2015 Engineering Leader Under 40: Jeff Poirier, 39

Senior Controls Engineer, RedViking; Plymouth, Mich.; BS Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan


Jeff PoirierJeff Poirier, 39
Senior Controls Engineer, RedViking; Plymouth, Mich.
BS Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan

Poirier is one of the most-requested software and controls engineers at RedViking. Poirier designed first-of-its-kind helicopter transmission flexible testing software that enables motors to switch roles during and between tests to accommodate highly complex test profiles on a single test stand. The challenge of configuring four 3,000-hp motors to change roles was unprecedented. In an example of a typical helicopter test stand, Motor A might always control speed with Motor B slaved or geared to follow it with balanced torque. Motor C creates load, and Motor D absorbs load and syncs to the first two motors. And all of these have to be synced and balanced. Poirier has built software to allow the test operator to change the system at the push of a button, so that the speed is now controlled by Motor C and torque is controlled by Motors A and D. And as part of the same test, or in the next test, speed can be controlled by Motor B and torque by Motors A and D. RedViking’s stands can test low-power devices, high-power devices, and devices that have to be controlled differently and tested differently from each other. Poirier’s software creates previously impossible flexibility in helicopter powertrain testing and provides outstanding industry cost savings. When not at work, Poirier is an avid mountain biker; while on his honeymoon in Hawaii, he and his wife rented road bikes and used them to climb to the top of the Haleakalā volcano, an 83-mi ride with 10,700 ft of climb.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
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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

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