E. Douglas Jensen is a well-known pioneer and thought leader in the operating systems and hardware of dynamically real-time and distributed real-time systems. He began his career in real-time computing system hardware before changing his emphasis to operating systems. Most of his research and technology transfer work has been for classified DoD applications.
His professional accomplishments have been in
- Award-winning innovative industrial and DoD real-time computing product concepts and developments.
- Computer science and computer engineering research, in both industry and academia.
- Real-time operating systems and hardware (including parallel processors).
- Civilian (industrial automation) and classified military (mission management, combat and sensor platforms) applications.
- As an industry employee, an academic researcher (CMU CS & ECE, VT ECE) and as an independent consultant.
His research at Honeywell’s Systems and Research Center during the early 1970’s was the basis for the world’s first commercial off-the-shelf distributed real-time computing system product—the Honeywell H930™. That was very successful, sold to international navies for weapons control on small ships (e.g., coastal patrol frigates).
He also made important architecture and design contributions to the world’s first distributed real-time computer control system product for industrial automation, the Honeywell TDC-2000™.
As part of his work on Honeywell’s ballistic missile defense program, he invented the paradigm for generalizing traditional static real-time computing systems to more widely applicable dynamically real-time computing systems.
His research and technology transition accomplishments at Honeywell earned him the corporate engineer of the year award.
Next, he was invited to join the faculties of Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Science (CS) Department, and its Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department.
There he created and led the largest real-time research group of its time, sponsored by the DoD military services and numerous corporations.
The best known (although one of the smallest) of his group’s research projects is elaborating the time/utility function (TUF) utility accrual (TUF/UA) paradigm he created at Honeywell, focused on (but not limited to) dynamic military resource management applications. It has been transitioned successfully into a variety of classified DoD systems—e.g., cruise and ballistic missile defense, combat platform management (aircraft, ships, etc.)—and public R&D projects.
The TUF/UA paradigm was implemented in his research program’s Alpha distributed real-time operating system kernel, which was the world’s first dynamically distributed real-time operating system kernel. It required devising a number of unique features that were subsequently incorporated into several commercial prototype operating systems.
While at CMU, he maintained an extensive consulting practice for corporations, primarily classified DoD projects. Demand for his services was so high that he added graduate student and faculty and staff partners to his practice.
He was in high demand as a speaker at universities and companies throughout the world. He was selected as an ACM Distinguished Lecturer and as an IEEE Distinguished Visitor, and was the first annual Distinguished Lecturer of the Japan Electronic Industry Development Association. He was Associate Editor for Systems of the IEEE Transactions on Computer Systems. He was the Program Chair for the first (1979) International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems—the oldest conference in the field of distributed computing systems in the world.
He then re-joined the defense industry where his DoD security clearance allowed him to again regain more intimate access to the most challenging dynamically real-time computing problems which are in that domain (due to hostilities and “the fog of war”).
There he was awarded three consecutive highly competitive 3-year research grants focused on formalizing his principles of dynamically real-time computing and applying them to military combat systems and battle management applications.
He and his academic collaborators co-authored 85 papers about their results, published in high-quality scholarly IEEE and ACM mainstream computer science journals and conference proceedings. Google Scholar shows that those papers currently have been cited 4332 times (as of 1 January 2022) by other authors of real-time computing papers.
Concurrently and subsequently, he has continuously applied his knowledge and experience, both as an industry employee and then more broadly as a private consultant, to solving wickedly dynamically real-time computing problems—primarily for classified military systems.