September 6, 2023
By Walter Rich

Thomas Kurfess, Ph.D., P.E., has been appointed to the Department of the Navy Science and Technology Board (DoN S&T Board). Kurfess is the chief manufacturing officer of the Georgia Institute of Technology and the executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute. He is the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control and professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

The DoN S&T Board is a discretionary federal advisory committee that provides independent recommendations on matters relating to the Department of the Navy's scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition, logistics, medicine, and business management functions. These matters include, but are not limited to, the pressing and complex scientific and technological problems facing the Department of Defense in such areas as research, engineering, organizational structure and process, business and functional concepts, and manufacturing. The board will help to identify new technologies and new applications of technology in those areas to strengthen national security. Membership on the board consists of private and public leaders, with a diversity of background, experience, and thought in support of the DoN S&T Board mission.

Kurfess’ appointment to the board was confirmed by the secretary of defense in August.

Kurfess first joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1994. His research focuses on the design and development of advanced manufacturing systems targeting secure digital manufacturing, additive and subtractive processes, and large-scale production enterprises.

During his time at Tech, Kurfess has taken on a variety of special assignments in addition to his teaching and research. From 2019-2021, Kurfess was on leave serving as the chief manufacturing officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he was responsible for strategic planning for ORNL in advanced manufacturing. He was also the founding director for ORNL's Manufacturing Science Division.

In addition, he 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 from 2012-2013, where he was responsible for coordinating federal advanced manufacturing research and development.

Kurfess is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of ASME, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He was president of SME in 2018 and has served on the ASME Board of Governors since 2019. He was elected president of ASME earlier this year.

He received his S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received an S.M. degree from MIT in electrical engineering and computer science.

Read the full news release from the Department of the Navy