Thomas Kurfess

Thomas Kurfess

Executive Director, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute
Professor; HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control

Professor Kurfess began his academic career at Carnegie Mellon University where he rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In 1994, he moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he rose to the rank of Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. In 2005, he was named Professor and BMW Chair of Manufacturing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research. In 2012, he returned to Georgia Tech as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control.

During 2012-2013, Dr. Kurfess was on leave serving 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. In this position he had responsibility for engaging the Federal sector and the greater scientific community to identify possible areas for policy actions related to manufacturing. He was responsible for coordinating Federal advanced manufacturing R&D, addressing issues related to technology commercialization, identifying gaps in current Federal R&D in advanced manufacturing, and developing strategies to address these gaps. During  2019-2021 he was on leave serving as the Chief Manufacturing Officer and the Founding Director for the Manufacturing Science Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was responsible for strategic planning in advanced manufacturing.

Professor Kurfess has served as a special consultant of the United Nations to the Government of Malaysia in the area of applied mechatronics and manufacturing, and as a participating guest at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in their Precision Engineering Program. He has testified in a number of patent cases, including testifying at the International Trade Commission (ITC). He is currently the President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and also serves on the Board of Governors of ASME. He is the CTO of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) and serves on its Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and on the Board of Trustees of the MT Connect Institute. He served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and was the President of SME in 2018. He is an appointed member of the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Advisory Committee for Nuclear Security, and an appointed member of the Department of the Navy Science and Technology Board.

His research focuses on the design and development of advanced systems targeting the automotive sector (OEM and supplier) including vehicle and production systems. He has significant experience in high precision manufacturing and metrology systems. He has received numerous awards including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Investigator Award, an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award, the ASME Pi Tau Sigma Award, SME Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Year Award, the ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award, the ASME Gustus L. Larson Award, an ASME Swanson Federal Award, and the SME Education Award. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the AAAS, the SME and the ASME.



College of Engineering
Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Research Focus Areas:
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Materials
  • Advanced Materials Additive Manufacturing
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Automotive
  • Precision Machining

  • IRI Connection: