2005 Distinguished Alumni Award
Howard P. Zinschlag retired in 1998 from MEMC Electronic Material, Inc., after 40 years of work in the research and development engineering fields of instrumentation, systems, and automation. He was nationally recognized in 1991 as a computer control pioneer for his contributions at the Monsanto Company in the development of a unique foundation for the computerization of the process world. This work in 1968 involved creating a successful computer system designed specifically for process control, coupled with a very first cathode ray tube display, provided the breakthrough needed for the world of digital process control for process and power plants to be born.
Early in his career he designed and developed state-of-the-art memory systems for the computer industry. Later, he designed and developed digital control systems for the controlled growth of silicon ingots, the base material for silicon wafers, for the semiconductor industry. In 1986 he was elected a fellow of the Instrumentation, Systems, and automation (ISA) International Professional Society and served as its president in 1993-1994. He served on the ECE Alumni Association Board and was recipient of the U of I Loyalty Award in 1996. Zinschlag remains active in ISA and currently performs process and facility audits in the Midwest as a consultant to help and advance property loss prevention for an international testing, certification, and approval agency.