University of South Carolina researcher named leading innovator in smart manufacturing
UofSC associate professor’s work highlights university, state as leaders in field
Credit: Abe Danaher, University of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC — Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Ramy Harik has been recognized as one of the 20 most influential professors in the field of smart manufacturing.
The distinction, announced May 13 by the nonprofit manufacturing organization SME, highlights Harik’s strides in establishing the University of South Carolina — and, by extension, the state — as a leader in the field.
Harik works in advanced composites and industries of the future at the UofSC College of Engineering and Computing. He is a leader within the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering and will co-chair CAMX – the US’s largest composites conference – in September.
“Ramy is building on the impressive base of manufacturing that has appeared in South Carolina over the past couple of decades,” says Hossein Haj-Hariri, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “He is elevating the state to a position of leadership in smart manufacturing, which Gov. McMaster has often referred to, saying that we want to be the smart manufacturing state. Ramy is leading that charge.”
SME’s recognition specifically highlights Harik’s Future Factories laboratory, which focuses on enabling the sharing and analysis of data between different robots and companies amid different stages of manufacturing.
“The whole world wants robots to work together with drones, they want data to come and flow from different equipment, they want to be able to interpret data, they want to be able to make sense of the data. Nobody knows how to do it at large industrial scale so that they are meaningful,” Harik says. “What we are trying to do in our Future Factories is dig deep into the convergence of multiple aspects of the research fundamentally needed to understand how to do this and enable future manufacturing.”
Harik’s work has led to funded partnerships with manufacturing leaders, including NASA, Siemens, Boeing, Nephron Pharmaceuticals and Toray. It has also put him at the forefront of South Carolina’s emerging manufacturing economy.
In the next five years, Harik plans to grow his Future Factories platform to promote learning across all age groups. He has seven initiatives that will introduce robotics to middle schoolers, create a new undergraduate industrial manufacturing systems-based program at South Carolina, and allow retired people to share their aged knowledge with future generations.
“It’s no surprise that Ramy earned this recognition from SME,” says UofSC President Bob Caslen. “His Future Factories platform at UofSC continues to redefine manufacturing and encourages collaboration among industry leaders, researchers and students. Ramy is leading South Carolina toward new and innovative possibilities in manufacturing that will transform our state, nation and world for years to come.”
SME is a nonprofit association consisting of professionals, educators and students in the field of manufacturing.
About the University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a globally recognized, high-impact research university committed to a superior student experience and dedicated to innovation in learning, research and community engagement. Founded in 1801, the university offers more than 350 degree programs and is the state’s only top-tier Carnegie Foundation
research institution. More than 50,000 students are enrolled at one of 20 locations throughout the state, including the research campus in Columbia. With 56 nationally ranked academic programs including top-ranked programs in international business, the nation’s best honors college and distinguished programs in engineering, law, medicine, public health and the arts, the university is helping to build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and around the world.