The early part of this millennium has witnessed the emergence of an Internet-based engineering marketplace, where engineers, designers, and manufacturers from small and large companies are collaborating through the Internet to participate in various product development and marketing activities. This will be further enhanced by the next generation manufacturing environment, which is being influenced by the recent developments in artificial intelligence. Agent-based interaction will become more prevalent in this new paradigm. Ontologies will play a major role in the success of this smart and networked manufacturing: both for knowledge encoding and for agent interoperability. This talk will provide a historical perspective on my three decades of work in developing ontologies in the manufacturing domain. Additionally, I will also provide a short overview of the research activities in the NIST’s Software and Systems Division (see https://www.nist.gov/itl/ssd). Ram D. Sriram is currently the chief of the Software and Systems Division, Information Technology Laboratory, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Before joining the Software and Systems Division, Sriram was the leader of the Design and Process group in the Manufacturing Systems Integration Division, Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory, where he conducted research on standards for interoperability of computer-aided design systems. Prior to joining NIST, he was on the engineering faculty (1986-1994) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was instrumental in setting up the Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory. Sriram has co-authored or authored more than 250 publications, including several books. Sriram was a founding co-editor of the International Journal for AI in Engineering. Sriram received several awards including: an NSF’s Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989); ASME Design Automation Award (2011); ASME CIE Distinguished Se rvice Award (2014); the Washington Academy of Sciences’ Distinguished Career in Engineering Sciences Award (2015); ASME CIE division’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016). Sriram is a Fellow of ASME, AAAS, IEEE and Washington Academy of Sciences, a member (life) of ACM, a and a member (life) of AAAI. Sriram has a B.Tech. from IIT, Madras, India, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.