Sensors Expo 2015 Reception And Awards A Big Hit

Opening up Sensors Expo 2015 on Tuesday evening, June 9, was our reception that also hosted the Engineering Team and Rising Star awards. Attendees, speakers, and exhibitors got a chance to mingle, converse, cavort, and network over drinks and appetizers.

There were some improvements made over last year’s event that added to the success of the event. In response to long lines for complimentary drinks, we were faced with a couple solutions: get more or faster bartenders. Since faster is often not an option in this high-tech world, particularly where delicate, vintage libations are concerned, more bartenders and more food servers in a larger venue proved to be an admirable solution. Overall, everyone as well served, quickly, and joy was unconfined.

Opening up the affair we had the honor and distinction of having two noted speakers to get the ship sailing in the right direction. First up, Ron De Serrano, CEO of B-Scada Incorporated gave the audience some brief, yet insightful pointers on the value of partnering. Bringing diverse expertise together for a singular goal will be more commonplace as unique technologies emerge.

Ron De Serrano, CEO of B-Scada

John M. Chong, PhD, Vice President of Product and Business Development at Kionix (a ROHM Group company) took the floor next. He emphasized the important role sensors will be playing in the Internet of Things (IoT) and beyond.

John M. Chong, PhD

At this point the crowd was well lubricated and revved up for the main events, those being the Engineering Excellence awards for the top Engineering Team and Rising Star Engineer of 2015.

Each year at Sensors Expo, we recognize engineers, engineering teams, and companies who go beyond the proverbial extra mile to create innovative products that have an initial and future impact on the market. This year, our panel of experts had their eyes on a small but highly talented engineering team that does the bulk of their work on the leading edge of sensor technology.  Each team member is an expert in a select area, which allows them collectively to deliver a steady stream of unique, break-through products. This year’s award went to the team at Phase IV Engineering, Inc.

The team consists of:

  • Bill Simms, Mechanical Engineer
  • Cameron Nicks, Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Dale Yones, ASIC Engineer
  • David Kramer, Software/Firmware Engineer
  • Eric Harden, RF Engineer,
  • Joe Letkomiller, Project Manager
  • Leo Carrasco, Electrical Engineer
  • Rich Pollack, Electrical Engineer
  • Scott Dalgleish, CTO and Project Manager

Some examples of the team’s achievements include two ASICS for the US Army and an Aerospace company with features that were previously considered impossible. To learn more about these unique devices, take a visit to

Also of note, this creative team invented patent-pending battery-free RFID wireless sensors for precision strain sensing for structural health monitoring and a battery-free RFID temperature monitoring system for the NASA space station that won “Most Innovative Use of RFID 2015” at the recent RFID Journal Live Trade show. For a quick look, visit

Phase IV’s crew also developed the world’s smallest wireless temperature sensor, patented by Campbell Soup. For a sip, see

The Rising Star award, as the name implies, recognizes a budding engineer who is going places in this tech/sensor business. This year’s superstar has a long and impressive list of achievements. With a background comprising optical and electrical engineering, materials science, and nanotechnology, she was the youngest among PhD recipients at Drexel University.

Working as a staff scientist at ECOLAB, a Fortune 500 company and leader in water, hygiene, and energy services, she developed a revolutionary optical sensor for the Food & Beverage industry for quantifying safety-critical sanitizer concentrations to ensure regulatory compliance. And that is but one example why the Rising Star award went to Dr. Elina Vitol.

Dr. Elina Vitol

In addition to a remarkable list of peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations, honors, and a full history of developing optical sensor instrumentation for medical applications. Dr. Vitol’s doctoral thesis titled “Nanopipettes for intracellular surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy” received the highest recognition with the Best Doctoral Dissertation Award from Drexel University in 2010. More exciting news, as time permits, Dr. Vitol will also be contributing an article (or two) to our Sensor Insights over the coming months.

And there’s more Sensors Expo to come. ~MD

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