The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE®) recognized Dr. Douglas White, a principal consultant for Emerson Process Management's PlantWeb® Solutions Group, at their annual Spring meeting now under way in Tampa, Fla. Dr. White will receive the AIChE Fuels and Petrochemicals Division (FPD) award, one of two FPD annual awards, for his outstanding technological contributions to the advancement of these industries.
Doug White thrives on challenge. Throughout his career, he's been at the forefront of helping the refining and petrochemical industries adjust their operations to respond to rapidly changing business environments.
"Computing and communications technologies, such as digital control systems and wireless networks, are all changing how today's plants operate," said Dr. White. "These changes are impacting four fundamental areas – safety, environmental performance, equipment reliability and efficiency – which are critical to the long-term profitability and viability of the refining and petrochemical industries."
Dr. White's involvement began in developing early advanced control and online optimization for the chemical and refining industries. As these industries have grown, he's helped prove early applications in these technologies would work and be economically beneficial. His work at Emerson has included advanced control and optimization for refinery crude, naphtha reforming and fluid catalytic cracking units and olefin plants.
Dr. White predicts wireless technologies will soon enable on-site plant operators to transmit pictures and sounds from their facility to off-site engineers so they can diagnose problems remotely. "Communication links are faster and more complete than ever before," said Dr. White. "Employees in the manufacturing facility can carry with them a small computer (a little larger than an iPhone) and can see the process readings in the plant while they're walking around. If they suspect a piece of machinery isn't operating correctly, they can call up the specifications. If they have questions about the equipment, they can take a picture and send sound back to engineers hundreds or thousands of miles away. They no longer need to go back to a central facility to retrieve data, specifications or speak to the engineering team. They have everything at their fingertips to make the necessary adjustments or changes."
A prolific author and speaker for AIChE, Dr. White will unveil more predictions during his awards luncheon speech on "The Digital Plant: Progress and Promise."
About Emerson Process Management
Emerson Process Management, an Emerson business, is a leader in helping businesses automate their production, processing and distribution in the chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and paper, power, water and wastewater treatment, mining and metals, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and other industries. The company combines superior products and technology with industry-specific engineering, consulting, project management and maintenance services. Its brands include PlantWeb®, Fisher®, Rosemount®, Micro Motion®, Daniel®, DeltaV™, Ovation®, and AMS® Suite. For more information visit www.emersonprocess.com.
Emerson, based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to create innovative solutions for customers through its network power, process management, industrial automation, climate technologies, and appliance and tools businesses. Sales in fiscal 2008 were $24.8B. For more information, visit www.Emerson.com.