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Press Release

SME Recognizes 2024 International Honor Awards Winners

Awards to be presented at June 3 gala in Pittsburgh

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 17, 2024) — SME, the nonprofit association committed to advancing widespread adoption of manufacturing technologies and developing North America’s talent and capabilities, announced that seven manufacturing professionals from industry and academia are being recognized with its 2024 International Honor Awards.

These leaders in their fields are being honored for their significant accomplishments and contributions to manufacturing technologies, processes, technical writing, education, research and management and service to SME. Honorees will receive their awards during SME’s International Awards Gala in Pittsburgh on June 3.

For over six decades, SME’s International Honor Awards have identified professionals whose bodies of work have led to critical breakthroughs and advancements in manufacturing technologies, processes and education as well as honored members for their volunteerism.

“These award winners represent some of the best of the best in the world of manufacturing,” said Bob Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “Their commitment to advancing the cause of manufacturing through their work and their support and participation in SME is greatly appreciated.”

2024 International Honor Awards

  • Eli Whitney Productivity Award — Melissa Orme, PhD, Vice President, The Boeing Company, El Segundo, Calif.
  • Joseph A. Siegel Service Award — Kathryn M. Daniels, PhD, CMfgE, LSME, Consultant, Tri-Phase Engineering, Valley Cener, Kan.
  • Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management Award — Jonathan H. Owen, PhD, Director, Head of Advanced Analytics Center of Expertise, General Motors, Warren, Mich.
  • SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal — Marion Merklein, Dr.-Ing., Professor, FAU, Institute of Manufacturing Technology, Erlangen, Germany
  • SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award – Yong Huang, PhD, Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • SME Education Award — Chinedum Okwudire, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • SME Gold Medal — Lihui Wang, PhD, FSME, Professor and Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing, Stockholm, Sweden

SME is currently accepting nominations for the 2025 International Honor Awards. The submission deadline is Aug. 1. Award and nomination information is available at For further questions about SME's International Awards, email 

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