Want to become a better process control guru? How about taking a course at MIT…without leaving the comfort of your own home!  For free!!

I’m not kidding: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has put quite a bit of course material online, including these:

  • Control of Manufacturing Processes
  • Modeling Dynamics and Control
  • Dynamics and Control
  • Introduction to Robotics
  • Mechatronics

You can see videos, download course materials, and hear podcast lectures.  There is NO CHARGE for this service.  However, you can make a voluntary contribution to MIT  if you find the information valuable.

Here’s the link: MIT’s On-Line Courseware
Check the Mechanical Engineering section first…many controls courses are listed there.

I highly recommend that you try some of these courses.  If you find them worthwhile, please consider a contribution.  This type of high-quality on-line material is exactly what we need, to hone our skills and become better process control gurus.

What are you going to do to improve your skills in 2009? To develop your process control skills, you have a wide array of topics to choose from.
At process control guru, we recommend that you keep yourself well-rounded, and expand your skills in each of the following areas:
1. Instrumentation & Analytical Devices. Recent advances in miniaturization have made analytical instruments more prevalent.
2. Control Theory. Consider taking a refresher on controller tuning. Or, expand into more advanced topics like feedforward and cascade. If these are old hat, then step up to some advanced control.
3. Valves. So overlooked and misunderstood. Spend a day in the shop with a valve mechanic. You will learn a lot.
4. Process. Every control engineer must know their process. See previous blog at:
5. People Skills. Do yourself a big favor, and expand your comfort zone. Give a talk at a conference. Put on a training course for operators. Or take the IT guy to lunch.
6. Business Finances. Develop a deeper understanding of how your company makes money. Learn which costs are fixed and which are variable. Use this information to document the value of your work.

Be sure to include all of these elements in your training plan for 2009. You’ll be glad you did.