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SME Speaks: A Conduit for Manufacturing Knowledge





In recent years, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers has used the tagline Where Manufacturing Comes Together to emphasize and promote one of its greatest assets—its members and their ability to help one another and the manufacturing community at large. As I begin my term as the 2008 SME President, I do so with a great deal of excitement and anticipation, because I know that 2008 is going to be full of opportunities for the Society and its members.

For example, in the spring, Manufacturing Engineering magazine will publish a new medical yearbook, which will chart the evolutionary changes in medical manufacturing. With an overview of macro trends, Viewpoints articles by top management and senior engineers, and in-depth features on current technologies and practices, Medical Manufacturing 2008 will cover the industry at every level. Topics include rapid prototyping, machining, lasers, quality, micro/nano, materials, process improvement, and workforce development. The magazine launched its first yearbook in 2006 with Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing 2006. Since then, ME has published two additional yearbooks—Lean Manufacturing 2007 and Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing 2007. The in-depth articles found in the yearbooks come from a diverse but very knowledge group of authors, many of whom are SME members.

In addition to industry-related articles, the yearbooks also include several articles on workforce development—a topic that SME is very passionate about. Nearly 30% of people with science and engineering degrees in the labor force are age 50 or older. Those skilled Baby Boomers will continue to retire in the next 10–15 years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by the year 2010, America will face a skilled-worker shortage of 8 million, increasing to approximately 14 million by 2020. SME and the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF), in conjunction with Project Lead The Way, have been working very hard to try to turn that alarming trend around. In 2007, SME-EF held 55 Science, Technology & Engineering Preview (STEPS) Academies in 14 states. This year, the number of STEPS Academies will increase from 55 to 100, as will the number of states hosting the academies—from 14 to 20. In its 10-year history, the STEPS Academies have exposed more than 4000 children to manufacturing and engineering by showing them realworld problem-solving applications in a variety of disciplines, as well as exposing them to fascinating technologies they might not have encountered.

Workforce development is not limited to the younger generation, however. SME also offers members of the labor force many ways in which to further their careers and skills. In 1972, when SME launched its Certification Program, only one type of certification was available—Certified Manufacturing Engineers (CMfgE). Today, there are several different certifications available from SME including: Certified Manufacturing Technologist (CMfgT), Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE), Certified Engineering Manager (CEM), Lean Certification, and Six Sigma Certification. I first became certified in 1982, and have found that being certified in one or more areas is a great way to document your manufacturing-related knowledge and skills, as well as validate your achievements.

It is important to SME that our members succeed and achieve their goals. As an organization, it is also important that we succeed and meet our goals, which is why, in 2004, SME implemented its Strategic Plan 2010. Plan 2010 has five goals:

  • Goal 1: Technology and Information.
  • Goal 2: Commitment to Education.
  • Goal 3: Member Engagement.
  • Goal 4: Loyalty and Visibility.
  • Goal 5: Lean and Effective.

In 2008, not only will SME continue to plan, strategize, and achieve its goals, but it will also carry on its quest for excellence. As the 2008 SME President, I look forward to being part of the SME journey and working with my fellow SME members to make SME a stronger membership organization.


Congratulations to the SME Fellows of 2007

In October, nine manufacturing leaders were elected to the SME College of Fellows. The SME Board of Directors created the College of Fellows in 1986 to honor those members who have made outstanding contributions to the field of manufacturing. A Fellow of SME is a member recognized by the manufacturing community as a contributor to the social, technological, and educational aspects of the profession. This is a distinctive and prestigious honor that can only be earned through years of dedication and service to manufacturing engineering. Fellow status carries a lifetime membership in SME. Since 1986, SME has honored more than 300 individuals with this award.

John S. Agapiou   John S. Agapiou, PhD
Technical Fellow
Research and Development
General Motors Corporation
Rochester Hills, MI, USA

Agapiou's outstanding contributions to the field of machining process and cutting tool systems cover theoretical work with development and practical applications. He has generated multi-million-dollar savings at General Motors through innovation applications. Agapiou is a former recipient of the most prestigious GM Award, the "Boss Kettering" Award. He has published more than 60 technical journal and conference papers. He is co-author of the widely used and referenced text book "Metal Cutting Theory & Practice." Also, Agapiou holds more than 20 records of invention including patents. He continues to get involved in the education of future manufacturing engineers by teaching part-time at Wayne State University.


Lothar F. Bieg   Lothar F. Bieg, PhD
Technical Staff
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM, USA

As an engineer and researcher Lothar Bieg, PhD, has distinguished himself as a leader in advanced manufacturing and metrology technologies at a national and international level. His 36-year involvement in solving complex problems has resulted in earning him close to 20 patents and numerous additional technical advances. Bieg has also made major contributions to developments supporting other centers within Sandia National Laboratories, other US national labs, Allied Signal Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, NIST, and the Atomic Weapons Establishment of Great Britain. Throughout his career, Bieg is and has been actively involved in mentorship and collaboration with engineering students and professors.

Wayne J. Book                             Wayne J. Book, PhD
HUSCO/Ramirez Chair in Fluid and Motion Control
Georgia Institute of Technology
The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Atlanta, GA, USA


Wayne Book has been on the faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 1974, and was promoted to professor in 1986. In 2001 he was named HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Professor in Fluid Power and Motion Control. He teaches courses in system dynamics, controls (including motion control), robotics, and manufacturing systems. His research includes the design, dynamics, and control of highspeed, lightweight motion systems, robotics, fluid power, and motion control and haptics. He holds five patents on robotics-related inventions, and has published more than 150 papers.

Ekkard Brinksmeier   Ekkard Brinksmeier, Dr Ing
Professor of Production Engineering
University of Bremen
Bremen, Germany

Ekkard Brinksmeier has been dedicated to engineering for over 30 years. He began his engineering education with a focus on Material Sciences at the University of Hannover. After receiving his Dr.-Ing degree, he soon became the head of the Manufacturing Processes Department at the Institute of Production Engineering and Machine Tools. He is also credited with more than 400 publications. Currently, he serves in several capacities at the University of Bremen in Germany, among them, chair of the Production Engineering Department, director of the Institute of Materials Science IWT, and head of the Laboratory of Precision Engineering LFM.

Subir Chowdhury   Subir Chowdhury, PhD
ASI Consulting Group
Livonia, MI, USA

Subir Chowdhury is chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group, LLC—the world leader on six sigma and quality leadership implementation, consulting, and training. Chowdhury is the author of 12 books, including the international bestseller, The Power of Six Sigma, which has been translated into more than 20 languages, and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. Most engineering schools and business schools throughout the world include his engineering and management books in undergraduate and graduate programs. His latest book titled The Ice Cream Maker has been distributed to every member of the US Congress.

Shoichi Kuroda   Shoichi Kuroda
Chairman Emeritus
Kuroda Precision Industries Ltd.
Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Shoichi Kuroda has been actively involved in the precision machinery business for more than 60 years. He joined Kuroda Precision Industries Ltd. as president in 1943. He succeeded his father, who founded the company. He has held various leadership positions at Japan Tool & Die Co. Ltd., Kuroda Watts Ltd., and Mold Institute Ltd. He is credited with growing Kuroda into a publicly owned total precision machinery company. Kuroda has held executive positions in the Japan Die and Mold Industry Associations, and served as chair twice. He has also conducted die and mold industry training programs and has contributed to and co-authored several books.

Masahiko Mori   Masahiko Mori, PhD
Mori Seiki Co. Ltd.
Nagoya City, Aichi, Japan

Masahiko Mori, PhD, is the president of Mori Seiki Co. Ltd., an international machine tool manufacturer. The company serves as the leader in collaborations with research institutions, having donated more machine tools to universities and other research entities than any other machine tool manufacturer in the world. He also gives journal and technical presentations at CIRP and other conferences. Mori has receive several awards and is a member of various international engineering societies. He currently serves as vice president of the Japan Machine Tool Builders' Association.

Mamidala Ramulu   Mamidala Ramulu, PhD
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Director of MSE Program-Manufacturing Engineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA, USA

Mamidala Ramulu's research interests have been in the area of mechanics, materials, and manufacturing processes. He has edited five ASME Symposium proceedings. Ramulu is one of the founding members of the Machining Science and Technology Journal. He also serves as an associate editor of Machining Science and Technology, International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials, and the ASME Journal of Engineering Materials and Technology. His research efforts in waterjet technology as applied to aerospace industry are well-recognized, and he has twice received professional achievement awards from The Boeing Company.

Moshe Shpitalni   Moshe Shpitalni, D. Sc.
Mechanical Engineering
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Haifa, Israel

Moshe Shpitalni joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Technion in 1983, and founded the Laboratory for CAD and Lifecycle Engineering. He is the holder of the Georg Schlesinger Chair of Manufacturing Systems and head of the Schlesinger Minerva Laboratory for Life Cycle Engineering. Shpitalni currently holds the position of dean of the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Graduate School of the Technion. His research interests are primarily in the fields of CAD/CAM and product development, and the application of geometrical modeling to manufacturing and assembly. He has recently begun to focus on knowledge management related to the entire product life cycle.


If you know of a deserving individual that you would like to see recognized, please visit to learn more about the SME International Awards and Recognition Programs.


This article was first published in the January 2008 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. 

Published Date : 1/1/2008

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