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As I begin my term (January 2018 to December 2022), as Technical Editor for the Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD), I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all of the journal stakeholders: readers, authors, reviewers, Associate Editors, Guest Editors, and staff. I feel deeply honored and privileged to be appointed by the ASME Executive Committee of the Design Engineering Division (DED) and the Technical Committee on Publications and Communications (TCPC) to serve as the new Technical Editor of JMD. I feel especially honored to assume this role because I have always looked up to the past three Editors, Professors Michael McCarthy (University of California, Irvine, CA, 2003–2007), Panos Papalambros (University of Michigan, 2008–2012), and Shapour Azarm (University of Maryland, 2013–2017), as technical leaders and as role models in the field. Their dedication and leadership have led to the success of JMD, which is viewed as one of the few top journals world-wide in the area of design engineering. I am excited to follow their path, but also challenged to bring the journal to the next level of excellence.
Journal of Mechanical Design serves the broad design community as the venue for scholarly, archival research in all aspects of the engineering design activity and welcomes contributions from all areas of design with an emphasis on synthesis. Example categories of topics include, but are not limited to: (1) design automation, (2) design theory and methodology, (3) design education, (4) design for manufacturing and the life cycle, (5) design of direct contact systems, including cams, gears, and power transmission, (6) design of mechanisms and robotic systems, (7) design of energy, fluid, and power handling systems, and (8) design innovation and devices. The connecting thread among these topics is the emphasis on design, rather than just analysis.
During the past few years, JMD's impact factor has continuously improved, rising to 2.565 in year 2016, and is rated by ISI to be in the top quartile among 130 journals in the mechanical engineering field. The number of annual submissions has steadily increased to close to 870 papers in 2016. In my role as Editor, I will work toward ensuring an efficient, fair, and timely review process while maintaining the journal's high standards for paper quality. My predecessors have established an impressive array of best practices for journal operation, such as streamlining and promoting timely publication of contributions, inviting guest editorial and special issues for promoting emerging design areas, creating an editor's choice award for encouraging high quality work, and developing a new companion website1 as a valuable communication and promotional tool. I will continue these best practices while identifying and implementing new ideas for further advancing JMD.
While it will certainly take me some time to learn about JMD's operations and develop new ideas, there are a few areas I plan to begin working on. First, I will strive to reduce further the review time from submission to publication by working closely with Associate Editors and journal staff. As a part of this effort, I will encourage and facilitate a faster conversion of the ASME conference papers to journal submissions. Second, I will work with international leaders in design engineering to further promote JMD world-wide, especially in regions where the submissions are currently low. Third, I will work on attracting technical leaders in the field to write review articles on key JMD topics. Fourth, to illustrate the relevance and impact of design research on industry practices, I will work to attract more submissions from industry, papers with industrial design applications, and papers on design innovation. Finally, to further bring up the level of scholarship in design research, I will promote the use of rigorous design research methods and raise the awareness of validation protocols.
The past decade has seen a continued growth of interdisciplinary design research, beyond the traditional scope of mechanical design, that involves a wide range of engineering and nonengineering disciplines, e.g., materials science and engineering, mechanics, social science, arts and architecture, economics, market research, computer and information science, and communication studies, to name a few. Real design problems are not defined solely by technical concerns. They involve individuals, groups, organizations, and societies that call for cross-disciplinary collaborations and research. JMD will continue to embrace interdisciplinary design research topics and encourage submissions from teams of interdisciplinary researchers who work on theories and methods to support the design of emerging engineered systems.
The success of JMD is based on the scholarly contributions of authors, dedicated reviewers, staff members supporting the journal, and our board of Associate Editors and Guest Editors who are leaders in their respective technical areas. The current Associate Editors include Oscar Altuzarra, Christina L. Bloebaum, Massimo Callegari, Dar-Zen Chen, Xiaoping Du, Scott Ferguson, James K. Guest, Katja Holtta-Otto, Harrison Kim, Nam H. Kim, Mian Li, Mohsen Kolivand, Gul E. Okudan Kremer, Yu-Tai Lee, Christopher Mattson, Samy Missoum, David Myszka, Ettore Pennestri, Carolyn Seepersad, Rikard Soderberg, Irem Tumer, G. Gary Wang, Paul Witherell, and Hai Xu. Guest Editors include Raymundo Arroyave, Andres Tovar, and Yan Wang. I thank all of the Associate and Guest Editors for their dedicated service to the journal. I am also pleased to let you know that Ms. Amy Suski, who has assisted the most recent Editor Shapour Azarm, is willing to continue on as Assistant to the Editor. During the past five years, JMD has benefited enormously from her experience in assisting the Editors of multiple journals.
In summary, I am excited about this new opportunity to serve ASME and the broad technical community of engineering design. I look forward to working with every one of the JMD stakeholders to bring the journal to the next higher level of excellence.
"Since I started my ASME membership almost 41 years ago, when I was a young engineer in an underdeveloped country I have found countless opportunities in my career due to ASME."
Rafael G. Beltran Pulido, PE ASME Life Member since 1976
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