ASME and the Association of German Engineers Team Up for Advanced Manufacturing Project

Aug 14, 2014

The ASME-VDI Early Career Engineers Advanced Manufacturing Project team: (front row) Julie Kulik, Lakshmi Singh, Paul Moore, Dania Dawood, and Matthew Standley; (back row) Arno T. Kühn, Sebastian Siemes, Christoph Bellmann, Lars Gehrke, and David Rule. Photo courtesy of VDI.

From establishing the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Impact Forum program to devoting a special technical track to the subject of advanced manufacturing at last year’s Congress, the dissemination of advanced manufacturing content has been a top priority for ASME over the past year. ASME is now collaborating with the Association of German Engineers (VDI) on a team project intended to obtain input from early career engineers regarding the types of advanced manufacturing technology programs the two societies should develop in the future.

Last month, members from the newly formed ASME-VDI Early Career Engineer (ECE) Advanced Manufacturing Technology Project team, comprised of five members from each society, met from July 10-12 at the VDI headquarters in Dusseldorf. The meeting served as an introduction for the team members and a kick-off of the joint project, which was the result of a memorandum of understanding signed by ASME and VDI earlier this year that called for a more collaborative approach to addressing the need for new advanced manufacturing technology.

The team members from ASME, who either served previously as ASME Early Career Leadership Intern Program to Serve Engineering (ECLIPSE) interns or were recommended by ASME leadership, are Julie Kulik, Paul Moore, David Rule, Lakshmi Singh and Matthew Standley. The members from VDI, who represent a cross-section of the multi-disciplinary organization, are Dania Dawood, Christoph Bellmann, Lars Gehrke, Arno Kühn and Sebastian Siemes. The team is supervised by Michael Tinkleman, ASME's director of research, and Claudia Rasche, the project coordinator from VDI.

After welcoming remarks from VDI Executive Director Ralph C. Appel, the meeting opened with a presentation by Dagmar Dirzus, secretary of VDI’s Technology and Science department, on advanced manufacturing research efforts in Europe, including the German Industrie 4.0, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing and other industries, and Horizon 2020, the European Union research and innovation strategy for 2014-2020. Michael Tinkleman, ASME’s director of research, then provided the team members with a briefing on advanced manufacturing initiatives in the U.S., such America Makes (formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovative Institute), the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, and ASME’s 2014 Advanced Design and Manufacturing Impact Forum, to take place in Buffalo, N.Y., next week. The briefings were followed by a tour of an ABB facility featuring integrated robots on the factory floor.

The following day, the 10 team members selected “The Factory of the Future” as the theme of their project. Using the background material provided by the ASME and VDI leaders on the U.S. and European manufacturing initiatives — in particular Horizon 2020, which includes its own Factories of the Future program — the engineers will design an efficient, environmentally friendly facility that incorporates high-tech advanced manufacturing processes while addressing such human concerns as staff organization and structure, working environment and work-life balance. The team, which will meet again at the ASME Washington D.C. office on Oct. 10 and 11, is expected to complete its work by the end of the year.

The ECE Advanced Manufacturing Technology Project is modeled after a previous team project, Leadership in Sustainability, which the two organizations pursued three years ago. A white paper compiling the current ASME-VDI team's findings is expected to be presented next year at a variety of U.S. and European conferences, including Hannover Messe 2015, VDI Automation 2015, and the next ASME Advanced Manufacturing and Design Impact Forum, to be held next August in Boston. The team is also expected to make recommendations to ASME and VDI on other advanced manufacturing opportunities, such as conferences, workshops, educational outreach, and standards development.

For more information on the ASME-VDI Advanced Manufacturing Project, contact Michael Tinkleman, director of research, ASME, at (202) 785-7394 or by e-mail at

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