Signatech was formed in 2007 in North Carolina, United States of America. The principal Dr. Shankar was an avid supporter of automation and intelligent management of assets ever since he broke into the energy field in the mid-1980s, a precursor to the "industrial internet of things", or IIoT. He first introduced the newly-designed personal computer in the energy business to digitize and acquire diagnostic data for the examination of flaws in power plant equipment to assess structural integrity. In presentations at the 1987 SmiRT conference in Davos, Switzerland, followed in 1988 at the CRIEPI meeting in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Shankar presented a paper on the usability and flexibility offered by the-then recent personal computers for field evaluation of nondestructive evaluation (NDE) diagnostic signals. This portability and ready access to data were to portend the world we live in today: ubiquitous sensors that could be used on-demand to sense problem components, advanced software that can analyze enormous amounts of data to provide diagnostic and prognostic information. Dr. Shankar applied these techniques throughout the 1990s and the past decade to promote application in utilities in North America, Asia, and Europe. In a landmark paper published in the Public Utilities Fortnightly, the results of these applications were documented: over 200 GW of capacity have yielded over $1B in avoided costs and resulted in more efficient operations. See February 2014 & July 2014 issues.
The next level of data integration and productization that is being examined is the as-yet untapped field of social media data that can complement engineering information. Twitter feeds, Facebook chatter all include customer dynamics over commonly available communication channels. Coupled with first-responder information, the social media database can provide early heads-up where engineering information may not provide the required situational awareness, Correlation of this information with engineering data would provide new perspectives, possibly timely intervention and provide customers more immediate access to information of importance to them.
Dr. Shankar's work experience includes working with Fortune 500 companies and was the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Tennessee Valley Authority which served over 10 million customers in 7 states. He worked at several firms involved in energy and defense R&D in the Washington D.C. and Charlotte, NC, areas. He completed his undergraduate education at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi with a B. Tech (Hons) in Electrical Engineering, Ph.D. in Applied Sciences from the University of Delaware, and an MBA under an Executive Program with emphasis on Finance and Strategy. Send comments here.
To get a copy of Dr Shankar's curriculum vitae, request here.