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NAMRI | SME Board of Directors

The NAMRI | SME Board of Directors makes policy for the institution that represents manufacturing research leadership in industry, government and academia in North America and the world. The board is comprised of the NAMRI | SME Executive Committee (past president, president, president-elect and secretary), the Scientific Committee chair and six NAMRI | SME at-large directors. The past president of the institution is replaced on the Board of Directors by the retiring president immediately following NAMRC.



Lihui Wang, PhD, FSME, PE 
Professor and Chair of Sustainable Manufacturing
KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Lihui Wang, PhD, FSME, PE, is a chair professor of sustainable manufacturing at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. His research interests are focused on cyber-physical systems, real-time monitoring and control, digital twin for predictive maintenance, human-robot collaborations, big data applications in manufacturing, as well as adaptive and sustainable manufacturing systems. A fellow of SME, Wang is actively engaged in various NAMRI | SME activities. He is the editor-in-chief of the SME "Journal of Manufacturing Systems," editor-in-chief of the "International Journal of Manufacturing Research" and editor-in-chief of "Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing." Wang is also a fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering, CIRP and ASME, and a registered professional engineer in Canada. He has published 9 books and authored in excess of 500 scientific publications. Wang's accomplishments have won him 12 international and institutional awards. He is the chairman (2018-20) of the Swedish Production Academy. SME Member Since 1999



Brigid Mullany, PhD
Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina

Brigid Mullany, PhD, received her bachelor's degree and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University College Dublin in Ireland. After graduation, she received a two-year EU Marie Curie postdoctoral research position at Carl Zeiss in Germany. In 2004 she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she is a professor working in the area of surface finishing and characterization. Mullany received in the SME Kuo K. Wang Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award in 2007, and the NSF CAREER Award in 2008. She is a fellow of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) and is currently the Chair of CIRP’s Scientific Technical Committee on Surfaces (STC-S). She has previous served as the Vice Chair on the CIRP collaborative working group focused on Micro Production Process Chains (2012-2014). From January 2017 to November 2019, she was a program director in the Advanced Manufacturing Program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Alexandria, VA. SME Member Since 2018


Livan Fratini
Livan Fratini,
Chair and Professor
Department of Engineering
University of Palermo
Palermo, Italy

Livan Fratini,PhD, is a chair and professor in the Department of Engineering at University of Palermo, Italy. Fratini's major research areas include process engineering of metal forming and joining operations. He is a fellow of CIRP (The International Academy for Production Engineering), president of ESAFORM (European Scientific Association for Material Forming) and a fellow of AITEM (Italian Association of Mechanical Technology). Fratini has received the F.W. Taylor Medal of CIRP in 2007. He is a co-author of approximately 300 publications. SME Member Since 2014

Scientific Committee Chair

Ihab Ragai
Ihab Ragai,
 PhD, PE 
Associate Professor of Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
The Behrend College
Erie, Pennsylvania

Ihab Ragai, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, Erie. He is also a Visiting Professor at Rosenheim Technical University of Applied Sciences, Germany. His research interests include advanced manufacturing processes, cloud manufacturing, machine and tool monitoring, design optimization, and materials constitutive modelling. For over 20 years, he has held several positions in aerospace and heavy equipment industries. Prior to joining academia in 2013, he was a Senior Engineering Manager at Hitachi Canada, overseeing projects related to product development, truck dynamics and fatigue analysis, structural and drive systems design, and manufacturing processes. He served as the Chair and Host of NAMRC 47-MSEC 2019, a Director on the NAMRI Board, and the 2014 MESEC Technical Program Chair. Additionally, he is an associate editor for the “International Journal of Manufacturing Research” and a guest editor of both SME’s “Journal of Manufacturing Systems” and “Journal of Manufacturing Processes.” He is a registered Professional Engineer, a fellow of ASME, a research fellow of DAAD, and a recipient of several national and international awards. SME Member Since 1998.

Scientific Committee Chair-Elect

Robert Gao

Robert X. Gao, PhD, FSME
Professor and Department Chair, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

Robert X. Gao, PhD, FSME, is the Cady Staley professor of engineering and department chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. His research is in the areas of multiphysics sensing, multiresolution signal processing, machine learning and wireless communication for improving the observability of dynamical systems such as manufacturing equipment and processes. Gao has authored or co-authored more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles, two books, several book chapters and holds 12 patents. Currently, he serves as a senior editor for the “IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics.” Gao is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, SME, CIRP (International Academy for Production Engineering) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He is a recipient of several professional honors, including the Eli Whitney Productivity Award from SME, the Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award from ASME, the Technical Award and Best Application Award from the Instrumentation and Measurement Society of IEEE and several best paper awards. Gao has been named one of the 20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing. SME Member Since 2005

Past President

Albert Shih

Albert J. Shih, PhD, FSME
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Albert J. Shih, PhD, FSME, is a professor of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and integrative systems plus design at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2017, he is serving in the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office as the ASME Swanson Fellow. After Shih received his doctorate from Purdue University in 1991, he worked at Cummins Inc. in manufacturing for seven years. From 1998 to 2002, Shih was in mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State University. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2003. His research and education interests are in manufacturing, particularly in 3D printing of custom orthosis and prosthesis; soft, flexible assistive devices and robotics; clinical simulators and tissue-mimicking materials; drilling and grinding for industrial and medical applications; and novel medical devices. In manufacturing education, Shih has jointly developed courses and 3D-printing lab with the Washtenaw Community College and promotes the video-enhanced manufacturing pedagogy. He joined the 2009 Class of SME Fellows and is also fellow of ASME. SME Member Since 2002

Second Past President


Hitomi Yamaguchi Greenslet, Dr. Eng., FSME
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Hitomi Yamaguchi Greenslet, Dr. Eng., FSME, is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Previously, she served as associate professor at Utsunomiya University and research associate at the University of Tokyo (both in Japan) and as a research engineer at Extrude Hone Corp. Greenslet has also served as a researcher abroad (sponsored by Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) at NASA Glenn Research Center. Her current research and teaching interests include multiscale manufacturing processes, especially magnetic field-assisted finishing processes, which are precision machining processes that utilize magnetic fields. Greenslet’s work with MAF has been published in more than 60 refereed journal papers and in more than 200 proceedings at both domestic and international conferences. She has received several awards, including being elected to the 2016 SME College of Fellows, the Best Paper Award at the 2006 International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Engineering (sponsored by ASME) and the SME John T. Parsons Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award in 2000. Greenslet is an associate member of CIRP (The International Academy for Production Engineering). SME Member Since 1997

NAMRI | SME Directors

Jeffrey Abell

Jeffrey A. Abell, PhD, FSME, CMfgE, PE
Director and Chief Scientist of Manufacturing Systems Research
General Motors
Warren, Michigan

Jeffrey A. Abell, PhD, FSME, CMfgE, PE, is chief scientist for global manufacturing and director of manufacturing systems research at General Motors. He is responsible for global manufacturing research focused on vehicle electrification, lightweight systems manufacturing, automation and smart manufacturing. Abell led a research team that played a key role in bringing the Chevy Volt advanced battery to production and has held other leadership positions in product development and manufacturing at GM, Delphi and DaimlerChrysler, including two international assignments. He has written numerous technical publications, been granted several patents and has a strong track record of successful manufacturing technology implementation. Abell was twice presented with the Boss Kettering Award, GM's highest recognition for technical innovation. Since 1998, he has served in various capacities with SME such as a member of the International Awards & Recognition Committee and chair of the Accreditation Committee. Abell has been elected to SME’s North American Manufacturing Research Institution (NAMRI) Board of Directors and is an SME Fellow. He is also the vice-chair of the Industrial Advisory Council and member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Abell has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from GMI (now Kettering University) and graduate degrees and a doctorate in systems engineering from Oakland University. He is a licensed professional engineer. SME Member Since 2006

Joe Budzinski

Joe Budzinski
Director, Global Development Center 
DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction

Joe Budzinski leads a highly talented and innovative team of manufacturing engineers, technicians and toolmakers who are part of the supply chain product management organization. He and his team are dedicated to supporting instrument new product development across DePuy Synthes’ Global Orthopaedic Franchise (knee, hip, shoulder, spine and sports medicine) and establishing the end-to-end supply chain for these new products. As part of this, they are heavily involved in exploring advanced manufacturing research and collaborating with internal Johnson &Johnson teams as well as key universities and corporations on advanced manufacturing feasibility studies. His team has manufacturing capabilities/expertise in conventional machining, TIG and laser welding, hydroforming plastic injection molding, metal injection molding and 3D printing. In addition, Budzinski is currently a member of the industrial advisory board for ASME as well as recently become a board member for the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME. Over his 23-year career at Johnson & Johnson, he has led many teams and projects as well as held various supply chain and manufacturing engineering roles. This included managing three production cells (which manufactured orthopedic knee, hip, neurological and trauma implants as well as overseeing MRO inventory management); actively participated in two mergers and two divestitures; the expansion of the Raynham investment casting foundry; setting up the Cork, Ireland, foundry; establishing in-house metallurgical and ceramic slurry testing labs; supporting the Johnson & Johnson GOLD and R&D LDP programs; and key manufacturing initiatives in JIT, lean manufacturing, six sigma and maintenance excellence. Budzinski joined Johnson & Johnson right out of graduate school at the University of Colorado at Boulder and did his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a six sigma black belt and green belt certified and trained. SME Member Since 2018

Dale Lombardo

Dale R. Lombardo
Principal Engineer, Manufacturing Technology
GE Aviation
Niskayuna, New York

Dale R. Lombardo leads a diverse team of manufacturing technologists working across GE Aviation’s broad process and product portfolio. His team links materials to design to customers through a variety of special processes used in the manufacture of jet engines. Lombardo’s group manages the processes’ technical and quality requirements via a distributed team of hundreds of experts and practitioners across engineering and manufacturing. His team is a key part of how GE Aviation maintains high-quality standards while also leaning forward into novel special processes and process control strategies. Lombardo graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a specialization in mechatronics and controls. He has worked in a variety of manufacturing technology roles for GE including Global Research, GE Power and GE Aviation. Lombardo’s personal technical background is in machining, monitoring, surface treatment (peening) and surface finishing. He has represented himself and GE on industry task groups (Nadcap), standards boards (ASME B46.1), and various panels and paper review processes including NAMRI | SME and CIRP. Lombardo holds multiple patents in a broad array of manufacturing-related disciplines. He is also a volunteer and mentor in his local school district and supports STEM activities from elementary through graduate-level programs locally. SME Member Since 2018

KC Morris

KC Morris
Information Modeling and Testing Group Leader
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Maryland

KC Morris is an internationally recognized expert in computing and engineering information systems and standards development for digital manufacturing with 30 years of experience. Her research concentrates on introducing smart technology into the manufacturing sector and developing new practices for more competitive and sustainable manufacturing. Morris leads the Information, Modeling and Testing Group in the Engineering Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Currently, she is detailed to the Office of Congressman Tom Reed as an ASME Congressional Fellow, bringing the voice of manufacturing to the halls of Congress. Morris leads the activities of the bipartisan House Manufacturing, which include legislative activities, facilitating topical briefings and sharing the manufacturing perspective. SME Member Since 2018

Tony Schmitz

Tony L. Schmitz, PhD, FSME
Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical
University of Tennessee Knoxville
Knoxville, Tennessee

Tony L. Schmitz, PhD, FSME, received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Temple University in 1993, his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 1996 and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. Schmitz completed a postdoctoral appointment at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and was then employed as a mechanical engineer from 1999-2002. His professional recognitions include: 2019 SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal; 2019 UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching; 2019 Best Presentation ASPE Annual Meeting; 2019 NAMRI | SME Outstanding Paper (NAMRC 47); 2018 51st Annual Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence; 2017 NAMRI | SME David Dornfeld Manufacturing Vision Award; 2016 SME College of Fellows; 2013 UNC Charlotte College of Engineering; 2013 Undergraduate Award for Teaching Excellence; 2012 Temple University Alumni Fellow; 2011 Sports Emmy Award (NBC Learn) for the Science of NFL Football Video Series; 2010 NAMRI | SME Outstanding Paper (NAMRC 38); 2009 UF MAE Teacher of the Year; 2005 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award; 2004 Journal of Tribology Best Paper Award; 2003 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award; 2003 National Science Foundation CAREER Award; 1999 Measurement Science and Technology Highly Commended Article; 1999 NIST National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship); 1999 Temple University Gallery of Success Inductee; 1998 Department of Energy/National Academy of Engineering Integrated Manufacturing Predoctoral Fellowship; and 1994 National Science Foundation Graduate Traineeship. Schmitz also serves as an associate editor for ASME’s “Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering.” SME Member Since 2004


Rebecca Taylor

Rebecca R. Taylor
Executive Vice President, Business Development and Programs
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rebecca R. Taylor is the executive vice president, business development and programs for The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, the largest nonprofit R&D consortium in North America focused on manufacturing. She is responsible for business development, government relations as well as program execution. Taylor is excited about stepping into the unknown, which is why she is in a leadership position at NCMS — where development of new and exciting manufacturing capabilities is done every day. She thrives leading these teams into the next generation of technology development. Taylor serves on the board for the National Advanced Mobility Consortium and Intelligent Manufacturing Systems. She is also on the DHS Critical Manufacturing Sector Coordinating Council and the International Women’s Forum. Taylor is also the recipient of the national STEP Award, recognizing outstanding women in science, technology, engineering and production. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the George Washington University, a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and is planning to lead the next frontier in secure, productive manufacturing. SME Member Since 2014