About Dr. Mears

Laine Mears is the BMW SmartState Endowed Chair of Automotive Manufacturing, Professor and founding faculty member in the Automotive Engineering department at Clemson University. He teaches and conducts research in manufacturing quality estimation, Intelligent Machining Systems, manufacturing process design and control, and manufacturing equipment diagnostics, at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. Current efforts are in expanding the Multimaterial Joining Lab and growing a new Center of Automotive Assembly. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles, and is the recipient of the NSF CAREER award, SAE Ralph Teetor Educational Award, the South Carolina Governor’s Young Researcher Award for Excellence in Scientific Research, and the IMECHE George Stephenson Gold Medal and Thatcher Bros. Prize. He currently directs the Clemson Vehicle Assembly Center and the NSF THINKER Research Traineeship Program.

In addition to academic experience, Dr. Mears has over 10 years in industry, holding positions with Hitachi Automotive and SKF Bearings as both Manufacturing Engineer and Engineering Manager in high-volume precision manufacturing environments. Applicable work in industry includes leading quality implementation teams for QS-9000 and IATF-16949 quality systems, power optimization of hard machining processes, and startup of a new bulk deformation rolling process.  Dr. Mears has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech (1993) and M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.  He is a Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and SME, and a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality.  He is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer, ASQ Certified Quality Engineer (CQE), BMW Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and licensed Professional Engineer.


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006, Mechanical Engineering
M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2001, Mechanical Engineering
B.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1993, Mechanical Engineering

Laine Mears, Ph.D., P.E.

335 Campbell Graduate Engineering Center
4 Research Drive | Greenville, SC USA 29607
Phone: (864) 283-7229

Current Students

Matthew Krugh
Matthew KrughPh.D. Graduate Research Assistant
Matthew leads and coordinates activities in the CVAC, and carries out research in human signal processing applied to manufacturing quality.

Tyler Grimm
Tyler GrimmPh.D. Graduate Research Assistant
Tyler works in the area of materials and process interactions, including machining research for tool wear in superalloys, different deformation architectures, and applications of electrical current for material property modification during processing.
Ethan Wescoat
Ethan WescoatPh.D. Graduate Research Assistant
Ethan carries out research related to Predictive Maintenance in manufacturing environments.
Mark Allen
Mark AllenM.S. Graduate Research Assistant
Mark researches embedded system control for manufacturing quality and inspection. His areas cover Integrated Vision-Based Servoing, multisensor fusion, and design of wearable devices.
Brian Skoglind
Brian SkoglindM.S. Graduate Research Assistant
Brian conducts research in sound-based inspection methods for consumer goods manufacturing. He develops prototypes and inspection platforms for factory use.

Technical Support

David Mann
David MannResearch Associate
Technical specialist for equipment
Gary Mathis
Gary MathisResearch Associate
Technical specialist for machining

Lab Alumni

Farbod Akhavan Niaki
Farbod Akhavan NiakiResearch Assistant Professor

PhD 2016

Timken Research

Lujia Feng
Lujia FengPostdoctoral Scholar

PhD 2016

Now with Iconics Software

Durul Ulutan
Durul UlutanPostdoctoral Scholar

Now with Kadir Has Üniversitesi

April Bryan
April BryanPostdoctoral Scholar

University of Manchester, UK

Cristina Bunget
Cristina BungetPostdoctoral Scholar

Uli Berger
Uli BergerPostdoctoral Scholar

Technische Hochschule Ingostadt

Abram Pleta
Abram PletaPhD 2018
Characterization of Superalloy Machining
Jamie Skovron
Jamie SkovronPhD 2018
Modeling of Flow Drilling and Application to Multimaterial Joining Processes

Now with EJOT Corp.

Brandt Ruszkiewicz
Brandt RuszkiewiczPhD 2018
Electrically-Assisted Processing

Now with Semblex Corporation

Kavit Antani
Kavit AntaniPhD 2014
A Study of the Effects of Manufacturing Complexity on Product Quality in Mixed-Model Automotive Assembly

Now with BMW Manufacturing Corporation

Parikshit Mehta
Parikshit MehtaPhD 2013
Model-Based Control of Machining Operations

Now with Arconic Corp.

Yujie Chen
Yujie ChenPhD 2013
Prediction of Subsurface Damage during Machining Nickel-Based Superalloys

Now With Caterpillar

Joshua Jones
Joshua JonesPhD 2012
Control Approaches for Electrically-Assisted Deformation Processing in Sheet Metals

Now with JTEKT Corporation

Matthew Kuttolamadom
Matthew KuttolamadomPhD 2012
Prediction of the Wear & Evolution of Cutting Tools in a Carbide / Ti-6Al-4V Machining Tribosystem

Now with Texas A&M University

Wesley Salandro
Wesley SalandroPhD 2012
Thermomechanical Modeling of the Electrically-Assisted Manufacturing (EAM) Technique During Open-Die Forging
Carlos Montes-Solano
Carlos Montes-SolanoPhD 2011
High Resolution Vision-Based Servomechanism using a Dynamic Target with Application to CNC Machines

Thomas Martens
Thomas MartensPhD 2011
Sinter Bonding of Metal Injection Molded Parts through Surface Microstructure Control
Chan Wong
Chan WongPhD 2011
Model-Based Approach Addressing System Integration Challenges for High Precision System

Now with Entergy Power

Vassilis Bardis
Vassilis BardisMS 2015
Low-Cost Sensing for Manufacturing Systems
Valerie Pezzullo
Valerie PezzulloMS 2014
Design of a Custom Software Application to Monitor and Communicate CNC Machining Process Information to Aid in Chatter Identification
Hemanth Potluri
Hemanth PotluriMS 2013
Characterization and Control of Electrically-Assisted Friction Stir Welding

Now with Kautex Textron

Seetha Ram Bavuluri
Seetha Ram BavuluriMS 2012
Application of Tool Force Prediction to Process Control

Now with Tesla Motors

Drew Werner
Drew WernerMS 2011
Predictive Maintenance Automation in Machine Tools

Now with Robert Bosch Corporation

Manjesh Dubey
Manjesh DubeyMS 2011
Model and of Injection Mold Processing for Surface Microstructure Control

Now with BMW Manufacturing Corporation

Todd Titus
Todd TitusMS 2011
Active Feedback for Manual Assembly Operations

Now with Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Brian Stevenson
Brian StevensonMS 2010
Shape Factor Characterization for Metrology of Inductively-Sensed Structures

Now with Schaltbau Bode North America

Sumalatha Yaski
Sumalatha YaskiMS 2008
Quantitative Modeling of Soil Properties Based on Composition ond Application

Now with CB&I

Swathi Chimalapati
Swathi ChimalapatiMS 2008
Characterization of a Nanocomposite Sensor in Multiple Environmental Domains

Now with Robert Bosch Corporation

Soujanya Teppa
Soujanya TeppaMS 2008
Bonding Strength Modeling of Polyurethane to Vulcanized Rubber

Now with Triyards Holdings Ltd.