Hall of Fame

Since the announcement of VMEbus in 1981 there have been a great number of people and ideas that have had an impact on the development and advancement of open standards used in critical embedded computing systems. The intention of the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame is to honor and preserve the remembrance of those people and technologies that have had the greatest influence on the VITA open standards industry. Many others are to come - innovators and influencers, who have made a significant impact on developing, designing, creating the technology, and ferrying the technical specifications into open standards. These are the people who have overcome the technical and procedural problems, the products that set new expectations. It is our pleasure to honor these primary contributors to this industry.

On November 20, 2013, VITA Technologies announced its first inductee into the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame. Many more inductees are slated to be brought into the VITA Technologies Hall of Fame each year.

John Wemekamp

John Wemekamp spent over thirty-two years in the embedded computing industry. He was a leader in influencing and advocating key VITA standards.

After graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Wemekamp started his engineering career with Bell-Northern Research, leading a development team in telecommunication products.

Wemekamp spearheaded the VMEbus board level product hardware design effort at Dy 4 Systems in Ottawa, during the early 1980s where he led the design and development of their first generation of VMEbus products. During this time, he played an influential role at VITA standards meetings and during the IEEE 1014, and later ANSI, standardization process that followed the enthusiastic market adoption of VMEbus.

Wemekamp’s career spanned from hardware engineering and management to marketing, business development, and strategic planning. He retired in 2015 from Curtiss-Wright as their Business Development & Chief Technology Officer for Defense Solutions (DS) & Integrated Sensing (IS).

Throughout his career, Wemekamp was recognized as pre-eminent authority in strategic planning, technical vision and innovation, marketing and business development, and in acquisition leadership.

Key contributions:

  • As member of the VMEbus Manufacturers Group, actively supported development of Revision B of the VMEbus specification in 1982, and then following the beginning of VITA, supporting creation of VITA 1014 and in later years VPX
  • VMEbus technical standards promotion through presentations at the BUSCON Bus/Board Users Show and Conferences (during late 80s), numerous articles published in trade magazines endorsing VMEbus, particularly for rugged applications, and representing Dy 4 Systems technology road show presentations at systems integrators worldwide
  • Industry voice in influencing worldwide aerospace & defense systems integrators and their military end customers to accept the benefits of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and leverage the growing COTS industrial base of companies, to offer reduced life cycle ownership costs and faster technology deployment of embedded computing systems, for the benefits of all warfighters

Randy Banton

While a young engineer at Bell Labs, in the early 1980s, Banton cut his teeth on VMEbus where he took part in an effort that mapped the VMEbus specification to an AT&T proprietary line-card format for a switching system they were developing in research. He later landed at Mercury Systems for a decade, starting there in 1996.

At Mercury Systems, he took part in many of the standards activities that were key to the future generations of Mercury System products. Some of the concepts, which set the foundation for VITA-48 VPX REDI, were innovations borne out of the Mercury Systems PowerStream 7000 development. Seven patents were issued to Banton, and members of the development team, for those innovations.

He vividly recalls making the proposal for what became VITA-48 VPX REDI. It was in the upper-room of a Scottsdale meeting location; he had mostly lost his voice overnight and struggled to do the presentation. He felt like he had done a lousy job, and wow! – He closed to a robust round of applause from the excited attendees.

The VITA 48 working group was formed at the January 2004 VSO meeting. The purpose of the group was to develop an enhanced thermal management standard suitable for the new ruggedized VPX initiative. A standard, which would harmonize the various cooling methods: Air, conduction, spray, and liquid flow-through. The title of the original draft was “Mechanical Specifications for Microcomputers Using Enhanced Ruggedized Design Implementation (ERDI).” With the magic of marketing insight from Rich Jaenicke, “ERDI” was rearranged to the market-friendly “REDI” (Rugged Enhanced Design Implementation)!

Banton took part in the development of many VITA standards (VITA 5.1, VITA 17, VITA 41, VITA 46, VITA 47, and VITA 50, to name a few) as a key contributor by supporting, chairing, and working the details directly or feeding back into others at Mercury Systems.

Key contributions:

  • VITA 48 VPX REDI – working group chair for more than two years
  • VITA 42 XMC, Rapid IO mapping – working group chair until publication
  • 26 patents spanning his career – the first was one from Bell Labs, the research switching system which used VMEbus
  • A motivating force behind the Mercury Systems and VITA patent license agreement for U.S. Patent No. 6,759,588

Joe Pavlat

Figure 3: Joe Pavlat.

Very few people contribute so passionately to their interests as Joe Pavlat. He loved flying his plane, driving his Porsche, hiking, writing, and traveling. He is honored for his passion of industry computing and his contribution as role of president of the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG). Pavlat was the first, and only president until his death in September of 2016.

Pavlat started down the path of becoming a physicist while studying at the University of Wisconsin in Madison before graduating with a B.S. degree in Engineering in 1975. He started his professional career as a hardware engineer honing his technology expertise of motion control and robotic systems.

Pro-Log Corp. brought him onboard in 1989 to lead their marketing efforts of STD bus. He never strayed far from engineering where he also held roles in engineering management, guiding the development of hardware products.

Pro-Log was a primary contributor to the development of CompactPCI, which was mapped out as the future for STD bus. Pavlat was deeply involved from the beginning. When it looked like a standard was emerging, he participated in forming PICMG in 1994. He was directly involved in the development of both the CompactPCI and AdvancedTCA standards.

He stayed actively connected to physics by participating in experiments in Antarctica and on top of the Haleakala volcano in Hawaii. Pavlat also volunteered his time flying for the Monterey Sheriff’s department Aero Squadron.

Pavlat’s passion for writing and all things PICMG made for a perfect partnership with OpenSystems Media where he served as Editorial Director for several PICMG publications.

Key contributions:

  • President of PICMG
  • VITA Board of Directors
  • Evangelist for open standards