Jonathan Jobe, 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 Jonathan Jobe ...


Jonathan Jobe, Fiber Draw Controls Engineer, OFS Fitel LLC, Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010Jonathan Jobe, 29    

Fiber Draw Controls Engineer, 2.5 years

OFS Fitel LLC      

Norcross, GA  USA

Job function: Process, Production, or Manufacturing Engineering

Academics: BSME Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; MSME Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, focus on modeling and simulation; ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt           

Achievements: I have achieved R&D level knowledge of optical fiber drawing and processing details, including maintaining and improving draw machine control systems. Draw tower control systems are very complex, including 6+ motion axes and 500+ I/O on dual over-arching controllers (20+ internal control loops), 40+ sublevel controllers (for pressures, temperatures, flows, product measurement), real-time statistics generation, and database interfacing for product tracking. I have advanced draw tower controls at my employer to include material resource savings through gas recycling system design, control integration, and broad implementation. I have improved control system robustness by optimizing digital controllers and improving communication between control systems. I have advanced the level of machine self-protection and operator safety by improving system robustness and utilizing additional sensory input and output status indicators through HMIs and lighting/alarm systems. I am currently advancing the state of the art at my employer by developing control systems to integrate a downstream material process into the fiber draw process: Fiber coloring is used for fiber identification in optical communications cables. I am in the final stages of development to color fiber while it is coated and as it is being drawn from a glass preform while meeting the additional product specifications simultaneously.            

Non-work hobbies: I enjoy water sports and spending time at the lake and pool—no sun required but warm water is nice! Summer brings sailing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and lap swimming, while winter brings kayaking and more sailing. Sailing is peaceful, and tweaking boat engines is just plain fun. On land, I like to play soccer, work on cars, and volunteer at some of the fun events in my town.

Engineering hobbies: My engineering-related activities recently included serving as an industry mentor for the local county-level high-school science fair career day, and opportunistically mentoring high-school and early college students on the merits of engineering in society. I also annually work with my college fraternity chapter on their contraption entry to the Georgia Tech Ramblin Wreck Parade at homecoming. Why? It's nice to provide knowledge and opinion to a group of motivated and highly impressionable people with great potential. Personally, I have spent time working on my Jeep CJ, which has a custom drivetrain and a mega-squirt fuel injection controller.   

More? Professionally, I try to be as innovative and fresh as possible. Idea generation is the foundation of discussion that leads to argument and improvement! To be a credible idea generator, I am a “list-maker,” always documenting and prioritizing work and ideas, including tasks and ideas submitted to me by peers and superiors. This way they are never forgotten. I am always revisiting ideas of old and thinking about the questions. I will always return the email or call with a status update, ideas, or questions of my own. Personally, I am a cancer survivor.      

Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010 logoStart in controls: Experience working on cars and other machines quickly taught me one of the most important drivers of good machine performance is control system performance—thus beginning my interest in controls. The ability of a machine to sense accurately and discern between small measurement differences can be as important as the decisions the machine makes with this information. Discovering control system impacts on energy use, quality metrics, and product costs further excited me. Industrial challenges that keep my interest include the occasional inability to make certain measurements in a system (environmental challenges), and using statistics in controllers to drive machine behavior.

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- Compiled by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering.

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

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