I am pleased to announce the inaugural special issue (Parts I and II) of the selected papers from the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) 2018, Quebec City, QC, Canada, Aug. 26–29, 2018. This special issue has been organized for the purpose of expediting the process of converting high quality ASME sponsored conference papers into submissions to the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD). The submission was by invitation only, based on the recommendations from the respective IDETC conference organizers.

This year, the recommended list of papers from conference organizers represents roughly 15% of the IDETC papers from four conferences: (1) Design Automation, (2) Design Education, (3) Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle, and (4) Design Theory and Methodology. Power Transmission and Gearing Conference (PTGC) is held biannually, and there was no PTGC this year. Thanks to the hard work of the editorial board and the reviewers, the invited papers underwent an expedited review process which produced a good amount of high-quality papers for the special issue to be published in two parts: Part I in February 2019 and Part II in March 2019.

In the past, it often took too long to reference the JMD version of an IDETC paper, which has a negative impact on the knowledge exchange in the field as well as the journal impact factor. I am pleased that with the special issue initiative this year, we have finished the review of invited IDETC papers within three months of the IDETC conferences. These accepted papers represent the state-of-the-art engineering design research in their respective topic areas, and they are made available online immediately after the final acceptance. I would also like to note that even if a paper is not among the recommended list from conference organizers, we continue to encourage authors to submit their work to the regular JMD issues whenever they feel ready. Please note that the IDETC conference paper copyright does not prevent authors from sending the same paper to the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design.

The success of JMD is based on the scholarly contributions of authors, dedicated reviewers, staff members supporting the journal, and our board of Associate Editors who are leaders in their respective technical areas. Special thanks go to the following Associate Editors who played the critical role of coordinating the reviews of papers in this special issue: James Allison, Xiaoping Du, Scott Ferguson, Katja Holtta-Otto, Harrison Kim, Nam H. Kim, Gul E. Okudan Kremer, Mian Li, Christopher Mattson, Scarlett Miller, Samy Missoum, Tahira Reid, Carolyn Seepersad, G. Gary Wang, and Paul Witherell.

As we learn from running this IDETC special issue for the first time in JMD, I look forward to hear feedback from the community and will work toward running the special IDETC issue again next year.