Quotes about Koren’s Accomplishments


 • “The RMS vision laid out in the initial ERC proposal has been achieved to a great extent.”

• “There is a strong evidence of the effectiveness of both the vision of the Center Director and the ability of the director to execute the vision.”

(The Center Director is Yoram Koren who laid out the Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems vision in his initial ERC proposal to NSF in 1995)

   The NSF Review Committee, 2007 (Reviewing the ERC-RMS accomplishments during 1996-2007)


“In the mid 1970’s Professor Koren had already published high-impact papers on flank wear estimation, on the design of drives for CNC, and the world’s-first scientific paper on interpolators for CNC machines (IEEE Trans. Computers, 1976). And he had started writing his book Computer Control of Manufacturing Systems – a classic textbook, still widely used today.  These would be amazing accomplishments for anyone over an entire career.  What is even more amazing is that this was only the beginning.”

—    Galip Ulsoy, Distinguished University Professor, U-M, 2012 (inauguration of Koren Conference Room)


“Based on his research and educational accomplishments it was already well known in the 1980’s that more than any one else, Professor Koren was responsible for bringing control theory and control methodologies into the mainstream of manufacturing.”

   —    Steve Malkin, Distinguished University Professor, U-Mass, May 2007 (KorenFest celebration)


“Above and beyond the creation of world class technology, professor Koren played a fundamental role in educating engineers in the U.S. who are passionate about manufacturing.  In addition to educating generation of highly skilled manufacturing scientists, he has impacted a generation of practicing engineers through his graduate courses (e.g., Global Manufacturing) and provided the knowledge and skill sets require for a new generation of manufacturing technologists.”

—   Susan Smyth, Chief Scientist, Manufacturing, General Motors Corp., 2012 


“I am Jack Hu, Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan. On behalf of U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and myself, I want to express our warm welcome to you all, to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership National Meeting. The AMP national meeting is co-hosted by the University of Michigan, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Michigan is home to several of the greatest innovations in the history of manufacturing.  In 1913, the first moving assembly line, which was invented by Henry Ford, was installed at the Ford Highland Park plant in Michigan. The second breakthrough invention was numerical control that was invented by Mr. John Parsons (1952 patent) in his company in Traverse City, Michigan.

The most recent innovation is the Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems – RMS.  In 1996, in response to unprecedented changes in product demand caused by globalization, Professor Yoram Koren from the University of Michigan conceived the RMS concept and architecture, and his team implemented RMS technologies in the automotive and aerospace industry. Professor Koren’s seminal 1999 CIRP keynote paper —”Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems”— established RMS as a new, worldwide research discipline.”

 —  Excerpts from Jack Hu’s speech in Cobo Hall, Detroit, on June 9, 2014


“Dr. Koren’s scholarship, international leadership in innovation and implementation of manufacturing technologies, particularly related to automation and reconfigurable manufacturing systems, has allowed the US manufacturing sector to make major contributions to the nation’s wealth and security.”

Dr. Koren has inspired people and enabled innovations that are critical in generating the wealth that supports society.”

 —   Warren DeVries, Dean, College of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Prof. DeVries was a Member of the ERC-RMS Site-Visit Review Committee (appointed by the NSF) in the years 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2007.


“With dedicated manufacturing systems, an entire system has to be replaced by a new manufacturing system when we launch a new vehicle model.  When implementing reconfigurable manufacturing systems, the system can be reconfigured for the new vehicles so the manufacturing system is maintained for generations of products.  This approach enhances sustainability of manufacturing.”

“The ERC-RMS Lifecycle Cost Model was utilized before the Ford Windsor Engine plant was built and it confirmed from a total cost standpoint that the flexible/reconfigurable manufacturing system designed by Ford offer better investment and operational efficiency.”

“Based on the ERC analysis results, we have changed our coordinate measuring machine (CMM) gauging strategy to only measure representative features. We were able to achieve a 60% reduction in measurements.”

   —   Roman Krygier, Group VP, Manufacturing Ford Motor Co., Keynote Speech, CIRP conference, May 2005 


“The ERC software SHARE has the capability of reconfiguring the workload on each station on demand, and was utilized in 2006 to optimize the configuration of the engine assembly lines in Chrysler Mack Avenue Engine Plant in Detroit. This resulted in 29 stations being condensed into 26 stations while maintaining the original throughput! Chrysler succeeded saving 10% of the operating cost on this system, which is extremely significant in the automotive industry.”

   —    Brian Harlow, VP Powertrain Manufacturing, Chrysler. 2011 


“RMS technologies developed by Dr. Koren for low-volume manufacturers include mathematical algorithms for the design of modular, reconfigurable machine tools that estimate the dynamic performance of machines at their design stage (before they are actually built for Boeing), which shortens time to market and reduces cost.”

—   Paul Nuyen, VP Manufacturing, Boeing, 2012


“Below are extracts from a presentation that I made to the NSF site-visit review panel in May 2001:

  • RMS concepts have permeated to the core manufacturing practice
  • As a result of the ERC research, endusers are now designing manufacturing systems for part families
  • NSF investment in the ERCRMS shows fruits that are extremely important for the national economy
  • The ERCRMS created a working environment for creative thinking which impacted a slow-moving manufacturing industry.”

 —   Mark Tomlinson, Chair, ERC Industry Advisory Committee, and VP Engineering, Lamb Technicon 


“Every few years during the course of his 40-year career, Yoram Koren has initiated a new research field that made a long-lasting impact on industry and the research community.  In 1973 Dr. Koren developed the world’s first adaptive control system for machine tools, and in 1976 he introduced a novel method for CNC interpolation. In 1980 he developed an innovative cross-coupling controller that enhances the precision of manufactured products, and in the mid-1990s he introduced and developed the scientific underpinning of reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS), and later he pioneered multiple RMS industrial implementations.”

     —   Moshe Shpitalni (Shefi), Dean, Graduate School, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 2011 


“How many of us have the opportunity of transforming a whole field and see the results in our lifetime?”

 —   Steve Director, Dean, College of Engineering, U-M, talking about Koren’s RMS invention and impact at the NSF annual site-visit, May 2004 


“When Yoram Koren delivered his Distinguished University Professorship Lecture in 2010, U-M Provost Phil Hanlon started his introduction by saying: ‘The world of manufacturing has changed dramatically in the past thirty years and Professor Koren has been in the forefront of that change.’

I believe that not only Professor Koren was at the forefront of the changes, but also he was the originator of meaningful transformations in the world of manufacturing, transformations that have propelled the U.S. economy.”

—   ­Dennis Assanis, Provost and Senior VP, Stoney Brook University, NY, 2012 


“Yoram made positive transformational change in engineering excellence, and a real impact on industry.”

“ Yoram Koren is the father of Reconfigurable Manufacturing.  Reconfigurable, agile manufacturing is the source of Cummins strength in manufacturing durable products at a competitive price.”

   —   Michael Molnar, Director, Cummins, 2010 


“A true leader in research is someone who creates a new research field that others follow.  Prof. Koren is such a leader.  He conceived the Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems that became a major research field, and his 1999 CIRP keynote paper “Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems” has over 1,000 citations.”

 —   Jack Hu, Anderson Professor of Manufacturing and Interim VP of Research, Univ. of Michigan, 2012 (inauguration of Koren Conference Room)


“My Ph.D. research at Illinois built off Yoram’s Cross-Coupled Control original approach (1980). Following the presentation of my work at a conference, the session chair informed me that Yoram Koren is in the audience.  I must admit at that time I felt as though I had a rock star in the audience.”

 —   Kira Barton, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, 2012 (inauguration of Koren Conference Room)


“I know that one important factor in Yoram’s success is that he has a wonderful boss and companion—that is his wife Alina.  In fact, Yoram told me many times that Alina is his Strategic Advisor who always keep him on the right path.”

 —    Kon-Well Wang, Timoshenko Professor and Chair of Mechanical Eng., Univ. of Michigan, 2012 


“I have known Yoram Koren since 1993, when I was a Vice President at Lamb Technicon in Warren Michigan.  Lamb was a technology supplier company to the U.S. automotive industry.  In 1994, Yoram made a presentation for the Lamb Board proposing to develop an Agile Line Boring Machine. This project was sponsored by NISTATP at a level of $2 million. Yoram built a consortium with GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Lamb to have the input of the users. The project was executed jointly by the University of Michigan, with Yoram’s leadership, and Lamb.  I believe the impressive achievements of the ERC‐RMS were built on the success of this joint project with Lamb.”

     —   Mark C. Tomlinson, Executive Director/CEO, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 2013


“Professor Koren has provided visionary leadership as the founding director of the Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems. A world-renowned researcher and pioneer in manufacturing, Professor Koren is regarded as the originator of the reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS).  A gifted teacher and dedicated mentor, he has played an instrumental role in developing a world-class manufacturing curriculum and furthering the University’s reputation as a leader in advanced manufacturing research.”

     —   Mary Sue Coleman, President, the University of Michigan, May 2014


“Dr. Koren has certainly established himself as one of the world’s leading scholars in research on advanced manufacturing systems and technologies, as evidenced by his success in attracting the first NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) award to the University of Michigan. Over the past decade, under his leadership, this ERC has involved over 30 professors and investigators, hundreds of graduate students, and two-dozen companies, while receiving $48 million in government and industry support. The technologies, patents, designs, and principles developed by Dr. Koren and his team have not only established the University of Michigan as a world leader in reconfigurable manufacturing systems, but furthermore, they have had considerable impact on manufacturing throughout the world.”

           — James J. Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor, University of Michigan, 2011


“Professor Koren excels at teaching.  Former students wrote glowing letters about his teaching, recalling the clarity of his presentations and the deep knowledge they gained in his courses.  A number of them report that twenty or more years after graduating, they keep his books within reach of their desks because they consult them regularly.”

     —   Phil Hanlon, Provost, the University of Michigan, March 27, 2012 (Introduction to Koren’s DUP Lecture)


The following description, which was taken from the ERC Achievement Showcase of the NSF website, summarizes the inspection system that professor Koren developed and patented at the ERC-RMS (Koren is the patent main inventor):

“The ERC-RMS developed a system for in-line surface porosity inspection of engine blocks and heads. The inspection system utilizes a specially designed machine-vision algorithm to acquire very high-resolution images of the part surface. These images are then analyzed rapidly to detect and measure pores. This technology is very important to engine manufacturers because of the difficulty in objectively measuring the sizes and location of irregularly shaped surface pores (located on the engine block surface) at production line rates.

In 2006, this technology made a significant leap forward. General Motors installed an RMS-based  system for in-line surface porosity inspection of engine blocks in Flint, Michigan. The system is based on the technology developed at the ERC-RMS. The inspection system is integrated into the production line; every single part is measured within 20 seconds.

By using this technology the manufacturer prevents defective parts from reaching the customer, and also can collect meaningful data for process improvement.”


“As a member of the ERC-RMS Executive Committee I found that Yoram’s management style was very different. Although the job of the Executive Committee was to offer advice, Yoram already had made most of the decisions. Of course, everything was fine with this, because Yoram is a master planner and his decisions always proved right.”

—   Dave Munson, Dean of Engineering, the University of Michigan,  October 22, 2012 (Koren Conference Room Dedication Ceremony)