Joel A. Spira, founder, chairman, and director of research of Lutron Electronics, heads the list of electroindustry leaders being honored this weekend by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) at its annual conference.
Spira, who has dedicated his career to what he calls “the magic of lighting,” is the recipient of the 2010 Bernard H. Falk Award, which recognizes an important contribution to the industry through technology, marketing, education, and public affairs.
Spira formed Lutron Electronics in 1961 to market his invention of the first electronic solid state dimmer for incandescent lighting. It ultimately paved the way for contemporary digital lighting controls. He also invented the first electronic dimming ballast for fluorescent lamps, as well as hundreds of devices, systems, and processes for controlling electric and natural light. He is credited with 266 design patents and 226 utility patents.
In April 2010, Spira donated materials related to his inventions and Lutron’s history to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History electricity collection.
Kite and Key Awards, which were established in 1987, recognize individuals from NEMA member companies who have advanced the interest of the electroindustry through active and sustained involvement in NEMA activities. This year’s recipients are John P. Goodsell, PE; Helen J. Harris; Frank K. Kitzantides; Vince Saporita, PE; and Harry R. Solomon. The Awards will be presented at NEMA’s annual conference in Palm Beach, Florida.
John Goodsell, PE, vice president research and engineering at Hubbell Electrical Systems, serves as vice chair and parliamentarian for NEMA’s Codes and Standards Committee. He is also a member of the International and Regional Standardization Committee, NEMA-UL Policy Committee, and the Environmental Design Call to Action Steering Committee. He is active in several NEMA sections.
Helen J. Harris, financial analyst at Schneider Electric, chairs the NEMA 1IS Statistics Committee, where she designs reports, finds solutions for various reporting issues, and brings more industry members into statistical reporting. She represents Schneider Electric on the Low Voltage Distribution Equipment, Transformer, and Switchgear; Lighting; and Motor & Generator statistics committees.
Frank K. Kitzantides, who has held various positions at NEMA, including senior vice president and chief technical officer, currently advises NEMA on standardization and conformity assessment, and represents NEMA on boards and management committees of other organizations. He is also vice president of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC); a member of its executive committee; and chairman of its Standardization Management Board.
Vince Saporita, PE, vice president, technical sales at Cooper Bussmann, is vice chair of NEMA’s Codes and Standards Committee; and chair of the NEMA-UL Technical Forum, Fuse Technical, and Fuse Ad-Hoc committees. He participates in the Industrial Control Section and Low Voltage Distribution Equipment switch and panelboard sections. He serves as NEMA’s representative on the National Fire Protection Association Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
Harry Solomon, interoperability architect at GE Healthcare, was a member of the joint committee that developed the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard. This global information technology standard ensures the interoperability of systems used to produce and process medical images. He is chair of the DICOM Cardiac and Vascular Information Working Group, and helped established standards for cardiac image exchange.
NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity. These products are used in utility, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. The association’s Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) Division represents manufacturers of cutting-edge medical diagnostic imaging equipment including MRI, CT, x-ray, and ultrasound products. Worldwide sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing and Mexico City.