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Awards & Recognition


2011 SME International Honor Award Recipients

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Kuhn Howard A. Kuhn, PhD, PE
Research Consultant & Adjunct Professor
The Ex One Co. LLC & University of Pittsburgh


Howard A. Kuhn is recognized with the Eli Whitney Productivity Award for his distinguished accomplishments in improving capability within the broad concept of orderly production. Kuhn, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, teaches courses in design, manufacturing, product realization and entrepreneurship, and conducts research on manufacturing for tissue engineering applications. He also served as director of Prometal Technology for The Ex One Co. LLC (previously Extrude Hone Corp.). Kuhn was co-founder of Concurrent Technologies Corp., serving as vice president and chief technical officer as it grew to more than 1,300 employees (1988-2000). He was also co-founder of Deformation Control Technology, a consulting firm serving the metalworking industry. Kuhn held joint appointments on the faculties of mechanical engineering and materials science at Drexel University and the University of Pittsburgh (1966-88). He is a fellow of the American Society of Materials International and received the ASM Gold Medal in 2008. Kuhn is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

Wells David L. Wells, PhD
North Dakota State University
Fargo, N.D.


David L. Wells is recognized with the Joseph A. Siegel Service Award for his significant and unique contributions to the Society. An SME member since 1979, Wells has been active in a number of pioneering ventures in manufacturing education. Beginning in 1983, he has chaired or co-chaired six SME national and international conferences and workshops, edited or co-edited seven SME proceedings, authored or coauthored eight SME papers or technical reports and was an invited presenter at 18 clinics and workshops. In addition, he has served on national SME committees continuously for the past 26 years, often holding more than one post. Over the last 12 years, Wells has served on the Accreditation Committee and, more recently, as an advisor for the Manufacturing Education & Research Community. In addition, he is the faculty advisor for North Dakota State University S291. Wells began his professional career by earning his BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and his PhD in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla. Since 2000, he has been a professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at North Dakota State University.

Brinksmeier Ekkard Brinksmeier, Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil., FSME
Professor for Manufacturing Technologies
University of Bremen
Bremen, Germany


Ekkard Brinksmeier is recognized with the SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal for his significant and leading-edge published research, which has led to a better understanding of materials, principles, operations and their application to improve manufacturing processes. Brinksmeier studied mechanical engineering at the University of Hannover, Germany. After receiving his Dr.-Ing. in mechanical engineering in 1982, he worked as chief engineer at the Institute for Production Engineering and Machine Tools, Hannover. In 1992, Brinksmeier became a full professor at the University of Bremen and currently holds the chair of manufacturing technologies. Furthermore, he is director of the Foundation Institute for Materials Science IWT and the Laboratory for Precision Machining. Brinksmeier's scientific interests and research areas lie in the field of advanced manufacturing processes with special focus in the areas of ultraprecision machining processes down to nanometer tolerances, process integration, development of sensor-integrated tools, development of advanced coolants in metal cutting and the generation of functional surfaces by machining. He is a fellow of both SME and CIRP. Brinksmeier holds leadership positions in several associations and institutions including DFG, AiF, WGP and others. He is past president of the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology. Brinksmeier has received several awards, most notably the CIRP F.W. Taylor Medal and the DFG Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Award.

Estler W. Tyler Estler, PhD
Physicist (retired)
Precision Engineering Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Md.


W. Tyler Estler is recognized with the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award for his significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods or systems. Estler, a retired physicist in the Precision Engineering Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has expertise and experience in high-accuracy dimensional metrology of precision machine tools, coordinate measuring machines and complex workpieces; precision interferometric metrology for displacement, absolute distance, angle and surface figure measurements; laser alignment metrology; large-scale metrology; refractive index measurements; probability theory; and the fundamentals of measurement science and engineering metrology. Estler's major technical projects include field validation metrology of the large-optics diamond-turning machine at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, error budget and accuracy analysis for Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor metrology instrumentation, high-accuracy rail straightness metrology at the U.S Navy David Taylor Ship Research and Development Center, and development of the NIST Advanced Angle Metrology facility. He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in precision engineering and metrology. Estler has a BS in physics from Florida Atlantic University and a PhD in physics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Smith K. Scott Smith, PhD, FSME
Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Charlotte, N.C.


K. Scott Smith is recognized with the SME Education Award for developing manufacturing-related curricula, fostering sound training methods and inspiring students to enter the profession of manufacturing. Smith has been an engineering educator for more than 25 years at the University of Florida and at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Currently, he is professor and chair of mechanical engineering and engineering science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His teaching and research areas include high-speed machining, process optimization and machine dynamics. He is a fellow of SME, CIRP and ASME International. Smith has served as president of the North American Manufacturing Research Institute of SME and as chair of the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME. Smith is also president of OpSource Inc. and vice president of Manufacturing Laboratories Inc. He is co-author of the book "Machining Dynamics: Frequency Response to Improved Productivity." Smith has received numerous awards, including the ASME Blackall Award, the AMT Charles F. Carter Advancing Manufacturing Award, the American Helicopter Society Pinckney Award, the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award and the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Award. Smith holds five patents and is the recipient of a 2010 R&D 100 Award. He received his BS in mechanical engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and his master's and PhD from the University of Florida.

Wilhelm Wilbert E. Wilhelm, PhD, PE
Mike and Sugar Barnes Professor
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas


Wilbert E. Wilhelm is recognized with the SME Gold Medal for his outstanding service to the manufacturing engineering profession through published literature, technical writings and lectures. Wilhelm, the Barnes Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, received his BS in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University, and an MS and PhD in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Tech. His research has contributed to the theory and application of integer programming, resulting in new knowledge bases for cutting-plane and column-generation methods, including solution methods to prescribe process plans for circuit card assembly and the design of assembly systems, high-technology products for assembly, international assembly systems and surveillance systems for homeland security. Wilhelm's research program has been funded by federal, state and industrial sponsors. A registered professional engineer and fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, his work has been recognized by the David Baker Distinguished Research Award of IIE and several awards conferred by the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, including Brockett Professor and TEES senior fellow.