NOV-DEC 2017

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INTECH NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 7 A utomation industry visionary and challenging thinker Dick Morley passed away quietly in his New Hampshire care facility Tuesday, 17 Octo- ber 2017 at age 84. There has been and will continue to be many things written about Dick Morley, an American electri- cal engineer who was considered the "father" of the programmable logic con- troller (PLC) in 1968. He was a giant in the automation industry, freely contribut- ing his thoughts and opinions, and a big supporter of ISA. A number of times I heard Dick Morley encourage automation people to join ISA, emphasizing, "it is the only professional organization dedicated to the automation profession." Morley worked out of his barn in New Hampshire where he and his wife raised children and provided a home to 40 foster children over the years. He also loved riding Har ley- Davison motorcycles. Morley knew me well enough to recog- nize me and have a discussion with me, but this was not unique. He was open and enthusiastic about talking to any- one in the automation profession. I was a participant in a roundtable at the 2007 ISA Expo where Morley made a presenta- tion and moderated. In his usual way, he provided thought leadership and asked insightful questions. Trained in physics, he possessed an expansive knowledge from theoretical to down-home practical. He could tear down an engine and overall it while talking about physics and atomic fusion. I asked a couple of people who visited Dick Morley regularly for their thoughts: Peter G. Martin, PhD, vice president, business, innovation and marketing, Schneider Electric: "I once asked Dick how innovation worked. He told me that you first identify a problem area and research all aspects of it. Then you think and medi- tate and consider all the facts. Then, in a flash of inspiration God gives you the answer. The key is to be smart enough not to ignore the answer He gave." This comment certainly sums up the creative process in a nutshell. Don Clark, VP global application con- sulting and Schneider Fellow, Schneider Electric: "This guy was unconventional; he did not march to the beat of any drummer, no sacred cows technically or otherwise. He thought so far out of the box, he didn't even see the box. He considered every- thing; nothing escaped his attention. His conversation style was like watching pop- corn pop: topic-topic-topic-topic, all com- pletely different; it could be as far-fetched as interplanetary travel, nuclear quantum theory, and a wide range of topics. If you stuck around awhile you saw there was a thread to all these little popcorns, kind of like popcorn strung through your Christ- mas tree. He was brilliant. The most influ- ential book he ever read—when he was 10 years old—was One Two Three . . . In finity by George Gamow." My final thought . . . My observation over the years is that Dick Morley was a practitioner of the Socratic method, asking and answering questions, challenging you to stimulate critical think- ing, drawing out ideas and underlying as sumptions. Dick Morley always made you think about different possibilities. n Dick Morley – Remembering an automation industry visionary and challenging thinker By Bill Lydon, InTech, Chief Editor ISA INTECH STAFF CHIEF EDITOR Bill Lydon PUBLISHER Rick Zabel PRODUCTION EDITOR Lynne Franke ART DIRECTOR Colleen Casper SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pam King GRAPHIC DESIGNER Lisa Starck CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Charley Robinson ISA PRESIDENT Steven W. Pflantz PUBLICATIONS VICE PRESIDENT James F. Tatera EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD CHAIRMAN Steve Valdez GE Sensing Joseph S. Alford Ph.D., P.E., CAP Eli Lilly (retired) Joao Miguel Bassa Independent Consultant Eoin Ó Riain Read-out, Ireland Vitor S. Finkel, CAP Finkel Engineers & Consultants Guilherme Rocha Lovisi Bayer Technology Services David W. Spitzer, P.E. Spitzer and Boyes, LLC Dean Ford, CAP Westin Engineering David Hobart Hobart Automation Engineering Allan Kern, P.E. Tesoro Corporation Perspectives from the Editor | talk to me

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