At last week's Power Electronics Technology conference in Baltimore, the editors of Power Electronics Technology magazine presented the Lifetime Achievement and Product of the Year Awards to this year's recipients. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bob Mammano, designer of the first monolithic PWM controller, while the Product of the Year honor went to Tribotek for its LowR power contacts. Mammano's accomplishments were chronicled in the September issue of Power Electronics Technology magazine, while details on Tribotek's innovative power connector technology were described in the October issue.
In accepting his award, Mammano thanked the magazine for its recognition, while acknowledging that many others contributed to the growth of the power electronics industry and that they too "could be up here along with me today." In addition, Mammano reflected on the industry's past progress and the work that remains to be done.
"While we're no longer struggling to try to get efficiency to 70% and frequencies above 40 kHz, there are a lot of challenges still remaining out there," Mammano told conference attendees. "Old timers like me are looking to folks like you to find those solutions to continue the growth of this industry. I know you can do it. I just hope you have as much fun as I had in the process."
In accepting the Product of the Year Award, Matt Sweetland, Tribotek's co-founder and chief engineer, thanked Power Electronics Magazine for the honor and for recognizing the technology of "a small, but growing company." In his remarks, Sweetland echoed the sentiments of IBM's Dr. Scott Strand, who noted in his keynote speech preceding the awards ceremony how existing power connectors are becoming a limiting factor in system performance. Said Strand earlier, "We're running out of the ability to deliver the amount of amps [needed] to our systems. A lot of our customers don't want to go to 3-phase inputs. With the connectors that we have today, we’ve basically hit a wall."
Sweetland oberved that Power Electronics Technology's Product of the Year Award provides "recognition that we have a technology that can address" some of the power distribution problems encountered today.