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To work in a product development and project management role improving a company’s product development process and manufacturing quality through the utilization of design tools and practices


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Business, GPA = 5.0/5.0 June 2003

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, GPA = 3.6/4.0 September 1998

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honor, GPA = 3.9/4.0 March 1996



Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts January 2000 – Present
Graduate Research Assistant and Postdoctoral Associate in the Mechanical Engineering Department
• Modeled product dimensional variation resulting from manufacturing processes and selective assembly operations
• Developed a web-based “Design for Quality” tool including a GUI and database backend
• Identified customer needs, devised requirements, created appropriate design tool

Delphi Automotive Systems: Chassis Division, Dayton, Ohio April 1996 - January 2000
Project Engineer in the Anti-lock Brake Systems Development Group
• Led a multidisciplinary team of engineers and technicians from the U.S. and Mexico in product development engineering for anti-lock brake system components
• Managed specifications and engineering drawings for over twenty product components, keeping them current per QS9000 standards
• Planned product testing for the timely transition from prototype to production
• Created and maintained component development schedules resulting in on time deliveries
• Supported manufacturing operations in scrap reduction, DFM efforts, and cost reductions

Engineering Summer Intern in the Advanced Product Design Group Summer 1995
• Devised testing methods, performed data analysis, and developed alternative designs for the rear electric brake system for the General Motors Electric Vehicle (GM EV1)



Carvers Snowboard Binding Designed a snowboard binding that acts as a kinematic coupling to restrict the rider’s boot in all degrees of freedom; generated and selected concept; created product specifications; created CAD models; machined physical prototype

Constrictor Bike Lock Worked on a multi-disciplinary team that developed a unique bicycle lock that is modular and flexible; Project included idea generation, concept selection, market research, patent searching, industrial design, and rapid prototyping


Design for Manufacturing, Design for Six Sigma, Robust design, Graphical User Interface (GUI) design, Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T), Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), Graphic design, Logo design

Project management, System architecture planning, Product test creation and planning, Patent searching, Supplier management, Transforming customer requirements into product specifications

Statistical Process Control (SPC), Critical-to-Quality characteristic identification and flow down, Variation management, Familiar with QS9000 standards and procedures



Listening to the customer, Conjoint analysis, Market analysis

Business plan creation, System dynamics model creation and analysis



Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Visio, Project, Acrobat

CAD, Solidworks, Matlab, Mathematica, Visual Basic, Excel, General programming

Database and web application development, Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP and MySQL, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects

Member of ASME Present
Member of ASQ Present
Sigma Xi scientific research society 2002
MIT MechE d’Arbeloff Fellowship 2000
Two Delphi Records of Invention 1999
Delphi “Red X” Quality Award 1997
Passed Ohio EIT Exam 1996
NSF Fellowship Honorable Mention 1996
Tau Beta Pi eng. honor society 1994
Pi Tau Sigma MechE honor society 1994
Golden Key National Honor Society 1994
Phi Eta Sigma fresh. honor society 1993

Kern, D. and A.C. Thornton, 2003, "Modeling variation propagation through a manufacturing process," ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information Conference, Chicago, IL.

Kern, D. and A.C. Thornton, 2002, "Structured Indexing of Process Capability Data," ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information Conference, Montreal, Canada.