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John Berra: The one thing I would have done differently would have been to take an assignment outside the United States. I have a lot of international experience, but have never lived outside the U.S. Everything else I would do the same way. It was a wonderful career.
None of my three children are engineers. I did not push them to anything except excel in their chosen field. I would recommend process automation to them, and I also would recommend that they look at bio-medical engineering. My guess is that if I were starting over again, I would probably be attracted to that field.
Sigurd Skogestad: I would do the same things again.
What other comments would you have for the readers of Control?
Maurice Wilkins: Ours is a stimulating industry and vital to our future as skilled workers start to leave in large numbers (On the plus side, there will hopefully be work for us people with gray hair a lot longer than we thought!). It will only get more interesting as we are challenged to keep processes running ever more efficiently in a safe and environmentally friendly way with fewer people. To the older people I would say, promote the good we do to younger people. To the younger people I would say automation is a "cool" career, but as with everything in life it is only what you make it. Seek out experienced control engineers and LISTEN to what they have done. You should be inspired.
John Berra: First, I want to thank them for being part of a truly important and exciting industry. Second, I would tell them that innovation should be high on their list. Too many engineers today like to take the safe route of doing what has been done before. Our industry is justifiably conservative, but it is really too conservative. It should not take a decade for new technology to get a toehold in our market. There are some truly wonderful things being done by the innovators today which are delivering great benefits to the companies they work for. Unfortunately, the ranks of the technical evangelists are thinning.
The Process Automation Hall of Fame was established in 2001 to honor pioneers of process automation technologies and luminaries of the discipline. Each year, the previously inducted members nominate and select three to five automation professionals whose contributions to the profession have made them significant. Anyone can propose a nominee, but only the inductees vote on the final selection.
Here are the members of the Process Automation Hall of Fame in the order of their induction: