WBF chairman, 'Father of Batch Processing' Thomas Fisher, dies of cancer

Chandler, Ariz. - Thomas Fisher, World Batch Forum's (WBF) chairman and a leading figure in the development of batch processing standards, died Dec. 6 after a long battle with cancer.


Chandler, Ariz. - Thomas Fisher, World Batch Forum's (WBF) chairman and a leading figure in the development of batch processing standards, died Dec. 6 after a long battle with cancer. He was 60 years old.

Mr. Fisher, who had a long career with Lubrizol Corp., was a founder of the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation (ISA) Society's SP88 Committee, which formulated the batch manufacturing standards presently used worldwide. He served as the committee's chairman and editor of the standards.

'Without Tom's leadership and vision, there would be no S88.01 and S88.02 batch standards and, hence, no World Batch Forum. Therefore, he is rightfully known as the Father of Batch Automation,' says Harry Gianakis, WBF's vice chairman.

Mr. Fisher, who held a B.S. in chemical engineering from Grove City College and a Masters degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University, joined Lubrizol in 1967 as a process engineer. He rose through the ranks during his long career to become Lubrizol's operations technology manager. He worked previously for DuPont and NASA.

Besides his activities with SP88 and WBF, Mr. Fisher served as ISA's publications vp. He was also a member of the Process Control Safety subcommittee of the Center for Chemical Process Safety. He also led the IEC's SC65A Working Group for batch control.

Mr. Fisher also taught courses on batch automation, programmable controllers and safety systems through ISA, WBF and other organizations. He also wrote several books and numerous articles on these subjects.

Mr. Fisher was elected WBF's chairman in 1999, and provided thoughtful leadership throughout his tenure. 'Even during his illness, when it was obvious that he was not feeling well at all, he continued his participation in the day-to-day operation of the WBF,' says Mr. Gianakis, who will assume Mr. Fisher's WBF responsibilities until further notice.

'We will miss him greatly, not only as a mentor, but more importantly as a friend,' he added.

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