University labs round out theoretical education with practical process control experience

Greg McMillan and Stan Weiner speak with Dr. Kelvin Erickson of Missouri University of Science and Technology, regarding his approach to preparing students for the future of process control.

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Greg: The future of the automation profession depends upon replenishing and revitalizing the expertise in process control. Nearly all of my protégés have retired without an opportunity to mentor and develop their sequels. There was a dearth of hiring automation professionals for 30 years. While there has been a recent increase, many if not most of these engineers new to the profession are not going to work for the plants or associated engineering departments of the process industry manufacturers. They are instead being hired by service providers, either in the application departments of system suppliers or their business partners, or by independent engineering firms.

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Voices: Ask The Experts

Ask the experts: Oil slick sensors for drones?

Sensor technologies show promise for low-cost, unmanned aerial monitoring.

Q: Regarding your recent article on oil film detection, I’m exploring methods of putting such an instrument on a drone platform. In this way, a vehicle could quickly assay and map the surface of petrochemical leaks from point sources. However, there are weight and size constraints for such a…

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