​​​​Ronald (Ron) Nelson is President and one of the practicing engineers of Open Range® Engineering Services, PLLC located in Pampa, Texas. Ron has worked in the process industry for 40 years and was a former (30 year) employee of a major chemical company where he held positions including project engineering, instrument engineering, production engineering, project management, and global instrument engineer. Ron has been a working member of industry committees including the ISA S84 and its various related subcommittees, Process Industry Practices (PIP) Process Control committee and the PIP P&ID committee. He is a registered engineer in Texas and a Sr. Member of ISA.  

Forty (40) years of engineering experience in chemical manufacturing industry, refining, midstream and upstream petroleum production and architectural design. Key focus areas of this experience include systems design, P&ID development, application of process instrumentation, process safety system and overpressure relief systems analysis, building design and project management and implementing process safety management (PSM) mechanical integrity (MI) programs for instrumentation.

  • Current President of Open Range® Engineering Services, PLLC 
    • Principal engineer and architect
    • Business development leader
    • Process safety and mechanical integrity consultant

  • Former Global Instrument Leader for a Major Chemical Company where I provided the following services:
    • Development of standard engineering practices for the instrumentation applied to the manufacture of chemicals – company and industry practices
    • Author of Corporate Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) design and integrity management practices
    • Member of ISA S84 Committee 
    • Process Industry Practices (PIP) Process Control Function Team member
    • PIP P&ID Function Team member
    • Corporate Process Safety Management (PSM) Steward for instrumentation mechanical integrity (MI) and process safety information (PSI)
    • PSM instrument MI and PSI audits of company sites in US, Mexico, Canada, Germany, France, Singapore, and China
    • Provide training for SIS design and mechanical integrity management at global locations
    • Corporate coordinator of Standard Engineering Practices for all engineering disciplines
    • Major Projects Team Leader for projects in value greater than $1MM at one of the plant sites
    • Instrument Commissioning Manager for two sites projects that exceeded >$200MM
    • Project manager of a project that upgraded 6000 loops – most of which were hot cutover
    • Performed RAGAGEP GAP analysis of instrumented systems for burner management applications throughout the corporation

Author “ISA 61511 Application Practice”, 2010. This paper provides engineering, maintenance and operation practices that can be used to achieve the requirements of the OSHA accepted ISA S84 performance based standard for design and management of safety instrumented systems implemented in the process industry.

Author and presenter of the paper “Safety Instrumented System Bypassing – Proceed with Extreme Caution” presented at the 2009 ISA Expo Conference, Houston, Oct. 2009. This paper presents definitions of SIS bypassing, examples of, considerations for and safe practices for bypassing SISs.

Co-author with Jack McCavit of the paper “Don’t Let a Cattle Rancher Judge a Pig Show” presented by Jack at the First Latin American Process Safety Conference and Expo, Buenos Aires, May 27-29, 2008. This paper explains the need for experienced instrument engineers to perform mechanical integrity auditing of process systems. The paper also presents ideas for conducting meaningful audits of process safety critical instruments.

I have been a presenter and discussion panel expert for the National ISA Show in Houston and the Texas A&M Instrument Symposium discussing various requirements and experience with Safety Instrumented Systems.

Author and Presented the paper “Project Management; Mystery, Adventure or Predictable Success” for ISA Instrument Seminar May 9, 1991. This paper discusses how to succeed as a project manager when directing a large project and was specifically applied to an instrument conversion project.

Member of ISA
Member of ISA S-84 Subcommittee
Member of ISA TR-84 Subcommittee

Former member of Process Industry Practices Process Control Function Team (2001-2008)

Former member of Process Industry Practices P&ID Function Team (2001-2008)

  • BSME from Montana State University
  • Post graduate studies in Chemical Engineering (Process Model Based Control) from Texas Tech University
  • Texas Professional Engineer License # 58918

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