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Meet Diane Barkin of Harris Automation Services in Briar Hollow

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diane Barkin.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Diane. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
With a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and 18 years of process, manufacturing and automation engineering experience I decided to start my own company providing engineering and design services for industrial automation projects.

Automation can be used in industry to make any product through the use of field equipment (tanks, pumps, valves, for example), sensors (temperature, pressure, level) and connections to computer systems which use software to start/stop, use recipes and procedures to make the products at these industrial locations.

Examples of the industries I have worked in are: oil and gas, refining, specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, and consumer product.

Many other industries have automated processes such as utilities (electrical providers), product manufacturers (automobiles, food preparation, computer components), plus these examples: airport baggage claim conveyors, traffic signals, to name a few.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes, very smooth as there is a lot of demand for people in this role. There continues to be a lot of demand because of the diverse nature of the need and the several different types of control systems chosen by customers to accomplish their automation goals. Also, the programming is not a 100% out-of-the-box solution so you have to work with the customers to determine their needs and understand how to implement what they are trying to achieve. The biggest struggle is to be flexible enough to go in (sometimes cold) to something you are not 100% sure about and then figure out how to make it work, but this is something I enjoy doing.

Harris Automation Services – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company, Harris Automation Services, Inc. is a one person company (although if I need to subcontract or bring in others to help, I can because I know several great automation specialists), Control systems I specialize in are: Honeywell (TPS and Experion), Foxboro I/A and Emerson DeltaV. I work with the client on all aspects of a project from beginning (Front End Engineering and Design [FEED]) to the middle (programming) and end (loop checking, training and start-up). I have worked directly with chemical company clients and engineering firms who are doing a project for a client (e.g., chemical company). I am very proud that I can work in many diverse industries and on multiple automation platforms as described above. I am also proud that I am able to work directly with customers who find me to be easy to work with, providing individualized attention and to produce the finished product they are looking for at a competitive price.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as being happy with what I do for a living, making enough money to enjoy other things in life besides work (cultural events and travel) and to give my clients a product (end result) they are happy with.

My criteria for success in my work is customers that ask me to do more work for them and refer me to others. Much of my work comes from referrals.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 26 Stalynn Lane,
    Houston, TX 77027
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Other: LinkedIn – Diane Barkin

Image Credit:
Start-up: A Technicians Guide, written by Diane R. Barkin is going into its 3rd edition for sale by ISA (International Society of Automation) and part of a series of books sold by ISA for ISA’s Certified Control System Technician (CCST) bookset for those seeking certification by ISA for their job.

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.


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