Edward Brown, president of Paradiddle Writing and Editing, advocates for the development of a forward-thinking view of electrical building systems, focusing on the advantages of integrating fire protection, life safety systems, security, communications, and energy efficiency. Brown has been publicizing the visionary idea that this networked approach should be extended even beyond a single building to campuses and communities.
He was editor of NECA’s Security and Life Safety Systems magazine from 2007 to 2009 and of NFPA’s NEC Digest magazine from 2002 to 2007. He has published many articles on the integration of fire, life safety, security, communications, and energy efficiency. His associations with NECA and NFPA have enabled him to be an outstanding voice in advocating this forward-looking approach. Brown, a degreed electrical engineer, has been able to use his experience of more than 25 years as an industrial systems engineer to understand how the integrated systems concept can be transferred from industrial processing to building systems. And his graduate degree in sociology aids him in extending this vision to society at large. His sociology education taught him that people doing different kinds of work not only have different ways of working, but also different ways of thinking. This has helped him to use his natural empathy to be an educator as well as a communicator. He has an outstanding ability to communicate his ideas in writing (a talent not too common among engineers).
As editor of the NECA and NFPA magazines, he developed and publicized the themes of safety, security, and energy efficiency and publicized the way that networking in general, and IP networking in particular, can enhance all of these. His widely praised articles on these themes have focused on the use of building control systems as a means of minimizing energy consumption. He has written on lighting controls, including DALI, HVAC controls via BACNET, as well as a three-part series on achieving savings by using control systems and smart metering to limit peak demand and feature articles on practical issues involved with real-world applications of renewable energy sources. He has written on fire alarm systems, networked security and video surveillance systems, and duct smoke detectors. His articles for NEC Digest on programmable logic controllers and surge suppression have been reprinted for use in college and vocational training classes.
As editor of Security and Life Safety Systems, he brought together a team of experts in the fields of security, fire protection, life safety, information technology, and power quality. His creative approach brought to the magazine as regular contributors, people like Frank Bisbee—a leading visionary in the growth and evolution of the telecommunications cabling industry, and Michael Collins—an expert on security management with an impressive record of highly placed positions in that field.
One of Ed’s proudest accomplishments as editor of NEC Digest was the magazine’s outstanding role in the promotion of electrical safety. He used the magazine as a forum for renowned experts on the topics of arc flash, personal protective equipment (PPE), and arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs). For example, as a result of the platform he received at NEC Digest, the seminars given by Kenneth Mastrullo — NFPA’s expert on electrical safety — expanded from being little noticed to becoming one of the most popular at NFPA. Ken has since gone on to become Compliance Assistance Coordinator for OSHA. Mastrullo and NEC Digest were instrumental in increasing the circulation of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, to become second only to the National Electrical Code. NEC Digest brought industry experts to their readership in the electrical industry, people like James Stallcup, Mark Ode, Jim Phillips, Jim White, Richard Roux, and editors of the National Electrical Code: Mark Earley, Jeffrey Sargent, Joseph Sheehan and John Caloggero.
During his long electrical engineering career, Ed designed and programmed a succession of unique systems for conveyorized high power microwave processing of everything from granola for Gardetto’s Inc. to personal sanitary products for Proctor and Gamble. He pioneered in the use of PLCs in these applications, and his designs are still in use today. Another of his proud achievements was the design and construction of a computer controlled test station used to improve aircraft safety by testing the interference effects of high-powered radar on an airplane’s electronic systems. For more than two and a half decades he designed and tested power supply systems rated up to 100s of kilowatts and up to 500kvdc. At his last engineering job he combined his sociology knowledge with his on-the-floor experience to design and supervise a team system for his company—a system that has successfully improved both worker morale and product quality.
ED Brown has been active in his community as well, having served on a number of school and community committees. He ran a successful after-school project for enhancing grade school children’s experiences in science, drama, and art.
Ed has been called a Renaissance man, because of the wide range of his talents and interests. He has used media to spread the word about his passions for safety, security,, renewable energy and the creative use of control systems to achieve these goals.