Each year, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) publishes their 30 Under 30 list to recognize outstanding young people who are making an impact at work, in their communities, and opening doors to innovation across the manufacturing industry. The 2023 list, which was released in December, included MABE alumni Emma Betters and Michael Gomez, who were both advised by Professor Tony Schmitz and worked in the Machine Tool Research Center while they were pursuing their degrees at UT. In addition to making the list, Betters was also featured on the cover of the 30 Under 30 magazine published by SME.
Betters and Gomez joined Schmitz’s lab when it was located at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. When Schmitz took a new faculty position at UT and moved his lab to Knoxville in 2019, Betters and Gomez moved with him. After the move, they both obtained research & development assistant staff member positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
In December 2023, Betters received her PhD in mechanical engineering from UT and currently works as an R&D associate staff member at ORNL. Over the past few years, she has made significant contributions to manufacturing, most notably co-writing the in-person training curriculum for America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) CNC Machining Training, which has provided free online and in-person training to hundreds of people to meet America’s demand for more machine tool professionals.
Gomez received his PhD in mechanical engineering from UT in 2021 and currently works as a principal R&D engineer at MSC Industrial Supply Co. Being an expert in machining dynamics, he develops technologies that contribute to a robust economy, an independent supply chain, and effective homeland security. In 2022, he received SME’s Sandra L. Bouckley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer honor. His manufacturing contributions include designing, constructing, and testing several low-cost dynamometers for milling force measurement, which is a true breakthrough in force metrology for machining applications.
More about Better and Gomez and their contributions to the machining industry can be found in the SME 30 Under 30 magazine.