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Press Release

SME Names 2024 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers

Award winners to be recognized at events throughout 2024

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 17, 2023) — SME, the nonprofit association committed to advancing widespread adoption of manufacturing technologies and developing North America’s talent and capabilities, today announced its lineup of 2024 Susan Smyth Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers.

The 20 awardees were selected based on their diverse manufacturing backgrounds, technology advancements/improvements and state-of-the-art research. The 2024 award namesake is longtime SME member Susan Smyth. Smyth is the retired chief scientist for global manufacturing at General Motors and director of GM R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Labs, served as SME president in 2020 and was made an SME Fellow in 2014. Her career includes a history of leadership positions in manufacturing, engineering, data analytics and research and development as well as serving as chair of the U.S. Manufacturing Council.

“This year’s award winners have all demonstrated outstanding scholarship, hands-on experience and contributions to the manufacturing industry,” said Robert “Bob” Willig, SME executive director and CEO. “It speaks to the dedication and effort they have all invested in furthering our industry for us to recognize them with this award.”

Recipients of the 2024 Susan Smyth Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award will be recognized at a variety of events during 2024, including the SME International Awards Gala in June, the NAMRI/SME Awards Luncheon during NAMRC 52, and at selected corporate and university events.

SME’s 2024 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers

  • Lei Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, Lowell, Mass.
  • Xiangfan Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Corson Cramer, PhD, R&D Staff Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Manufacturing Science Division, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • Juan Du, PhD, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Guangzhou, China
  • Wenchao (Mark) Du, PhD, Materials Engineer, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Ill.
  • Azadeh Haghighi, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
  • Amberlee Haselhuhn, PhD, Senior Director of Technology – Materials Engineering, LIFT, Detroit, Mich.
  • Chen Kan, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas-Arlington, Arlington, Texas
  • Matthew Korey, PhD, Associate R&D Staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • Beiwen Li, PhD, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
  • Shunyu Liu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
  • Monique McClain, PhD, Assistant Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Ebot Ndip-Agbor, PhD, Technical Fellow, Digital Products Engineering, General Motors, Austin, Texas
  • Masoud Pour, PhD, Senior Researcher, General Motors, Warren, Mich.
  • Ali Rizvi, PhD, Packaging R&D Engineer, Intel Corp., Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Alex Roschli, R&D Staff – Robotics and Intelligent Systems Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • Wenmeng Tian, PhD, Associate Professor, Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
  • Chao Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Pai Zheng, PhD, Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
  • Ningmu Nathan Zou, PhD, Associate Professor, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

Full biographies of the 2024 Susan Smyth Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers are available on the Awards page for this year’s class. Nominations for the 2025 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award should be submitted by Aug. 1. Visit for submission and additional award details.

About SME

Established in 1932 as a nonprofit organization, SME represents the entire North American manufacturing industry, including manufacturers, academia, professionals, students, and the communities in which they operate. We believe manufacturing holds the key to economic growth and prosperity, and champion the industry's potential as a diverse, thriving, and valued ecosystem. SME accelerates new technology adoption and builds North America’s talent and capabilities to advance manufacturing and drive competitiveness, resiliency, and national security. SME designs new ways to understand and solve problems, and our solutions advance the next wave of growth in manufacturing. Learn more at