ACC Industrial Participation Industrial Participation at the ACC

The unique strength of the American Control Conference is the broad scope of the technical program and the diverse backgrounds of the attendees. The conference serves as the premier meeting place for control engineers from different technical fields representing both academia and industry. Through proactive guidance by the AACC, the ACC has greatly improved in quality, attendance, and financial success over the last 10 years.

Increasing the number of industrial application papers is one of the goals set by the AACC in the ongoing effort to improve the quality of the technical program. However, we have not yet met our target for industrial participation.

The reason for the imbalance between the number of theory oriented papers from academia and the number of applications oriented papers from industry are as follows. The conference serves as an important outlet for university faculty and students to publish and gain recognition for their work. Presenting papers outside their institutions is a necessary part of their career development and therefore there is a strong incentive to publish. However, the same incentive does not apply in industry where recognition and career growth is more of an internal process. In fact, there is a disincentive to publish the best work due to competition within industry.

So how do we increase industrial participation? There are no easy answers. The ACC Program Committees now has a dedicated chair for industrial application papers. This will certainly help. However, in the long run we need to make it more attractive for industry to participate.

Industry is motivated by opportunities to increase competitiveness in the market place. This means reducing cost or increasing quality (or both) through improvements of internal processes and product design. The field of automatic control has certainly been an enabling technology in this endeavor over the last few decades and will continue to be so. Our challenge is to have technical programs that clearly offer the means for continued improvements of industrial processes and product quality through applications of advances in automatic control. This can be accomplished through industry and academic collaboration on technical papers, workshops and AACC sponsored benchmark challenges. The key being that engineers from industry and the universities work together to reach a common understanding and that each contribute their unique perspective to solve problems.

This is the time this page has been accessed since March 7, 1997.