What Control Means to Engineers

As many of you know, I came to work for Medtronic after my son Hayden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2009. I was hired to apply my 25 years of experience as a control engineer for oil refineries, chemical plants, and energy companies to the task of developing an artificial pancreas. The work is challenging and fulfilling; it’s the most important work I’ve ever done. It’s also given me the chance to meet many other individuals and families faced with managing diabetes.

For example, earlier this year I had the opportunity to speak at Medtronic’s first Diabetes Advocate Forum. I really enjoyed the experience, connecting with so many powerful advocates for people with diabetes. So when the editors of The LOOP asked me if I wanted to talk to the DOC more often by blogging, I happily said yes.

To kick things off, I thought I’d talk about “control”. The word is used a lot in the diabetes community, often alongside labels like “good” or “bad”. But for engineers like me, it means something different. “Control” is an important element to consider as we work to develop an artificial pancreas. Check out the video below to learn more and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/july-dsma-blog-carnival/.

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