In 2019, the Solid Modeling Association (SMA) has introduced the title of SMA Young Investigator Award to recognize outstanding young researchers (40 years and younger) that significantly contributed to the area of Solid Modeling. BCAM researcher Michael Barton (Ramón y Cajal 2017 grant) has been the first one awarded with this recognition.
The award ceremony was held in Vancouver (Canada) during the Symposium on Solid and Physical Modelling (SPM) which was part of the International Geometry Summit taking place between June 17-19, 2019. Nominations for the prize were submitted online and voted by the SMA Young Investigator Award Committee, appointed jointly by the Chair of the SMA, Prof. Jessica Zhang, and the Chair of the SMA Award Committee, Dr. Sai Nelaturi.
Michael Barton finished his PhD work little over twelve years ago. Since then he has worked in collaboration with scientists at JKU Linz (Austria), at Technion (Israel) and KAUST (Saudi Arabia), and he is now a full-time researcher in the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics – BCAM (Spain). He has a large track record of publications in a variety of geometric areas, including research on single and multi-variate root-finding solvers, mesh processing algorithms, e.g., the algorithm on exact computation of the Hausdorff distance between polygonal meshes, and rationalization of complex free-form surfaces by motions of simple geometric objects such as planar curves or simple solids.
In recent years, his research focused on geometric problems inspired by manufacturing processes, in particular multi-axis Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining. He contributed by several novel algorithms for 5-axis flank CNC machining that improved machining accuracy of the state-of-the-art by the order of magnitude. His work on CNC machining has already received strong interest in the engineering community and has earned him the prestigious Ramon & Cajal grant (RYC-2017-22649).
Dr Barton is a contributing young member to the SPM community and hosted SPM in 2018 in Bilbao as the conference chair and the main organizer. He is also a member of the international program committee of SPM and serves as an associate editor of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Graphical Models (GMOD).