I am in Brazil for two weeks working with LEAD http://www.coep.ufrj.br/gscar/lead/ to assist them in becoming a Foundation Fieldbus Certified Training Center. The most encouraging thing about this is not only that there is a high enough level of interest here in Brazil to justify such a facility but that the people involved are by and large younger professionals meaning they see a future in digital networking technologies themselves – especially as this facility being associated with a university has a research aspect associated with it.
I am hopeful that once the new facilities are in place here at LEAD (pronounced Lee-add) they will be able to develop new diagnostic tools and a better understanding of the many capabilities of digital control technology. LEAD certainly have the right people and equipment to do so with several young electrical/electronic engineers, experienced researchers and administrators as mentors and a close relationship with Petrobras to help set the direction for areas in which research needs to be done.
Though perhaps not as well known outside the Brazilian controls community, LEAD celebrated 10 years this past week and will soon have a new dedicated facility that will prepare them for many more years of good work.
On a related note, the Fieldbus Foundation will be having an End User Seminar in Sao Paulo June so watch for the announcements and program very soon.
P.S. Sorry for my silence the past 2 weeks. Being on the road often makes it harder to post and I will likely be sporadic now until the end of June since I have lots of travel until then. Next stop IEC TC65 meeting in Korea so will send an update from there when I can.