Leader Under 40: Graham Nasby

Engineer, Eramosa Engineering Inc. – BS Engineering Systems + Computing, Computer Science, University of Guelph; Certificate in project management, University of Waterloo; Certified project management professional, Project Management Institute; BA History (in progress), University of Guelph

10/03/2011


Graham Nasby, P.Eng., PMP, 33

Engineer, Eramosa Engineering Inc. www.eramosa.com

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Academics

BS Engineering Systems + Computing, Computer Science, University of Guelph; Certificate in project management, University of Waterloo; Certified project management professional, Project Management Institute; BA History (in progress), University of Guelph; Licensed professional engineer in Ontario, Canada

Achievements

Nasby’s contributions to the control engineering-related industries are multifaceted. In his day job at Eramosa Engineering, he helps his municipal water/wastewater clients leverage automation technology so that they can operate, monitor, and maintain water and sewage systems, including treatment, storage, and distribution systems, as well as lift stations, collection networks, and pollution control plants. Knowledge of SCADA, HMI, PLC/RTU, I&C and electrical systems comes from a broad base of experience and an eagerness to learn new technologies that he can put to use for clients. Multi-industry and multi-company experience brings a wide variety of approaches to solving client needs.

Early in his career, he worked in a variety of engineering positions in the water/wastewater, pharmaceutical, cement, semiconductor-manufacturing, and aerospace industries, as well as a brief period at a structural engineering firm where he did wind-loading calculations for skyscrapers. Currently, Nasby is an active member of the International Society of Automation (ISA). He is active in the ISA Hamilton Section and has served as membership coordinator and as co-editor of its quarterly newsletter. He writes a column about the benefits of getting involved with industry associations. In June 2011, he was elected by his peers as the incoming VP and president-elect for the section.

Nasby is also active in the ISA’s Water/Wastewater Industry Division. He has served as the marketing chair for division activities and the ISA’s annual international symposium for Water/Wastewater and Automatic Controls. For the 2011 symposium, in St. Louis, Mo., Nasby helped coordinate speakers, organize a dinner for them, and set up a tour of a St. Louis wastewater plant for attendees, among other efforts. He has been selected as the General Symposium Chair for the 2012 symposium, which is expected to take place in August 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

At the 2011 symposium in St. Louis, Nasby co-presented a paper with a municipal waterworks client on how to set up and implement a SCADA standardization program to ensure uniform, cost-effective, and robust control systems, even in challenging environments where low-price tendering and using multiple system-integrators is the norm. Nasby is active on three international standards committees. He is a contributing member of the ISA18 Alarm Management standards committee and is involved with several working groups that are part of the ISA18 committee, which are working on a collection of soon-to-be-released technical reports and standards updates. He is an information member for the ISA101 Human Machine Interfaces committee that is working on the ISA’s upcoming HMI standards document. He is also a member of the Canadian contingent of the IEC TC65 Industrial Process Measurement, Control, and Automation committee, under the Standards Council of Canada. At Eramosa Engineering, Nasby is the resource person for ISA and other international standards for automation and control.

Nasby is a published author, appearing in print in Control Engineering magazine this year, with an article about strategies for mitigating and responding to control system failures. He had a feature article on SCADA systems in the May/June 2011 issue of InTech magazine, has a column in the quarterly ISA Hamilton Section newsletter, and is the editor for the ISA Water/Wastewater Industry Division newsletter. He also has been a technical reviewer for ISA Automation Week for the past two years.

Non-work-related activity

Nasby is an avid mountain biker starting in high school and continuing in university, often racing with friends. Last year, a coworker suggested he participate in a charity bike ride for multiple sclerosis research, so he took up riding again and made it part of his regular fitness regime.

Engineering-related activity

As a Canada resident and active participant of the 2011 ISA water/wastewater and automatic controls international symposium, he was glad for the opportunity to reach out to symposium speakers from all across North America, and to get to know many attendees. On the organizing committee he coordinated speakers, produced a 16-page program booklet, set the speakers’ schedules, and acted as moderator.

“It was a great feeling to facilitate the networking and exchange of knowledge amongst other engineers and automation professionals in my field,” said Nasby.

Interesting details

When Nasby graduated from high school he had the option to study either engineering or music. He had enjoyed his courses in science and physics but was also a fairly accomplished clarinet player who was showing promise. It was a difficult choice for Nasby who, in the end, selected engineering because of the many opportunities that control systems engineering has for growth and variety. It also allowed him to continue music as a hobby. Music continues to be a second love, and Nasby enjoys playing in community bands/orchestras for fun. He also enjoys going on back-country canoeing and camping trips during summer.

Began interest

When Nasby was 12 years-old, he and his father went hiking in the woods in Northern Ontario. There was a hydroelectric power station nearby, and his father suggested they knock on the door. “To our surprise,” Nasby said, “the plant engineer answered the door and offered to give us a tour. He walked us through the station from start to end. He pointed out how the water flow was regulated using valves, how the exciter current for the generators was created using dynamos, and how generators themselves were automatically synchronized to deliver power to the grid. I was hooked. From that day forward I knew I wanted to be involved with electrical engineering and automatic control systems.” Interest grew as teenager; Nasby did electrical work at a local marina and earned money on the side doing custom software development.

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