We are delighted to present to our manufacturing community a Special Issue in the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering (JMSE) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Manufacturing Engineering Division (MED) of ASME. MED, formerly known as the Machine Shop Practice Division (1921–1940) and then Production Engineering Division (1940–1996), has continued to be an international catalyst for scientific and technological advancements in manufacturing research, which is the foundation for generating wealth, improving the standard-of-living, and protecting the environment for our society.

In 1997, a special issue to celebrate the 75th anniversary of MED with several landmark review papers was published. In the subsequent 25 years, the manufacturing industry and research community have witnessed transformative changes at an unprecedentedly rapid pace. Internet proliferation and low-cost computing have enormously influenced the foundation of advanced manufacturing. Pro-manufacturing national policy changes in major manufacturing countries have also played a critical role in scientific evolution. Visibility of the importance of manufacturing to prosperity and a substantial increase in research activity investment in advanced manufacturing have been motivated by reports of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) in 2012 and AMP 2.0 in 2014 in the United States, the final report of Industry 4.0 in 2013 in Germany, the Made-In-China 2025 published in 2015, and numerous other instituted national manufacturing policies.

The progress in critical areas of manufacturing research is documented in the 18 peer-reviewed keynote papers in this special issue, which provide a comprehensive summary of advancements in manufacturing science and engineering in industry and academia. Some papers were invited to cover traditional and fundamental manufacturing topics such as tribology, metal forming, surface damage in ultraprecision machining, abrasive machining, a materials view of metal cutting, micro/meso-scale mechanical machining, manufacturing process control, laser material processing, welding, additive manufacturing, sustainable machining, and chatter stability in machining. Papers on all of these topics highlight the transformative advancements in the past 25 years. New topics in manufacturing, including artificial intelligence, decentralized and distributed production, intelligent maintenance systems, Internet of Things for manufacturing, biomedical manufacturing, and industrial sustainability, reflect the continuously changing landscape in manufacturing research and the great potential of manufacturing to impact our society.

Some authors have dedicated their papers to the intellectual giants who transformed manufacturing research in the past 25 years. Papers in this special issue are dedicated to the memory of our colleagues: Professors Dick DeVor, Dave Dornfeld, Dick Kegg, Fred Ling, Steve Malkin, P.L.B. Oxley, John Schey, Milton Shaw, Jiri Tlusty, S.A. Tobias, and S.M. Wu. We are also delighted to honor the influential emeritus Professors: Yoram Koren, Galip Ulsoy, and William Wilson.

Engaging the manufacturing community for their input has been a key goal of the guest editors from the start of planning. We were humbled to learn that it is difficult to be perfect in every step of the planning and preparation of this special issue, but greatly appreciate the dedication and efforts of guest authors to make changes and adjust their content to result in a cohesive and integrated issue worthy of the centennial MED anniversary. Reporting our progress back to the manufacturing community during the preparation stage was carried out during the 2019 ASME Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC) in Erie, PA, to gather feedback from the research community at large. We would like to especially acknowledge the presenting authors, as well as Dr. Ihab Ragai, the host of the 2020 MSEC, for his support to make this engagement with the manufacturing community a great success. We are planning to have a presentation of the final papers at the 2021 MSEC conference, hosted by the University of Cincinnati.

Special thanks are particularly warranted for the JMSE Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Y. Lawrence Yao, and editorial assistant, Emily R. Bosco, for their professional support and timely assistance throughout the paper review and production process for this special issue. This has truly been a team effort with all members taking on significant duties. We hope you find the result a testament to the range of innovation that has emerged in the manufacturing field in the past 25 years, and an inspiration to your own future in manufacturing.

Thank you, Guest Editors Albert Shih and Laine Mears

Laine Mears

Guest Editor

Clemson University

Clemson, SC 29634

Albert Shih

Guest Editor

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Chairs of the MED in the preceding 25 years:

  • 1995–1996, W. E. Alzheimer

  • 1996–1997, E. Kannatey-Asibu, Jr.

  • 1997–1998, K. (Subbu) Subramanian

  • 1998–1999, Gloria Wiens

  • 1999–2000, Jay Lee

  • 2000–2001, John Sutherland

  • 2001–2002, Richard J. Furness

  • 2002–2003, Amit Bagchi

  • 2003–2004, Jun Ni

  • 2004–2005, Scott Smith

  • 2005–2006, David Stephenson

  • 2006–2007, Steven Liang

  • 2007–2008, Michael Molnar

  • 2008–2009, Jian Cao

  • 2009–2010, Bin Wei

  • 2010–2011, Lawrence Yao

  • 2011–2012, Matthew Bement

  • 2012–2013, Cedric Xia

  • 2013–2014, Brad Kinsey

  • 2014–2015, Xiaoping Yang

  • 2015–2016, Brian Paul

  • 2016–2018, Shawn Moylan

  • 2018–2019, Kevin Chou

  • 2019–2020, Radu Pavel

  • 2020–2021, Laine Mears