Dean Ford, 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 Dean Ford ...

11/15/2010


Dean Ford, CAP, Director Operational Consulting, Maverick Technologies, Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010Dean Ford, CAP, 39

Director Operational Consulting, 2 years

Maverick Technologies

Columbia, IL   USA   

www.mavtechglobal.com      

Job function: System Integration or Consulting      

Academics: BS Electrical Engineering, Missouri Science and Technology University; Certified Automation Professional (CAP)    

Achievements: Few have the passion I do. My entire 20+ year career has dealt with automation: from a co-op with Anheuser-Busch as an electrical engineering student, to helping my college get PLC programming classes started, to obtaining the Certified Automation Professional [designation], and now being a consultant. I started as a PLC programmer and designer, moving into HMI, databases, instrumentation, and on up to manufacturing systems. I now consult with clients to help them apply automation to benefit them in the short- and long-term. Currently, I am active in ISA, ISA99, ISA88, ISA95, and ISA101 standards committees. I serve as the chair of the Communications Committee for the Automation Federation, and am a member of the Government Relations committee, where we promote the profession at the ministry level of government, both domestically and internationally. As a representative of the profession, I have been to Washington, D.C., on three occasions to promote the profession, as well as [handled] workforce development and Industrial Automation Cybersecurity. I am in the ISA CAP marketing DVD and am actively mentoring subordinates, peers, and students. I have recently started an automation profession blog to continue promoting the profession online.    

Control Engineering Leader Under 40, class of 2010 logoNon-work hobbies: I wanted to experience the Going Green concepts for myself. I put in a vegetable garden and experienced canning and making pickles. I installed a clothesline for drying clothes. I installed a water pressure valve on our well pump. We canceled our telephone land line service. We discontinued our trash service so we could gain a real understanding of what trash we generate each month. We stopped using paper towels and plastic grocery bags. I added insulation and changed our lighting to compact fluorescent while installing timers and power strips to eliminate vampire users. The modifications have paid for themselves.

Engineering hobbies: I increased the size of our pond to 4,500 gallons to make it a more healthy and self-sustaining environment. I designed and built a self-sustaining bio-filter that requires no maintenance. For pumping, lighting, and fountains, I had to design the system such that the pumping system would be sized properly. Another activity is communicating the importance of engineering and dispelling the “engineering is not cool” myths. I am primarily doing this through online activities by getting involved on LinkedIn and starting my own blog to spread the word of the good things that are going on in our profession. [link to blog]

More? I have a unique ability to work through a complex problem and find the root cause. My peers rely on me for this ability when starting up systems, as I do not make any assumptions until the data proves the answer. I am also unafraid of tackling any challenge. The more impossible, the better. I believe most people think too small and miss out on making real, lasting changes. Mostly, I enable those around me; I gain a great deal of pleasure from helping others succeed and reach goals they thought unattainable.   

Start in controls: I fell into automation as we all did. Growing up, I discovered an ability to put electrical and mechanical skills to work together to solve problems. Along came computers and I easily grasped the logical world in which they work. I have a saying, “It's all ones and zeros,” meaning that no matter how complicated something is, the computer is just working on ones and zeros so, really, how complicated can any challenge be? I had the opportunity to co-op with the engineering at Anheuser-Busch that landed me behind a terminal programming a PLC, designing panels, and starting up systems.

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

- Compiled by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering.

See www.controleng.com/awards for other winners and other recognition programs for all ages.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me