In the News


Marshall Jones will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C., on May 4, alongside Edison, the Wright brothers and other giants of American innovation, and he wishes he could invite the teacher who made him repeat fourth grade. He would like to thank that person.

"It was the best thing my teacher could have done for me," said Jones, 75, of Glenville, a mechanical engineer at GE Global Research and a pioneer in industrial lasers who holds 55 U.S. patents.

Jones' breakthroughs with fiber-optic laser-beam delivery systems were used in GE's production of ceramic metal halide lamps, diesel engine head-liner assemblies, control rods for nuclear reactors and flat emitters for X-ray tubes. His laser advancements also assisted GE's 3D-printing business.

GE is planning to launch products based on what it calls a Digital Ghost, a combination of its digital twin efforts and industrial control technologies, to thwart cyberattacks.

This effort, which is likely to be commercialized in the next year, aims to us physics to thwart attacks. Industrial machines would be able to sense anomalies that would trigger an autoimmune response to attacks.

GE plans to integrate Microsoft's voice assistant technology into its digital twin monitoring system, providing GE workers with critical information and suggestions about parts and services in a natural language. GE also announced it has grown the number of digital twins of physical assets from roughly 30,000 in 2015 to more than 660,000 at the end of 2016.

Today, GE announced its goal of having 20,000 women in STEM roles at the company by 2020, resulting in an impressive 50:50 gender balance in technical entry-level positions. As for the reasoning behind the initiative, "Balance the Equation," the company says that it's a business imperative and cites research showing that businesses with a more equal gender ratio are more successful.

By  Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Digital twin helps bring the physical and digital worlds closer to each other. It’s intertwined with and complementary to the Internet of Things. The huge amounts of data now collected by IoT sensors on physical objects, personal devices and smart systems make it possible to represent their near real-time status in their digital twin alter-ego.

By Sean Captain, November 16, 2016

We are entering the era of talking machines—and it's about more than just asking Amazon's Alexa to turn down the music. General Electric has built a digital assistant into its cloud service for managing power plants, jet engines, locomotives, and the other heavy equipment it builds. Over the internet, an engineer can ask a machine—even one hundreds of miles away—how it's doing and what it needs. Fast Company got an exclusive demonstration of the technology before its debut at GE's Minds + Machines in San Francisco.

When you want to be successful in business, the dreams behind it must be big.  Believing this philosophy, Christine Furstoss started her career 27 years ago as an engineer with GE

Today, she is re-imagining the future of manufacturing by looking at the potential for digital technologies to impact the way GE designs and produces products.

By Andy Meek

As part of a Department of Energy (DoE)-funded project, GE is working to build a new layer of protection for industrial control systems in power networks. The approach calls for a team of scientists at GE Global Research to think about cybersecurity in terms of human biology. They’ll use what they learn from how the body identifies and attacks threats like pathogens and infections to help the company take its ability to ward off cyberattacks to the next level.

Fittingly, the GE engineer leading the project, Lalit Mestha, also has a background in biomedical engineering.

by David Wethe

General Electric Co. has a solution for U.S. oil and natural gas explorers struggling to save more money after squeezing drilling costs by more than a third during the past two years.

Raven, a helicopter drone being developed in part by GE at its new $125 million oil and gas technology center in Oklahoma City, is being tested to sniff for methane emissions at well sites. GE proved during a trial run in July that Raven could find gas leaking from a pair of well sites a half mile from each other in the Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas.

Detecting and stopping leaks, a requirement the Environmental Protection Agency enacted earlier this year, is the first of many planned applications for oilfield drones to make workers more productive in an industry that has suffered billions of dollars in spending cuts, hundreds of thousands of layoffs and more than 100 bankruptcies in North America over the past two years. A broader benefit will come from Raven’s custom software, used to plan flight paths and easily interpret the mountains of data it gathers.

"When you think of Project Raven and the usage of new tools and applications, it’s going to be key to take the industry forward," Lorenzo Simoneli, chief executive officer at GE Oil & Gas, said in an interview Tuesday from his company’s new research center, a day ahead of its grand opening. "There’s a lot that you can do going forward to help drive productivity."


Bill Loveless, for USA TODAY 6:58 a.m. EDT October 5, 2016

For General Electric, the timing of its new $125 million oil and natural gas technology center in Oklahoma City couldn’t be better.

The oil and gas industry is suffering one of its worst slumps ever, with recovery slow to take hold and unlikely to deliver any time soon the much higher prices producers enjoyed a few years ago.

That puts a premium on new technologies that can discover and produce oil and gas faster, more efficiently and less expensively.

“When we broke ground in 2014, we had no idea that the market was about to enter into the worst downturn in more than 30 years, forcing companies to evaluate long-standing industry methods and norms,” C. Michael Ming, general manager of the GE Global Research Oil & Gas Technology Center, said in a letter to The Journal Record, an Oklahoma City business newspaper.

“Many of the systems in place for years aren’t sustainable in a downturn, and if this downturn is the new normal, we must find ways to work smarter and more efficiently.”

Ming will join Oklahoma officials, GE executives and customers of the conglomerate in a ceremony Wednesday celebrating the facility, the first GE research center to be focused solely on innovation in a single sector.

The five-story center includes 10,000-square-feet of laboratories and two indoor test wells — one 360-feet deep and the other 43-feet deep — where 120 or so GE engineers, scientists and technicians can simulate conditions in wells and collaborate with customers on new means of probing and producing from oil and gas formations.

The Oklahoma City operation also draws on expertise from other GE technology centers and businesses around the world, what the corporation refers to as the “GE Store.”



An engineering student from the University of Wisconsin–Madison has won an international competition sponsored by GE with his idea for proving that you can, in fact, unring a bell.

Chris Nguyen, a fourth-year biomedical engineering major in the College of Engineering from Waukesha, Wisconsin, is one of three winners of “Unimpossible Missions: The University Edition.” The contest challenged students around the world to select a catchphrase (such as “a snowball’s chance in hell”) and imagine an experiment to debunk it using GE technology. The ideas and experiments poured in from across the globe, and in the end, the challenge received over 575 entries from over 375 schools and 35 countries.

To debunk the idiom “You can’t unring a bell,” Nguyen theorized that he could use foam to isolate the bell’s ring and eliminate unwanted echo. From there, he will use a microphone and GE’s subsea acoustics system to analyze the exact frequency and amplitude of the bell. Finally, he will produce the exact same sound in inverse phase — thereby creating destructive interference. The interfering sound will play over speakers, resulting in noise cancellation of both the bell and the interference, and creating absolute silence.

Nguyen will receive a 10-week paid internship in 2017 at the GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, and a scholarship of up to $100,000 to continue his education. He’ll also have his idea filmed as part of GE’s next “Unimpossible Missions” series.

“Chris Nguyen’s approach to this challenge exemplifies the Badger spirit: tackling the seemingly impossible with creativity and rigor,” says UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “I congratulate him on his victory and thank GE for creating this opportunity to showcase the innovative spirit of university students.”

GE representatives will visit campus Sept. 12 to celebrate Nguyen’s win.

When Brazil’s Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos pulled ahead of rivals from Russia and Moldova to win a silver medal in the 1,000-meter canoe sprint, he owed some thanks to an unlikely supporter: U.S. manufacturer General Electric Co.

The Brazilian national team is the only one using a version of GE’s Predix software to capture real-time data on athletes and their canoes to scrutinize and improve performance. GE developed the technology to monitor the engines that power airplanes and locomotives, measuring fuel efficiency and anticipating maintenance needs.

While scientists in Rio de Janeiro are working to deploy the technology on floating oil vessels dotting the South Atlantic, they also found time to develop a side application to help Brazil’s national canoeing team.

“Instead of monitoring GE equipment we are monitoring athletes, so coaches can see that in real time,’’ Kenneth Herd, the leader of GE’s global research center in Brazil, said in an interview. “We take data off those athletes, in terms of things like heart rate, stroke rate, speed and motion.”

Queiroz finished behind Germany’s Sebastian Brendal to take second in the canoe sprint final on Tuesday, and will compete in the 200-meter sprint on Wednesday.