Leader Under 40: Chad Harper

Operations Manager, Maverick Technologies – BS Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas

10/03/2011


Chad Harper, 37

Operations Manager, Maverick Technologies, www.mavtechglobal.com

Baton Rouge, La.

Academics

BS Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas

Achievements

CAP and PMP certified.

After college, Harper began with C.F. Picou Associates, focusing on advanced process control in the hydrocarbon industries. One project had a return on investment (ROI) for the client of just two days. He moved up through project management and eventually became program manager of a large Honeywell Experion migration project, which was a beta test at the time.

At Maverick Technologies, he was regional manager then operations manager, now for the south region (Houston to the Carolinas), with 78 engineers and control systems specialists as direct reports, and six project managers in his group. He currently has responsibility for a portfolio of more than $25 million in active automation projects.

As an operations manager for more than 3 years, Harper has worked through the latest economic crisis, helping the company to retain profitability. In the last eight months, Maverick Technologies has added more than 80 people, also bringing challenges.

Harper helped change how Maverick Technologies “incorporates new graduates into the company, providing unique opportunities to get training and mentoring with our experts in the automation field. Being able to grow talent internally has been a real asset for the group, and it’s also exciting to watch them grow into leaders.”

Non-work-related activity

Harper and his wife met while playing competitive beach volleyball. Now, even with three children, they continue to play every week in Baton Rouge and in tournaments in Florida several times a year. It’s their social outlet and a good way to get away from the daily issues of work and family. They are fortunate to have a common hobby and it helps them have a strong relationship, “even if she claims to be better” on the court.

Engineering-related activity

Harper makes a point to sponsor and give presentations at the local LSU Chemical Engineering AIChE meetings each year. With process control classes usually in the students’ senior year, and still highly theoretical, he tries to introduce students to the real-world applications of process control, and get them excited about opportunities for young people in automation. Seeing the creation of eye-popping human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and realizing the amount of programming that goes into a control system starts to get them really thinking about focusing in process control, he said.

Interesting details

As an APC Engineer with CFPA, Harper had the opportunity to work on major projects in Germany, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Chile. “I really enjoyed learning and immersing myself in each of those cultures and working with local automation professionals.” He grew up in Tulsa, attended college in Arkansas, and wound up in Baton Rouge.

“Fourteen years later, I’m married to a local Louisiana girl and I can cook a mean pot of jambalaya and boil some huge pots of crawfish,” said Harper. “It’s really hard to beat the food down here.”

Began interest

Harper was intrigued by working for a control engineering firm, keeping things fresh and interesting by working on plant processes, which is more fun than designing equipment and never seeing it work, he said. “Skills you develop as a controls engineer are in high demand and make you a better employee,” Harper added.

Return to the 2011 Control Engineering Leaders Under 40



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The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by Control Engineering subscribers.
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System Integrator of the Year
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June 2018
Discrete and process sensor fundamentals, autotuning controls, system integrator roundtable
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Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

June 2018
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April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
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This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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System Integrator Giants
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
How to Maximize Factory Automation Efficiency with Low Cost Machine Vision
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Wireless Reliability in Harsh Environments
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
Human Factors and the Impact on Plant Safety
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
June 2018
Discrete and process sensor fundamentals, autotuning controls, system integrator roundtable
May 2018
Salary and Career Survey, IT and OT convergence, robotic standards and safety, secure circuit protection
April 2018
Cybersecurity best practices, artificial intelligence, robotic additive manufacturing, embedded systems, IIoT integration, energy efficiency
Edge Computing
This article collection contains several articles on how today's technologies heap benefits onto an edge-computing architecture such as faster computing, better networking, more memory, smarter analytics, cloud-based intelligence, and lower costs.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
PLCs
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) represent the logic (decision) part of the control loop of sense, decide, and actuate. Featured articles in this digital report compare PLCs and programmable automation controllers (PACs), industrial PCs, and robotic controllers.
SIDB

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, progressive cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
John O. Ayuk, PE, CFSE, PMP, CAP
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
Doug Baker
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
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Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
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