The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM; Blairsville, Pa.), along with America Makes (Youngsville, Ohio), congratulates NCDMM board member Thomas R. Kurfess, Ph.D., FSME, P.E., on joining the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Oak Ridge, Tenn.) as its chief manufacturing officer. Since 2013, Kurfess has served on the NCDMM board of directors.
In this position, Kurfess will support ORNL’s pioneering research in advanced manufacturing. Specifically, he will spearhead the development of new manufacturing platforms and control systems that will enable autonomous manufacturing through robotics and controls.
“It is my great pleasure to congratulate our colleague and friend, Tom, on his appointment to chief manufacturing officer at ORNL,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM president and chief executive officer. “As one of the world’s leading experts in the field of digital manufacturing, cyber manufacturing, and the Internet of things for manufacturing, Tom is beyond qualified to lead ORNL in this capacity. On behalf of all of us at NCDMM and America Makes, we wish him all the best in his new position.”
Before joining ORNL, Kurfess was a professor and HUSCO/Ramirez distinguished chair in fluid power/motion control in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Previously, he also served as the assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America.
In this position, Kurfess had responsibility for engaging the federal sector and the greater scientific community to identify possible areas for policy actions related to manufacturing. He was responsible for coordinating federal advanced manufacturing research and development, addressing issues related to technology commercialization, identifying gaps in current federal R&D in advanced manufacturing, and developing strategies to address these gaps. He has served as a special consultant for the United Nations.
Throughout his career, Kurfess received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award, the AMT Charles F. Carter Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award, the 2006 SME Philip R. Marsilius Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award and the 2010 SME Education Award. He is currently serving as the immediate past president on the SME board of directors after serving as SME president in 2018. Kurfess joined SME in 1983, was elected to the 2006 Class of SME Fellows and served as the 2007-08 NAMRI/SME president.
Kurfess holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.