Dwight D. Carlson, founder and vice chairman of Perceptron Inc., has been appointed by Arati Prabhakar, director of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, to serve a three-year term on the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology, the agency's primary private-sector policy adviser.
Carlson co-founded Perceptron in 1981. The company, located in Farmington Hills, Mich., is a global leader in three-dimensional, non-contact sensing solutions. Carlson also serves as chairman of Michigan Future Inc., an Ann Arbor, Mich., organization bringing private-sector leaders together to create several networks that focus on family, neighborhood, education and competitiveness issues for Michigan.
One entity launched from the Michigan Future Competitiveness Network was the Auto Body Consortium. It teamed eight technology companies with Chrysler Corp., General Motors Corp., the University of Michigan and Wayne State University to build car bodies with design variations of no greater than plus or minus 2 millimeters. The consortium has received three awards of cost-shared funds from NIST's Advanced Technology Program. Perceptron Inc. has received one ATP award on its own.
The VCAT was established by Congress under the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The nine-member board reviews and makes recommendations on NIST's policies, organization, budget and programs. The committee summarizes its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce in an annual report that the Secretary in turn submits to Congress.
In addition, the VCAT writes reports on specific policy matters and other subjects as it deems appropriate and as requested by senior NIST managers and Department of Commerce officials.
The committee meets at least quarterly for reviews and discussions with NIST senior management, and meets at least once a year with senior officials in the Department of Commerce to discuss its findings.
VCAT members have distinguished records of achievement in fields that are relevant to NIST and its programs, such as business, research, engineering, labor and education. At least five members must be from U.S. industry and none may be federal employees. Members are appointed to three-year terms by the NIST Director.
Along with Carlson, the committee includes: Craig I. Fields, vice chairman, United Gaming Inc.; Robert Hermann, senior vice president, science and technology, United Technologies Corp.; Fred W. Kittler Jr., vice president, J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.; James C. McGroddy, vice president, IBM; Robert J. Saldich, president and chief executive officer (retired), Raychem Corp.; Howard D. Samuel, senior fellow, Council on Competitiveness, and vice president, Economic Strategy Institute; Maxine L. Savitz, general manager of ceramic components, AlliedSignal Inc.; and George M. Whitesides, Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University.
A non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.