Participants invited for workshop on alarm systems analysis and design

Professor Sirish Shah of the University of Alberta, an expert of alarm systems, to facilitate the workshop.

Professor Sirish Shah of the University of Alberta, an expert of alarm systems, to facilitate the workshop.

Miri – 29 September 2014 – Curtin Consultancy Services (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad, the consultancy arm of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak), is calling for participants for its one-day ‘Alarm Systems: Quantitative Analysis, Design and Rationalisation’ workshop on 7 October 2014. It will be held from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm at the university’s campus.

Facilitated by Professor Sirish L. Shah of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alberta in Canada, the workshop will provide participants an overview of new quantitative methods for the analysis and design of industrial alarm systems as an emerging research area. It is targeted at academic researchers and industrial practitioners involved in alarm management and will include time for hands-on experience in the use of alarm analysis and design software.

The workshop will include an introduction to alarm systems and also cover alarm data (representation, analysis and visualisation), process data (optimal alarm design) and connectivity information (root cause analysis and alarm flood management).

Technical presentations will be complemented with industrial case studies and there will be demonstrations of AMTool software to generate alarm overview reports and various visualisations of process and alarm data.

The participation fee is RM250 per person or RM200 per person for groups of 3 persons or more. For more information or to register, contact Sopia Reggie or Susanna Sendie at 085-443 856 or 085-443 924, or by email to [email protected], before 3 October 2014.

According to Professor Sirish, large industrial plants contain thousands of sensors and actuators, and hundreds of control loops. All components of a plant are susceptible to faults that can disrupt the normal operation of the control system and may result in unsatisfactory performance, instability, failure or even dangerous situations.

“Due to the increasing complexity of process control systems and growing demands for quality, cost efficiency and safety, faults must be promptly diagnosed and remedied. Thus, the importance of alarm systems to inform operators about abnormalities in the process,” he said.

He added that, although the area of fault detection and identification is very well established in academia, design and analysis of alarm systems, as the next logical step after fault detection, has not received much attention.

“Industry demand for a reliable and robust alarm system is at its peak and the lack of strong theoretical support by academia has put a lot of challenges in front of industry. We believe that knowledge and expertise of control systems experts give them a unique opportunity to address alarm systems and solve problems and challenges faced by industry,” he remarked.

Professor Sirish held the NSERC-Matrikon-Suncor-iCORE Senior Industrial Research Chair in Computer Process Control at the University of Alberta from 2000 to 2012. He has held visiting appointments at Oxford University and Balliol College as a SERC fellow, Kumamoto University (Japan) as a Senior Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of  Science, the University of Newcastle, Australia, IIT-Madras India, and the National University of Singapore.

The main areas of his current research are process and performance monitoring, system identification and design, analysis and rationalisation of alarm systems.

He has co-authored three books: ‘Performance Assessment of Control Loops: Theory and Applications’, ‘Diagnosis of Process Nonlinearities and Valve Stiction: Data Driven Approaches’, and a more recent brief monograph ‘Capturing Connectivity and Causality in Complex Industrial Processes’.

For more information on Curtin Consultancy Services (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad, visit its website at More information on Curtin Sarawak can be obtained on its website at, its Facebook page at, Twitter profile at, YouTube channel at, or Instagram at

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