Every year Siemens globally honors particularly outstanding researchers and developers as Inventors of the Year in five categories: Newcomers, Open Innovation, Outstanding Invention, Lifetime Achievement and Design and User Experience. Where information technology and operational technology converge, those inventors create technologies that bridge those worlds and transform everyday lives.
For the 2021 award, three of the recognized inventors are based in the United States, with two of them based at Siemens Technology in Princeton. These are the people behind technology with purpose.
U. S. Winner in Outstanding Invention: Ulrich Muenz, Siemens Technology, Princeton, NJ
The winners in the Outstanding Invention category have set new standards in their field of technology. An industrially significant invention or an improvement to an existing product led to business success, or a new approach helped solve a social problem and improved people’s lives.
Ulrich Muenz, Principal Key Expert for Control Systems and Head of Autonomous Systems & Control at Siemens Technology in Princeton, wanted to find out how improved grid technologies help achieve climate goals. Specifically, as communities seek to raise the share of renewables in their energy systems, they still need to provide resiliency and avoid blackouts. Muenz—working with researcher Joachim Bamberger based in Germany—invented a software that automatically stabilizes such grids.
“What started as a first small testbed for island power grids developed into Siemens’ first microgrid project with 100-percent renewable generation on the Galapagos Islands,” Muenz said. “[Joachim and I] drove innovation as a constant up-scaling of the number of converters. Currently, we are supporting [the State of] Hawaii in stabilizing their grid while integrating a rising share of renewables.”
U. S. Winner in Lifetime Achievement: Amit Chakraborty, Siemens Technology, Princeton, NJ
Siemens employs numerous inventors who have worked with the company for many years. This award recognizes those who have been with us for at least 15 years and who have come up with an impressive number of inventions that were granted crucial business-relevant patents.
For more than 20 years, Amit Chakraborty, Principal at Siemens Technology, has combined domain knowledge, Artificial Intelligence, and customer feedback to find customized solutions for customer needs. He has long used deep analytical thinking to go well past established business-area boundaries to find new answers for power-generation diagnostics, optimized grid power flow, and optimized energy management for buildings.
“My inventions have contributed to solutions in several fields,” Chakraborty said. “The common denominator is that—no matter from which industrial source the data comes—my team and I combine it with domain knowledge to develop solutions that benefit one or the other Siemens Business Units. We combine the physical and digital worlds, real and simulated data, and make overarching use of AI. Looking back, I have always been directed by clear customer requirements.”
Published: January 18, 2022
Updates: April 15, 2022