Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mary Fendley (Committee Member), Subhashini Ganapathy (Advisor), Xinhui Zhang (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)


Process control and maintenance systems have been used in the petrochemical and refining industry for long time for improving operator performance and workforce efficiency. However, there is a need to integrate these systems with current technological innovations in a systematic and meaningful manner. Advances in mobile computing, sensor technologies, software algorithms, and computational methods provide the possibility for easy access to information anytime-anywhere. The issues associated with retrieving and reviewing this information directly affects the ability to make timely and quality decisions in high stakes environments like a petrochemical plant where time critical decisions are involved. This research investigates the use of mobile software systems in presenting information for process control and maintenance systems and focuses on identifying points of integration of mobile devices for information presentation of control elements and the related alarm information for field operators in the process industry. The research findings indicate that use of mobile systems for field operations in petrochemical plant enhanced the situational awareness and significantly reduced the mental workload on the field operator facilitating better interaction with the application. As mobile computing becomes ubiquitous and control operations become distributed over disparate geographical locations, the adoption of mobile systems for field operations will be more prevalent in the near future. This study sets the foundation for the design of these mobile systems and makes a case for adoption of enterprise mobility management in process control industry.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded