1 episode

Podcast interviews with experts, audio blog posts and more.

Emerson Automation Experts Jim Cahill

    • Technology
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Podcast interviews with experts, audio blog posts and more.

    5 Questions for Principal Process Control Consultant James Beall

    5 Questions for Principal Process Control Consultant James Beall

    Emerson's James Beall joins our continuing podcast series on 5 Questions for an Emerson Expert. The goal of these podcasts is to share some tidbits on how they got their start in a science, technology, engineering & math (STEM)-based career and more about their background, interests and advice for new folks joining our world of automation.



    James provides Control Performance Consulting and hands-on implementation for control improvement projects in the chemical, refining, upstream oil & gas and the pharmaceutical industries. Some of his key areas of expertise include instrumentation and control valve performance, advanced regulatory control and advanced multivariable control.



    Leave a comment below, send me an email or LinkedIn message if there is an Emerson expert you'd like me to interview as well as the questions you'd like me to ask them… thanks!





    https://www.emersonautomationexperts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/5-Questions-James-Beall.mp3



    Transcript





    Jim: Hi, I’m Jim Cahill and welcome to our “5 Questions for an Emerson Expert” podcast series. Today I’m joined by James Beall. James is a principal process control consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the industry and in process automation. Welcome, James.



    James: Hi Jim, how you doing? Good to be here.



    Jim: I’m doing just great today. So, I like to start out and ask everyone what made you decide to pursue a STEM based career? You know, science, technology, engineering and math?



    James: Well, probably the biggest influence was the fact that my dad was a Mechanical Engineer, and of course growing up I did all things mechanical with him. He taught me from a very early age how to work on engines, cars, everything! , I was rebuilding lawnmower motors and go kart motors when I was less than 10 years old. I got involved with the mechanical engineering side of things, but in general just the engineering way of thinking. I also got very good tutoring in math! I was very strong in math with the help from my dad and enjoyed that. That’s probably the biggest influence, and then maybe the other thing is my grandfather was a medical doctor. It seemed like to me being a doctor was too much involvement with people, and back then I didn’t want to have that much involvement with people. But now I love it and I probably spend more time with people than my doctor siblings! So that’s been interesting to see that evolve.



    Jim: Well that’s fascinating. So what made you specifically get from that electrical engineering degree into process automation?



    James: I enrolled in chemical engineering but switched to electrical engineering and finished up in that degree. When I was interviewing for my first job, I saw a company in Longview, Texas called Eastman Kodak, the chemicals division, that was close to where I grew up. I thought that’d be kind of neat to go back there and there were two openings for electrical engineers: one in electrical power and one in process instrumentation, which I had never heard of. So I interviewed in both areas and when I went back at the end of the day to the engineering superintendent, he asked me which area I was interested in and I said, “Well instrumentation engineering looks really interesting,” and he leaned over at me, and I can still remember him saying, “Are you sure?” I wondered what I was getting into, but I’ve absolutely loved it.



    I did take a lot of chemical engineering actually along with my EE degree, and I had a good chemical engineer mentor in the instrument engineering group that really brought out the application of chemical engineering in that field. And of course, as soon as I got into instrumentation I started getting interested in control and then got involved with DCS’s and put in the first Provox system in the mid-80s and got interested in control.

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