Nahata’s associated Blue Sky Competition submission, “Computer Games as a Future of Manufacturing Education,” was used as the basis for his award selection, SME said.
NAMRI’s Blue Sky Competition, now in its third year, is supported and funded by the National Science Foundation. The competition looks beyond traditional methods in US manufacturing research and education, asking participants for innovative, revolutionary ideas to move the industry forward.
For 2019, there were seven finalists, with one chosen as the overall winner.
“The Dornfeld Award was designed for individuals like Dr Nahata who are not afraid to ask, ‘What if?’" said Mark L Michalski, 2019 SME president. “For US manufacturing to continue at its extraordinary pace, we need these visionaries to share their transformative ideas with the manufacturing community.”
Nahata’s award-winning concept uses gamification, specifically computer games, as a potential method to attract and retain college-age students and transition them into well-paid, rewarding manufacturing careers. His submission focuses on the predicted 2.4 million positions that may be left unfilled within the next 10 years due to a skills shortage.
SME said addressing this shortage is integral to its mission.
“As the Blue Sky Competition continues to evolve and grow, the entries we receive become even more thought provoking and important,” said ZJ Pei, an associate professor at Texas A&M and the 2019 chair of SME’s Blue Sky Competition.
“I’m excited to see what next year’s competition brings to the forefront.”
SME will present Nahata with his award in November during its annual Installation & Awards Gala in Chicago. Award information, previous winners and abstracts are available at sme.org/david-dornfeld-manufacturing-vision-award.