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CERTAINLY, none of this year’s inductees into the Process Automation Hall of Fame decided as children that they wanted to be Automation Heroes. Automation is a career that most people just fall into, as you will see in the careers of Dick Morley and Cy Rutledge. Nonetheless, these inductees’ career accomplishments rank them in the small number of people, whose contributions to process automation have made significant differences in the art and practice of the discipline.
We all need heroes, even automation engineers. Especially now, we need heroes in process automation that we can point children to when we talk about the benefits of careers in manufacturing and automation. Fewer and fewer children are interested in manufacturing as a career choice. Not all manufacturing is going to be off-shored, and we’ll need those young people in the years to come.
CONTROL is proud to present to you this year’s class of inductees into the Process Automation Hall of Fame. The induction will take place, once again, during the Hall of Fame dinner at the World Batch Forum (WBF) on March 5 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. You can get all the details at www.wbf.org. We invite all of CONTROL’s readers to attend, and to stay and attend WBF.
|Edgar H. Bristol II|
Currently, Bristol is striving to avoid retirement, and working as a consultant, both inside Foxboro and outside. With fellow Hall of Famer Ted Williams, of Purdue University, Ed had a leading role in creating the “Purdue Workshop for Industrial Computer Systems” from which many continuous and batch process control techniques have come. He is a well-known author, who has well over 100 papers, and a dozen patents to his name in control, adaptive control, multivariable control, control software and languages.
Like fellow inductee, Dick Morley, Bristol is a graduate of MIT. He is the originator of relative gain array (RGA) analysis (1965), which is the forerunner of today’s multivariable control. He also originated pattern-recognition-based adaptive control strategies that are used widely today, especially in machine vision applications.
Bristol is a tireless contributor to professional societies like ISA, IEEE, AIChE, ACM and others, and has been active in standards writing efforts for nearly 40 years. Among his other awards, appropriately, is the Dr. Guido Carlo-Stella Award, which he received from WBF in 2004, for his seminal effort in getting WBF started and his contribution to batch theory.
One of Bristol’s most important recent contributions to the field of process automation is the paper he delivered at ISA2002 entitled, “A Control Retrospective: What We Should Have Done.” The conclusion of the paper says, “Process Control is in a quandary. The digital systems, which should make life easier, continue to make it harder. And at a time when digital expertise is beginning to face up to the consequences of digital complexity (sic).”
Bristol goes on to say, “A restoration of the traditional user/vendor division of labor would act to restore a real progress to the field.” Whether he is right or not, Bristol’s exemplary contribution to the field of process automation goes on.
Bristol Ed is married to Julie, has three daughters, and enjoys playing with rhododendrons, orchids and bicycles, when he isn’t doing process automation.
|Richard E. Morley|
In 1960, he patented magnetic thin film. His invention made possible high capacity data storage, first on floppy disks, and then on tiny hard drives, even like those found today in iPods. In 1968, he founded Modicon, and (along with the late Otto Struger, of Allen-Bradley) is considered the “Father of the PLC.” In 1970, he patented a handheld terminal (Termiflex) that is the ancestor of field calibrators, programmers and the PDA. Finally, in 1976, he founded Andover Controls, and created the first modern building automation system.
While all these patents are used in many industries, they have all had a substantial impact on process automation. As the PLC matured from a “relay replacement” to a complete, hybrid controller, the modern distributed control system in process automation looks an awful lot like a PLC with an HMI at the other end of a network. Nearly every instrument vendor provides a handheld programmer that is a direct descendant of the Termiflex terminal.
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