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June 30, 2024 | Tom Ballard

ORNL names Craig Blue as its Chief Manufacturing Officer

Among other accomplishments, he spearheaded the creation of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, the nation’s foremost research and development facility for advanced manufacturing technology development. 

Defense Manufacturing Programs Director Craig Blue has been named Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Chief Manufacturing Officer. With this additional responsibility, Blue will enhance coordination of ORNL’s resources and capabilities across the laboratory in support of manufacturing activities designed to promote U.S. competitiveness and economic advantage.

“Craig Blue has made a career out of manufacturing excellence,” said Moe Khaleel, Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences. “He is a leader who knows how to bring people together, build programs from scratch and, most importantly, deliver results.”

For more than 25 years, Blue has built teams and programs that have significantly influenced the field of materials and manufacturing science. Among his biggest accomplishments, Blue spearheaded the creation of the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), the nation’s foremost research and development facility for advanced manufacturing technology development.

Craig Blue

“MDF has fundamentally changed the way our laboratory works with industry, academia, and other labs,” said Robert Wagner, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Science and Technology. “Through the MDF model, we are able to collaborate with partners and rapidly move our research to market.”

Committed to collaboration and impact beyond ORNL, Blue helped initiate several national institutes, including the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation; the Department of Energy’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility at ORNL; Critical Materials Institute; National Alliance for Water Innovation Institute; Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute; and America’s Cutting Edge, a national machine tool and workforce development program.

As a researcher and innovator, Blue has earned 11 R&D 100 Awards, 32 patents, and recognition as one of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME’s) “25 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing.” He is a Fellow of SME and the American Society of Metals International.

“Craig’s technical expertise and proven leadership are evidence of how he guides big ideas to achieve real-world impact,” said ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer. “I look forward to working with him as we continue to drive ORNL’s manufacturing innovation.”

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