FAMU-FSU Chair

Dr. Ben Wang

Dr. Ben Wang holds two distinguished professorships: Simon Ostrach Professor of Industrial Engineering and U.S. Department of Energy Massie Chair of Excellence in Engineering. He is Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and World Innovation Foundation (WIF), and serves as a member of the Life Boat Foundation Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Wang was Chair of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from 1993 to 2005. He had worked closely with the faculty in developing both a Master of Science (1994) and a doctoral degree program (1997). The department passed two ABET accreditation reviews, three SACS reviews and one QER review.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wang has been instrumental in enhancing the dialogue between engineering faculty and practitioners by fostering industrial partnerships. Such dialogues have proven very effective for the faculty's continuing career development. Moreover, industrial partnerships have also provided valuable internships, co-ops and employment opportunities for students. These opportunities have developed students’ “business sophistication” in addition to their technical competence.

Dr. Wang is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in the growing field of nano-materials science. His main area of research, involving an extraordinary material known as “BuckyPaper”, has shown promise in a variety of applications, including the development of aerospace structures, the production of more-effective body armor and armored vehicles, the improvement of energy and power efficiency, the enhancement of thermal management of engineering systems, and the construction of next-generation computer displays. Because of his contributions to nanotechnology, Dr. Wang and Dr. Les Kramer, Lockheed Martin Chief Technologist, were invited to present to the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) Review Panel in support of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2005.

In 1998, Dr. Wang founded the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies (FACCT), a research institute sanctioned by the Florida Board of Education. As a direct result of his developing partnerships between universities and industries, in 2002, FACCT was selected by the National Science Foundation to join the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) program. Through the I/UCRC program, FACCT partnered with Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison to form a synergy with industry and government in producing stronger, lighter, more versatile composite fibers at a minimum cost. Building on his commitment to excellence, an aggressive fund raising campaign is underway to build a $18M, world-class building for FACCT.

With a primary research interest is applying emerging technologies to improve manufacturing competitiveness, he specializes in process development for affordable composite materials. AFOSR, AFRL, ARL, ARO, DARPA, DOE, NASA, NIST, NSF, ONR, SME, Sandia, 2Phase, AT&T, Boeing, British Petroleum, Caterpillar, Cummins Engine, GKN, GM, JEOL, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, MTS, Raytheon, Sikorsky, Sun Microsystems, TA Instrument, and Westinghouse are just a few of his many sponsors. He is a consultant to a number of U.S. and international companies. Currently, Dr. Wang is concentrating his research on affordable composites, which is already changing product innovation worldwide. His attention to applications of the integrated product-process design approach to substituting metal structures with low-cost, high-performance composite materials is unique among researchers in these difficult and most promising investigations.

Dr. Wang has served on a number of NSF Grant Review Panels and Site Visit Teams, as well as the U.S. Department of State Science Centers Program Committee, DoD Graduate Fellowship Review Committee, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Grants Review Committee, Hong Kong Research Grants Council, Egyptian Science and Technology Cooperation Project Review Panel, and Australian Research Council Grants Review Committee. He has also served as a technical consultant for the Louisiana State Board of Regents and the New York Economic Development Council. He served on the Board of Directors for the North Florida Manufacturing Technology Center, which is part of the NIST Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP).

Dr. Wang is an editorial board member for the Journal of Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures, Composites B Journal, International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Journal of Design and Manufacturing Automation, and Journal of the Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers. He was elected to the US Council of the Japan-US Conference on Composite Materials in 2005.

He is a co-inventor on projects resulting in seven U.S. patents (5566092, 5566273, 5602761, 5939013, 6488569, 6532799, and US 2006/0017191A1). In addition to being the author or co-author of more than 130 refereed journal papers and 60 conference articles, he is a co-author of three books: Computer-Aided Manufacturing (Prentice-Hall), Computer-Aided Process Planning (Elsevier Science Publishers), and Computer Aided Manufacturing PC Application Software (Delmar Publishers). These books are currently being used worldwide. Computer-Aided Manufacturing was selected to receive the IIE 1992 Joint Publishers Book-of-the-Year Award and the 1992 SME M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Textbook Award. In addition, Dr. Wang edited three books: Integrated Product, Process and Enterprise Design, Concurrent Design of Products, Manufacturing Processes and Systems, and Computer-Aided Maintenance: Methodology and Practices.

Dr. Wang is a co-recipient of a 2004 R&D 100 Award. In 1999, Dr. Wang received the AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow Award and the DOE Outstanding Research and Educational Accomplishment Award. In 1998, he received an IRI/ASEE Engineering Faculty Fellowship Award and a United Nations Development Program Fellowship. In addition, he is the recipient of the 1993 Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society Outstanding Professor Award. For his leadership and significant achievements in manufacturing education and research, Dr. Wang also received the 1990 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. In 1991, he received the University of Iowa Old Gold Iowa Fellowship, and in 1987, the New York State Improvement of Undergraduate Education Award. As further confirmation of his accomplishments, his biography is listed in Who's Who in Engineering, Who's Who in Global Business Leaders, Who's Who among Asian Americans, and Who's Who in the Midwest. He received his B.S.I.E. degree from Tunghai University (Taiwan) and M.S.I.E. and Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University.

A Discussion with Dr. Wang on Program Goals

"The concept of what we do is very simple. We design products that can be manufactured, used, and disposed of easily without adverse effects on the environment. According to a recent EPA report, the U.S. spends over 100 billion dollars each year to cleanup various contaminated and polluted sites. Many of those contaminations and pollutions are the result of the shortsightedness of the manufacturing policies and practices of the past. People designed and made products without paying attention to what effects the products or manufacturing processes might have on the environment or how the product might be disposed of once it reached the end of its service life cycle. As a result, various pollutions from solid wastes to toxic chemicals to air pollutants are everywhere seriously threatening the quality of our life and that of future generations. The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Design for Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing group is developing technologies that will enable engineers to design products with the environment in mind. Such a foreward-looking technological development is guided by four principles:

  • Life-cycle
    It is no longer sufficient just to pay attention to what's taking place within the factory. We must take a life-cycle view, a so-called cradle-to-grave view, of everything including design, manufacturing, distribution, storage, end-use, maintenance, retirement and disposal of every product. Each stage of a product has an impact on the environment, and should be thoroughly studied and tackled.

  • Information Integration
    This is closely connected to life-cycle analysis. Information about materials, processes, environmental impact, and costing must be made available to the engineer if he or she is to design an environmentally conscious product.

  • Scalability
    It means the technology we develop can be scaled up or down easily to fit the size and nature of the company to which the technology is going to be transferred. We cannot afford to have a technology for a 10-employee company and a totally different technology for a 10,000-employee company. The technology must have scalability.

  • Adaptability
    People won't like it if the technology is going to interrupt the routine production schedule. Design for environmentally conscious manufacturing is a continuous improvement process. New technology must be designed and transferred in such a way that it can be phased in easily."
     

Recent Publications in Refereed Journals

Professional Organizations/Associations

List of Accomplishments

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