International Society of Automation News Release
ISA Announces Dean Kamen, Founder of FIRST® and Inventor of the Segway™, as ISA Automation Week 2010 Opening Keynote Speaker
Research Triangle Park, NC, USA (7 July 2010)—The International Society of Automation (ISA) announced today that inventor Dean Kamen will deliver the opening keynote address at ISA Automation Week 2010 on Tuesday, 5 October, at the Westin Galleria Hotel, in Houston, Texas, USA.
Kamen’s speech will officially kick off ISA’s annual event and will focus on the organization he founded in 1989, FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). FIRST is dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology. In 2010, its flagship program, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), reached more than 45,000 high-school students on more than 1,800 teams in 43 regional competitions, seven district competitions, and one national championship. The FIRST Robotics Competition teams professionals and young people from around the world to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way.
FIRST is just one of Kamen’s many accomplishments. As an inventor and physicist, he has dedicated his life to developing technologies that help people lead better lives. Kamen is also widely recognized as the inventor of the popular Segway™ Human Transporter, which provides a clean alternative for short-distance travel. He holds more than 440 patents, many for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college undergraduate, Kamen invented the automatic, self-contained ambulatory pump that delivers precise doses of medication to patients with a variety of medical conditions.
“Anyone attending ISA Automation Week will find a connection with Dean Kamen,” said Gerald Cockrell, ISA Automation Week Technical Program co-chair. “Whether it’s through the technologies he has invented or through a shared passion for helping humanity, Dean Kamen offers inspiration to anyone involved in automation and engineering,” Cockrell continued.
Following the sale of his first company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to Baxter International Corporation, Kamen founded DEKA Research & Development Corporation. DEKA develops internally generated inventions, and provides research and development for major corporate clients. The range of products and technologies invented and developed by Kamen and the engineering team at DEKA is extremely broad. Some examples of notable breakthrough medical devices invented and developed by DEKA are the HomeChoice™ portable dialysis machine, marketed by Baxter Healthcare, and the iBOT™ Mobility System, a sophisticated mobility aid developed for Johnson & Johnson.
DEKA’s other projects include: a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded robotic arm that restores functionality for individuals with upper extremity amputations, a new and improved Stirling engine that converts almost any fuel into electrical power and clean heat, new water purification technology that converts almost any source water into safe drinking water, and many others.
“Dean Kamen’s and DEKA’s accomplishments are outstanding. What he has done for humanity in terms of his medical and mobility inventions and technologies that help people live better lives is simply remarkable,” said Cockrell. “We are extremely proud to welcome him to ISA Automation Week. We hope his dedication to inspiring the next generation through FIRST will spark new programs, initiatives, and involvement to the foundation from our automation professionals attending ISA Automation Week,” Cockrell continued.
Kamen has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment in 1998, the National Medal of Technology from US President Bill Clinton in 2000, the Lemelson-MIT Prize in 2002 for Invention and Innovation, the United Nations Association of the USA Global Humanitarian Action Award in 2006, the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers Medal in 2007, the 2008 LEGO Prize, the 2009 Committee for Economic Development Public Policy Award, and honorary degrees from more than 25 colleges and universities. He was inducted into The National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2005.
ISA Automation Week is an in-depth technical conference with a focused exhibit component featuring over 100 vendors. It will deliver critical knowledge on the theory and application of automation technologies in processing and manufacturing environments through vendor-neutral content across seven technical tracks. As an integral part of the conference, vendor exhibits will supplement technical sessions with hands-on, real-world solutions and networking opportunities. Each session has been designed with specific content for five identified career paths: Engineer, Technician, Management, Marketing, and Academia/R&D/Scientist. Using the PathFinder tool, attendees can create a unique combination of sessions covering topics across all tracks, for a comprehensive look at their professions.
For more information about ISA Automation Week, please visit www.isaautomationweek.org.
Founded in 1945, the International Society of Automation (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts conferences and exhibitions for automation professionals. ISA is the founding sponsor of the Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL™) for six to nine-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism™ is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.
Having just celebrated our 25th anniversary, DEKA Research and Development Corporation is an established company focused on the development of radical new technologies that span a diverse set of applications. Our team is comprised of engineering, design, manufacturing, and quality professionals dedicated to creating innovative solutions and advanced technologies.