JUL-AUG 2017

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l l 38 INTECH JULY/AUGUST 2017 WWW.ISA.ORG Real-time data takes center stage G etting real-time data from the plant floor or from a patient who has been sent home is a challenge. Technological progress has been slow, its use may require a significant rework- ing of procedures, and it can be expensive to imple- ment. This year, two of ISA's honorees have made significant contributions to real-time measure- ment of critical variables, and the third honoree shows that, however greatly technological change affects the workplace, knowledgeable leadership never goes out of style. Real-time EKG Roughly 10 years ago, cardiac patients and their doctors began to use a device that transmitted pacemaker data to the doctor. A device placed over the pacemaker read its stored data, and then trans- mitted it to a doctor using landlines. Today, thanks to technology developed by this year's winner of the award for Excellence in Individ- ual Technical Innovation, Manikandan Pandiyan of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development, doc- tors can monitor a patient's heartbeat and electri- cal activity in the heart in real time with a wearable electrocardiograph (EKG) garment and a cellphone. Even better, by using the subject's body heat as an energy source, the device has a long battery life. The doctor now knows what is happening when it happens, rather than what was happening a few possibly critical minutes earlier. If emergency medical technicians are summoned, the device provides informed and timely direction. After earning a diploma in electronics and com- munication engineering from PSG Polytechnic College in 2011, Pandiyan earned a baccalaure- ate degree from PSG College of Technology in instrumentation and control engineering. At the diploma level, Pandiyan received the Gold Medal for achievement, and at the baccalaureate level, he earned the G. R. Damodaran Memorial Award for Academic Excellence and the Best All Rounder Award. At Mercedes-Benz, Pandiyan has tested and implemented optimization techniques associated with machine learning and neural net algorithms, and his colleagues hold him in high regard: "Manikandan's extraordinary analytical skills, his passion for research, and most importantly, his innovativeness and his accomplishments, have convinced colleagues how important his own engagement in research is to the mission of our program. In brief, he represents the best research member in the community, where we seek to de velop research skills." "With regard to this award, he has made con- tributions to instrumentation technology that seem, to me, to be quite unparalleled. His clas- sic research on medical instrumentation, control systems, and industrial automation, has domi- nated the development of existing technological approaches ever since." His paper describing the electrocardiogram gar- ment is a chapter of VLSI SoC: Design for Reliability, Security, and Low Power. VUV detector This year's award for Excellence in Analytical Tech- nical Innovation goes to Dale Harrison, PhD, of VUV Analytics, for developing the first-ever labo- ratory-scale vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) absorption spectroscopy instruments. They enable real-time identification of streaming gas components and their quantity. As explained in one of the nomina- tion letters ISA received: Editor's Note: ISA continues its tradition of honoring lead- ers throughout the automation profes- sion. The Automation Founders Circle features the personal stories of outstanding automation professionals who carry on the legacy of industry pioneers and ISA found- ers Albert F. Sperry, innovator and first ISA President (1946), and Arnold O. Beckmann, in- ventor, founder of Beck- man Instruments, and ISA President (1952). A U T O M A T I O N F O U N D E R S C I R C L E By Bob Felton

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