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Thought Leaders to Convene at NAMRC 44

Steve Schmid
 Steven R. Schmid
PhD, CMfgE, PE2015–16 President
North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI/SME)
SME Member Since 1994

During the week of June 27, researchers, educators, practitioners and thought leaders from around the world will congregate in Blacksburg, VA, for the largest annual manufacturing research conference in North America. Now in its 44th year, SME’s North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC), which is organized by the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI/SME), is a vital part of the organization with its important role in advancing the scientific foundation of discrete-parts manufacturing. It is co-located with the Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC) and is organized by ASME’s Manufacturing Engineering Division.
SME’s NAMRC conference has a rich history. Over 40 years ago, there was no annual research conference on manufacturing. Researchers would often have to go to solid mechanics or heat transfer conferences to obtain the information they needed. NAMRC’s founders changed all of this when the conference was created, giving them an opportunity to convene to review and share their manufacturing research developments. Not only did it offer a venue for research dissemination, it also created a wonderful forum for promoting a community spirit among manufacturing researchers and practitioners, while facilitating interactive discussions. To share in cost and responsibilities, the conference was designed to rotate every year from host to host; it continues this practice today.
The 2016 host university is Virginia Tech, with Jaime Camelio, Rolls-Royce Commonwealth professor of advanced manufacturing, serving as conference host and organizer. In 2017, NAMRC 45 will be held at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).
This year, NAMRC will have over 120 technical papers and presentations on topics ranging from additive manufacturing to the use of advanced software solutions on the shop floor to sophisticated models of forging and other metal forming processes. As the premier forum for manufacturing research, its exposure to university research leads to valuable advanced manufacturing technology being implemented on the factory floor. For example, K. Scott Smith, professor and chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, presented a paper on chatter control in machining using measurement of stability lobes through acoustical means. This research led to a capability to measure critical speeds on machine tools and avoid them in practice, thereby avoiding chatter. This development has been implemented around the world, and Smith was presented with the NAMRI/SME S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award at NAMRC 40 in 2012.
The tech papers/presentations are in alignment with this year’s six conference tracks, including manufacturing systems, manufacturing processes, additive manufacturing, cyber-physical systems in manufacturing, manufacturing education and workforce development. There’s also an advanced materials processing and manufacturing processes symposium in honor of the late Professor Ranga Komanduri (Oklahoma State University; Stillwater, OK).
In addition to the 40 technical sessions in the eight tracks, three panel sessions have been organized for the conference:
Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) director and 2014 SME president, Michael Molnar, will provide an overview of the latest initiatives planned by the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). Recognizing that the NNMIs will expand to 15 institutes by the end of 2016, AMNPO Faculty Fellows Shreyes Melkote, Morris M. Bryan Jr. professor for advanced manufacturing systems in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech (Atlanta) and Frank Pfefferkorn, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI), will also describe the program, the upcoming institutes and the developing activities of the network.
For the first time, a panel session on effective teaching methods has been organized by NAMRI/SME Scientific Committee Chair Albert Shih, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), and Hitomi Yamaguchi Greenslet, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL). Presentations will explore the various methods of incorporating video into lectures, active learning and exposing undergraduates to manufacturing research. Graduate students will also compete in the NAMRC Student Research Presentation Award where a panel of judges will evaluate their research and presentations; a first-place winner and two honorable mentions will be selected.
Professor Shiv Kapoor, director of the Center for Machine Tools Systems Research for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL), will give the annual NAMRI/SME Founders Lecture at the NAMRI/SME Awards Luncheon. Founders Lectures range from historical NAMRC perspectives to in-depth topics on manufacturing technologies and advanced manufacturing research.
From the large number of students presenting and participating in the design competitions to attendees obtaining current advanced manufacturing information, maintaining technical skills and developing professional contacts, NAMRC 44 is the place to be June 27–July 1; I strongly encourage everyone to attend! To learn more and/or to register, visit 

2016 International Honor Awards


SME has recognized seven professionals from industry and academia with its 2016 International Honor Awards. Awardees are acknowledged for their significant contributions in the areas of manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research and management, and service to SME.
2016 International Honor Award honorees:
Eli Whitney Productivity Award—Patrick M. “Pat” Shanahan, The Boeing Co. (Seattle);
Joseph A. Siegel Service Award—Peter F. Mackie, Wells Fargo Advisors (St. Louis);
SME Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management Award—George A. Hazelrigg, National Science Foundation (Arlington, VA);
SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal—Jian Cao, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL);
SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award—Joseph J. Beaman, Jr., The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas);
SME Education Award—Placid M. Ferreira, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL); and
SME Gold Medal—Serope Kalpakjian, Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago).
Full bios/photos are available at 
This article was first published in the April 2016 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here to view the PDF on "Thought Leaders to Convene at NAMRC 44"

Published Date : 3/28/2016

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