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Wuest named one of 20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing by SME

A photo of Thorsten Wuest helping a female student with a problem on her tablet.

Assistant Professor Thorsten Wuestworks with students in his smart manufacturing lab.

West Virginia University Assistant Professor Thorsten Wuest has been recognized as one of the 20 most influential professors in smart engineering by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers for his innovations in the field and strong influence over future generations of engineers.


The recognition by SME, a nonprofit organization of professionals, educators, and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry, came at the beginning of May, and established Wuest as a leader in the field.

“Being recognized by this community of peers is special,” Wuest said. “I am really honored to be named among these established academics that have essentially shaped and defined the field of smart manufacturing from the start.”

Wuest’s current research emphasizes the human element in smart manufacturing systems, bridging the gap between experts’ knowledge, physics-based modeling and data-driven methods in a hybrid approach and collaborating in the development of a smart manufacturing roadmap.

Most recently, Wuest and a team of researchers have been awarded a large grant to composea physics-based grinding model with data driven machine learning models to optimize the energy efficiency of large scale grinding.

“In manufacturing we do not like to make decisions based on ‘the machine told us’ but understand the mechanics and reasons behind the output,” Wuest said.

Wuest has also coauthored several books including, Digital Supply Networks, coauthored by professor Ednilson Bernardes of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and other colleagues, which will be available online later this summer.

The book breaks down the opportunities offered by digital transformation, provides hands-on guidance through industrial cases and a playbook, and is aimed at industry professionals, academics, and students.

“It is a must read for everyone interested in how supply interruptions, such as what we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be prevented through resilient processes and disruptive technology,” Wuest said.

Wuest expressed his appreciation for the recognition of his work and emphasized the team effort of all former and current members of the WVU Smart Manufacturing Lab and the many collaborators and generous benefactor, such as J. Wayne and Kathy Richards, that made it possible in the first place.

“Overall, this recognition is testament that the work we are doing in our WVU smart manufacturing lab is meaningful and recognized despite it being established just a few years ago,” Wuest concluded.

Founded in 1932, SME is one of the most established and innovative global professional societies for manufacturing reaching more than 400,000 manufacturing professionals worldwide.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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