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Press Release

Dr. Susan Smyth Installed as 2020 SME President

Manufacturing leader to take office in January

Dr. Susan Smyth, 2020 SME president (right), with Nigel Francis, CEO and executive director of LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow. LIFT, a Detroit-based advanced manufacturing innovation institute, is a key collaborator of SME.

SME, a manufacturing association promoting the interests of manufacturing industries, advanced manufacturing technologies and the development of the manufacturing workforce, has elevated 2019 president-elect Susan Smyth, PhD, FSME, NAE, to be its 2020 president. Smyth’s accomplishments and leadership role with SME were recognized at the annual SME Installation and Awards Gala in Chicago on Nov. 9.

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2018, Smyth was made an SME Fellow in 2015. She currently serves on the advisory boards for the National Science Foundation and U.S. Army.

Previously, Smyth was the chief scientist for global manufacturing at General Motors and the director of GM R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Labs, directing the creation of GM’s global manufacturing R&D strategies. During her career at General Motors, Smyth held a variety of leadership positions in manufacturing, engineering, big data analytics and research and development. She was the GM executive representative and chair of the Manufacturing Technology Leadership Council at the U.S. Council for Automotive Research.

Smyth has served as chair of the U.S. Manufacturing Council, which advises the secretary of commerce on government policies and programs that affect U.S. manufacturing. She has also served as executive technology advisor to the University of Michigan, MIT, Georgia Tech, Northwestern University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Smyth has a bachelor's degree in physics, a master's degree in optoelectronics and information technology, and a doctorate in physics from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“We’re delighted to welcome and work with Susan, an accomplished leader in manufacturing, academia and, indeed, our own organization,” said Sandra Bouckley, FSME, P.Eng., SME executive director and CEO. “She’s been a valued colleague and an involved, engaged and important SME officer who will advocate for us, strengthen us and help guide SME.”

The president and all officers of SME are selected by a nominating committee and elected by the SME Board of Directors. These directors are elected annually by the entire voting membership of the organization.