25 May 2012
On June 4, 2012, the American Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will award its Gold Medal to Prof. dr.ir. Fred van Houten of the University of Twente. Every year since 1955, the SME has presented this award to individuals in recognition of their outstanding service to and promotion of the manufacturing engineering profession internationally.
Van Houten feels extremely honored: “I am receiving this prize from a group of top professionals in my field. It is one of the most interesting awards that is given in my discipline. It is a lifetime achievement award, comparable, for example, to the literary lifetime awards that are presented to writers.”
Van Houten owes this prize to his international visibility: he is a member of various international organizations. In 2010 and 2011, he was president of the International Academy for Production Engineering. In addition, he is a member of both the German Academy of Science and Engineering and of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. Van Houten is also a member of the German Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Productentwicklung and of the High Level Group of the European technology platform Manufuture. At the start of his career, Van Houten worked on the automation of work planning and computer control of production systems. Over the course of time, his interest has shifted increasingly in the direction of the front end of the production process. He now primarily focuses on Virtual Reality.