SME Speaks: Know Before You Go
It's time to be pragmatic and realistic about what has been accomplished to date, the limited resources available to us, and the challenge of having a diminished number of people entering manufacturing. We must identify new resources, and get the job done. Our mission to transform and advance manufacturing education has received considerable support from major industries, corporations, and grassroots movements led by passionate volunteers and organizations. Amidst the cacophony of ideas, the SME Education Foundation has been able to successfully address the needs of industry to transform manufacturing education and secure critical support.
For more than 30 years, the Foundation has connected to an impressive cross-section of the economy. Our efforts have expanded, with broader input coming from diverse industries and individuals ranging from the medical and pharmaceutical communities to aeronautical engineers, inventors, and innovators.
In our infancy, the SME Education Foundation fostered and promoted manufacturing engineering curricula in colleges and universities through the administration of various award programs, totaling $6.9 million in cash grants and over $59.8 million in equipment and software gifts to more than 350 colleges and universities. Despite these successes, by the late 1990s it was clear that more work was necessary. SME funded a $3 million seed grant to our Education Foundation in a collaborative effort to identify competency gaps between industry needs and the output of educational programs. These gaps were identified through industry-based workshops, bringing together manufacturing professionals from the automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment, consumer goods, machine tools, and electronic sectors.
Our Manufacturing Education Plan provided a critical schematic for manufacturing education. Innovative grants to 26 colleges and universities have supported exceptional manufacturing curricula in microelectronics, optoelectronics, semiconductors, and aerospace, and curricula used in distance learning, laboratories, certificate programs, real-world manufacturing facilities, and outreach programs that provide hands-on learning experiences. Nearly 13 years later, with benefits realized and the groundwork in place, the next step is to prepare the future workforce.
By inspiring young people and focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, we have been able to motivate and encourage them to pursue manufacturing engineering careers. Our youth programs, scholarships, and awards introduce young people to exciting manufacturing careers. Additionally, our award-winning Manufacturing is Cool! Web site provides students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and volunteers with information on scholarships, summer camps, and assistance in curriculum development. CareerME.org, designed to support advanced manufacturing education, offers connections to technologies, companies, and resources for advanced education.
A recent collaboration with Project Lead The Way, a nonprofit that creates innovative pre-engineering curricula, led to organizing more than 237 Gateway Academies in 36 states. Our concentrated focus on STEM education continues to successfully impact middle and high school students through our Gateway Camps, Gateway Academies, and sMe (summer Manufacturing experience) Institute.
In 2010, the SME Education Foundation will celebrate its 30th anniversary. To the multitude of volunteers across the industry, our donors, and the associations and foundations who partner with us, we owe a debt of gratitude.
International Honor Award Winners for 2010 Announced
Gerald Byrne, Dr-Ing, FSME, is professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Advanced Manufacturing Science Research Centre, University College Dublin. He is recognized with the SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal for his significant, leading-edge published research, which has led to a better understanding of materials, principles, operations, and their application to improve manufacturing processes. Byrne is internationally renowned as a leading engineer, researcher, and innovator in material-removal processes and process monitoring. Other research interests include environmentally clean manufacturing, surface engineering, and rapid product development. His career began as an engineer in Irish industry followed by a lectureship in mechanical engineering at Dublin Institute of Technology. Byrne later became a researcher and chief engineer at the Technical University in Berlin. Thereafter, he headed Daimler-Benz AG's Division for Manufacturing Processes. After more than a decade in industry, he returned to academia as the professor of mechanical engineering at the University College Dublin in 1993. He is director of the university's Advanced Manufacturing Science Centre and was head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and dean of engineering. For his many contributions to manufacturing engineering, he has been elected a fellow of the International Academy of Production Engineering (CIRP) and several other national academies of engineering, and was installed as an SME Fellow in 1998. Byrne is currently president of CIRP.
Thomas R. Kurfess, PhD, FSME, PE, is professor and BMW chair of manufacturing, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and director, Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Graduate Engineering Center, at Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research. He is recognized with the SME Education Award. Renowned as one of the world's leading experts in the field of microscale manufacturing metrology, with research focused on the design and development of high-precision manufacturing and metrology systems, Kurfess began his career in academia at Carnegie Mellon University in 1988, where he rose to the rank of associate professor. In 1994, he moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology as a full professor. By 2005 he had joined the faculty at Clemson University, where he also currently leads the internationally recognized Campbell Graduate Engineering Center. Throughout his career, Kurfess has received numerous awards including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, the NSF Presidential Faculty Fellowship Award presented at the White House, and the 1996 SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award. He joined the 2006 Class of SME Fellows, and has been an SME member since 1983.
Carl R. Williams, CMfgE, EMCP, PE, is an associate professor and coordinator for graduate studies, engineering technology in the Herff College of Engineering at the University of Memphis. He is recognized with the Joseph A. Siegel Service Award for his significant and unique contributions to the Society. Williams has been an active and dedicated SME member since 1980. During this time, he has served 17 consecutive years in various elected positions, including three terms with the SME Board of Directors and two terms on the SME Member Council. For his many efforts on behalf of the Society, Williams was previously honored with SME's longestablished Award of Merit. He has also been instrumental in developing SME's growing Lean Certification Program, now considered to be the most comprehensive and rigorous training of its kind in industry. Currently, Williams is an SME Membership Consultant to chapters in Arkansas, North Mississippi, and West Tennessee. Additionally, he is the faculty advisor of University of Memphis S140 and serves on the SME Manufacturing Enterprise Council. For more than 20 years, Williams has served SME in ABET accreditation as a program evaluator and on various commissions. Prior to his current full-time position with the University of Memphis, Williams spent 22 years as a manufacturing engineer and small business owner, completing high-level projects in 35 states, Canada, and Japan.
Hans-Peter Wiendahl, Dr-Ing, Dr.h.c.mult., is professor emeritus of the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics at the Leibniz University Hannover. He is recognized with the SME Gold Medal for his outstanding service to the manufacturing engineering profession through published literature, technical articles, and lectures. Wiendahl is highly respected for his rigorous study of fundamental issues in production logistics. The author or coauthor of more than 300 publications and a dozen books, his most notable work "Load Oriented Manufacturing Control" has been published in several languages. He studied mechanical engineering at RTWH Aachen and MIT, started as a researcher at RWTH Aachen, and earned his doctorate in engineering there. After a period of seven years in industry leadership, Wiendahl returned to academia as professor and director of the Institute of Production Systems and Logistics at the University of Hannover in 1979. There, he established a long career as a researcher, educator, and cofounder of a nonprofit research company. Since his retirement in 2003, he remains active as a lecturer, author, and consultant for industry, and serves as an advisor to several German research foundations. For his contributions to manufacturing engineering, Wiendahl has, among other awards, received two honorary doctorates from renowned German universities and one from the ETH Zurich.
Active Student Member Receives Chapter Scholarship
Austin No. 211 recently awarded a $1000 scholarship to Dmitri Kabakov of Texas State University-San Marcos. Kabakov, who is an active member of SME's Texas State University-San Marcos S147 student chapter, is currently pursuing an MS in industrial technology, and is a graduate research assistant in the Composites and Plastics Lab in the Ingram School of Engineering. Austin No. 211 has awarded more than $5000 in college scholarships over the past four years. The scholarships are funded by the chapter's annual golf tournament. Current Chapter Chair, Eric Ryza, hopes to see these efforts continue to keep students engaged and create future leaders of SME.
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This article was first published in the April 2010 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.