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S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award

The NAMRI | SME S.M. Wu Research Implementation Award, presented by NAMRI | SME, recognizes outstanding original research presented as a paper at the annual North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC) and subsequently, upon implementation, had a significant commercial and/or societal impact.

The award is in honor of Shien-Ming Wu (1924-92), PhD, FSME, the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing Technology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. An internationally known researcher in the fields of manufacturing engineering and dynamic systems analysis, Wu created and defined the modern field of manufacturing automation. He was the first researcher to introduce advanced statistical techniques to manufacturing research. Called the dynamic data system, Wu's methodology provides a mathematical description of complex manufacturing processes based on online system operational data that can be used for system diagnostics and quality control. The dynamic data system is the basis for quality improvement programs implemented by manufacturing firms worldwide, including General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp.

Past Honorees


Selection Criteria

  • Technical Innovation — Has this research led to a technological breakthrough — new and original as opposed to an incremental improvement on existing technology?
  • Commercial Application — Has the research been successfully applied in a commercial product or process? How has the application of the research improved on competing approaches? Does the research have the potential to be applied to other commercial products or processes?
  • Benefits of the Research and Associated Technology — What impact has the research and associated technology had on the product(s) or process(es) and on generating profits or cost savings? Has the research and associated technology affected factors such as quality, reliability, safety and so on? Has it had significant societal benefits?

Application Requirement

In addition to addressing the criteria stated in the previous section, three to five supporting letters must accompany the application; one from an individual familiar with the research and associated technology and its uniqueness, and at least one from an individual familiar the commercial application(s) of the research and associated technology and the commercial benefits derived from the technology. The application should provide a short narrative on how those nominated provided significant input towards the research and its subsequent implementation.

Process and Timing

  • Nominations due: February 15, 2024
  • Nominations will be reviewed and award selection made by the NAMRI | SME Honors Committee (the committee may add several persons to assist in this process). The committee at its discretion may decline to make an award if none of the applications are considered worthy.
  • The award will be presented at the subsequent NAMRC, and at least one member of the receiving team must attend.
  • The award consists of an SM Wu Medal for the research/technical innovator(s).

Questions? Please email