Sep 1, 2006

Manufacturing pioneer Gene Merchant mourned

From an e-mail from SME: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation lost a long time friend and supporter with the passing of M. Eugene Merchant, ScD on August 19, 2006. Dr. Merchant was a past president of SME, chaired the Foundation's Proposal Review Committee for over 20 years and in 1999 was named Honorary Director Emeritus of the Foundation.

Dr. Merchant's contribution to modern manufacturing is legendary. In the early 1940's he developed the basic theory of metal-cutting. His pioneering research made it easier for manufacturing engineers to determine the type of tooling needed to provide the optimum cut, how to regulate the amount of power needed to make a cut, and the effect on the metal's temperature. His theory has been used world wide and is still considered the best available for explaining and developing the machining process. His philosophy of computer-integrated manufacturing systems, developed in the 1950's, has become the standard operating practice for manufacturers all over the globe. To learn more about Dr. Merchant and his amazing career, read the article that appeared in Manufacturing Engineering Magazine, July 2004.

The SME Education Foundation has established an endowed scholarship in Dr. Merchant's memory. The scholarship will provide funding for future manufacturing engineers as well as serve as a lasting tribute to Dr. Merchant's pioneering research and discovery. Contributions to the M. Eugene Merchant Memorial Scholarship Fund can be made online or mailed to SME Education Foundation, One SME Drive, Box 930, Dearborn, MI 48121-0930.

Dr. Merchant is survived by his wife Helen, daughter Frances Sue Jacobson (Pontiac, IL), brother Robert Prescott Merchant (Lynchburg, VA), eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

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