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SME Speaks: Gaining Knowledge Via SME Publications

Neil A. Duffie
Since the Society was formed more than 75 years ago, its goal has been to serve its members and advance manufacturing engineering. One of the ways in which the Society accomplishes this goal is through its technical publications.

SME membership is made up of a broad spectrum of members ranging from shop-floor practitioners to professors and advanced researchers, and while SME members are diverse in their interests and backgrounds, so are their needs for disseminating and reviewing technical information. A professor might publish research-oriented technical papers that bridge the gap between advanced research and implementation, while a plant manager might be looking for published information on a proven new technology that he/she can implement on the shop floor to help streamline operations.

With more than 17,000 SME technical papers, two peer-reviewed journals, NAMRI Transactions, and CIRP (The International Academy for Production Engineering) papers available to the organization, SME is able to offer its members the full spectrum of technical publications on advanced research, proof-of-principle experiments, application trials, proven new technologies, and broad implementation. Over the last year, SME has continued to enhance its technical publication offerings. One of the improvements that SME recently made was to restructure its two peer-reviewed journals, the Journal of Manufacturing Systems (JMS) and the Journal of Manufacturing Processes (JMP). In October 2007, SME announced that it had signed an agreement with Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, to publish JMS and JMP. Not only will Elsevier publish the journals online, but through its expansive network, Elsevier will increase the journals' outreach to an international audience via the market-leading electronic platform ScienceDirect, which currently reaches more than 15 million users worldwide.

Technical publications are important because they keep members and customers abreast of new technologies as they become ready for shop-floor implementation. Once published, they also allow SME an opportunity to provide a full spectrum of forums, webinars, workshops, conferences, expositions, etc. that support the exchange of knowledge. This exchange remains challenging given the busy lives that manufacturing engineers and practitioners lead these days, and the many demands on their time. Nevertheless, the need to be agile, successful in chosen markets, and globally competitive is driving the need for knowledge and the need for continuous improvement and evolution of skills.

Not only do technical publications increase knowledge and offer solutions to difficult manufacturing problems, they also offer an opportunity to earn certification credits. For example, five (5) certification credits can be earned for authoring a published paper and three (3) additional certification credits can be earned for presenting a paper at an SME-sponsored conference or event. Certification is an industry standard for professional recognition and documentation of your manufacturing-related knowledge and skills. It is essentially a third-party validation of your achievements.

Over the years, unfortunately, even with incentives, the desire to author a technical publication has declined. If the decline continues, then the valuable knowledge possessed by engineers and practitioners will be lost to up-and-coming engineers. SME published its first SME Technical Paper in 1951. Throughout the years, many of the principles found in those founding papers and articles have remained timeless. Writing a technical paper, journal article, or NAMRC (North American Manufacturing Research Conference) paper ensures that future generations learn and utilize the wealth of knowledge that you have. It also ensures that the knowledge and experience you possess is utilized by others. As an educator, I can't think of anything more valuable than being able to learn from others, so I encourage you to share your knowledge with your fellow SME members and the manufacturing community. Please visit for information on how you can become an author of one or more of SME's valuable technical publications.


Nominations Sought for Industry-Changing Technologies

SME is once again seeking nominations for its member-driven program—Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture. Developed in late 2007, this program identifies technologies that are making an impact across the industry. Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture discovers and showcases new and emerging technologies that are making a difference in manufacturing.

In early 2008, the 2008 innovations list was published in Manufacturing Engineering magazine. The following are the 2008 innovations that were chosen:

  • Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM),
  • Ultracapacitors,
  • Self-Assembling Nanotechnology,
  • Intelligent Device Integration,
  • Integrated 3-D Simulation and Modeling/Desktop Supercomputers.

As with the 2008 list, SME is seeking nominations from manufacturing leaders representing a broad spectrum of industries, applications, and technologies. Technologies will be assessed based on their readiness level, stage in market adaptation, breadth of application, and their ability to have a positive impact. The nomination deadline is September 26, 2008.

All nominations will be reviewed by SME's Technical Community Network, with the Manufacturing Enterprise Council (MEC) making the final selections for up to 10 innovations for the 2009 list. The MEC serves SME and the manufacturing community by recommending manufacturing processes or technology areas for development of new services, and by monitoring the health and well-being of the SME Technical Community Network that encompasses every phase of the manufacturing enterprise. Throughout the nomination process, additional technical experts and the nominator may be brought in to answer questions and provide additional information to the MEC as needed, to ensure the most informed decisions are made.

Winning companies will be featured in a series of articles in ME, SME Forums, SME's Web site, conferences, and news releases.

For more information about the Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture project along with the nomination form, go to or e-mail


2008 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers Announced

The Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award recognizes manufacturing engineers, age 35 or younger, who have made exceptional contributions and accomplishments in the manufacturing industry throughout the early stages of their careers. Established by the Society in 1979, the intent of this award is to increase recognition for young manufacturing engineers who are often overshadowed in award selections due to nominations of more seasoned engineers with longer service to the profession and/or more significant achievements.

Yong Chen

Yong Chen
, PhD
 Assistant Professor
University of Southern California
Los Angeles

Yong Chen is an assistant professor in the Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and, among other duties, conducts collaborative research with industrial and academic partners. Chen's most recent research includes improving part accuracy, process speed, and automation of stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), and multijet printing processes from 3D Systems, which are widely used in the rapid prototyping industry. He has written or coauthored 30 publications. His work has also extended to the business world, where he developed new geometric modeling and reasoning systems, algorithms, and software tools for digital manufacturing. Among his many accomplishments, Chen holds a US patent, with another pending, in rapid prototyping and manufacturing. He is also one of the principal contributors to the latest developments of the low-cost V-Flash desktop modeler.

 Paul Faughnan

Paul Faughnan
Staff Engineer
Pratt & Whitney
Hartford, CT

Paul Faughnan is a staff engineer in the Strategic Manufacturing Processes Group at Pratt & Whitney. His main engineering focus is developing and integrating new and emerging technologies into the production of gas-turbine engine parts. At Pratt & Whitney, Faughnan serves as both project leader and machining research engineer for several programs designed to lower production costs and improve quality, as well as repair major rotating engine parts through conventional and superabrasive machining. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering and a MS in production and operations management, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 Hussein Kalaoui

Hussein Kalaoui
Project Engineer
ArvinMeritor Commercial Vehicle Systems
Troy, MI

Hussein Kalaoui is currently a project engineer at ArvinMeritor. Since joining its commercial vehicle systems division in 2004, he has focused on developing new approaches to heavy axle design and manufacturing. Most notably, Kalaoui made instrumental contributions to the development of the industry's first laser welding process for manufacturing commercial vehicle differentials. Prior to joining ArvinMeritor, Kalaoui was part of the new product development group at Lamb Technicon Machining Systems, where he worked on developing the next generation of machining centers for automotive and aerospace applications. In recognition of his accomplishments, Kalaoui was honored with ArvinMeritor's Innovation and Achievement Award. He is also a named inventor on three issued and pending patents relating to both heavy axle manufacturing and machine tool design.

 Kristin Meliska

Kristin Meliska
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Air Movement Product Division
Greenheck Fan Corp.
Schofield, WI

Kristin Meliska is currently the manufacturing engineering manager for the Air Movement Product Division at Greenheck Fan Corp. After a successful internship, and after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a BS in manufacturing engineering, Meliska was offered a permanent position with the company. She joined the company when it was first beginning its lean journey, and was soon promoted to production manager. As a leader in lean manufacturing, Meliska has eliminated inefficiencies and led or participated in nearly 60 kaizen events. Among her many lean manufacturing achievements is a Champion project, which led to a lead-time reduction of 75% and a 20% increase in productivity. Overall, this project resulted in a 25% increase in sales without new plant or facility construction.

 Brock Strunk

Brock Strunk
Structures Engineer
Spirit Aerosystems
Wichita, KS

Brock Strunk is currently a structures engineer at Spirit Aerosystems. Prior to joining Spirit, he was a lead engineer at Adam Aircraft and a senior structures engineer at Columbia Aircraft. At Adam Aircraft, he directed a team of engineers and manufacturing technicians who worked to improve fuselage manufacturing process time and reduce the part's weight. Strunk has also developed numerous composite repair techniques and structural testing procedures for aircraft structures for both Adam and Columbia Aircraft. During his tenure at Columbia Aircraft, he played a key role in helping the company certify its 300, 350, and 400 aircraft with the US Federal Aviation Administration. Strunk earned a BS in manufacturing engineering and mechanical engineering from the Oregon Institute of Technology.


More about the award

Nominees for the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award can be selected by the Society's International Awards and Recognition Committee based on a single outstanding accomplishment, such as technical publications, patents, or leadership in a technical professional society, or for several significant accomplishments in one or more areas of activity. Nominations for this award may be submitted by individuals or SME Chapters. To learn more, visit

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

Published Date : 7/1/2008

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