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Press Release

Manufacturing Leaders and Researchers Recognized at 2019 SME International Awards Gala

SME recognized and celebrated the achievements of leaders from across the manufacturing industry and academia at its recent 2019 International Awards Gala in Detroit.

These annual awards acknowledge the profound impact made by the honorees in manufacturing technologies, processes, research and management.

“Our 2019 award winners are individuals who think outside the box; they continually push the boundaries in science and manufacturing,” said Mark L. Michalski, 2019 SME president. “Through their groundbreaking research, process innovations, leadership and prolific publishing efforts, the industry is both strengthened and enlightened.”

SME’s 2019 International Honor Award honorees are listed below:

  • Eli Whitney Productivity AwardRobert X. Gao, PhD, FSME, Cady Staley professor and department chair, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
  • Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management AwardDean L. Bartles, PhD, FSME, President and Chief Executive Officer at National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining, Blairsville, Pennsylvania
  • SME Frederick W. Taylor Research MedalTony L. Schmitz, PhD, FSME, professor and assistant director, Energy Production and Infrastructure Center, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • SME Albert M. Sargent Progress AwardJohn S. Agapiou, PhD, FSME, technical fellow, Manufacturing Systems Lab, R&D Center, General Motors, Warren, Michigan
  • SME Gold MedalSteven R. Schmid, PhD, FSME, PE, professor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana; program director, Advanced Manufacturing, National Science Foundation, Alexandria, Virginia

Also recognized at the event was Sujeet Chand, PhD, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee. Chand received the M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME for pioneering the evolution of smart manufacturing and defining a roadmap for its implementation; for promoting global collaboration; and for leadership in starting public-private partnerships such as the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition.

In addition, SME also recognized young professionals as 2019 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers. These manufacturing leaders, age 35 or younger, have already made significant technological and process improvement advancements across a variety of industries.

SME named the 2019 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Award for Barbara M. Fossum, PhD, FSME, a retired consultant and former senior research fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. Fossum served as SME president in 2010.

From left to right: Sandra Bouckley, SME executive director and CEO; Debbie Clark, SME manager of Governance;
Barbara Fossum, 2010 SME president; and Mark Michalski, 2019 SME president.

“We’re proud to recognize these young professionals for all their achievements and continued advancements in manufacturing,” said Sandra L. Bouckley, FSME, P.Eng., SME executive director and CEO. “Their cutting-edge breakthroughs illustrate the infinite possibilities available to young people pursuing an education or career in manufacturing.”

Nominations for the 2020 SME International Honor Awards are open and due Aug. 1, 2019. Submission details are at

Nominations for the 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award should be submitted by Aug. 1. Visit for submission and additional award details.