Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989
S.M. (EECS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988
S.M. (ME), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1987
S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986

Research Area Descriptors

Manufacturing and Automation and Mechatronics, advanced automation, precision manufacturing, metrology, technology policy.


Dr. Kurfess' research focuses on the design and development of advanced manufacturing systems targeting complex product production and optimization. He has significant efforts underway in advanced and high precision manufacturing and metrology systems, as well as national and international manufacturing policy issues.


Professor Kurfess began his academic career at Carnegie Mellon University where he rose to the rank of Associate Professor. In 1994, he moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology where he rose to the rank of Professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. In 2005, he was named Professor and BMW Chair of Manufacturing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research. In 2012, he returned to Georgia Tech as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control.

During 2012-2013, Dr. Kurfess was on leave serving as the Assistant Director for Advanced Manufacturing at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President of the United States of America. In this position he had responsibility for engaging the Federal sector and the greater scientific community to identify possible areas for policy actions related to manufacturing. He was responsible for coordinating Federal advanced manufacturing R&D, addressing issues related to technology commercialization, identifying gaps in current Federal R&D in advanced manufacturing, and developing strategies to address these gaps.

Professor Kurfess has served as a special consultant of the United Nations to the Government of Malaysia in the area of applied mechatronics and manufacturing, and as a participating guest at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in their Precision Engineering Program. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, and on the Board of Trustees of the MT Connect  Institute. His research focuses on the design and development of advanced systems targeting the automotive sector (OEM and supplier) including vehicle and production systems. He has significant experience in high precision manufacturing and metrology systems. He has received numerous awards including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Investigator Award, an NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award, the ASME Pi Tau Sigma Award, SME Young Manufacturing Engineer of the Year Award, the ASME Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award, the ASME Gustus L. Larson Award, an ASME Swanson Federal Award, and the SME Education Award. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, the SME and the ASME.


  • Treasurer, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2015

  • Board of Directors, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2010 – present

  • Research in Engineering Design, Associate Editor, 2003 – present

  • Computer Aided Engineering and Applications, Associate Editor, 2003 – present

  • SME Education Award, 2010

  • SME Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Associate Editor, 1993-2008

  • SME Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Associate Editor, 1999-2008

  • President North American Manufacturing Research Institute of SME, 2007 – 2008

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2008

  • Clemson University – Frank A. Burtner Award for Excellence in Advising, 2007

  • Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2006

  • Association for Manufacturing Technology Charles F. Carter, Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award, 2005
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    - Fellow, 2004
    - Japan-U.S.A. Symposium on Flexible Automation Program Committee Chair, 2004
    - Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, 2002
    - Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award, 2001
    - Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering Associate Editor, 1999-present
    - Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control and the Journal of Manufacturing Systems Associate Editor, 1996-2000
    - ASME/Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal Award, 1995
  • Georgia Insitute of Technology
    - Outstanding Faculty Leadership for the Development of Graduate Research Assistants Award, 2002
    - Class of 1940 W.Roane Beard Outstanding Teacher Award, 2000
  • NSF Committee of Visitors for the Engineering Education and Centers Division, 2000

  • Co-Chair, NSF Workshop on the Future of Eng. Education, Eng. Education and Centers Division, 2000

  • National Science Foundation
    - Presidential Faculty Fellowship, 1993-1998
    - Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1992-1997
  • Society of Manufacturing Engineers
    - North American Research Institute Board of Directors, 2002-2010
    - Journal of Manufacturing Processes Associate Editor, 1999-2005
    - Philip R. Marsilius Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, 1996
  • International Journal of Engineering Education, Editorial Advisory Board, 2002-present
  • George Tallman Ladd Award for Excellence in Research, (College of Engineering), Carnegie Mellon University, 1992
  • North American Manufacturing Research Conference Co-Chair (with Steven Liang), 1996-1998
  • International Symposium for Automotive Technology and Automation Conference Best Paper Award,Stuttgart, Germany, 1995
  • Registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania



  • Milner, J.L., Abu-Farha, F., Bunget, C., Hammond, V.H., Kurfess, T.R., “Graphics Based Path Planning for Multi-Axis Machine Tools,” Materials Science and Engineering: A, Vol. 561, No. 20, pp. 109-117
  • Kuttolamadom, M.A., Mears, Thomas R. Kurfess, T.R., “On the Volumetric Assessment of Tool Wear in Machining Inserts with Complex Geometries---Part 1: Need, Methodology, and Standardization,” ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Vol. 134, No 5, 2012.
  • Jones, J., Kuttolamadom, M, Mears, L., Kurfess, T.R., “Life-Cycle Integration of Titanium Alloys into the Automotive Segment for Vehicle Light-Weighting: Part I - Component Redesign, Prototyping, and Validation,” SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing, April Vol. 5, No. 1 pp. 247-259, April, 2012.
  • M. Estrems, M., Sánchez H.T., Kurfess. T.R., C. Bunget, C. “Effects of Wear on Cutting Forces in End-Milling Nickel Alloy,” Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 498, pp. 79-84, 2012.
  • Tarbutton, J. A., Kurfess, T. R., Tucker, T. M., “Graphics Based Path Planning for Multi-Axis Machine Tools,” Computer-Aided Design & Applications, Vol. 7, No. 6, pp. 612-621, 2010.
  • Roth, J., Djurdjanovic, D., Yang, X., Mears, L., Kurfess, T., Quality and Inspection of Machining Operations: Tool Condition Monitoring, ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Vol. 132, No 4, 2009.
  • Krueger, K. W., Kurfess, T. R., “Comparison of Correlation Methods for Profile Measurements,” Transactions of the North American Research Institute, Vol. 38, pp. 339-346, May 2010.
  • Karhade, O. G., Degertekin, F. L., Kurfess, T. R., “Active Control of Micro Interferometers for Low Noise Parallel Operation,” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 1-8, 2010.
  • Kurfess, T. R. (Editor), Robotics and Automation Handbook, CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, FL, 2005.


  • Microinterferometer for Distance Measurements, U. S. Patent 6,643,025, with F. Degertekin, B. Kim, and H. Ali Razavi, November 4, 2003
  • Microinterferometer for Measuring Distance with Improved Sensitivity. U.S. Patent 6,753,969, with F. L. Degertekin, B. Kim, and A. Razavi, June 22, 2004