Online Ballot Officer Biographies

The 2017 Nominating Committee has selected the following members for Society Office with terms starting in June 2018. Selected nominees will be voted on in the fall via an online ballot. Please watch for an email with the announcement for the online ballot.

President - Nominee


Said Jahanmir, Ph.D. (Fellow, ASME) has been selected as the president-nominee of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for the 2018-2019 term of office. 

Dr. Jahanmir has been an active volunteer in ASME since 1985. His many years of service to the Society have given him a deep understanding and appreciation for the goals and mission of ASME. His professional career, which includes service in academia, the private sector and government, has given him a unique understanding of the needs of ASME members and other engineering professionals.

Jahanmir currently serves as president and CEO of Boston Tribology Associates, an engineering consulting firm based in Cambridge, Mass.  Since September 2015, he has held the position of senior legislative fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives as an ASME Congressional Fellow providing advice on manufacturing, science and technology policy, STEM education, and workforce development.

Previously, Jahanmir held the positions of president and CEO of MiTiHeart Corporation, and as vice president of Mohawk Innovative Technology, Inc. He led research and development efforts on implantable blood pumps, high-temperature coatings, high speed micro-machining, and high speed oil-free compressors. His leadership led to the development and pre-clinical testing of a new generation of mechanical heart assist pumps for heart failure patients and other unique products.

In 1985, Dr. Jahanmir was named the first director of the Tribology Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. He also held several positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology during his 15-year association with NIST. He served as senior research engineer at Exxon Research and Engineering Company; assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Cornell University; lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, and was an instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Among his many leadership positions at ASME, Jahanmir served as chair of the ASME Tribology Division and chair of the Board of Research and Technology Development and vice president for Research. He served on the ASME Board of Governors and on numerous committees and task forces. He also served as a member of the Committee on Finance and Investment, overseeing ASME’s finances, program development and investment portfolio.

He is a recipient of the ASME Dedicated Service Award and in 2013 was awarded ASME Honorary Membership. For his distinguished and continued contributions to the advancement of the science and engineering of tribology, Jahanmir received ASME’s Mayo D. Hersey Award. He is also a recipient of the ASME Tribology Division’s Donald Wilcock Distinguished Service Award.

Jahanmir received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle) and both his S.M. and Ph.D., in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Board of Governors - Nominee


Joe R. Fowler, Ph.D., P.E. (Life Fellow, ASME) is the former President and co-founder of Stress Engineering Services, Inc., (SES) a 430-person engineering consulting firm based in Houston and Waller, Texas with additional offices in Cincinnati, New Orleans, Calgary, and Singapore.  SES is a world leader in floating systems design, fitness-for-service evaluations and EPC services to the process industries, consumer-product mechanical design, measurement and control systems, and third-party testing of full-scale systems and equipment. 

Dr. Fowler has been an active member of ASME for more than 49 years. He has chaired several ASME committees such as the South Texas Section, the Petroleum Division, and ETCE. He was a member of the Board on Research and Technology Development and the Board of Professional Development. For 2009-2017 he was ASME’s representative and Board Chair (2015-2017) for the interdisciplinary Offshore Technology Conference which is one of the 10 largest meetings in the US and drew over 60,000 attendees in 2017.

After participating as a Program Evaluator for ABET, which accredits all engineering, technology, applied science, and computer science programs in the USA, he joined the Engineering Accreditation Commission as an ASME Representative.  In 2000–2001 he served as President of ABET.

He currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Council of the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University on the Board of Directors of the Pearl Fincher Museum.   He helps many charities primarily supporting higher education for deserving youth.

He received the ASME Dedicated Service Award in 1994, the Dean W. R. Woolrich Engineer of the Year Award in 1996, the Rhodes Oil Drop Industry Leader award in 2003 and the Titanium Crawfish Award for oil industry achievements from ASME and the University of Houston in 2004. He became an ASME Fellow in 1983.

He is a registered professional engineer in Texas.  He received his BS with honors, MS, and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.


Michael F. Molnar, P.E. (Life Fellow, ASME) is founding director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he is responsible for NIST’s extramural advanced manufacturing programs and liaison to industry and academia.  He is also founding director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office, an interagency team with core staff hosted at NIST.  This interagency team works to coordinate federal activities in advanced manufacturing, and is the congressionally designated National Program Office for Manufacturing USA – the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Mr. Molnar joined NIST in 2011 and is a member of the Senior Executive Service and the NIST Leadership Board.  Prior to federal service he had a long industry career in advanced manufacturing, including 25 years as a senior engineering leader with Cummins Inc.  Leadership roles include manufacturing technology development, corporate manufacturing engineering, capital planning, metrology, quality systems, automation, computer integrated manufacturing, and industrial controls for manufacturing competitiveness.  Mid-career he served as the manufacturing policy Fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Mr. Molnar has been an active member of ASME for more than 35 years, holding over 50 elected or appointed leadership positions, including Section Chair, Technical Division Chair, Technical Divisions Group Leader, Regional Vice President and ASME Federal Fellow. 

He is an active member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, most recently serving as SME President.  Other volunteer interests include Scouting, where he is presently serving as Scoutmaster, noting with pride that both his sons are emulating his experience in achieving Eagle Scout. 

ASME honors earned include the Merchant Manufacturing Medal (2017), the Roy V. Wright Public Policy Award (2015), the Technical Divisions Outstanding Service Award (2008), Fellow (2005) and the Dedicated Service Award (2003). 

He is a licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Manufacturing Engineer.  He earned an Executive MBA degree from the University of Notre Dame, and both a Master of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.


Karen A. Thole, Ph.D. (Fellow, ASME) is a distinguished professor and department head of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University.  Prior to joining Penn State, Dr. Thole held a post-doctoral research position at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

She has chaired ASME’s International Gas Turbine Institute board (now known as the Gas Turbine Segment leadership team).  In this role, she created a student advisory committee and initiated a TurboExpo Women’s dinner that attracts more than 100 women engineers working in the field of gas turbines.  She chaired ASME’s Mechanical Engineering Department Head Executive Committee and was a member of the Vision 2030 Committee defining the future mechanical engineering curriculum.  She chaired and was a member on the Committee on Honors. 

Dr. Thole’s area of expertise is convective transfer with a particular emphasis on gas turbine cooling. She founded the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine Laboratory (START) lab focused on gas turbine heat transfer, which is a center of excellence for a major turbine engine manufacturer. She is a member of NASA's National Aeronautics Committee and co-chaired the National Academy of Engineering’s Low Carbon Aviation Study.  She is the founder of the Engineering Ambassador National Network, which is a network involving twenty institutions involving mostly underrepresented engineering students who communicate the excitement of engineering. 

She has been recognized by ASME with the Dedicated Service Award in 2015, the George Westinghouse Gold Medal for her research in turbine heat transfer in 2015 and the Edwin F. Church Medal for her contributions in mechanical engineering education in 2016.  She was named an ASME Fellow in 2004.

Dr. Thole received her bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.