IEC 61499 Summer Lab - Helsinki

James H. Christensen, PhD

President, Holobloc Inc.
3547 Runnymede Boulevard
Cleveland Heights, OH 44121 USA

Curriculum Vitae


James Christensen is an internationally recognized expert in the standardization and application of advanced software technologies to the automation and control of manufacturing processes. He was recognized for his achievements in pioneering applications of object-oriented programming in Smalltalk with the Rockwell International Engineer of the Year and Lynde Bradley Innovation Awards in 1991, and in 2007, he was awarded the IEC 1906 Award and membership in the Process Automation Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments in international standardization of programming languages and architectures for industrial automation.

He received the degree of PhD in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1967.

Following a career of increasing responsibilities and accomplishments in both academic and industrial roles, Dr. Christensen retired from Rockwell Automation in April 2005. He is currently President of Holobloc, Incorporated, an Ohio corporation. The mission of Holobloc, Inc. is to provide software tools, consulting and training for the application of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Standard 61499 for the next generation of technology in the worldwide market for industrial automation and control.

During his 23-year career at Rockwell Automation, he led the development of the IEC 61131-3 Standard for Programming Languages for Programmable Controllers, which has become the global standard for this segment of the automation and control market. He has also led the development of the IEC 61499 standard, the successor to IEC 61131-3 for the next generation of industrial automation and control. His Function Block Development Kit (FBDK) software is the first, internationally used IEC 61499-compliant software tool kit.

In addition to his work with the IEC, he has been in leading positions in the international Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Program since its inception in 1990. He has served in both technical and management positions in the Holonic Manufacturing Systems (HMS) consortium, comprising major industrial and academic partners from Japan, Europe, Canada, Australia and the United States. He is a founding Member of the Board of Directors of the IMS OOONEIDA Community of Common Interest for Intelligent Distributed Automation.

His experience prior to employment with Rockwell Automation includes 2½ years with the Electronic Controls Division of Texas Instruments in Johnson City Tennessee; 3 years of entrepreneurial experience with Strider Systems, Inc. in Norman, Oklahoma; 8 years on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma culminating in a tenured position as Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Computer Science; one year as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Thayer School of Engineering of Dartmouth College; and 2 years as a research assistant at the Solar Energy Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin.

He is the author of over 30 papers, book chapters, invited lectures and keynote addresses, and is a Senior Member of ISA.

Last updated: 2016-02-22.