Brian Van Batavia, among Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 for 2010

Want to meet the next generation of manufacturing automation and controls leaders? In November 2010, Control Engineering highlights 19 young professionals from around the globe who are making their marks in everything from system design to academia. These leaders aim to inspire others to get involved in engineering and resolve local and global challenges through smarter applications of automation and control technologies. Meet Brian Van Batavia ...


Brian	Van Batavia, Lead Engineer—Embedded Controls, Eaton Corp., Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010Brian Van Batavia, 34         

Lead Engineer—Embedded Controls, 4 years

Eaton Corporation     

Eden Prairie, MN USA  

Job function: System or Product Design, Control or Instrument Engineering

Academics: Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth         

Achievements: I have been active in the field of control engineering for over 12 years. My experience has focused on products and services for the automotive industry. I have participated in the development of high-performance vehicular test systems and advanced hybrid power systems. I developed a means of reducing the torque ripple created from high-performance, low-inertia permanent magnet motors used in automotive powertrain applications. This advancement enables realistic simulation of engine properties—including low physical inertia and engine firing torque pulses—using only an electric motor.

I have also led the design and implementation of the embedded control system for hydraulic hybrid drive systems. I co-authored a paper on the benefits of electro-hydraulics (IFPE 2008) and have also authored a technical paper on an innovative hydraulic hybrid vehicle energy management system (SAE 2009). I am a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and an active member of the SAE Truck and Bus Control and Communications Network committee, as well as the Hydraulic Hybrid committee. I have helped to shape several SAE standards related to digital communications systems and hybrid power systems for commercial vehicles. I am also a member of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society.       

Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010 logoI have been planning the addition of one or more sustainable energy generation sources to my home. I am working on the design of a small roof-mounted wind generator which will likely be combined with an array of solar cells to provide the power needed to operate my home. My ultimate goal is to be able to power my home in addition to an electric vehicle. I have initiated this project due to my interest in sustainable engineering. I believe that clean and affordable energy generation and storage is one of the greatest challenges that will face my generation.   

No-work hobbies: I am currently pursuing a Masters of Engineering degree with a concentration on integrated vehicle systems. I have also worked with faculty and students from the University of Minnesota related to research activities which are affiliated with the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. I have pursued these activities because I believe that interaction between industry and academia is critically important and can be mutually beneficial for both entities. I also feel that continuous learning and improvement is a requirement for the success of any engineer—in particular those involved with control engineering.          

Engineering hobbies: I own a 1969 Pontiac Firebird that I restored to working condition when I was 14 years old. I also own and maintain a 1974 Dodge Sno-Buster pickup truck that I use regularly during the snowy Minnesota winter months to keep my driveway clear.

More? I am married and have three children between the ages of two years and eight years old. I regularly volunteer my time in the children's ministry at my church and have participated in several local activities organized by United Way and Habitat for Humanity.        

Start in controls: I was born and raised in a small town within an agricultural area of southwest Minnesota. My father is a self-employed mechanic and was a key contributor to the development of my interest in machines and vehicles. I have always been fascinated by the ability of machines like tractors, trucks, trains, combines, and grain elevators to do massive amounts of work with minimal human effort.

Return to main article: Control Engineering Leaders Under 40, class of 2010

- Compiled by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering.

See for other winners and other recognition programs for all ages.

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