September 10, 2021
Middletown, Pa.—The International Society of Automation (ISA) recently recognized Jack Nehlig, President of Phoenix Contact USA, as the recipient of its 2021 “Excellence in Leadership” award.
The Excellence in Leadership award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the industry and/or profession to advance automation.
Nehlig was nominated for the award by Brad S. Carlberg, P.E., CSE, President of the ISA Richland Section in Richland, Washington. After Phoenix Contact donated PLCnext Technology software and hardware to Washington State University, his alma mater, Carlberg learned more about this open industrial automation platform. He cited a video interview featuring Nehlig, Harry Forbes of ARC Advisory Group, and Don Bartusiak, the founder of the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) and formerly Chief Engineer, Process Control for ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, as his inspiration for the award nomination.
In his nomination, Carlberg praised Nehlig “for working with the Open Process Automation Forum (OPAF) and driving the development of an open PLC, providing high-performance interfaces to process I/O, and supporting virtually any software development environment and programming language, offering a concrete step on the road to open automation systems and the future of industrial automation.”
“I’m honored to receive this recognition from ISA, as it is a direct reflection of our U.S. team’s efforts, and the 17,000 Phoenix Contact employees worldwide who bring our innovations to life,” Nehlig said. “For many years, Phoenix Contact was known primarily as the industry leader in connectivity, but over the past several decades, our expertise has expanded into many other technologies, including automation. Phoenix Contact believes ‘open’ is the future of automation. PLCnext Technology gives industrial engineers the open systems, collaborative platforms, and powerful new software that the IIoT demands. I’m proud to be a part of the PLCnext Technology revolution, and am excited to see all of the creative ways engineers are putting it to use.”
Nehlig joined Phoenix Contact in November 2001. During his tenure, the company has grown from about 200 employees in the U.S. to more than 800 today. Under Nehlig’s leadership, Phoenix Contact USA became one of the company’s three Global Centers of Competency. Phoenix Contact established a U.S.-based Development and Manufacturing Company in 2005. In 2008, Phoenix Contact opened a Logistics Center for the Americas to receive and ship products worldwide. The fully automated LCA recently expanded from 75,000 square feet to almost 170,000 square feet to meet growing demand.