Thursday, March 31, 2016

God Bless Dr. Dave Dornfeld of University of California at Berkeley

I received a very sad email early this past week regarding Dr. Dave Dornfeld of UCB, who was a true thought leader in Mechanical Engineering, a great guy and a huge advocate of MTConnect.  I was at his lab at UCB a number of times for MTConnect meetings over the years.  It was always a tremendous pleasure working with Dave. I sent an email to Dave the morning of his unfortunate death.

Below is the email I received from UCB on Dave's very tragic death:

"We learned today that mechanical engineering professor David Dornfeld, a dear friend to many of us and a true citizen of the College of Engineering community, died on Sunday, March 27 of a heart attack. This news has been sudden and unexpected, leaving us with a profound sense of loss.

 In a long career of service to Berkeley, Dave was most recently faculty director of the College’s new Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, where he was instrumental in launching the Institute’s educational programs. A faculty member in our Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1977, Dave served as chair of the department from 2010 to 2015. During that time, he led Berkeley’s participation in the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort that brought together universities, industry and the federal government to boost investment in manufacturing technologies and best practices.

We remember Dave as an advocate for our students and as a powerful force for good. We owe him a great debt for leading worldwide efforts to advance the emerging fields of sustainable manufacturing and cyber-manufacturing. In the 1980s and 1990s, he nurtured the College’s Robotics, Automation and Manufacturing Program (RAMP); led the College’s Interdisciplinary Studies program as Associate Dean; and directed the Engineering Systems Research Center (ESRC). Dave’s leadership on all these fronts was marked by common sense, humility and, often, well-timed moments of good humor.

 A globally recognized authority in green manufacturing, Dave led Berkeley’s Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability and the Sustainable Manufacturing Partnership. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), receiving ASME’s Ennor Award in 2010. He was named vice president of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP) in August 2015. Other honors include the Fredrick W. Taylor Research Medal, the Takagi Prize and the Charles F. Carter Advancing Manufacturing Award. Here in the College, he held the Will C. Hall Family Professorship.

Dave mentored many generations of students who now hold positions of leadership in academia, industry and policy. We will miss him dearly, but we know his legacy will be lasting."

One of my favorite memories was sitting with Dave at a conference almost six years ago:

Dave made a very interesting statement regarding slicing through the data of any presentation.   What Dave basically said was, "anytime you see 40% in a presentation you should be suspect.  The presenter likely did not want to put in 50% because it would be viewed too high and 30% would be viewed as not being significant."

I got a real chuckle out of that and said to Dave, "I think we need to call that "Dornfeld's Law".

To officially state Dornfeld's Law (until Dave corrects me :-)  

 "The statistical veracity of any presentation can be quickly determined by examining both the frequency and relative contextual importance of the number 40% in the presenters representation of supporting data."
I blogged when Dave received this tremendous honor from AMT:

Dr. David Dornfeld, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at UC Berkeley, has received the Association of Manufacturing Technology's Charles F. Carter Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award. Dr. Dornfeld is specifically recognized for his research toward advancing the understanding of burr formation and prevention, sustainable manufacturing, micro-machining, precision manufacturing and chemical-mechanical planarization.

Dave wrote a white paper on "Drinking From A Fire Hose", that I blogged about as well.

I also really appreciated it that Dave would mention my book as he did in this article on Green Manufacturing.

God Bless Dave Dornfeld. He was a great, great man and will be sorely missed by all of those many lives that he touched.....

1 comment:

  1. David and his brother Bill were two of the brightest students to ever graduate from Horicon High School, Horicon, Wi. Their mother was the teacher for my two children in grade school. She was not only intelligent but had a terrific dry sense of humor and was a tough, loving task master. Fortunately we have some of the toys designed by their father, Harlan Dornfeld. He did beautiful wood working and signed his pieces, Stearman trainer planes and train engines are a few of the pieces we had. Blessings to his friends and any family.