New Director Named for the University of Texas in Arlington’s Auto-ID Lab

Erick Jones, a leading researcher in the area of auto-identification technologies, will focus on the development of innovative solutions for health care, manufacturing and transportation.
Published: December 6, 2010

Erick C. Jones has recently been named the director of the RFID and Auto-ID Deployment Lab, at the University of Texas in Arlington (UTA), founded by Richard Bello, the facility’s executive director. Jones tells me his goal will be to focus the lab’s research on solutions that can benefit industry.

First set up five years ago, UTA’s Auto-ID Lab has focused much of its research on health-care solutions, including work on a digestible RFID pill to track patients’ compliance with drug regimens. Jones brings a rich background in auto-identification technologies. He has served as the director of the RFID and Supply Chain Logistics Lab, at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and as the Nebraska site director for the National Science Foundation‘s Industry & University Cooperative Research Centers.

Jones is the current chair of the RFID certification committee for the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA), a member of the Dash7 Alliance‘s education committee and a member of AIM Global, and he will serve as a judge for the 2011 RFID Journal Awards, which will take place at RFID Journal LIVE! 2011, being held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 12-14 (see RFID Journal Selects Judges for the Industry’s Most Prestigious Awards). He is also the co-author of RFID in Logistics: A Practical Introduction (see RFID Bookshelf).

(Jones is not, however, an ivory-tower academic. He has business experience in industry with Arthur Andersen, Tompkins Associates and UPS.)

In addition, Jones is a faculty member in UTA’s engineering department. Last year, at RFID Journal LIVE! 2009, he ran into Dan Engels, who had been the UTA lab’s director. Engels then recommended Jones to Bello.

“RFID is maturing quickly,” Jones says. “The Auto-ID Labs have helped to develop the EPC standards. The Dash7 standard is mature. Now there is a real opportunity to use the technology in innovative ways to drive real benefits for health-care providers, transportation providers, mining companies and so on. I want to work with the other departments in the university, including the mechanical engineering department, which is working on nanotechnologies to develop innovations that can be commercialized.”

Among the concepts Jones expects the lab to consider is using RFID to monitor traffic congestion and traffic patterns, in order to reduce traffic jams. He hopes the lab will help develop cost-effective solutions that will enable the technology to be used in the pharmaceutical area to track drugs and reduce counterfeiting.

“RFID is now mature enough to be designed into products or operations, to improve medical devices, transportation and so on,” Jones says. “There is an opportunity to do research in RFID that will lead to breakthroughs that will benefit not just companies, but society as a whole.”

I wish him all the best in his new position.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark’s opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or the Editor’s Note archive.