The Fieldbus Foundation (FF), a not-for-profit corporation of 350 process and manufacturing automation companies, has announced the first annual fund-raising drive to benefit the James O. Gray Scholarship fund. The program, which will establish a perpetual $250,000 endowment fund for educational scholarships, benefits students pursuing a career in the field of instrumentation, automation and systems technology.
The scholarship honors the memory of James O. “Jim” Gray, a long-time FF member and active supporter, who passed away in 2002. Three scholarships were awarded during the 2003-2004 school year, and more will be awarded during the 2004-2005 year, as the endowment fund grows. Nancy Sutterfield, a 2003 scholarship recipient from Lee College, in Baytown, Texas, says, “This scholarship will enable me to reach my goals.”
Five leading educational institutions currently participate in the program and choose the recipients. They include Lee College; Shipping and Transport College, Brielle, The Netherlands; Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; and Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.
Fieldbus Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Timoney encourages all automation industry participants to contribute to the fund, citing a BP Corp. analysis that predicts a 40 percent shortage within five years of qualified personnel necessary to engineer and maintain process plant operations. “Industrial manufacturers around the world face a very significant challenge: keeping pace with the accelerating retirement rate for today’s experienced technicians and operators,” notes Timoney.
Donations to the endowed scholarship fund are invested on a permanent basis, with the interest and dividends from the investment funding scholarships for deserving students.
For more information about James O. Gray Scholarship contributions, please contact the Fieldbus Foundation at 512.794.8890, ext. 21; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit www.fieldbus.org/scholarship.