering a comprehensive DeltaV operator training course, using eLearning online training (a growing field). The course provides in-depth information on the DeltaV system, operator user interface, alarms, trending, and module operation.
It is expected that the Infraspection Institute will soon announce an expansion to their already large array of online thermographer training classes.
There's even a set of online, self-paced tutorials: Measurement Traceability and Uncertainty in Analytical Chemistry, meeting the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025. The same Web site also has FAQs concerning the evaluation of measurement uncertainty and the establishment of traceability in analytical chemistry.
Despite the heavy title, the concepts taught at the MeasurementUncertainty.org Web site are the same for all measurements. It is a great adjunct to the NIST Online Reference to Uncertainty for anyone unschooled in the concepts of error analyses and uncertainty that is trying to make serious measurements. If you measure or use measurements and do not understand these terms, you really need to take a look.
And Much, Much More
To stay on top of your profession, you also need to keep abreast of hot events and new products. I can't cover that now, but if you would like to learn more, check out the September Industrial Automation Newsletter. I promise it will be worth your while.