Event: Democratizing Advanced Manufacturing – Ensuring Prosperity and Security

Date: June 1st, 2021

Time: 1pm Central 

Dr. Thomas Kurfess of Oak Ridge National Labs presents Democratizing Advanced Manufacturing.


The technological foundations of advanced manufacturing continue to rapidly evolve as ubiquitous sensing, cloud computing and storage, and next generation controllers are introduced into the manufacturing ecosystem.

This talk presents some of the technical concepts and business models that will enable new technologies and capabilities in the manufacturing sector to be rapidly deployed throughout the U.S. industrial base. Insight will be presented into next generation resilient production operations and business models that favor local and point of assembly manufacturing.

Democratization of manufacturing efforts will be highlighted as an exemplar of efforts at Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) by focusing on the integration of real-time sensor data via edge/fog/cloud operations as applied to state-of-the-art hot wire laser hybrid (additive and subtractive) manufacturing processes.

Both design and manufacturing issues will be addressed as they relate to improved control of next generation production systems. The hybrid system is an ideal platform for digital integration as it combines newer metal additive processes with much more classical machining capabilities. The talk will conclude with a discussion of how rapidly advancing technical innovations will be propagated throughout the manufacturing enterprise, ensuring a state-of-the-art manufacturing economy. This will provide opportunities for businesses of all sizes and democratize advanced manufacturing technologies throughout the United States.


Profile photo of Thomas Kurfess

Thomas R. Kurfess, Ph.D., P.E.

Chief Manufacturing Officer

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, Tennessee   USA


Thomas R. Kurfess currently serves as the Chief Manufacturing Officer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his S.B., S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from M.I.T. in 1986, 1987 and 1989, respectively. He also received an S.M. degree from M.I.T. in electrical engineering and computer science in 1988. During 2012-2013 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, where he was responsible for coordinating Federal advanced manufacturing R&D. He was President of SME in 2018, and currently serves on the Board of Governors of the ASME. 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. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of SME, ASME, and AAAS.



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