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Champions of transformation

| By Dorothy Lozowski

While new and exciting technologies become available to us at a rapid pace, realizing their benefits takes people with the willingness to try new approaches, and the insight to put them into practice. Last month, at the Connected Plant Conference (, 15 individuals and teams were recognized for their roles in taking the lead to make progress in the chemical process and energy industries through their implementation of IIOT-(industrial internet of things) related technologies. The following were honored as “Game Changers” at the conference:

Manuel Lombardero, AES— Manuel digitalized the lubrication maintenance program at his company, making information, such as specifications, procedures and more, accessible to mobile devices.

Albert Rooyakkers, Bedrock Automation — Albert produced an open and secure platform for industrial control systems, and started a company where cybersecurity is intrinsic to its control offerings.

Kim Gilbert, Beyond Limits — Kim is leading a team to develop architecture for the world’s first cognitive power plant, which will be installed as part of a large-scale infrastructure program in West Africa.

SEIGA Team (Seamless EPCOM Integrated Global Access), Eastman Chemical Co. — The team created an integrated digital EPCOM (engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance) environment to automate engineering workflows and more.

Juan Panama, Emerson — Juan has helped numerous end users solve challenges through innovative sensing technologies, software and more.

John Chowdhury, Frisco Green Energy— John’s leadership was instrumental in connecting all hydro, gas and solar power under one management system at Southern California Edison (SCE).

Michael Parrella and Martin Shimko, GTherm, Inc. — Michael and Martin invented a Comprehensive Enhanced Oil Recovery System, for which GTherm Energy, Inc. was recently awarded a patent.

Jared Witte, Kuraray America— The Champion award winner, Jared moved his organization from one that relied on historical trends and laboratory results to real-time process data, enabling data-driven decisions.

Todd Synoground, Ashley Ward, Amy Basche and Jeff Flora, Mission Support Alliance — This team utilizes HoloLens, which provides a mixed-reality platform to enhance operational efficiency, improve maintenance planning, modernize training and more.

Samer Arafa, Justin Woodard and Tyler Krupa, National Grid — They developed advanced photovoltaic facilities to better understand the impact that advanced technologies can have on the energy grid.

Carlos Sua and Annamalai Lakshmanan, NextEra Energy Resources— A remote-service guidance program, using smart glasses, was developed to help wind-power technicians get expert advice remotely.

Jay Panicker and Prabhakar Nellore, OpenEGrid — This team created open-standards-based communications systems to enable joint control of the emerging “Smart Grid.”

Smart Wires Team — Smart Wires developed a modular technology that allows utilities to dynamically control the power flows on their network.

Andy Tang, Wärtsilä— Andy and his team have connected customers with GEMS, a platform that enables them to tap into the full potential of renewables and eliminates intermittency issues.

Benjamin Blanchette, Georgia-Pacific— Ben champions long-term advantages by quickly recognizing and adopting new technologies. ■

Dorothy Lozowski

Dorothy Lozowski, Editorial Director