Trends in Control
Paul earned his B.S. from Syracuse University, his M.S. from New York University, and his Ph.D. from M.I.T., all in Electrical Engineering. From 1966-1970, he was a member of technical staff in the Power Systems division of Bell Laboratories, in Whippany NJ. At Bell an assignment to develop a fuel-optimal control strategy for the Apollo lunar lander spawned a life-passion for controls. He was a post doc in MIT’s Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems from 1974-1978, where his research focused on freeway traffic control and model-based highway incident detection. Paul transitioned to the Mechanical Engineering faculty at MIT in 1978 as Detroit Diesel Allison Associate Professor, where his research and teaching concentrated on control systems for vehicular propulsion systems (gas and diesel engines), wind-power generation and manufacturing process control for semiconductor materials. From 1985 until his recent retirement in February 2012, he had been associated with the Automation and Controls Laboratory at GE Global Research, where was Principal Scientist, Controls. At GE Paul has served in several technical contributor and management roles, all associated with the development of control systems for GE products and manufacturing processes. During the last ten years, he led and contributed to teams developing freight locomotive engine and system controls to save fuel, reduce emissions. Dr. Houpt has served on program committees for several American Control Conferences and Conference on Decision and Controls conferences, as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, and was twice elected to the IEEE Control Systems Society board of Governors, and currently serves as the chairman of the Control Systems Technology award. Since 1995, he has been a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. Dr. Houpt has published widely on vehicular system controls and diagnostics, process control and gas turbine control. He has been issued 15 patents (10 additional pending) on developments in locomotive controls, process controls and wayside rail diagnostics. In 2005, Dr. Houpt was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for ‘Contributions to the Control of Transportation Vehicles and Systems,’ and also received GE Global Research’s Dushman award, its highest team award, selected for the team’s contributions to the successful commercialization of the GE Evolution Locomotive. In 2009 Paul and the team he led were again honored with the Dushman Award for the commercialization of Trip Optimizer, an optimal “cruise-control” for freight trains. This system will save 10-25% in fuel use and emissions production for heavy-haul freight trains. Since 2009 Paul has been exploring controls opportunities in Smart Grid, the focus of this talk.