Automation Professionals

Our Team

Ryan Duke, CAP, MSM
Principal Automation Engineer

Vice President of Finance

Ryan C. Duke, CAP, MSM

Ryan has extensive Instrumentation, Industrial Automation, and Information Technology Experience spanning over 25 years.  His professional life and personal hobbies compliment each other as he has multiple servers, computers (physical and virtual), and complex networks within his home which serve as a learning environment as well as a platform to conduct his Industrial Automation Consulting business.  He possesses expert level knowledge of the Emerson Ovation DCS system and has a special talent for creating HMI Graphics.  His input into this area of HRSD is extensive; that experience is now available to all who desire to conduct business with HRA.  He also has extensive in-house project management and execution experience with complex Industrial Automation, Instrumentation, and Control Systems (upgrades, integration, installation, programming, startup, and operator training).

-Managed HRSD’s Industrial Automation division for 5 years

-Previously held the Instrumentation Manager position within the Electrical & Instrumentation Division within the Operations Department

-Over 25 years of experience in Instrumentation, Electrical, & Industrial Automation

-Extensive experience in Instrumentation / DCS project management, planning, programming, integration, start-up, operator training, schematic generation, and maintenance

-Expert in programming and system maintenance of Emerson Ovation DCS systems and all sub-systems

-Directly involved with the development of HRSD’s DCS standards and the Strategic Automation Plan

-Managed several successful automation projects within HRSD which include the SWIFT RC facility and the DCS installation at Boat Harbor (both of which were performed exclusively by HRSD staff)

-Journeyman Instrumentation Specialist in the Operations Department for 12 years

Industrial Automation Programmer (March 2020 – November 2021)



Industrial Automation Manager (July 2015 – March 2020)



Instrumentation Manager (February 2013 – July 2015)



Industrial Control Manager (January 2012 – February 2013)



Instrumentation Specialist (September 1999 – January 2012)



E&I Technician / Floor Operator (October 1997 – September 1999)

International Paper


Power Plant Operator / Technician (August 1996 – October 1997)

Louisville Gas and Electric

-Proven leadership ability

-Consistently demonstrates accountability and integrity

-Strategically envisions the future of Industrial Automation Systems

-Management experience

-In-depth knowledge of Industrial Automation and Control Systems

-In-depth knowledge of Treatment and Interceptor Systems

-Extensive experience with successful Industrial Automation projects

-Dedicated to continuous improvement

-Project Management Experience

-Thinks Strategically, Exhibits Critical Thinking, and Integrity

Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

International Society of Automation (ISA)

Master of Science in Management (April, 2016)

Excelsior College, Albany, NY 12203

GPA: 4.0

BSBE in Information Technologies (December, 2013)

East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858

GPA: 3.85

Member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

AAS in Instrumentation Technology (May 10, 1996)

New River Community College, Dublin, VA 24084

GPA: 3.3 Cum Laude

High School Diploma (1993)

Franklin High School, Franklin, VA 23851

Wesley Fowler
Principal Automation Engineer
Vice President of Operations
Wesley Fowler

Wesley has a vast amount of experience in Instrumentation and Industrial Automation.  In his former position, he was a highly sought after Instrumentation Specialist and later an Industrial Automation Programmer due to his incredible troubleshooting ability.  He is also an expert on the Emerson Ovation DCS system as well as various brands of PLCs.  He also possesses a vast amount of knowledge of analytical instrumentation (pressure, level, flow, level, and process specific analytics).  Wesley also has an extensive amount of project management and execution experience.  He played a huge role in installing and programming an DCS in-house without any vendor support.

Industrial Control Systems Manager – Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) – Hampton Roads, VA

February 2014 – 2021

-Provides instrumentation and control engineering services that include planning, design, repair, upgrade and maintenance to Distributed Control System (DCS) and the Interceptor Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system

-Provide direction to consulting engineers and contractors for design, implementation and testing of DCS’s

-Performs Emerson Ovation DCS programming which includes UNIX (Solaris and Linux) system administration and all other related system administration functions that relate to the Emerson Ovation DCS systems.

-Performs programming, administrative functions and configuration for the SCADA system.

-Ensure that the DCS system is programed to conform with the intention of the systems functional description

-Support the Instrumentation Specialists as needed for troubleshooting and repair of control systems.

-Provide training for other employees on how to properly utilize the systems that are created and/or installed

-Provide leadership, technical expertise and work center support for effective utilization of automation to ensure regulatory compliance and safe work environment

-Support multiple system communication protocols.

-Performs schematic and loop sheet creation for all projects (system integration).

-Designs, plans, installs, replaces, repairs, maintains and provides documentation and schematics for all systems and equipment associated with automated process control.

-Prepares budget and supervises expenditures; Prepares and maintains records and reports.

-Performs Omron PLC programming, Allen Bradley PLC programming, GE PLC Programming, Yokogawa YS-170 programming (reverse polish notation) for the purpose of automating systems.


Instrumentation Specialist – Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) – Suffolk, VA

February 2006 – February 2014

-Designs, plans, installs, replaces, repairs, maintains and provides documentation and schematics for all systems and equipment.

-Installs and maintains security systems, (and door / gate security devices).

-Performs programming, calibration and maintenance of instrumentation and control systems and instruments including DCS (Distributive Control Systems), SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), and Master Metering Program.

-Partners and collaborates with other HRSD departments and staff; assesses needs for services and develop work plans; participates on new design teams as requested.

-Analyze for ways to improve the performance of operating processes and to maximize the use of limited staff resources and talents.

-Recommends improvements to equipment, processes, work methods and procedures.

-Prepares and maintains records and reports as required,

-Troubleshoots instrumentation problems.

-Support and develop staff skills for current position and future career opportunities; trains operations staff to fully utilize automated systems.

-Proficient in Microsoft Office including Outlook, Word and Excel.

-Proficient with ERP Operating Systems and Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS).

-Experience with programming and troubleshooting of the following systems: Omron PLC, Allen Bradley PLC, GE PLC, Yokogawa YS-170 and Emerson Ovation DCS to include UNIX (Solaris and Linux) system administration.

-Ability to lead, train, and collaborate with others with a positive attitude to maintain work efficiency.

Bachelors of Business Management in Information Systems (May of 2019)

Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA 24515


AAS in Instrumentation Technology (May of 2004)

New River Community College, Dublin, VA 24084


AAS in Industrial Technology (May of 2003)

Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin, VA 23851


High School Diploma (June of 2001)

Southampton High School

Patrick Kneisley, CAP, CCNA
Principal Automation Engineer
Vice President of Engineering
Patrick Kneisley, CAP

Patrick has extensive experience in Industrial Automation and Information Technology spanning well over 35 years.  Patrick is avid Information Technology expert who has a complex array of servers and network gear within his home which have enabled him to learn a great deal about computers, networks, websites, and php / MySql interfaces.  Everyone who knows Patrick has a huge amount of respect for his incredible skillset.  He also has extensive Industrial Automation project experience that include complete in-house DCS installation and in-house programming / integration projects (he programmed the HRSD SWIFT-RC facility).

Patrick is also a Veteran of the United States NAVY.

HRSD Industrial Automation Manager:

-Managing and/or provide direction on capital projects throughout HRSD including the planning, design and construction phases

-Manage and coordinate internal programming projects

-Managing the procurement of engineering services to achieve project goals


Industrial Automation Programmer, HRSD

March 2012 – May 2020

-Provide HRSD with programming and automation support.

-Integration of package systems

-Review of functional descriptions

-Maintain, update, and upgrade DCS


Adjunct Faculty, PDCCC

September 2017 – Present

-Electrical & Instrumentation Instructor using the NCCER (National Center for Construction and Educational Research) curriculum.


Instrumentation Specialist, HRSD

Oct 2001 – Feb 2012

-Provide instrumentation and control services. Repair and maintenance of instrumentation, security, and lab equipment.


Operator, HRSD

September, 1999 – May 2000

-Army Base Treatment Plant Operator: operate and control sewage treatment facility during assigned shift

-Expert in programming, installation, and configuration of Emerson Ovation DCS (Distributed Control System)

-Extensive experience with ethernet networks, computer software and hardware

-Journeyman level knowledge in Electrical and Instrumentation

-Proven Leadership Ability

-Excellent Analytical and Troubleshooting skills

Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

International Society of Automation (ISA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Systems

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology

Excelsior College, Albany, NY 12203

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator

Server 2016

NCCER Certified Craft Instructor for Electrical and Instrumentation Maintenance
C. Scott Emerson, P.E.
Principal Electrical Engineer
C. Scott Emerson, P.E.

Scott has an extensive background in Industrial Automation and Electrical Engineering. He is a Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. His experience includes crane design for the US Navy (Navy Crane Center) where he has served in multiple engineering roles, as well as on their project management team. He currently serves as the Crane Design Division Director, where he manages the efforts of 18 engineers (mechanical, electrical, and structural). Scott also has experience in electrical distribution, troubleshooting, and monitoring of the electrical grid via SCADA. He spent 17+ years working in manufacturing environments, which encompassed extensive time in facility/equipment maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of Industrial Automation related systems, wrapping up that part of his career as a department head.

Scott also currently sits on Code-Making Panel 12 of NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) as an alternate.

Crane Design Division Director – Navy Crane Center (NCC) – Portsmouth, VA

April 2018 – present

-Direct a multi-discipline, multi-site design engineering team to achieve accuracy and efficiency in all aspects of crane procurement

-Establish and review processes for the accomplishment of work by an engineering team

-Provide guidance and oversight review of detailed technical specifications


Project Manager, Project Management – Navy Crane Center (NCC) – Portsmouth, VA

October 2017 – April 2018

-Serves as a senior member of the crane acquisition team

-Meets with the project team to determine the most appropriate acquisition method and schedule for assigned projects.

-Responsible for coordinating all assigned projects with special emphasis on timely delivery of equipment to clients, ensuring the equipment adheres to contract requirements within available funding, and planning/monitoring of funding expenditures, contract modifications, and field changes of assigned projects.

Manager of Engineering – Community Electric Cooperative – Windsor, VA

April 2015 – October 2017

-Design of electrical facilities

-System coordination and load balance

-Operation, maintenance, and inspection of substations

-System planning


Supervisory Electrical Engineer, Crane Design – Navy Crane Center (NCC) – Portsmouth, VA

April 2014 – June 2015

-Assign work to subordinates according to their abilities, the complexity of the work, and the staffing requirements of the project.

-Make adjustments to staff member assignments/work as needed to meet project milestones or to address changes in resources or deadlines.

-Provide advice and counsel to individual employees on work and/or administrative matters, or as a mentor to lower graded personnel.


Lead Electrical Engineer, Crane Design – Navy Crane Center (NCC) – Portsmouth, VA

December 2012 – April 2014

-Develop detailed technical specifications to be used in the procurement of all types of weight handling equipment.

-Review and approved electrical designs and calculations, methods of analysis, and logic of complex or uncommon types of control systems.

-Perform investigations of special problems such as the logic of complex or uncommon types of control systems and other problems requiring a high degree of knowledge in the fields of electrical theory, electrical design, and mathematics.


Electrical Engineer, Crane Design – Navy Crane Center (NCC) – Portsmouth, VA

May 2009 – December 2012

-Conduct non-routine engineering work that requires and is characterized by professional knowledge of engineering, professional ability to apply such knowledge to engineering problems, and positive and continuing development of professional knowledge and ability

-Stand in for Design Division Electrical Engineering Supervisor as needed

-Involved in the procurement of cranes for the Navy and Marines from an Electrical Engineering aspect.


Partner/Project Manager – Hampton Roads Utility Contractors – Chesapeake, VA

March 2006 – May 2009

-Manage daily business functions along with underground utility projects, utilizing both open-cut and trenchless technologies (horizontal directional drilling) for the installation of water, sewer, storm drain, conduit, fiber optic cable, and electrical cable (from street light wire to primary bulk feeder cable).

-Managed various types of underground utility projects.


Stretch Films Department Manager – Intertape Polymer Group – Danville, VA

November 2004 – March 2006

-Managed the daily operation of the Intertape’s Danville, VA stretch films department, comprised of four shifts, operating on a 24/7 schedule.


Stretch Films Department Electrical Engineer – Intertape Polymer Group – Danville, VA

January 2000 – February 2005

-Managed all departmental projects including technology upgrades, safety initiatives, process improvements, and new capital projects.


Electronics Maintenance Manager – Intertape Polymer Group – Danville, VA

August 1998 – December 1999

-Managed the activities of five electronics technicians who maintained equipment in four departments. Also provided technical support for those technicians during nights and weekends.


Electronics Technician – Intertape Polymer Group – Danville, VA

March 1992 – August 1998

-Responsible for troubleshooting and repairing all plant manufacturing equipment in four departments (BOPP films, coating, converting, and stretch films), including all support equipment such as steam and hot oil boilers, chillers, and compressors. Also performed in-house upgrades including PLC, drive, and various controller upgrades to existing equipment. Excellent technical knowledge of extrusion, winding, coating, speed and temperature control, material handling, and packaging.

-Proficient in Microsoft Office including Outlook, Word and Excel.

-Expert knowledge in Electrical Engineering best practices and application within the Industrial Automation realm.

-Ability to lead, train, and collaborate with others with a positive attitude to maintain work efficiency.

Professional Engineer in Virginia (2012)

License Number: 0402049228


Master of Engineering Management (December of 2008)

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529


BS in Electrical Engineering Technology (December of 2001)

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529


AAS in Electronics (June of 1989)

Danville Community College, Danville, VA 24541

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