Rio in the rain, and Petrobras in the 21st Century

Was about a half mile down Copacabana beach, trying to walk off all the churrascaria I´ve been eating this week, when it started. It wasn´t a cloudburst, it was a monsoon. Marcelo Dultra and I were totally soaked by the time we made it back to the hotel. Ah, well, into every life... We had a little sightseeing time today, so we took the funicular up to the top of Sugarloaf, where the view, at least when it wasn´t overcast, was superb. After that, we took ourselves off to yet another churrascaria, this time to meet Carlos Henrique Wildhagen Moura (yes, Brazil is as much of a melting pot as the USA is), who is a top engineer for the Brazilian state oil company, Petrobras. Petrobras, it seems, is in the last stages of developing their new strategic automation program for the new century, and I quickly asked Sr. Moura if he was willing to write about it, when the project is finished. He agreed, and, at least tentatively, the article is scheduled for the October issue of CONTROL. Moura suggested a visit to the Petrobras Research and Development Center (CENPES) and Patricia Loueiro and Antonio Luiz de Carvalho were very kind, at very short notice, to see me and spend an hour talking about how Petrobras is organized, and what their concerns for process automation were. Carvalho had a couple of great ideas for articles for the magazine, and you will be seeing them later this year. Come on, I have to keep _some_ secrets... We were going to visit with Vitor Finkel, a well known figure around ISA both in the US and Brazil, because we were going to be at the same airport this evening, but traffic delayed us, and we missed each other. Finkel is on his way to the US for the ISA President´s Meeting, which starts this weekend in Portland, Oregon. We are going to fly to Natal (Brazil, not the other one) tonight so we can visit a Petrobras facility way out in the boonies tomorrow...then back and winding up to go home. Brazil is even beautiful in the rain. Comments? --Walt Boyes