SME announces 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers

SOUTHFIELD—Officials at SME, formerly the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, announced 15 members as the winners of its 2020 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award.

The 2020 awardees, from the United States and Canada, have centered their research and management efforts around manufacturing processes, environmental sustainability, additive manufacturing, smart manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, nanomanufacturing, biomedical manufacturing, metalworking fluids, civil and environmental engineering, and advanced materials.

“Our 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers are a diverse group of highly successful young manufacturing practitioners whose careers have already made considerable inroads in manufacturing technologies, operations and processes,” said Sandra L. Bouckley, FSME,  executive director and CEO, SME. “They’ll continue to flourish, and we’re eager to see the influence their ongoing contributions will have on manufacturing.”

Each year, a manufacturing leader is designated as the award namesake. 2002 SME President Ron Harrelson, FSME, a retired senior learning consultant at Caterpillar Inc., is this year’s honoree. Harrelson is being acknowledged because of his lifelong contributions to manufacturing; commitment to serving as a role model and motivator for young engineers; and his long-term, active involvement in SME.

2020 Ronald P. Harrelson Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers:

  • Daniel R. Cooper, University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • Gabriela Darras, ITC Inc., Peoria, Ill.
  • Ryan Gergely, General Motors, Warren
  • Grace X. Gu, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
  • Xi Gu, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, N.J.
  • Ping Guo, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
  • Blake N. Johnson, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
  • Feng Ju, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Nenad Miljkovic, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
  • Brian Post, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Michael Sealy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Mihaela Vlasea, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Qiming Wang, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Rui Zhou, Apple, Sunnyvale, Calif.
  • Yan Zhou, Houghton International, Valley Forge, Penn.

SME is currently seeking nominations for its 2021 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. Nominees must be 35 years or younger on Aug. 1 of the year of their nomination to be considered. More details and the nomination form are available at

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