A highly accomplished Clemson University automotive engineer is receiving the latest in a string of honors with his election to the SME College of Fellows.

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Laine Mears was elected to the SME College of Fellows.

Laine Mears serves as the BMW SmartState Chair in Automotive Manufacturing and is a founding member of Clemson’s Department of Automotive Engineering at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research in Greenville.

Election to the College of Fellows goes to SME members who have made outstanding contributions to the social, technological and educational aspects of the manufacturing profession.

Zoran Filipi, chair of the Department of Automotive Engineering, said Mears’ honor was well deserved.

“Election must be earned through years of service and goes only to a select group of individuals each year,” Filipi said. “In fact, only six individuals were elected this year. This is a highly prestigious honor.”

The honor from SME is the most recent in what has been an extraordinary year for Mears. He was named the BMW SmartState Chair in Automotive Manufacturing during the fall 2016 semester and soon after learned he was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mears arrived at Clemson in 2006 with more than 10 years of direct industry experience, including four with Hitachi Unisia Automotive and seven SKF USA. More than 80 percent of his research is sponsored by industry.

Many sponsors, including GE Power and BMW, have returned for additional phases based on prior deliverables.

Mears has contributed to a team that helped make Clemson one of five U.S. universities to have a Global Strategic Partnership with BMW.

As a founding member of Clemson’s automotive engineering department, he was active in establishing eight courses, many in conjunction with personnel from original equipment manufacturers. The courses address core automotive industry needs and have helped produce automotive integration engineers who have been recognized widely throughout the industry, colleagues said.

Mears’ publication record includes more than 130 publications in top manufacturing journals and conferences and the seminal textbook “Electrically Assisted Forming – Modeling and Control.”

His research portfolio accounts for more than $7 million in funding. Mears has worked with more than 25 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and more than 20 undergraduates.

Mears has disclosed four inventions and filed one provisional and one full patent.

A partial listing of his awards include the 2011 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award, the South Carolina Governor’s Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers George Stephenson Gold Medal.