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Blue Sky Competition

The inaugural NAMRI/SME David Dornfeld Manufacturing Vision Award and Blue Sky Competition, funded by the National Science Foundation, will be held during the 2017 North American Manufacturing Research Conference/Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (NAMRC/MSEC), June 4-8, 2017, in Los Angeles.

The desired outcome of this competition is to:

  • Reach beyond research papers that present completed work, toward new ideas and visions for manufacturing research and education that can catalyze new directions within the manufacturing community.
  • Presentations should be open-ended, causing the community to consider the "outrageous"; presenting new challenges in new application domains requiring new approaches that are likely to stimulate significant new interest.
  • Presentations should reach beyond the research activities of the speaker, providing bold visions of the future of manufacturing, and the research and education needed to achieve the vision.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — Due April 15, 2017

In cooperation with NAMRI/SME, the competition organizers invite submissions of abstracts to a special "Blue Sky Ideas” track to be held on Tuesday, June 6. Abstracts should convey innovative manufacturing research topics and/or revolutionary approaches to manufacturing engineering education. The emphasis of this track will be on visionary ideas, long-term challenges, and opportunities in research and education that are outside of the current mainstream of manufacturing education and research.

Submissions will be judged on the extent to which they (1) expand the possibilities and horizons of the field or (2) challenge existing assumptions prevalent in the field. Abstracts will be judged by a committee consisting of nine members from academia, government and industry covering a broad range of manufacturing.

Abstracts should be submitted by April 15, 2017, to Scott Smith, PhD, FSME, at Abstract submissions to this track can be up to one page in length. Authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to make a presentation on Tuesday of the conference week in Los Angeles. Travel and lodging (up to two nights) as well as conference registration for all selected speakers will be covered by the competition. (Availability of travel funds is contingent upon NSF approval.)

To encourage truly visionary concepts of research and education, the top presentation, as determined by the program committee, will receive the inaugural NAMRI/SME Dornfeld Manufacturing Vision Award, named in honor of the late David Dornfeld, PhD, FSME, to recognize outstanding vision and leadership within the manufacturing community.

After the conference, SME will post links to abstracts and presentation slides, so that the ideas can be disseminated broadly to the manufacturing community. Publication of the abstracts and slides is required for selection.


Questions can be directed to Scott Smith, PhD, FSME; Z.J. Pei, PhD, FSME; or Brian Paul, PhD.