SME bestows highest honor on pioneer of general design theory

June 14, 2012

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Dearborn, Mich., has honored Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, the director general of the Centre for Research and Development Strategy at the Science and Technology Agency of Japan, with its highest recognition — Honorary Membership.

Yoshikawa was honored for more than 50 years of contributions in the international academic, industrial, and government manufacturing engineering communities. Most notable was Yoshikawa's pioneering role in general design theory, which is common through different engineering disciplines and crucial to the development of logical manufacturing planning.

Through his commitment to leadership, Yoshikawa proposed a collaborative program called Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS), which became a model for international cooperation on subjects of importance to manufacturing development for the next generation of products. With Yoshikawa’s guidance, the program was implemented worldwide by academic institutions, corporations, and government agencies.

As president of the International Institution of Production Research (CIRP), Yoshikawa led the society to develop manufacturing science research related to the environment and global warming, from the viewpoint of production and usage of artificial products.

Yoshikawa holds a bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Tokyo. He is a fellow of Engineering Academy of the Czech Republic and fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering of the United Kingdom. His past positions include president of the University of Tokyo (1993), president of the International Council of Science (1999), and president of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (2001).

An SME Honorary Membership is conferred upon an individual of recognized ability and stature who has, by voluntary action, contributed his or her substantial skills and talent to accomplish the goals of the society. This award is one of the most prestigious honors presented by the society and is reserved for those exhibiting professional eminence among manufacturing engineers.

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