On October 4th, Greg McMillan was awarded ISA's 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of the highlights of my career in process control and simulation has been the opportunity to work with Greg McMillan. While there have been many who have made significant contributions to the field of process control, I don't know of anyone who has produced the volume of practical innovations and research that Greg has, authoring over 50 technical papers and 18 books. While Greg is well known from his successful careers as an engineering fellow at Monsanto and an principal consultant at Emerson Process Management, we are fortunate to have him contribute to the MYNAH team as a simulation consultant for our Mimic Simulation Software.
Greg's approach to solving problems is unique and comprehensive. He seeks to understand the full aspect of the subject that he is covering, continually reviewing and re-investigating. Even if "its not broke", Greg looks at possibility to "fix it", in most cases developing better tools or unique approaches that provide significant process savings. If you have ever had the priviledge to look at Greg's work, you would be impressed with the volume, completeness, and organization. It is a pleasure to work with his solutions. Because of this in-depth, comprehensive approach to problem solving, Greg is a practitioner in process design, instrument selection and sizing, process control design, and even dynamic modeling.
While most think of Greg as a process control expert first, he is a very strong dynamic model designer, able to handle the full range of model design up to very complex, high-fidelity models. If you read any of Greg's book, you will notice that he proposes a dynamic process model for every process control issue he addresses. Greg told us that he has a hard time designing a process control solution until he fully understand the behavior of the process and the only way that he can understand the behavior of the process is to build a dynamic model of it.
Greg's contribution to the world of dynamic process modeling is not only in designing models but also in helping dispel some of the myths and bad practices in the industry. His approach to the Virtual Plant that emphasizes good device modeling and process dynamics produces real results and excellent performance (see The Promise of the Virtual Plant). Greg's approach to dynamic process modeling is the basis of operation for our Mimic Simulation Software.
Greg and Jack Ahlers, Process Control Specialist at Monsanto, are currently on a mission to teach the process industry how to use process control and the Virtual Plant to improve plant operations in a significant way. In their on-line Process Control Lab Deminar, process control engineers can learn from a master of the subject and try out the concepts on an on-line Virtual Plant workshop. Links to past and future Process Control Lab Deminars are posted on Greg's blog site, www.modelingandcontrol.com.
Congratulations from all of us at MYNAH to Greg McMillan! This is another great honor in rightful recognition of an incredible career.
I look forward to your comments, questions, or suggestions.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Mart Berutti, 10/28/10
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