News Release

ORNL researchers earn SME’s 2022 Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Year honors

Grant and Award Announcement

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

2022 Young Manufacturing Engineers of the Year

image: Four ORNL researchers received SME’s 2022 Young Manufacturing Engineer Awards for exceptional contributions to the advanced manufacturing field. view more 

Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Four Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are among 22 engineers in North America to receive the annual Sandra L. Bouckley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Year Award from SME.

Amy Elliott, Thomas Feldhausen, Vipin Kumar and Kyle Saleeby were selected by the professional manufacturing engineering association for their exceptional contributions and accomplishments in the field, including supporting technology advancements and improvements and conducting state-of-the-art research. The award is given to engineers 35 years of age or younger.

“This is a record number of SME awards for ORNL, and it speaks to the innovation and expertise of our next generation of manufacturing science researchers,” said Xin Sun, ORNL’s Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Science and Technology. “These four are among our future leaders who will drive industrial decarbonization and help ensure competitiveness in American manufacturing.”

The researchers work in ORNL’s Manufacturing Science Division, which focuses on performing early-stage research and development to improve the energy and material efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. 

Elliott leads ORNL’s robotics and intelligent systems research and specializes in the inkjet-based 3D printing of metals and ceramics, a technology designed to enhance and transform advanced manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace and power generating sectors. Her inventions have been licensed by industry and have won prestigious awards including two R&D 100 Awards. Recently, she was one of 120 women featured as life-size 3D printed statues in a Smithsonian exhibit recognizing women who have excelled in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Elliott earned her doctorate in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech.

Feldhausen is a technical lead for ORNL’s hybrid manufacturing research in automation and controls. He utilizes a combination of additive and subtractive manufacturing or machining to provide industrial solutions for component repair and tooling for advanced energy systems, aerospace and automotive applications. Feldhausen earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Kumar supports research in advanced composites manufacturing and develops techniques with large-scale polymer additive along with traditional manufacturing processes. His work led to the development of a material that uses a novel conductive filler with a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic as an effective protector against airplane lightning strikes. Kumar’s research in this area earned him the 2021 Young Professional Emerging Leadership Award from the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering. He received his doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Tokyo, Japan.

Saleeby focuses on research within manufacturing cybersecurity and process control. He applies data analytics and closed-loop control to hybrid manufacturing processes and combines additive and subtractive processes into a single machine tool. Saleeby’s work has been instrumental in securely connecting machines and manufacturing processes to industrial digital technologies in collaboration with CyManII, the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Speaking on behalf of my fellow award recipients, it’s an honor to be recognized by SME at this stage in our careers,” Elliott said. “Organizations like SME are vital to the continued advancement of manufacturing engineering innovation.”

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

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