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Robert B. Stone to lead NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation

Rob Stone

Rob Stone begins his term as NSF division director for CMMI in December 2018.

October 22, 2018

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Robert B. Stone of Oregon State University as division director of the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering. Stone, who begins his NSF appointment on Dec. 10, 2018, is a professor of mechanical engineering in the Oregon State School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME).

“NSF welcomes Dr. Stone’s strength in interdisciplinary research, industry partnership and hands-on engineering education, as well as his notable expertise in complex engineering design,” says Dawn Tilbury, NSF assistant director for engineering. “His leadership and experience will help build engineering collaborations and develop emerging opportunities for CMMI-funded research and education.”  

After joining Oregon State in 2009, Stone led the School of MIME during 2011-2015 and strengthened the school’s activities in humanitarian engineering, robotics, advanced manufacturing and next-generation materials. Since 2014, he has served as co-director of the Oregon State site of the Center for e-Design, an NSF-funded Industry­-University Cooperative Research Center. The Center creates new paradigms and electronic tools for design that lead to higher-quality, lower-cost engineered products and systems while reducing the time associated with complex design.

Previously, Stone spent 10 years at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, rising from assistant professor in 1998 to professor of interdisciplinary engineering in 2008. For more than four years, he was director of the Student Design and Experiential Learning Center, where he guided the Center’s learning initiative and oversaw student teams in design competition activities.

Stone’s main research interests are design theories and methodologies, particularly product architectures, functional representations, automated conceptual design techniques and innovation strategies for new product design, including solar homes and bio-inspired products. Since 2000, he has been developing and growing a shared design repository to model, exchange and reuse product design information and tools. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers and advised 15 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in research.

Stone earned his Bachelor of Science and his Master of Science in aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology) and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his graduate studies, he was a space shuttle flight controller at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Stone is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and other professional societies, organizing many technical sessions and conferences. He has received numerous awards for faculty excellence and teaching, rehabilitation engineering and diversity and inclusion, and is a Fellow of ASME.

CMMI advances the future of manufacturing, the design of innovative materials and building technologies, infrastructure resilience and sustainability, and tools and systems for decision-making, robotics and controls.



Media Contact
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738,

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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