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Alumnus Wins 2014 Young Engineer Award

Paul Witherell

Dr. Paul Witherell, an alumnus of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, has received the 2014 Young Engineer Award from the Computers and Information in Engineering (CIE) Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The CIE division sponsors the Young Engineer Award to recognize a promising young investigator who is making outstanding contributions to the progress in the application of computers in engineering. Read article.

Witherell received his Ph.D. (2009), M.S. (2006), and B.S. (2004) in Mechanical Engineering from the MIE department. As a graduate student, Witherell was a member of the NSF Center for e-Design team, developing semantic methods and ontologies to support mechanical design.

Witherell is a mechanical engineer in the Life Cycle Engineering Group of the Systems Integration Division at the Engineering Laboratory in NIST. Witherell’s primary research interests are Additive Manufacturing, Design for Sustainability, Knowledge Representation in Product Development, Design Optimization, and Ontology and Semantic Relatedness for Manufacturing.

In 2009, Witherell was awarded the prestigious National Research Council’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from NIST, where he was later hired into his present position. His work focuses on identifying integration and technology solutions to enable the smart and sustainable design and manufacture of products with a focus in additive manufacturing technologies. In this capacity, Witherell is involved with producing and promoting industry acceptance of information models, standards, and open architectures for smart product design and manufacture. He has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students who have visited NIST.

Witherell currently serves as the Associate Program Manager of a multi-million dollar NIST program on Additive Manufacturing. Within this program, Dr. Witherell manages a project on Systems Integration for Additive Manufacturing, which combines engineering and information sciences to benefit the emerging area of additive manufacturing. The project focuses on the flow of information from design through production of additive parts. Witherell also leads standards work in ASTM E60 to provide guidance to industry for improving the sustainability of manufacturing processes through better impact assessment.

Witherell has been a member of ASME since 2002 and involved with the ASME CIE conferences since 2005. He has served in roles such as reviewer, review coordinator, session chair, workshop organizer, topic organizer, and technical committee chair. Paul has served similar roles in the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Paul serves on the Programme Committee for the International Conference of Product Lifecycle Management and is a reviewer for several journals.

Witherell achieved the rank of Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, serving one-year active duty in 2003, and was Honorably Discharged in 2006.

Since graduating from the MIE department, Witherell has provided scholarship support to College of Engineering students and has also been a mentor to several undergraduate and graduate students associated with the UMass Center for e-Design, including Jeffrey McPherson, Jay Briendel, Doug Eddy, and Ed Roy. In addition, during the summer of 2014, he was the sponsor and technical supervisor to Andrew Dodd, currently a senior with the MIE department, for his summer project at NIST. (October 2014)