Donaldson Inc. the technology-led filtration company based in Bloomington recognized 85 employees at an internal event this week for 59 patents they’ve been awarded in 2017.

Donaldson makes industrial filtration systems and replacement parts that are based on technological innovation. It is a core part of their business strategy to develop innovative new products and processes that ultimately give Donaldson an edge in the marketplace.

They also recognized their former chief technology officer, Sheila Peyraud, with their most prestigious award for long-term engineering achievement, The Frank A. Donaldson award - named after the company’s founder.

Peyraud joined Donaldson in 1978 and held various positions in corporate technology departments before being promoted to chief technology officer in 2012.  Early in her career she was credited with co-inventing Pleatloc, a technology that gave Donaldson a technology edge and is still used in some products today.

The company says Peyraud has been a tireless champion for product technology and innovation. “She always demonstrated a deep appreciation and understanding for what it took to develop the sciences and technology and how they fit into – and benefited – the broader business,” according to a Donaldson statement.  “Sheila was also a strong advocate for mentoring and developing our engineers and technicians.”

The awards program not only celebrates emerging product designers and engineers, some of whom may have as long and as distinguished career as Peyraud, but it also highlights Donaldson’s commitment to research and development. The company has gradually been increasing its research and development budget from 2 to 3 percent of total revenue towards a goal of 3 to 4 percent of total revenue.

For their most recent fiscal year ended July 31 Donaldson reported total revenue of $2.4 billion. 

Peyraud was succeeded in October by Michael Wynblatt, a former vice president of innovation and emerging technology at Ingersoll Rand.  

“Donaldson’s engineering, technology and operations staffs continually develop innovative solutions that anticipate and meet our customers’ equipment and filtration needs,” Wynblatt said in a prepared statement.

Donaldson also recognized Suresh Bommineni and Davis Moravec, both based in Bloomington, as Emerging Innovator award winners, presented annually to those who have been with the company 10 years or less but have demonstrated innovative technology leadership.

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