Joshua D. Summers


Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Mechanical Engineering
CU-Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Director for Education
College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0921


Joshua D. Summers, Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University, co-directs the CEDAR Group (Clemson Engineering Design Applications and Research).  Dr. Summers earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University researching design automation.  Dr. Summers received his BSME and MSME from the University of Missouri-Columbia working on VR-based submarine design.  Dr. Summers has worked at the Naval Research Laboratory (VR Lab and Naval Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence) and served on the Foreign Relations/Armed Services staff of Senator John D. Ashcroft.  Dr. Summers’ research has been funded (>$11.3M) by government (NASA, NSF, US Army TACOM), large industry (BMW, Michelin, General Motors), and small-medium sized enterprises (Wright Metal Products, Hartness International, and others).  Dr. Summers’ areas of interest include collaborative design, knowledge management, and design enabler development with the overall objective of improving design through collaboration and computation.  The work has resulted in well over 300 peer reviewed publications.  Dr. Summers teaching interests has resulted in introduction of four new courses in engineering design, revamping of the senior design program, and the introduction of an international study abroad experience for senior engineers.  This research and teaching has been recognized with awards from SAE (Ralph Teetor Award and Arch T. Colwell Merit Award), TMCE (Outstanding Researcher Award), Innovision (Innovations in Education), the South Carolina Governor’s Award for Scientific Awareness, and with election to Fellow status in ASME (2012).  Most significantly, Dr. Summers has been the advisor of record for four post-doctoral students, 13 completed PHD dissertations, 50 MS theses, 8 MS projects, 2 honor’s undergraduate thesis, and currently supervises 8 graduate and 20 undergraduate students.  All four of his former post-doctoral advisees and four PHD students are currently in academic positions at Clemson University, Texas State University, St. Louis University, University of Maryland, Florida Tech, and James Madison University. 

Professional Preparation

Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2004, Mechanical Engineering

Development of a Domain and Solver Independent Method for Mechanical Engineering Embodiment Design (Advisor:  Jami J. Shah, currently Honda Professor at Ohio State University)

M.S., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1998, Mechanical Engineering

Feature Based Design in a Virtual Environment for Early Stage Submarine Design (Advisor:  Alley Butler, currently Professor at University of Texas-Pan American)

B.S., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1996, Mechanical Engineering


2012-present Professor, Clemson University
2008-2012        Associate Professor, Clemson University
2002-2008        Assistant Professor, Clemson University