2017 Symposium in Review – Report

WWAC2017_IMG_0888We are pleased to report that our 2017 ISA Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls Symposium was a success! The symposium drew 207 attendees, over 35 expert speakers, instructors and 25 exhibitors/sponsors to Orlando, Florida, USA in early August, 2017.

The three-day, highly targeted event — focusing entirely on the needs of automation professionals and water/wastewater operations — included an extensive program of technical presentations; instrumentation workshops; a tour of a local wastewater treatment plant; a vendor exposition; networking events; and two training courses—one on alarm management and the other on cybersecurity operations and management. The symposium was held 8-10 August at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort.

In all, the symposium’s technical speakers spoke to a packed audience of SCADA designers, programmers, plant operators and maintenance, engineers, managers and students.  The theme for our 2017 symposium was “Embracing the Change in Automation for Operations and Maintenance.” Attendees gained insight into the evolving industry along with common problems that continue to be seen in our market place.

WWAC2017_IMG_0792The symposium kicked off with a keynote address from Steve Davis on “The Journey of Digital and Its Ties to Automation. In his remarks, Davis talked about the digital revolution and the growing adoption of new technologies in both the industrial and municipal sectors.

Guest Speakers, Corey Williams and Barry Liner delivered talk on the Smart Utilities, or Intelligent Water Systems (IWS), that seek to leverage demand for knowledge in as close to real time, in order to provide valuable services to their customers and more efficiently and effectively manage their infrastructure.

On the second day of the symposium, Saadi Kermani highlighted importance of adapting to new challenges associated with higher demands for water with higher quality and availability. To meet these challenges, water utilities are being compelled to act and respond with existing investments along with a parallel plan on how to strategically evolve into the future. The first step to any improvement initiative is start enabling the connection and collection of related measurements from instrumented devices to baseline operations for future improvement.

Invited Speaker, Thomas Burke provided information on Industrial Internet of Things for water and wastewater industries.  He highlighted that there is a need and higher expectation for utilization of IIoT for water and wastewater management solutions.

During both days, we introduced the Instrumentation Workshop that was led by Charles Aycock, Melody White, Tracy Doane-Weideman, Bob Dabkowski and Steve Smith. These instructors provided vendor-neutral fundamentals of analyzers along with how they can be integrated into different strategies for process control in water and wastewater processes.  Hands-on exercises were used to demonstrate analyzer technology limitations, misapplications, and trouble-shooting.

The Symposium was also well-attended by both sponsors and exhibitors.  Platinum sponsors for this year’s event included Schneider Electric, Phoenix Contact, Bedrock, Stratus and Delta. Silver sponsors were VT SCADA and Indegy.  In total there were 25 different exhibitors who were at the symposium to show and tell attendees about their various products and services.

“Another great year for ISA WWAC. A Strong technical program with themes of cybersecurity, instrumentation, optimization, IIoT and intelligent controls” remarked Tony Morelli who is a regular attendee.

The event provided the ideal opportunity to gain the latest news and trends in automation and control systems, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), instrumentation, systems integration, optimization, cybersecurity, alarm management, and emerging technologies across the water/wastewater industry.

The exhibit showcase featured the latest product and service information and daily networking luncheons while an evening reception set the stage for mingling, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.

“The 2017 symposium was a success,” said Pavol Segedy, the 2016 and 2017 general symposium chair. “I look forward working with our incoming chair Don Dickinson as he moves into the role of our 2018 and 2019 general symposium chair.”

Watch for details about the 2018 ISA WWAC Symposium, which will be held 7-9 August, 2018 in Bethesda, Maryland near Washington D.C. Stay updated by regularly visiting the conference website at www.isawaterwastewater.com.

About the WWAC Symposium

Presented by the ISA Water and Wastewater Industries Division, in collaboration with the WEF Automation and Info Tech Committee,, local AWWA sections and local WEF associations, the WWAC Symposium helps professionals in the water and wastewater industries understand how instrumentation, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), and automatic control applications are vital to the treatment and distribution of water; the collection and treatment of wastewater; and the management of storm water