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ASME and SME Announce M. Eugene Merchant Medal Honoree

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(CHICAGO, May 1, 2017) ― The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SME are recognizing Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, with their joint M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal for his longtime and outstanding contributions to manufacturing research and its implementation in industry. Additionally, his service related to the federal government’s advanced manufacturing efforts are being recognized, in particular his critical role in formulating and organizing Manufacturing USA – the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

2017 ASME/SME M. Eugene Merchant Medal Award Winner

Molnar is founding director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In this role, he is responsible for NIST extramural advanced manufacturing programs and serves as a liaison to industry and academia. Molnar is also the founding director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, an interagency team working to coordinate federal activities in advanced manufacturing as the congressionally designated National Program Office for Manufacturing USA – the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

“Michael Molnar is a most deserving recipient of the M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME and SME,” said K. Keith Roe, president of ASME. “Michael is a leading figure in manufacturing engineering, whose vision has significantly impacted productivity and efficiency improvements in the field. His many contributions at ASME range from federal government activities to codes and standards.”

Prior to joining NIST in 2011, Molnar had a 30-year industry career in advanced manufacturing, with leadership roles in manufacturing technology development, corporate manufacturing engineering, capital planning, metrology, quality systems, automation, computer-integrated manufacturing and industrial controls for manufacturing competitiveness. 

Molnar has also served as the manufacturing policy fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

A licensed professional engineer, and an SME-certified manufacturing engineer (CMfgE), Molnar is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SME. He is a member of the Senior Executive Service with NIST. Honors include the Gilbreth Award from the National Academy of Engineering (2002), ASME Dedicated Service Awards (Society level 2003, Manufacturing Engineering Division 2008), the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin (2014) and the Roy V. Wright Public Policy award of ASME (2015). Molnar has held over 70 elected or appointed leadership roles in professional societies and associations, over more than 30 years – including vice president of ASME and president of SME. 

“Mike’s commitment and his service at the highest levels of industry and government are unique and singularly impressive,” said Sandra Bouckley, FSME, 2017 SME president. “We’ve been honored to have his support and leadership and are, in turn, proud to honor his many contributions with the 2017 Merchant Medal.”

The M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME is awarded to an individual who has had significant influence and responsibility for improving manufacturing productivity and efficiency (either through research or by implementation of research). This award was established in 1986 in honor of the late M. Eugene Merchant, visionary proponent of computer-integrated manufacturing systems and an early advocate for lean manufacturing principles. Nominations are accepted annually, on or before Feb. 1. Click here for nomination instructions.


About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or

About ASME 
ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. For more information visit



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