King wins top ASME award for manufacturing achievements


Prof. Bill King is the 2023 recipient of the ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award.

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Bill King, right, talking with student
King, right, with a MechSE student.

Professor William P. King is the 2023 recipient of the ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award, the society’s highest honor for manufacturing-related engineering.

The Ennor Award is presented to an individual or team for developing or contributing significantly to an innovative manufacturing technology, the implementation of which has resulted in substantial economic and/or societal benefits.

King has exemplified this criteria in a multitude of ways over the last several decades of his career.

He has impacted development and implementation of digital manufacturing technologies through his leadership at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), where he was influential in developing the roadmap for digital manufacturing implementation in the U.S. He also enabled thousands of industry professionals, researchers, and students to engage with the activities of the institute, leading to new skills and capabilities related to digital manufacturing.

As co-founder and Chief Scientist at Fast Radius Inc., King developed industry-leading manufacturing software and factory technologies that have been used by more than 20,000 manufacturing professionals, with more than 16 million parts made for customers all over the world. Fast Radius has been recognized as a Lighthouse Factory by the World Economic Forum as having one of the world’s most advanced factories.

As a university researcher, King’s research focuses on manufacturing processes, metrology technologies, and advanced materials and has led to new technologies and 20 U.S. patents that are being used by many companies. He is a pioneer in the development of nanometer-scale measurement technology, which is now implemented in industrial equipment sold by Bruker and used by 300+ organizations globally. Many thousands of new products have been developed with the aid of these technologies to develop new materials and manufacturing processes—resulting in the R&D 100 Award twice.

King helped pioneer high-resolution dimensional metrology that is widely used in the manufacturing of jet engines. He also developed and commercialized materials characterization equipment that used in the manufacturing processes for semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and packaging.

In just the last several years, he has been recognized for his translational research with the inaugural Grainger College of Engineering Excellence in Translational Research Award; Fellow of SME and NAI (with 20 patents); and as one of the newest members of the ASME Board of Governors.

King is the Ralph A. Andersen Endowed Chair in MechSE and a faculty affiliate in the Department of Biomedical and Translational Biosciences in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

MechSE professors Placid Ferreira, Shiv Kapoor and the late Richard DeVor are all prior recipients of the Ennor Award.

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This story was published June 20, 2023.