MS 1960 in Mechanical Engineering
PhD 1965 in Mechanics and Hydraulics
Dr. Philip H. Francis was founder of GroupFrancis, a management consultancy specializing in two practice areas: new product development and related production matters, and helping colleges and universities reach their potential by leveraging e-learning and other tools that create strategic advantage.
Until his death in 2018, his career spanned engineering research, academia, and senior executive assignments.
Dr. Francis had 15 years combined experience in senior and executive industrial management positions at Motorola, Square D (Groupe Schneider), AT&T, and Mascon Global Ltd., responsible for manufacturing technology, corporate technology, quality and management consulting. He had five years experience in academic administration and teaching and 14 years of engineering research in the fields of materials and structural integrity. He was an authority in the fields of new product development processes, manufacturing systems, quality, R&D management, higher education and overall business process improvement. He was instrumental in Motorola being named as the first recipient of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award (1988).
Dr. Francis held senior leadership positions and appointments in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (Fellow), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). He served as a member of the Board of Assessment (Technical Board of Directors) of NIST, and as a member of the U.S. Army Science Board, the Air Force Science Advisory Board, NSF and others. He was awarded the ASME's Gustus L. Larson Award for excellence in engineering. Dr. Francis was a frequent lecturer and keynoter and had a wide network of industry leaders.
He was Founder and Editor (1988-'92) of the ASME professional journal, Manufacturing Review, and served on the editorial board of several other journals. He had more than 70 technical papers publications published in refereed, permanent literature. He authored the first journal publication on "Six Sigma" quality. He wrote Principles of R&D Management (AMACOM, 1977), the first professional book on R&D management, and was editor of two other technical books. He had his third book published, titled Reconstructing Alma Mater: The Coming Crisis in Higher Education- A Blueprint for Reform.
Dr. Francis maintained close relationships with academia serving on advisory boards at Northwestern University, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, MIT, Illinois Institute of Technology and Northern Illinois University. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering — teaching in their Masters in Product Development program.
He earned a BS degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University (1959); an MS degree in mechanical engineering (1960) and a PhD degree (1965) in engineering mechanics, both from the University of Iowa; and an MBA (1972) in general management from St. Mary's University.
Inducted: Saturday, June 7, 2003