Dialogue Sessions

Session 1→Debate: Standardization must give way to proprietary innovation?

Session Chairs: Jeff Bird–TECnos, David Alexander–SAE.

One of the PHM Society’s objectives is the advancement of PHM as an engineering discipline which includes standards and education. Panels on standards in development and what is needed have been conducted and documented in past annual conferences and a Society forum exists for exchanges: http://www.phmsociety.org/forums/forum/phm-business/standards/. SAE International as a Technical Co-sponsor has greatly contributed to these activities.

This year we have organized a formal team policy debate to explore the impact of standards on technology development and commercialization across the diverse domains of PHM and identify improvements that may be sector specific:

Resolution: Standardization must give way to proprietary innovation.

Proposition or Affirmative side:
Thomas D Mooney, SOAR Engineering: Thomas D. Mooney, P.E. is president and CEO of SOAR Engineering LLC – a consulting company specializing in PHM that he founded in 2013. Tom has over 40 years’ experience in the aerospace industry. Prior to SOAR Engineering, he was with GE Aviation for 37 years and Raytheon Company for 5 years. Tom held major roles in the development of PHM capability for GE Aviation. He was a founding member and later chairman of GE Aviation’s Design Board for PHM. Mr. Mooney has a B.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts and an M.S. degree from Northeastern University. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts. He is a member of the PHM Society and the American Helicopter Society. He also serves on the industry advisory panel for Tufts University, Tufts Gordon Institute. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences.

Nicholas Propes, Global Technology Connection: Dr. Nicholas Propes is a principal engineer at Global Technology Connection, Inc. (GTC) in Atlanta, GA. He has over 15 years of experience in the area of PHM. While at GTC he has worked on many projects related to diagnostics, prognostics, and fault tolerant control. Some recent application areas include satellite battery degradation mode modeling, unmanned vehicle fault tolerant control, hydraulic system diagnostic and prognostic modeling, and structural PHM. Dr. Propes has a B.S.E. degree from Tulane University, a M.S. degree from The University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa, and a Ph.D. from Georgia Tech all in Electrical Engineering. He is a certified associate LabVIEW developer and an IEEE member. His hobbies are drawing and fishing.

Opposition or Negative side:
David Alexander, SAE International: David Alexander has been with SAE International and its affiliates for 10 years. In his current role as Senior Coordinator, SAE Aerospace Standards Europe, he is responsible for promoting and supporting the SAE Aerospace Standards program and its constituents in Europe as well as involvement in global strategy and outreach to India, Russia and China. David is the official SAE liaison to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and also supports standardisation interface with NATO, EDA and national defence ministries, and also provides facilitation services for the International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG). In addition, David is also the global staff lead for SAE standards and related activities for PHM. In this role, he coordinates and supports the work of the SAE IVHM Steering Group, the SAE HM-1 (IVHM), E-32 (EHM), G-11SHM and related standards committees and works directly on SAE’s cooperation with key PHM organisations, notably the PHM Society.

Neil Eklund, Schlumberger New Technology and Innovation Center: Neil Eklund is the newly minted Chief Data Scientist at Schlumberger. Prior to that, he was at GE research for 12 years, working on a variety of projects in industrial analytics. Dr. Eklund has worked on a wide variety of research projects, from early detection of cataract using intraocular photoluminescence to multi-objective bond portfolio optimization. Most recently, his work has focused on projects related to remote monitoring, diagnostics, and prognostics for military and commercial aircraft engines, medical devices, wind turbines, manufacturing systems, ground-based gas turbines, and other platforms. His research interests are primarily in applied machine learning for PHM applications.

Agenda and format: Thursday October 2, 2014

Time Activities
8:30 – 8:40 Introduction and initial audience vote on the resolution
8:40 – 9:14 Constructive speeches to lay out their most important arguments
Affirmative team member 1, Negative team member 1, Affirmative team member 2, Negative team member 2 [8 minutes each strictly controlled]
9:15 – 9:33 Rebuttal speeches to extend and apply arguments already made
Negative team member 1, Affirmative team member 1, Negative team member 2, Affirmative team member 2 [4 minutes each strictly controlled]
9:34 – 9:55 Audience participation- alternating negative and affirmative speakers [2 minutes each]
9:55 – 10:00 Final audience vote on the resolution


  • Key Points For:
    • Innovation- Attempts to regulate it, control it or standardize kills it.
    • You can’t write descriptive standards for processes that are still being developed and attempts to empower committees to create some kind of utopian standard to describe what should be done can lead to major problems.
    • Standards are a barrier to innovation, hard to change, punish most innovating companies, retard the development of proprietary solutions, and have 5 – 10 year development cycle.
    • Standards don’t work for an immature technology domain there are critical technology gap areas, not enough independent evidence to support standardization, and the technology is continuing to mature through innovation.

  • Key Points Against:
    • Innovators need to, at the right stage, come together to define a baseline that will satisfy the key stakeholders – the customers, the end-users and the regulators.
    • Standardisation is actually a way of defining consensus approaches to technical topics.
    • Standardisation is an enabler of not only implementing innovation but aids the development process.
    • Standards will be needed to support the innovation, establish a supply chain, determine an acceptable cost model, integrate and interoperate with systems or platforms, and comply effectively with regulations.
    • Standards are applied where there is good consensus, and allow us to move past the uninteresting problems, and get to the innovation.
    • Standards allow easy cooperation within and between companies.

  • Audience Opinions:
    • Need to be careful about what you standardize.
    • Must assess maturity before standardizing.
    • Improving communications is good but regulating processing techniques may be problematic.

  • Vote on Resolution:
    • In Favor: 7
    • Against: 4
    • Undecided: 14

Session 2→Continuing Professional Development for PHM – What can it do for us?

Dialogue leaders from the PHM Society Education and Professional Development Committee: Jeff Bird–TECnos, Karl Reichard–Penn State, and Nancy Madge–TECnos.

Objective: To aid the PHM community in becoming lifelong learners, the PHM Society is examining Continuing Professional Development schemes that could include:

  • A compilation of recommended types of PHM professional development in skills and mastery levels defined by the PHM Society Capability Taxonomy (Bird, Madge & Reichard, 2014 http://www.phmsociety.org/references/ijphm-archives)
  • Guidelines on quantitative goals for professional development over practical time periods
  • Guidelines for preparing, evaluating and reporting plans and achievements.

The intent is to develop a voluntary system that would be used by PHM practitioners because it is of benefit in its flexibility and encouragement of depth as well as breadth of development. A full discussion note as an IJPHM Communications will be available to participants.

Agenda and format: Thursday October 2, 2014

Time Activities
10:30 – 10:35 Welcome and Introductions
10:35 – 11:00 Overview of other CPD schemes and a straw-man for the PHM domain
11:00 – 11:50 Discussion of issues:

  1. Is there agreement that lifelong learning and CPD are clear desires of PHM practitioners?
  2. Is a CPD system a good way of achieving some of the benefits seen in a formal certification or accreditation while minimizing the disadvantages/overheads?
  3. Could the community agree on types of PHM CPD activities that would provide guidance to practitioners?
  4. Is a non-mandatory compilation of CPD activities useful?
  5. Would non-certified/accredited/evaluated activities be acceptable?
  6. Would employers encourage participation and incorporate the scheme into planning?
  7. Would employers wish to be recognized for the participation of their employees when the PHM Society recognizes a significant number of their employees have attained CPD recognition?
  8. Would academic or training organizations be able to get involved?
11:50 – 12:00 Way forward with signup of volunteers