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2022 Control Process Automation Hall of Fame

April 15, 2022
When the door opens, will you have the courage to step through?

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the honor to interview this year’s incoming class of the Control Process Automation Hall of Fame. While some are reserved and others quite animated, they all share a passion for the industry we share, deriving professional and personal satisfaction in solving some of industry’s most challenging problems, and mentoring the next generation of process automation practitioners who will carry our work forward. But one of the consistent recommendations of them all is to be open to new opportunities when they come knocking, to take a risk, step through that door, and embrace the unknown. And if the list of all they've accomplished is any indication, we would all do well to follow their example.

The articles that follow are profiles of the five individuals who were nominated and voted into the Control Process Automation Hall of Fame by those esteemed members who have been admitted to the Hall since its formation in 2001. Please join me in congratulating Thomas A. Badgwell, Chief Technology Officer, Collaborative Systems Integration; Lorenz (Larry) Biegler, Covestro University Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; Andy Chatha, President & CEO, ARC Advisory Group; Thomas E. Marlin, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University; and Brian L. Ramaker, Shell Oil Co. (retired).

If you’ve not been directly inspired by this year’s class of process automation innovators in the course of your own academic or industrial journeys, I hope that you enjoy getting to know them better on the pages that follow. It was my pleasure and privilege to spend time with them all. — Keith Larson

Thomas A. Badgwell

Badgwell's path brought him from the early front lines of commercial model-predictive control (MPC) implementation with Setpoint to graduate study at the University of Texas, teaching and research at Rice University, product development at AspenTech, and on to refinery operations and strategic research for ExxonMobil. And, shortly after taking early retirement from the oil & gas major, Don Bartusiak, fellow ExxonMobil retiree, Process Automation Hall of Famer, and chief protagonist behind the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF), was on the phone pitching a new tech startup that would bring the ideas behind OPAF and its Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) to life. Read more.

Lorenz (Larry) Biegler

Unlike the rest of this year’s Process Automation Hall of Fame class, new opportunities to innovate instead came straight to Lorenz (Larry) Biegler’s doorstep. Biegler has strung together 40 years—and counting—in Carnegie Mellon University’s chemical engineering department, where he is now the Covestro University Professor, exploring four generations of algorithms for solving large-scale, nonlinear process optimization problems. Read more.

Andy Chatha

From the very start, Andy Chatha was perhaps destined for a job with a big picture view. The president and CEO of ARC Advisory Group started his engineering career with GEC in the U.K. before moving to the U.S. In the U.S., he worked as a project engineer with Westinghouse Electric and Foxboro, but soon became impatient working on large, complex projects. He moved to marketing, but soon saw an opportunity to strike out on his own. Read more.

 Thomas E. Marlin

Tom Marlin is Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, led a yearlong study of the potential benefits of industrial automation in Australia in the 1980s. Once completed, Marlin and company presented the results of the study in public seminars around the country and ultimately in Canberra to the government. The project also helped open the door to McMaster University as an NSERC Industrial Research Chair funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Read more.

Brian L. Ramaker

Brian Ramaker was on the front lines of model predictive control (MPC) development at Shell Oil Co., and co-authored the original patents for Dynamic Matrix Control with colleague Charles Cutler (and fellow Hall of Famer), who left to start DMC Corp. Ramaker stayed the course with Shell, and is now retired and living north of Houston. Read more.

About the author: Keith Larson
About the Author

Keith Larson | Group Publisher

Keith Larson is group publisher responsible for Endeavor Business Media's Industrial Processing group, including Automation World, Chemical Processing, Control, Control Design, Food Processing, Pharma Manufacturing, Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Processing and The Journal.

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