In a series of far-reaching papers, he outlined his vision of computer-integrated manufacturing systems. His brilliant thinking influenced the development of computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and other software now used by manufacturing organizations throughout the world. He also helped introduce innovative concepts for eliminating waste in batch production, which is critical to lean manufacturing.
When he retired from Milacron at age 70, Dr. Merchant continued his work at Metcut Research Associates. Then, from 1995 to 2005, he was a senior consultant at TechSolve, a Cincinnati-based, nonprofit, engineering consulting firm. In his honor, TechSolve named its research laboratory for him and established the Dr. M. Eugene Merchant Scholarship Fund through the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering. TechSolve also published Dr. Merchant’s recent book, An Interpretive Review of 20thCentury U.S. Manufacturing and Grinding Research.
Dr. Merchant was a leader in many organizations, including the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), American Society of Lubrication Engineers, Federation of Materials Societies, and International Institution for Production Engineering Research (CIRP), a prestigious organization with a limited international membership. Throughout his career of more than six decades, he received numerous honors and awards. In 1955, he was named Cincinnati’s Engineer of the Year by the Technical and Scientific Societies Council of Cincinnati. In 1968, he was awarded the SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal. In 1986, he was the first to receive an honor named for him, the M. Eugene Merchant Manufacturing Medal, sponsored jointly by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and SME. He was also the recipient of the Award of American Machinist Magazine, the National Award of the American Society of Lubrication Engineers, and the Research Medal and Richards Memorial Award of ASME.
Dr. Merchant was held in high esteem by colleagues worldwide, and he received many international honors, including the 1980 Tribology Gold Medal of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Great Britain), the Otto Benedikt Prize of the Computer and Automation Institute of Hungary, and the Medal of