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June 15, 2017

Alumnus Molnar receives ASME/SME M. Eugene Merchant Medal


The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SME have honored Michael F. Molnar (BSME ’85, MSE ’87) with their joint M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal for his longtime and outstanding contributions to manufacturing research and its implementation in industry.

Additionally, ASME and SME recognized Molnar for his service related to the federal government’s advanced manufacturing efforts, in particular his critical role in formulating and organizing Manufacturing USA: the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Molnar is founding director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In this role, he is responsible for NIST extramural advanced manufacturing programs and serves as a liaison to industry and academia. Molnar is also the founding director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, an interagency team working to coordinate federal activities in advanced manufacturing as the congressionally designated National Program Office for Manufacturing USA: the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

“Michael Molnar is a most deserving recipient of the M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME and SME,” says K. Keith Roe, president of ASME. “Michael is a leading figure in manufacturing engineering, whose vision has significantly impacted productivity and efficiency improvements in the field. His many contributions at ASME range from federal government activities to codes and standards.”

Prior to joining NIST in 2011, Molnar had a 30-year industry career in advanced manufacturing, with leadership roles in manufacturing technology development, corporate manufacturing engineering, capital planning, metrology, quality systems, automation, computer-integrated manufacturing and industrial controls for manufacturing competitiveness.

Molnar has also served as the manufacturing policy fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

A licensed professional engineer, and an SME-certified manufacturing engineer (CMfgE), Molnar is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SME. He is a member of the senior executive service with NIST. His honors include the Gilbreth Award from the National Academy of Engineering (2002), ASME Dedicated Service Awards (society level 2003; Manufacturing Engineering Division 2008), the Distinguished Achievement Award from the UW-Madison College of Engineering (2014) and the ASME Roy V. Wright Public Policy Award (2015). Over 30-plus years, Molnar has held more than 70 elected or appointed leadership roles in professional societies and associations—including vice president of ASME and president of SME.

The M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME is awarded to an individual who has had significant influence and responsibility for improving manufacturing productivity and efficiency (either through research or by implementation of research). Molnar received the medal at the 2017 SME International Honor Awards Gala in Chicago on April 30.