GREENVILLE — A professor at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) will spend the next 12 months in Washington working for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Thomas R. Kurfess, BMW Endowed Chair of Manufacturing at Clemson, was appointed assistant director for advanced manufacturing. His appointment began Feb. 21.

Kurfess will work with Office of Science and Technology Policy leadership on research and development related to advanced manufacturing, including the identification of gaps in the federal government’s advanced manufacturing research and development portfolio and development of strategies to address these gaps.

He also will work closely with scientists and policymakers in various executive branch agencies that support advanced manufacturing, such as the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Defense.

The appointment is a wonderful opportunity to serve the country, Kurfess said. “The United States is a manufacturing powerhouse,” he said. “It’s a real honor to serve my county and help secure and grow its position among the world’s most important economies.”

On Wednesday, the White House released a new strategic plan for advanced manufacturing with which Kurfess will be closely involved. 

The strategic plan was requested by Congress in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, and builds on the Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing.

Clemson University President James F. Barker said he is enormously proud a Clemson faculty member is serving in the White House.

“We are proud, but not surprised, that Dr. Kurfess has been tapped for this important post,” said Barker. “He has helped Clemson University build an internationally known graduate program in automotive engineering. This announcement reflects not only his stature in his field, but the strength of the auto industry in our state and region.”

Kurfess was named named professor and BMW Chair of Manufacturing in 2005. His research focuses on the design and development of advanced systems targeting the automotive sector, including vehicle and production systems.


Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research is a 250-acre advanced-technology research campus where university, industry and government organizations collaborate. Clemson's College of Engineering and Science offers master's and Ph.D. programs in automotive engineering at CU-ICAR and is conducting leading-edge applied research in critical areas, such as advanced product-development strategies, sustainable mobility, intelligent manufacturing systems and advanced materials. CU-ICAR has industrial-scale laboratories and testing equipment in world-class facilities available for commercial use, as well as a comprehensive computational center dedicated to solving clients' industrial problems and backed by a high-performance computing infrastructure.

Office of Science and Technology Policy
Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the president and the White House on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 act also authorizes the office to lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities and other nations toward this end. It is led by John P. Holdren, the president’s science and technology adviser.

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