Dearborn-based SME Launches National Science Foundation-Funded Blue Sky Competition


Designed to catalyze new directions within the manufacturing industry, the North American Manufacturing Research Institution (NAMRI) of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in Dearborn recently created the David Dornfled Manufacturing Vision Award and Blue Sky Competition, which will be held during the 2017 North American Manufacturing Research Conference from June 4-8 in Los Angeles.

“Manufacturing accounts for more than three-quarters of all private research and development in the U.S.,” says Scott Smith, professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and a past president of NAMRI/SME. “This competition seeks the radical, challenging competitors to push the limits of what manufacturing’s future may be.”

Funded by the National Science Foundation, abstracts for the inaugural competition will be part of a special “Blue Sky Ideas” track at the conference on Tuesday, June 6, and are being accepted through April 15. Submissions will be judged by a committee of academic, government, and industry experts on a broad range of manufacturing fields, on how well they challenge existing assumptions and expand the possibilities and horizons of the field.

Accepted authors will present their abstracts during the conference at the University of Southern California, and the top presentation, as determined by the committee, will receive the first NAMRI/SME Dornfeld Manufacturing Vision Award. Named after the late University of California at Berkley professor, who was considered a global leader in sustainable and smart  manufacturing, the award recognizes outstanding vision and leadership within the manufacturing community.

“We’re honored to recognize Professor Dornfeld, a fellow and past director of SME, as well as a founder of NAMRC, for his contributions to manufacturing,” adds Smith. “His legacy will live on in the future industry pioneers and the commitment they make to advancing our industry.”

SME will post links to abstracts and presentation slides following the conference. More information about the competition can be found here.

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