Bryan to Receive the M. Eugene Merchant Medal

NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2008 – James B. Bryan, a resident of Pleasanton, Calif., and a consultant, will be honored by ASME and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). He is being recognized for dedication to the principles of precision engineering, development of the Bryan Principle, service to professional organizations, and invention of the fixed and telescoping ball bar for the evaluation of coordinate measuring machines and machine tools. He will receive the M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal of ASME/SME.

The medal, established in 1986, honors an exceptional individual who has had significant influence and responsibility for improving the productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing operation. The award will be presented to Mr. Bryan during the 2008 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, which is being held in Boston, Oct. 31 through Nov. 6.

Bryan is renowned as the founding father of modern precision engineering and he continues to make outstanding contributions to precision science and metrology. He has been a consultant since his retirement in 1986 from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, Calif., following a distinguished 31-year career there. He and his colleagues developed measurement methods to characterize the performance of high-accuracy, state-of-the-art machine tools. Accomplishments included numerically-controlled diamond turning machines that achieve the highest level of dimensional precision. The advances pioneered at LLNL are now seen in the manufacturing of everyday consumer products, from pull-top soda cans to ballpoint pens and computer drives.

Bryan received a U.S. patent in 1984 for a telescoping magnetic ball bar which is used worldwide in the evaluation and calibration of coordinate measuring machines and machine tools. He contributed 50 technical publications in the field of manufacturing and precision engineering.

Previously, Bryan worked as a manufacturing engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corporation (1951-55), following his service as a U.S. Merchant Marine (1944-50).

An ASME member, Bryan has contributed significantly to the authorship of numerous ASME/American National Standards Institute and international standards. He received a Dedicated Service Award in 1995.

Bryan is an honorary member of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), SME, the American Society for Precision Engineering, and the European Society for Precision Engineering and Nanotechnology (EUSPEN). He served two three-year terms on the National Research Council Advisory Panel to the Metrology Division of the National Bureau of Standards.

He was selected by SME’s Manufacturing Engineering magazine as a 2007 Master of Manufacturing. Other honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award (2000) from EUSPEN; selection by Fortune magazine as one of their Heroes of the Year (2000); and lecture invitations from the organizing committees of the 7th (2005) International Symposium on Measurement Technology and Intelligent Instruments and the 4th (2006) International Symposium on Instrumentation Science and Technology.

Bryan graduated, with honors, from Alameda Maritime Academy, California, in 1946. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1951. He is a registered professional engineer (mechanical) in California.

Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences. ASME develops codes and standards that enhance public safety, and provides lifelong learning and technical exchange opportunities benefiting the global engineering and technology community.


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